Community Arts contributes to the wellbeing and lifelong learning of the people of West Lothian by providing opportunities to participate in the arts.
Community Arts supports the development of arts and cultural activity in West Lothian through the provision of an arts programme and associated educational and participation opportunities at Howden Park Centre and Linlithgow Burgh Halls.
We encourage participation in the arts for the widest possible range of people and also target individuals and communities who may be less likely to participate due to physical, social or economic barriers.
The team of arts officers is responsible for managing a programme of arts activities in the community which are designed to contribute to a range of outcomes. The main programmes are:
Working in partnership with Planning and Economic Development Services, Community Arts manages the council's Public Art programme. Funded by developer contributions, the Public Art programme engages with communities and enables them to manage the commissioning of new public art works and also catalogues, maintains and decommissions existing art works.
The art galleries in the venues present a changing programme of high quality solo shows, touring exhibitions and commissioned new work. Exhibitions are accompanied by an educational programme related to the exhibition themes or artistic approach on display.
Community Arts works with other Council services and external organisations to deliver projects that use the arts to improve wellbeing and create opportunities for positive personal and community change. This involves a varied programme of work targeted at specific groups including vulnerable children, young people and adults.
Community Arts provides a programme of arts education projects for pupils and Continuing Professional Development opportunities for teachers in line with Curriculum for Excellence and supports learning and teaching across the curriculum.
Creative Scotland has just announced that Community Arts is one of six organisations in Scotland to be awarded funding from their Time to Shine fund. We have been awarded £57,000 for a digital intergenerational project which will give young people the opportunity to create new digital product with, and for, an early years audience.
Community Arts supports and encourages voluntary arts organisations by providing training, advice and access to an arts grant scheme which awards over £85,000 each year to a range of organisations.
West Lothian Council commissions Firefly Arts Ltd to provide youth theatre and associated services for children and young people aged 5 to 25 to develop their personal, social, educational and artistic skills, improve their self-confidence and attainment and lessen their risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or low level criminality. Firefly receive an annual grant from the council to provide this service. While this core funding supports workshop and performance activity in Livingston, Bathgate and Linlithgow, it also enables the company to lever in project funds from charitable trusts and foundations, thereby generating significantly increased arts provision for young people who are socially, economically or geographically disadvantaged.
Community Arts provides Link Officer support for Firefly Arts Ltd, monitoring the organisation's performance in achieving the outcomes purchased through a Funding Agreement and carrying out the council's annual "Health Check" monitoring process.