Community projects: Glasgow Southside's Kinning Park Complex
The artist-friendly venue thrives on 'community focus with a heavy dose of common sense'
Lindsay Keenan, Building Manager of Kinning Park Complex on their approach to fostering creative community
‘One of the most important things for us is being able to provide space for people. People are multi-talented and creative, they have the ideas and know what they want to do, but what they often lack is the physical space, and the money to do it.
One of the core things that we did early on was continually say "money shouldn’t be the barrier to use". I’m amazed with the number of people – musicians, artists, theatre people, dancers, people working on community projects – that have indeed had the talent, ideas and energy to take things forward when they have just been allowed that little bit of space without money being the barrier.
The fact that the community occupied the building [in 1996] and now the community are running the building means that we haven’t been tied to other people’s rules or ways of doing things, so that’s allowed us a little bit of freedom.
Right now a lot of wonderful things are happening, and the people have something in common in their feeling of connection to the centre – but what we want them to do is start meeting each other. So we’re putting on more joint events, more networking events, so that people are actually realising the talent pool that they are a part of, and interacting more. And that’s also about us opening up, and making sure we’re a part of Southside Film Festival, for example, and other Southside events.
One of the things we talk about is "co-operation not competition". Community focus with a heavy dose of common sense. There’s no shortage of need for venues like this; we can see that in another year or two we will effectively be full. I think there’s scope for a lot more.'