Arts & Minds was an arts and regeneration programme in Blaenau Gwent centred on neighbourhoods that form part of the extensive housing stock of Tai Calon Community Housing, the largest social landlord in the region.
The Arts & Minds project aimed to bring community arts, creative engagement and arts interventions into a series of social housing projects in Blaenau Gwent. The project aspired to change the culture of Tai Calon as an institution, and sought to establish a model of good practice for integrating creative engagement and arts interventions into the work of community housing associations.
Lead partner: Tai Calon Community Housing
Who else was involved? Head4Arts and Aneurin Leisure
Location: Blaenau Gwent
The aim of the project was to help Tai Calon form a more strategic approach to neighbourhood regeneration – combining the use of community arts, creative design and community housing.
The project also added a new creative dimension to an existing large-scale environmental improvement programme by the housing association. This was done by involving artists in this process at different levels and for different durations, through artist residencies and the development and implementation of an artistic programme.
What were the aims of the project?
- Integrate community arts into the regeneration programme to make the process and outcomes of renewal more engaging, inventive and meaningful in the long term.
- Embed creativity internally within the planning, design and implementation process of Tai Calon.
- Encourage communities to think creatively and take greater control of their local environment.
- Strengthen community involvement in environmental improvements and maximise their contribution to renewing the built environment.
- Develop a far-greater sense of community within these neighbourhoods and an increased sense of self-expression, ownership and pride through the targeted improvements.
- Change people’s perception about the arts, both within the targeted communities and within the organisation itself.
- Influence wider practice of other community housing organisations and regeneration initiatives in Wales.