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PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT = DELIVERING SOCIAL IMPACT IN COMMUNITIES

The artists we work with deliver a public programme in return for using the space. The projects and creatives are selected by local partners, that understand what projects would be most of interest to the local community. These can be workshops, talks, performances that are free to attend. 

When culture is in an empty shop, it can create a sense of ownership and belonging. People that do not feel culture is for them feel more welcome in our spaces than in a traditional gallery that can feel daunting or exclusive. 

We have seen the powerful effect that art and cultural engagement can have in communities. The arts foster community ownership, cohesion, and a sense of pride, and where communities have fewer economic resources the arts create social capital and support equitable development. 

Individuals benefit from attending and participating in cultural programmes and activities.
Effects of which can be seen as:
Engagement, energy and tension, concentration, captivation, absorption
Personal resonance, emotional connection, empathy, inspiration
Learning, thinking, provocation, challenge, intellectual stimulation
Aesthetic growth, discovery, aesthetic validation, creative stimulation
Social connectedness, sense of belonging, shared experience, social bridging, social bonding

Feedback from our events 

Euston

Euston

“A few people came to see the show and stayed for the events which made me happy, additionally a lot of people made new friends at the events.”

“Really great show and artist talks”

“Super interesting. Wish there was more of this”

“I liked the style of the show I have seen through the window — it was hard not to come in and see the show in detail. Thanks for explaining everything about the show and inviting me for the closing party. Can’t wait to meet artists and curators. Love the topic, the set of artists, the exposition of the show, each work separetly. Love everything about it.”

“Super cool gallery and show!”

Reading

Reading

“This was an intimate and intuitive session lead by Lara Beasley. The session felt spontaneous but was lead with intention and at the correct pace.”

” Lara’s Developing Your Alter Ego Workshop with Open Collective was a really positive experience. Lara, alongside the rest of the Open Collective team were so warm, welcoming and encouraging through the whole workshop, and to be in an environment at Hypha Studios, surrounded by the thought-provoking exhibition pieces was a source of inspiration. We travelled from London to Reading for this event, and the journey was beyond worth it.”

“We came away from the evening feeling the positive impact and feeling confident in our crafting abilities, the art of experimentation, and having forged new friendships through this easy-going, easily financially and geographically accessible community space. Thank you so much! ”

“A dual session that held the possibility of attendees to progress their work from the previous session, or start a fresh with new works. This dip in drop out session catered for people with any artistic experience and capabilities.”

Hastings

Hastings

“Being able to put together this show and let people see my work has been a major step for me. My confidence has grown loads. Thank you!”

“Great space, great show. Can’t wait to see what you will do next.”

“This has been the push I needed to take the next steps in my career as an artist.”

“Excellent space! Thank you so much for what you are doing for art in Hastings. Very impressive!”

“A really great selection of work and not what we were expecting to see today”

“A moving and poignant show highlighting how many voices we have in our community. Thought provoking and deep.”

“A really excellent workshop, I will definitely be coming back for more.”

BRISTOL

BRISTOL

“Hilarious show”

“A great evening and a great show”

“What a lovely space – warm and caring intimate atmosphere!”

‘A super fun evening. Can’t wait for the next one!’

“The atmosphere was so chill and nice. I feel like I could get up and do something at the next one, and I have no idea what I’d do!”

“Best open mic I’ve been to in a while. Such a good vibe.”

Battersea

Battersea

“I loved meeting the wide range of (mainly young) people that attended.”

“It was fascinating to see how on the night different people met and discussed the art on display and their background understanding of art”

“Has been great meeting the residents and know new people and friends’ groups through them!”

“Loved to move in the different spaces and discover different artists’ worlds”

“I learnt practical skills in metalpoint, weaving and also the different styles and historical traditions about these”

“I enjoyed both what I learnt and meeting the participants especially the young woman who had broken her foot and was delighted to have discovered the workshop near where she lived”


“I met some really interesting people and found the artefacts and pictures of old Battersea very inspiring.”

“ It was great to see your work in real life, and in relation to the talk you were giving. Thanks for having us.”

Stratford

Stratford

‘That was brilliant fun the kids had a ball’
“My son LOVED it, and they didn’t want to leave!”
“Can this happen again? It’s so great to have this on our doorstep”

“Very much enjoyed but also wish I could find more events like this”

“Inspirational!”

“Happy that there is something interesting going on in the area.”

“Anxiety over attending alone was alieviated by the friendliness of the artists. Felt comfortable and confident to enjoy the workshop.”

“Absolute stunner of an exhibition, amazing work, and fascinating afternoon of talks and performances”

catford

catford

“Best night of my life” – 8yrs

“My favourite art was the talking machine and the money” – 8yrs

“What a brilliant show and well done for your brilliant work. It is really beautiful and I thought out of all the work there, yours had a comfort and hope for the future, which is centred in the community and communication.”

“People were really excited to talk about their own experiences of mending as well as the own stories of clothes and what they mean to them.”

SOUTH LONDON

SOUTH LONDON

“Absolutely wonderful to see some art today! Lovely surprise and my boys enjoyed having a go too”

“‘More of this please!”

“Happy to have something to do locally with their kids. It brings back some needed community spirit.”

Mayfair

Mayfair

“Attendees really enjoyed the Opening and Closing events. Finding the show a good mix of various art and crafts, including contemporary bodies of work with more classical ones. The Opening event, in particular, reflected our intention to open up to a wider audience and allowed people to explore art in a more celebratory and engaging way”

Newham

Newham

“We have had unanimous positive responses from the workshops, and some of our engagement and other projects have benefitted as people pick up flyers for our other offers when they are at the workshops”. The space has been very useful for bringing the community together, both the artists in the unit but also bringing in members of the public”

CENTRAL LONDON

CENTRAL LONDON

“The works and mode of installation were extremely praised. The fact that the artists came from different disciplines and backgrounds was of great interest to the audience. Also, each artist managed to address groups and individuals belonging to various parts of society. The exhibition felt very inclusive, thanks to the involvement and collaboration of emerging professional artists.”
“It has been such a beautiful and very nurturing and creatively inspired evening.”

“A welcoming environment”

“A super fun evening. Can’t wait for the next one!”