Croydon Commons seeks to promote the recovery, wellbeing and inclusion of people with mental health issues through the co-creation of an arts project in Croydon designed to connect people to each other and to place – their local community – through the arts, building on existing community assets and encouraging greater participation.
The name given to this project is in recognition of the ‘common’ defined as ‘equally with or by all’ as a principle for working within a framework that enables co-creation and co-production. Commons also refers to the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, ‘held in common’, and not owned privately. Croydon Commons intends to identify, open up and connect those spaces, be they virtual or real that can act as genuine meeting points for mental health service users and a diverse range of community groups – spaces that feel safe, welcoming and inspiring.
Croydon Commons will have a focus upon what is referred to as participatory arts practice (or socially engaged practice). As with In Common, the project adopts an arts based action research methodology and we are currently securing funding for this three-year research programme. Please get in touch with Jocelyn@artsandsociety.co.uk if you wish to know more.
We should be encouraging communities to see themselves as co-commissioners of their cultural and arts experiences…to reflect their expressions of identity and creative aspiration in a manner that can have a lasting impact on that local society.–Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth