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December 2007

Citizenship events

Arc was delighted to perform at a special event at the Department for Communities and Local Government on 29 November.

With a keynote speech from the Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and a high-profile panel debate, Arc performed ‘Meet the Russells’ – a community cohesion Forum Theatre piece – for the Citizens’ Day Conference hosted by the Citizenship Foundation.

Introduced by Chairman Michael Maclay, the event officially launched ‘The Citizens’ Day Framework’ – a major new resource spearheaded by Chief Executive Tony Breslin, aimed at building, cohesive, active and engaged communities.

Attended by over 130 delegates from central government and local authorities, education and youth services and diversity officers throughout the public, private, charity and voluntary sectors, Arc’s performance was followed by a panel discussion with Arc’s Artistic Director Carole Pluckrose and Maureen Alderson, Head of Centre for Local Democracy; Harriet Crabtree, Commissioner for Integration and Cohesion; and Silvia McTaggart, Community Cohesion Co-ordinator for Stoke-on-Trent.

About Citizens’ Day and the new publication

Citizens’ Day is an event or a range of community activities on a single day, mobilising local statutory bodies, businesses, civic institutions, schools and colleges, the local media, charities and, local youth, voluntary and community organisations. Citizens’ Days provide an opportunity to celebrate local achievements, to build and renew community cohesion, and to develop greater local engagement.

The Citizens’ Day Framework distils the lessons from four pioneering local authorities – Birmingham, Hull, Southwark and Stoke-on-Trent. It has been designed as a toolkit and briefing paper to help local authority officers, community leaders and others to co-ordinate a locally-delivered Citizens’ Day, as proposed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as part of the Government’s response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion’s report, ‘Our Shared Future’.

As calls continue to grow for a national day to celebrate our communities and the work of the voluntary and community sectors, the Citizens’ Day Framework provides practical guidance on holding a large scale community event. Citizens’ Days provide a creative framework for planners and can help commemorate local anniversaries, launch major new programmes of change, or provide a focus for events such as local democracy week.

For further information visit the Citizenship Foundation.

Watch this space for reviews of our other recent Citizenship events, including Echoes Community Storytelling Project for the Arts Council with the Broadway Theatre, and As One for Harmony House Refugee Centre as part of the Borough’s ‘Molten’ Cultural Diversity Festival…