East Street Arts: Working with Hard to Reach Communities

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So, you’ve set up your studios and filled them with artists, developed a programme of events, exhibitions or other activities, but where is your audience? How can you engage new people with what you’re doing and
embed yourself in your community? What if that community is close-knit and suspicious of outsiders?

This case study looks at the experiences of East Street Arts as they set up a studio complex and exhibition/project space in Chapeltown, Leeds, and how they attempted to engage with the very diverse communities of Chapeltown.
This is a difficult area and not one that can be addressed through any magic quick-fix solutions. For East Street Arts, who opened their Chapeltown space in 2009, it is still early days and they are still learning.