Reading’s Great Place Scheme, “Reading, Place of Culture”, includes a Cultural Commissioning Programme which is focused on supporting local organisations to develop cross-sector partnerships in order to engage the community’s most marginalised and hard-to-reach groups, and to provide genuine social, health and well-being impacts.

Three exciting programmes were funded in year 1, taking place between July 2018-2019. Each programme followed its own timeline, based on bespoke participant, partner and evaluation needs. They all began with an Action Research and Story of Change session. In addition, all three projects developed a joint Action Research question to explore during the course of their funding. This was:

“How can partnerships with arts, culture and heritage enhance existing services for disadvantaged participants?”

The Cultural Development officer managing the Cultural Commissioning Programme facilitated quarterly action research meetings, which culminated in the below case studies. In keeping with the principles of Action Research, the aim was to change practice by learning through experimentation, and to value participation, self-determination, empowerment through knowledge and change. The regular meetings took place in order to continually reflect on observations, implement change, and track what works and what doesn’t. Action Research reframes failure as an integral part of change and aims to improve professional practice through continual learning and progressive problem solving.

Find out more about three programme snap shots which showcase the work and what has been learnt – Cultural Commissioning Programme Case Studies 2018-19 301019x