Cultivate - Creative Ideas for Positive Impact

Organization Sponsor: Real Ideas Organisation (RIO)


Program Description

Cultivate is about developing a way of working with young people that supports them to come together and be energized. A wide range of activities have been delivered as part of Cultivate including: • gigs on the beach • dance, music, physical theatre and craft workshops • art, photography and writing competitions, • a community play and film production.

The Cultivate approach aims to explore a Cultural Offer for young people that enables, nurtures and develops them and their communities to realize their creative ideas and potential. By working with practitioners, organizations and businesses, the program supports young people to create better quality cultural opportunities and have a positive impact. Cultivate is not just about developing one-off projects – it is also developing on-the-ground cultural leaders, encouraging cultural participation, developing cultural confidence and recognizing the importance of culture as a whole.

The Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) is a community interest company working mainly in the South West of England. Cultivate is one of the programs they have developed in Cornwall as a result of young people in rural areas having limited or no access to cultural activity. Contact: [email protected]

Arts Council England in partnership with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) staged three one-day events in July 2009 to increase understanding of how arts and culture can help deliver positive activities for young people and National Indicator 110. NI 110 aims to measure and drive improved performance in the proportion of young people participating in positive activities. This project was one of their case studies.

Program Approximate Cost: 

No set cost, commuity needs differ.

Funding Sources: 

Arts Council England, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Cultivate has been in the making for some time now. Many pieces of work, conversations, organizations and individuals have contributed to developing the approach and we hope they will continue to help us evolve it.

Impact Of Program: 

During the pilot phase, Cultivate in Cornwall ran across nine areas, working directly with up to 40 young people in each area and drawing in community members, business professionals, practitioners and officials. It triggered 12 funding applications, fundraising campaigns and commissions driven by young people to continue and broaden the activity they started through Cultivate.

Evaluation Tools: 

By undertaking an 18-month pilot of Cultivate, we have been able to test and develop the approach, iron out the creases and address the challenges to create something that really works. As a result of its pilot phase, the Cultivate approach is being supported by University College Falmouth, The Works, Cornwall Creative Unit, Arts Council, Cornish Mining World Heritage, Carn to Cove, Venue Cornwall partners, Cornwall Interlink, Vinvolved, Keap, Chew TV, Arts Awards, Devon and Cornwall Police Community Support and has the scope to engender similar support from organisations and institutions in whatever area it works in.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

A dedicated Cultivator (often a young person themselves) that can more fully link youth provision into the community, support young people to realize their ambitions, and hook them into the programs, opportunities and support that are relevant for them. Use of the established Cultivate website and virtual network maintained by Cultivate communities, which links up pockets of activity, teaches valuable IT skills, provides a central point for information sharing and can drive traffic through to local authority services.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

A way to reconnect communities with their young people and change perceptions as a result. A potential way to engage marginalized young people and a route of progression for them to get further advice, support and training.

Length and Stage of Project: 

This project began in 2006.


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