£311,000 ERDF Objective 2 Funding Award

tva has been awarded a substantial grant from the European Regional Development Fund to work with Tees Valley communities and organisations, using arts activity to promote diversity, inclusion and sustainability. The programme of creative activity is called In:volve and has been awarded £311K to fund innovative creative projects until December 2005.

The Involve programme will use the arts as a tool to engage Tees Valley communities in creative activity to support participants in becoming more equally and assertively involved in their communities and work towards the setting up of a number of creative community enterprises. The work will build on successful projects that tees valley arts, formerly Cleveland Arts, has developed in the last three years as part of the Articulate Programme, an arts disability and social inclusion programme, Seen and Heard, a project that worked with disaffected young people in Middlesbrough, and You are Here an arts and integration project with refugees and people seeking asylum.

The projects initiated will use creative activity to develop individual and community cultural skills, develop their ability to organise activities themselves, support people to address local needs and encourage their involvement in the design and development of community enterprises. The projects will work towards the development of seven cultural community enterprises by December 2005.

These projects have identified ways of working that use the creative process to engage people, to stimulate imagination, encourage self-expression and self-awareness, enhance self-esteem and confidence and increase motivation and concentration. Improved social interaction and communication skills often result from participation and present opportunities for people develop new ways of looking at and challenging situations. Involvement in creative cultural activity can also give space for change and personal growth, develop insight and awareness of difference and encourage the development of respect, tolerance and broad citizenship values.