What were the specific goals of this creative economy project? Describe the community development challenge or opportunity that your project was designed to address:
In 2011 the Redfern committed to a strategic initiative to increase and expand our engagement and connection to the local community. Historically the Redfern lacked visibility and didn't have much impact to the local community. It was to build new audiences and share our live arts programming with more people. Some of the Redfern’s challenges were:
1. The perception that Redfern events didn’t have a curricular connection beyond the performing arts majors.
2. The Redfern events were “just for the college students”.
3. The perception that Redfern programming wasn’t connected to the local community.
The Redfern Arts Center realized that we didn’t know who our audience was, and perhaps they didn’t know who we were either, and the fact that so many artistic events (over 100 presenting, academic and community group performances) were taking place in their own backyard.
The Redfern needed to find better ways to successfuly engage our campus and local communities with our programming. Beyond the Redfern programming, the goal was to also find ways to promote all of the arts that took place on campus
If the goals change over time, please describe how:
The Creative Connections program has evolved from a guide that listed our free public programming to an ongoing resource that invites the community to participate and contribute ideas on ways to create meaning exchanges and immersive experiences with artists, live performance and each other throughout the year. We realized it was also important to bring the public programs to the community, and hold events in other institutions in Keene.
Who was involved in this project and what did they do? (be sure to include the partners from outside of the creative sector and how local voices were included):
The Redfern has partnered with the KSC Office of Arts and Humanities and the Office of Advancement to help create relationships with other departments and community organizations. We have also partnered with a variety of academic departments to created a range of threaded events that surrounded the live performance (i.e public exhibits and lectures). The Redfern has partnered with the Colonial Theatre to provide arts education outreach and the Keene Public Library as a community resource for Redfern public programming
How does this project relate to a larger community development strategy?
Creative Connection aligns itself with the mission of Arts Alive which is to serve the cultural community of the Monadnock region by providing information and resources for artists (visual, performing, crafts, music), and for organizations whose purpose is to promote these artists, and to promote excellent audience experiences.
What projects or places, if any, inspired your approach to this creative economy project?
It is our goal that we can partner with other community organizations that offer similar engagement and outreach.