This July we kicked off Beyond Exchange, a project taking to the next step the innovations in creative practices advanced through research on UK/Brazil exchanges THE ART OF CULTURAL EXCHANGE. The hub and training programme will enable young local producers in Rio de Janeiro, consumers and makers of policy in the cultural sector to construct new narratives of evaluation, facilitating civil society organisations based in vulnerable territories, to enhance their work towards social and human development goals and to contribute to wider debates about how the arts create safer, healthier, wealthier and more equitable communities. The project has been co-created with two cultural organisations based in territories (Redes da Maré and Agência de Redes para a Juventude), both subject to high indices of lethal violence and low indices of socio-economic development in Rio de Janeiro.

Redes da Maré [Maré Networks] and Agencia de Redes para a Juventude [the Agency for Youth Networks] will ensure that learning from the original research is put into practice by organisations using arts initiatives to achieve sustainable progress in multiple dimensions of human development across over 30 peripheral communities. The project has been designed to engage policymakers from government and non-governmental agencies in the co-creation of the evaluation indicators to ensure that the new evidence and data that is produced by the hub and training programme informs and shapes the creation of cultural policy that focuses on social and human development.

The first step was an immersive weekend with 40 young producers, social  and cultural activists and artists selected by the two organisations, working together with economist Leandro Valiati and Paul Heritage (PPP Artistic Director) to discuss the potency of the cultural work developed in peripheral areas of the city and how to measure cultural and social impact coming from those projects.

Below, you’ll find pictures of the weekend, in Petrópolis (countryside of Rio de Janeiro). More to come very soon!