The role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion


The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee is looking into how publicly funded bodies can use culture to tackle poverty and social exclusion in Wales.

Please tell us what you think in response to the following questions.  Please feel free to address any other issues in your response:

  • How effective has the Welsh Government been in improving participation in and access to culture for people in poverty?
  • How effective have the efforts of Welsh Government sponsored bodies (namely the Arts Council, National Museum, National Library and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales) and local government been in using culture to tackle poverty?
  • What impact has the Welsh Government’s Fusion programme had on using culture to tackle poverty?
  • How effective have the Fusion pioneer programmes been in stimulating local collaboration?

Please tell us what you think about these issues by emailing us at We ask that all contributions reach us before 14 December 2018.  After this date, the Committee will consider the responses and decide how to take the inquiry forward.


The Committee is interested in how the publicly funded bodies can use culture to tackle the effects of poverty and social exclusion.  When we refer to publicly funded bodies we are including local authorities, heritage sites, theatres, schools, museums, archives and libraries.

One of the ways in which the Welsh Government has approached this issue has been through a programme of activities in which national organisations work together with local authority and community leaders to, amongst other priorities, “introduce new ways of reducing barriers and access to the national cultural institutions, and to create new frameworks for local engagement and delivery”. The Welsh Government has called this programme Fusion.

It is designed to support Communities First clusters in linking with cultural organisations. The programme was co-ordinated by the Museums, Archives and Libraries division of the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government has also used its sponsorship of national bodies to direct them to use their government funding to reduce poverty and tackle social exclusion.  For instance, the current remit letters of the Arts Council, National Library, the National Museum and the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments in Wales all make reference to these organisations continuing to contribute to the Fusion programme.


Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Inquiry in progress

First published: 05/10/2018





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