Beyond Exchange

How arts organisations based in vulnerable territories can make economic, social and cultural impact to local communities.

Cultural Value and Heritage

Project Overview

This project continues a collaboration between  Paul Heritage, Leandro Valiati and two partner cultural NGO’s in Rio de Janeiro: Agência de Redes para Juventude and Redes da Maré. The main focus of these two organisations is on delivering significant economic, social, cultural and welfare impacts in socially vulnerable territories as well as contributing actively to social and cultural policy debates.

Research we undertook together during The Art of Cultural Exchange (2014-16) and Relative Values (2016-2018) identified the importance of cultural organisations to the development of fragile communities subject to multiple stress factors, because of their ability to develop social capital and “engaged citizenship”.

Illustration by Ellen Rose

Exchanges between the UK and Brazil revealed different models for thinking about the value of arts and cultural activities in relation to territorial development, while case studies demonstrated shared learning about the way small-scale cultural organisations stimulate socio-economic benefits when they act as “hubs” or incubators where networks can grow, tools and specialist services can be shared, and innovation is inspired. They also provide the means for young people from peripheral communities to develop their potential as active agents in improving social and economic resilience and reducing poverty.

In the second phase, the partnership trained 40 people from 30 local cultural organisations in the State of Rio de Janeiro.  The course strengthened a network that has the potential to deliver significant economic, social and cultural benefits in fragile peripheral territories and policies that contribute to Brazil’s progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030.