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Common Ground

About The Project

Common Ground was an action research project which connected young people in the East of England with their local natural and cultural heritage through the arts. The three-year funded project began in 2020 and finished in March 2023, working in partnership with heritage organisations, charities and artists throughout the region.

Common Ground was ambitious and radical. It’s worked to make natural and cultural heritage relevant and meaningful for young people of all backgrounds, challenge stereotypes and make the sector more inclusive.

The project was supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. We are proud to have delivered this project in partnership with Norfolk Wildlife TrustNational TrustPrince’s TrustSHARE Museums EastColchester + Ipswich Museums, and Suffolk Wildlife Trust.


Common Ground Resources

Download some useful resources below

Common Ground Full Evaluation Report

Common Ground Executive Summary


Common Ground Guidebook and Kitbag

This interactive guidebook captures learning and ideas from the project to help you plan, devise and co-produce creative heritage projects with young people. It aims to help you make your activities more creative, relevant and accessible to younger audiences.

The guidebook can be used by anyone working in natural or cultural heritage settings. You will find it particularly useful if you are an emerging and practising artist or creative practitioner (for example a performer, educator, animateur or workshop leader), an early to mid-career heritage professional (for example a learning officer, project manager, producer or coordinator) or if you are someone who wants to bring together a team to support, host or deliver creative projects in a heritage setting.

Alongside the guidebook you will also find a ‘kitbag’ of printable resources to work through with your team or participants.

The guidebook and resources have been created and produced by Lawrence Becko Associates and designer Aimee Haywood, in consultation with young creatives involved in Common Ground.

The Common Ground Guidebook

Kitbag resources

Card Game

Fortune Teller

Sensory Tour

Sensory Tour Audio



Visit the Common Ground website

A taste of what's happened

Ipswich Museum Collective Impact

Working with Story Makers Company and young participants from Volunteering Matters‘ Peer Action Collective, we creatively used Ipswich Museum’s collections to make an online space telling stories meaningful to young people.

The project combined visual storytelling with live art making, in a process Story Makers call a ‘story weave’. During online workshops, the young people co-created ideas and concepts for their online space. Artist Hannah Aria also led in-person creative media workshops at the Museum, where young people explored collections in relation to youth violence, crime and voicelessness.

View the online space here!

Arts make life better

Norfolk & Norwich Festival brings tens of thousands of people together in celebration – it has been doing this for 250 years. Through our May Festival and our year-round arts education work, focusing on children and young people, we lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in communities across Norfolk and the region.

This year we begin an exciting new initiative, Festival Connect & Create that will bring creative opportunities to those schools and communities with least provision. Creativity transforms people’s lives. It builds cohesive communities, develops vital skills and supports health and wellbeing. We want more people to have access to creative opportunities.

Please consider donating to support and develop this work. With your help we can increase access to the life changing power of the arts.

Registered Charity No. 116442

Amount to Donate £ 0