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The Boden Project, one of the earliest Catalyst award winners, completed the first phase of its development recently following a successful pilot project in Taunton.


For two weeks, the project team of Nick Brace, Tim Martin and Phil Shepherd, took over an otherwise empty shop and enabled local residents and passersby access to a wide range of creative activity. Phil best sums up the projects aims in an interview at the RSA in November:

The project underwent a number of changes as time passed – the most notable being a switch from Chard toTaunton, but its core values remain embedded in the practice and in their collective vision for the future. The Institute for Creative Engagement is as important an idea now as it ever was. Perhaps now even more so as the effects of a 100% cut in council arts funding inSomersetstarts to bite.

The title of this blog comes from one of the key questions of the project. You can see some of the participants’ responses in the video at the top of this page.

We are trying to engage adults in education that would not normally be involved… I can see lots of links with what you are trying to do

What is clear is that it is not only artists that add value, but the opportunity for all to engage in creative practice which is key to developing happy and fulfilled communities.

If you would like more information on the Boden Project please do drop me a line.

Chris Luffingham is the Fellowship Networks Manager for the South West,West Midlands and West. Twitter: @BillyLuff


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