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Voluntary and Community Arts

Help and support is available for amateur and community arts groups.

Over half the UK adult population is involved in the voluntary arts and crafts - those arts and crafts that people undertake for self-improvement, social networking and leisure, but not primarily for payment. They are wide-ranging and include folk, dance, drama, literature, media, music, visual arts, crafts and applied arts, and festivals.

Voluntary Arts Network

The figures show that a large number of Dorset residents take part in local community arts activities on a regular basis. Support is available for those groups who struggle with attracting members, finding venues, raising funds for equipment or using the internet etc. The national report (opens in a new window) shows the value of volunteers and how the sector accounts for almost one fifth of all arts participation in England.

Until reading this, you may not have realised that your local arts group is in fact a 'voluntary arts' group. So you probably don't know that as a 'voluntary arts' group, you could be supported by Dorset Community Action (opens in a new window) - a local charity that helps local voluntary and community groups.

They could help you with:

  • Information and advice

  • Fundraising

  • Finding venues

  • Computers and IT

  • Running your group effectively

Voluntary Arts Network (opens in a new window) is a national organisation dedicated to supporting community groups who are involved in the arts to develop. They provide specialist advice and support to groups and also have a wide range of 'information sheets' specifically written for voluntary arts groups that are free to download from their website. They cover topics such as:

  • Putting your arts or crafts group on the map - ten ways to get noticed

  • How to write a successful funding application

  • How to make sure your group is still here in ten years' time

  • Reaching out to new audiences

  • How to write a press release

And if that is all new to you then you probably have no idea you could also get help from the Volunteer Centre Dorset (opens in a new window) if your group requires volunteers or if you need support to manage volunteers more effectively. For more information, visit our Volunteering in the Arts web page.

Dorset Community Action (opens in a new window) support voluntary and community groups across Dorset including other cultural areas such as museums, libraries, adult learning, sports and heritage, so please contact them directly.

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