/ Projects

Communities of Culture

What is it?
Throughout the production of the Culture Strategy we met with people from across all communities in Leeds. The one thing these diverse and distinctive places had in common was the commitment of the people who live in them to improve them, build them, adapt and change them. Always honest about the challenges their community had, the people we spoke to had a range of ideas for how to overcome this - some big, some small - and were always ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and make things happen We want to help them make those ideas a reality.

We met many people trying to make things happen and finding it hard. There had been policy obstacles, the stresses of navigating the maze of inter-connected departments within a local authority, a lack of expertise, knowledge and know-how for how to achieve their cultural ideas, having big dreams but not knowing where to start and some steep and off-putting learning curves.

Communities of Culture is about supporting anyone, whatever their background, age, experience or confidence, to create a culture that is meaningful and relevant to them and can be enjoyed on their doorstep with their community. Giving people a human contact, someone to talk to, to help them navigate the various systems and processes that can seem daunting, opening up networks and introducing people to others who have been here before, inspiring them, helping to shape their ideas and making it easier to create culture in Leeds.

This is not about grants and funding. It's about making the city work better for its communities, understanding where some of our policies and approaches no longer work and finding ways to change this. Ultimately we want to provide a better system for 'getting things done' build toolkits, share ideas, knowledge and advice and help to build a city of creators.

Which Leeds Culture Strategy Aims & Objectives will it deliver?

  • Ensure that culture is celebrated, runs through our DNA and is inextricably linked to who are we and what we do.
  • Embrace and celebrate the differences in our communities, inviting artists and thinkers from all corners of the world to sit alongside us, and find new connections with Leeds.
  • For the city to value and prioritise cultural activity, utilising it as a means of improving the quality of life experienced by every person and every community in Leeds.
  • For culture to build respect, cohesion and coexistence between and within communities and individuals.
  • For Leeds to be nationally and internationally recognised as a liveable city, and a thriving, internationally connected cultural hub open to collaboration.

Which Leeds Culture Strategy Area of Focus does it serve?:

  • A Place of Many Destinations
  • A Connected City with a Yes Mentality

Project Contacts
Leanne Buchan leanne.buchan@leeds.gov.uk
Sarah Priestley sarah.priestley@leeds.gov.uk

Image: 'Find the Forest' took place as part of Leeds Indie Food Festival in 2017 and 2018, taking over spaces often used for other things and celebrating those spaces through the culture of food. Image courtesy of I Like Press.