This project continues a collaboration between Paul Heritage, Leandro Valiati and two partner cultural NGO’s in Rio de Janeiro: Agência de Redes para Juventude and Redes da Maré. The main focus of these two organisations is on delivering significant economic, social, cultural and welfare impacts in socially vulnerable territories as well as stimulating and contributing actively to social and cultural policy debates.

Research we undertook together during The Art of Cultural Exchange (2014-16) and Relative Values (2016-2018) identified the importance of cultural organisations to the development of fragile communities subject to multiple stress factors, because of their ability to develop social capital and “engaged citizenship”. Exchanges between the UK and Brazil revealed different models for thinking about the value of arts and cultural activities in relation to territorial development, while case studies demonstrated shared learning about the way small-scale cultural organisations stimulate socio-economic benefits when they act as “hubs” or incubators where networks can grow, tools and specialist services can be shared, and innovation is inspired. They also provide the means for young people from peripheral communities to develop their potential as active agents in improving social and economic resilience and reducing poverty.

In this new phase of activity, the partnership will devise and deliver a training course for 40 people from 30 local cultural organisations in the State of Rio de Janeiro.  The course will strengthen a network that has the potential to deliver significant economic, social and cultural benefits in fragile peripheral territories.

The activities undertaken by the learners in Rio will build the evidence base about how cultural exchange and creative economic initiatives based in vulnerable territories have the potential to deliver significant economic, social, and cultural impacts: and contribute to the shaping of more effective development and welfare policies that contribute to Brazil’s progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030.

This Follow-On project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Global Challenges Research Fund.