Amateur and professional arts organisations are joining forces in a nationwide campaign to encourage more people to try their hand at creative activities.

Photo of a man on a pottery wheel

reway2007 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Voluntary arts activity is to be given a major boost through a new BBC campaign to encourage people to ‘Get Creative’. Billed as “a year-long celebration of British arts, culture and creativity” the campaign will highlight the involvement of millions of people in artistic and creative activities, and try to persuade others to join them. It is the first time that amateur and professional arts organisations have come together on a high-profile national project of this scale. Announcing the launch of the campaign, BBC Director General Tony Hall, said: “What I hope we can offer the campaign – and it’s something only the BBC can offer – is the ability to reach people everywhere. To inspire everyone to make art or do something creative.”

Throughout 2015, the BBC will be using a combination of TV, radio and online to encourage audiences to do something creative, and it is making a bigger commitment to arts programming in prime time. A new website aims to become an information hub for creative activity taking place across the UK, and will feature online masterclasses for creative activities such as writing a song or starting a novel.

Voluntary Arts, the umbrella body that promotes active participation in cultural activities, is a key partner in the initiative, together with Culture at King’s, 64 Million Artists, Fun Palaces, Cultural Learning Alliance, Arts Council England and the What Next? movement, which will be promoting discussion about the role and social value of the arts. Robin Simpson, Chief Executive of Voluntary Arts, said: “The UK is an incredibly creative place – there are approximately 63,000 voluntary arts groups regularly involving ten million people across the country in creative cultural activity. For those who take part, this activity becomes an essential part of their quality of life. Expressing yourself creatively enhances your skills, understanding, confidence and wellbeing – and taking part in creative activity collectively in a group strengthens communities. But much of this local creative cultural activity is often overlooked or unnoticed. Get Creative will provide a unique opportunity to showcase and celebrate the creativity of people across the UK and to encourage more people to get creative.”

Liz Hill