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The joy of doing: what we know about everyday creativity and how to support it



Three young people sat at a table in a gallery setting. They are doing a craft activity twisting together lengths of fabric

Commissioned by Arts Council England, the Centre for Cultural Value and The Audience Agency have developed a new free resource for cultural practitioners and organisations interested in supporting everyday creativity.

In line with the Arts Council England’s “Let’s Create” strategy, this practical resource looks to suggest ways we can become “a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish” and draws on evidence from our everyday creativity research digest,  as well as insights from pioneering organisations and stories from everyday creatives.

As our research outlined, people who do creative activities in the home or community often don’t make clear distinctions between activities in the way that many arts professionals do. Instead, creative self-expression is a key factor. As John Wright, Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Cultural Value, says:

What was so revealing was how the real motivation for everyday creativity came from the enjoyment of doing rather than producing something. This is often misunderstood, and where cultural organisations and policymakers can both learn and support everyday creativity.

Wright explains the barriers to everyday creativity can include capacity and time constraints, which are particularly prevalent among those with caring commitments. Another obstacle highlighted by several research studies is the difficulty of gaining access to public spaces and resources. And yet, as Wright says:

Everyday creativity can also lead people to form friendships and broader social groups through shared activities, which are important for promoting wellbeing and can lead to an increased sense of local ownership.

With this in mind, the new resource, Supporting Everyday Creativity, focuses on how and why arts and cultural organisations should support everyday creativity and the appropriate practical steps they can take to nurture creativity in their communities.

Ben Walmsley, Director at the Centre for Cultural Value, adds:

We were delighted to collaborate with The Audience Agency on this timely project, bringing our research on everyday creativity to bear in developing a new set of resources to support the cultural sector in engaging with audiences on their own terms in their own creative ways.

Find out more about supporting everyday creativity

The Supporting Everyday Creativity resource is available via the Arts Council England website.

Download and read the Centre for Cultural Value’s everyday creativity research digest.

Delve into five essential reads about pleasure, play and connection in everyday creativity

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