Excerpts from Report: Enhancing Cultural Capital (Winnipeg)

24 03 2010

The Arts and Community Development

“ There is not only a wealth of artistic and cultural resources in the inner city, but these resources can make an enormous contribution to building community capacity, energizing community-based revitalization efforts, educating young people, improving our public spaces, and invigorating local economies.” (8)

Here’s a link to an inspiring and inclusive report on issues and ideas about community arts in inner city Winnipeg. The report was researched and written by: Michelle Kuly, Etoile Stewart, and Michael Dudley with the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg (as project coordinator) in 2004. The community partner was: Art City, Winnipeg. Here are some excerpts from the report:

“…A review of the relevant literature shows that art-based programming offers numerous benefits to its participants, and can help to empower groups that otherwise feel marginalized. There is no one model of success, yet those agencies that we selected for review have some important thing in common: they are rooted in, and engaged with, their communities; they are open to community ownership and participation in their operations; and they allow diversity to flourish, not just in terms of what they do, but, who walks in their doors.

Interviews conducted locally with community-based arts organizations reveal that poverty is the most powerful influence in the neighbourhoods in which they are active and presents an ongoing challenge for their operations. All of the organizations we spoke with see value in arts programming as a means with which to address myriad factors compounding poverty. Unemployment, education, health and skill development, community connections, individual self-worth, communication skills, trust and so on — all can be altered and improved in some way by access to arts programming.” (6)


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