Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals
6. Building good relations
6.6 Using arts and culture
Another aspect of achieving community cohesion is by celebrating the different cultures that exist alongside each other within local communities, whilst at the same time encouraging people to think of themselves as part of the wider community.
There are many examples of where arts and culture have been used to draw communities together. You might want to speak with your in-house funding team to find out more about how to access funding for this type of activity. In addition, you should also look at creative ways of working jointly with the third sector to attract or unlock other sources of funding.
Since 2000, the Scottish Refugee Council has been promoting an annual refugee festival week in Scotland to celebrate the positive contribution that refugees make to the richness and vibrancy of life in Scotland. The festival is co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, working alongside a network of arts, community, voluntary and educational organisations, volunteers and supporters to produce an exciting Scotland-wide events programme.
The Edinburgh Mela started in 1995, as a celebration of the city’s South Asian communities, it has now grown into one of the biggest world music, dance and food festivals in the country. Mela means ‘gathering’, and it provides a meeting place, where all of the cultures and communities who call Scotland home can mingle, converse and bond over music, dance and wonderful food. The Edinburgh Mela is now part the Edinburgh Festivals collective.
Dance Ihayami is a Scottish based Indian dance company with its aesthetic roots in South Indian dance. The company explores the structure, vocabulary and meanings that arise from this medium of dance. Since 2009, it has extended its education offering to include music, and now offers classes in music and dance in Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow. In addition, their outreach programme covers both social and community work, and seeks to introduce people to Indian art forms, by making them more accessible to a wider audience.