Community grants for arts and culture

We fund arts and cultural activities through our Community Grants programme. 

All projects must demonstrate how the funding will reduce social and / or economic inequality, by removing barriers for city residents with the most need, to enable them to access arts and culture.  As well as this primary outcome, activities must achieve one or more of the following strategic outcomes:

  • Improved health and well-being.
  • Communities come together to bring about change.
  • More people have better opportunities to gain employment.
  • Stronger voluntary sector in the city.

This grant programme is new and in April 2015 replaced the Community Development and Arts and Recreation Development grants.

Examples of projects and organisations who received a 2016-17 Community Grant for arts or cultural activity included: 

Arts and Minds
Arts & Minds is an influential leader within the arts and mental health sector of the UK. Delivered across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and beyond our work has been innovative and has left a legacy of increased awareness about the positive role that the arts play within mental health care provision. Funding received by Arts & Minds will support workshops and a public exhibition produced by adults with mental health problems. 

Cambridge 105FM Radio
Cambridge 105 Radio is the community radio station for Cambridge, broadcasting a mix of music news and information, plus a wide range for feature programmes on topics including film, books, food & drink and the arts, from their Gwydir Street Studios.

Cambridge Art Salon
Cambridge Art Salon is a social enterprise pioneering equal access to art in the community, through platforms, projects and space. Their interdisciplinary studios support artists and makers at not for profit rates, reducing economic inequality by allowing people the chance to take creative risks, build micro- businesses and new creative practices.

Cambridge Community Arts (CCA) uses the transformative power of personal creativity for positive change.  They offer art, music and drama courses in the targeting people at risk of social exclusion mainly due to mental ill-health.  CCA received a community grant to provide a programme of creative courses for adults with low incomes at risk of social exclusion due to mental health challenges. 

Cambridge Literary Festival
Cambridge Literary Festival delivers two festivals a year plus one-off events featuring high-profile authors across the worlds of literature, media, science, history, politics, poetry, philosophy and children’s books. A grant enabled festival access for city centre children on low income and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Cambridge Live
A charity set up to act as a catalyst for inspiring cultural experiences that everyone can be part of, the vision of Cambridge Live is for all Cambridge lives to be enriched by creative experiences. They currently reach over 300,000 people each year who engage in activities which include: Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge City Events and e-Luminate.

Care Network helps older isolated and vulnerable people in Cambridge to stay independent and keep in touch friends and their community via a programme of services and practical help. £3,000 was awarded to Care Network to create an art exhibition with isolated older people, highlighting the issues surrounding social isolation – in association with Kettle’s Yard – through creative sessions delivered in the participant’s own homes.  

Cambridge Junction
The arts centre where art meets life.  Junction audiences and artists experience and explore contemporary arts, popular culture and creative learning.  They received a grant for a programme of community engagement projects including activity to engage disadvantaged young people through workshops, events, youth theatre and disability projects.

Kettle’s Yard aims to offer a unique place for art, music, learning and research, engaging diverse audiences through innovative learning and public engagement programmes.  Their grant provided an Artist in Residence, creating a new artwork in collaboration with the community, engaging ‘at risk’ young people and their families, isolated older people and the long term unemployed

Libra Theatre provides theatre workshops and showcases for people with a learning disability, many of whom have high support needs and need one-to-one support.  They received a community grant to fund activities that will increase opportunities in theatre and performing arts for people with a learning difficulty. 

Menagerie Theatre Company is the leading independent new writing theatre company in the East of England.  Menagerie received a Community Grant to deliver a theatre project with adults, in association with Abbey People through workshops and one performance at Hotbed Festival at the Junction July 2016 and at Abbey Meadows community wing.  The project involves a mix of long term and new residents, multi-lingual and cross generational.

Museum of Cambridge is a social history museum which aims to tell the stories of all Cambridge people by engaging residents in recording and sharing stories of their neighbourhoods through a programme of exhibitions, workshops, lectures, projects and activities.  The Museum of Cambridge received a Community Grant to deliver, Capturing Cambridge, a programme of outreach projects, an interactive website and workshops and training in reminiscence and oral history skills, photography, exhibition and publication preparations etc.  Plus, drop-in memory sessions.

Romsey Mill  is a charity committed to overcoming disadvantage, challenging injustice and promoting social inclusion with young people, children and families. They work with over 3,500 individuals and families each year to enable their progress towards training, work and positive involvement in the community. The grant they received supported music based activities for young people aged 10-21 at high risk of involvement with drugs or other risky and anti-social behaviour.

Rowan Improves the lives of people with learning disabilities through the provision of services and meaningful activities. This was against the background of change that, quite radically at the time, sought to move people out of institutions and into the community. They run number of studios including wood, ceramics, print, textiles and mixed media as well as regular music and performance workshops. They received a grant to enable new music partnerships for adults with learning disabilities.

Strawberry Fair is a free one day arts and music festival run entirely by volunteers – for the people of Cambridge, by the people of Cambridge.  The Fair takes place on the first Saturday in June and this year attracted around 40,000 visitors. Strawberry Fair received a Community Grant to support activities at the event including performances on the large outdoor and tented stages, children’s and arts areas which engages with over 50 local community groups and 150 local poetry, comedy and music acts.

The Pink Festival Group  is a charity whose aim is to celebrate the diversity of the community through the arts, whilst making a profit to feed back into the LGBT+ charitable sector locally. They aim to raise awareness of issues faced by LGBT+ people, foster understanding between people from diverse backgrounds and, as a result, help combat discrimination and other negative social attitudes towards LGBT+ people. Their grant supported an event programme including workshops, entertainment and educational events. 

University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) is a consortium of eight museums that make their collections available to the widest possible audiences through permanent and temporary exhibitions, events, courses and other wide ranging programmes.  UCM received a Community Grant to develop a programme to increase and diversify engagement to improve the lives of local people through enhanced wellbeing, cohesion and employment opportunities.  These include activities for disabled people; arts award courses for young parents, trips and tours ad part of CHYPPS SummerDaze programme, museum familiarisation days for community groups and participation in community festivals, carnivals and events.

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