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New guidelines for The Harris to empower local community

Posted on - 28th June, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
The Harris

New guidelines have been introduced to ensure the local community is involved in aspects of the Harris’ work.

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The new Harris Community Empowerment Guidelines primarily focus on including the local community in all aspects of the work by the museum, art gallery and library. The guidance will help to support the emission of helping people to understand and appreciate art, heritage, history and science.

The Harris has a desire to authentically represent the diversity within Preston and they want the community to have a voice and know they’re listened to.

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Relating the Harris Community Empowerment Principles to both internal and external daily practices, the guidelines are to encourage questions on how the Harris can support local communities, and how best to communicate with them. Driving a community-led approach where individuals can present their views on how they would like to see change.

Community Empowerment requires more inclusivity and accountability from the community throughout pivotal phases such as the planning, delivery and review stages. The guidelines will be used by staff from all teams and across all levels at the Harris, encouraging the Harris volunteers, freelance staff and external partners to embrace and champion the guidelines.

Currently, the Harris Museum, Art gallery and Library is closed until 2024 for the Harris Your Place project. During this period of closure, the Harris is working to redefine its core principles to place community empowerment at the centre of everything they do.

Read more: Harris receives £750k extra funding as ‘key milestone’ reached

Councillor Peter Kelly, cabinet member for Culture and Arts at Preston City Council, said: “Recognising the importance of conversation and collaboration between staff, volunteers and visitors will affect positive change within the Preston community.

“The principles aim to embrace the diversity in Preston and provide opportunities for Prestonians to participate in their community.

“Working in democratic ways will guarantee that the Harris reflects the community it is part of. After receiving lots of feedback over the years from local people who say that the Harris doesn’t represent them – that it only represents a narrow section of people. It is time to change this.

“The aim is for community empowerment to become part of everything the Harris does, becoming a natural way of working.”

The Harris Museum is currently operating from other local spaces around Preston including the Guild Hall.

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