Lesson 2: Collaboration

Collaboration is at the heart of Artscape’s practice. Although we develop and manage cultural facilities, our projects are really about people – the community stakeholders, partners, funders, supporters, tenants, and participants who get involved in our projects – and the neighbourhoods and communities they serve – especially our growing portfolio of cultural hub projects.

Cultural Facility Development is time-consuming, complex, risky and expensive. Our projects secure their financial sustainability and public support by ensuring that an ever-widening circle of partners, stakeholders and supporters are engaged in the project from the outset and can contribute to the development of a shared project vision – and increasingly it is this that is the hallmark of our projects.

We see ourselves as an intermediary, brokering deals and fostering relationships to align the needs and interests of these diverse stakeholders and interests from across the old siloes of public, private and community to develop win, win, win partnership. In the complex context of creative placemaking projects, with multiple stakeholders, place-based constraints and limited resources it is  hard to gain traction and make real progress unless there is a clear understanding of what you are ultimately trying to achieve together. A process rooted in collaboration has allowed a project like Daniels Spectrum – our brand new $38M arts and cultural centre at the heart of a massive urban revitalization project – to take flight.

Our spaces are also conceived of as platforms to support intentional and organic collaboration between our diverse tenants facilitating networking, knowledge sharing and creative collaboration between tenants which helps build their productivity, practice and reputations. Our projects also support collaboration between our tenants and programming teams and the wider local community, connect people and places, build social capital and engage local arts participation. 

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