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National Lottery supports Connecting Communities through Diverse Leadership

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Diverse City is happy to say that last month The National Lottery agreed a £197,397 grant for our 3 year, national Connecting Communities programme:

“We are delighted to build on our relationships with the National Lottery and the communities that were activated through their Emergency Funding last year. This will allow us to deepen and embed our leadership, engagement and activism work with seven communities who we will work with from January 2022 – August of 2023.

This funding allows us to scale up our creative aspirations and deepen our and will be closely tied to our ongoing ACE strategic work to build audiences for diverse led circus in partner venues nationally. A massive thank-you to the National Lottery for their ongoing support and to all the people who support good causes through buying Lottery tickets”

Jamie Beddard, Artistic Director, Diverse City

At a time of increased uncertainty and difficulty for so many people, the Connecting Communities project is critical to increasing cultural engagement and the wide range of benefits it brings.

We want creative community voices and leadership to be valued, supported and heard as part of building towards ‘A New Now’.

If the creative sector is to restart with inclusion at the heart, we must bring more diverse people closer to creativity and more diverse creativity closer to people.


What is the Connecting Communities project?

Connecting Communities involves the co creation, co evaluation and co leadership of creative development with 7 community groups nationally.

The unique, collective creative expression of each group will be platformed in different ways (through exhibitions, films, music, audio documentaries or performance), alongside the next two touring shows of Extraordinary Bodies, our collaboration with Cirque Bijou.


Creating space for 14 Unexpected Leaders

Alongside new online and face to face creative explorations, 14 Unexpected Leaders – people who might not usually be recognised for their leadership potential – will be coached to increase their influence and skills in local cultural places and spaces.

Working with our artists, local practitioners and each other, individuals and communities will gain confidence in inclusive arts practice, plus a sense of agency, purpose and connection across the country.

Diverse leadership will allow progress to flow from the top, making for bold change, where the status quo has only allowed us to inch forwards.

“My hope for the future is that I want to be an actor, who could represent disabled people. [I want] to show people who might say ‘you can’t do this’ that yes, you can.” 

Participant, Connecting Communities, 2020-21

Over the next year, we’ll share a series of blog posts that give a taste of the artistic energy, creative innovation, and brilliant people we discover along the way. This is how we ensure no one is left behind and that our cultural life includes everyone.



National Lottery Community Fund Logo: crossed fingers and the phrase 'community fund' in pink.

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Diverse City is an award winning organisation committed to diversity and equality in the arts. We are an engine of artistic and social change.

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