Open Data tool to help Arts and Heritage reach communities

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Culture Everywhere screenshot

Culture Everywhere helps organisations engage communities

Culture Everywhere wins Nesta and ODI’s Heritage and Culture Open Data Challenge. The new platform uses open data to help organisations support and engage communities

An online platform that helps arts and heritage organisations with funding bids has won Nesta and the Open Data Institute’s Heritage and Culture Open Data Challenge.

Culture Everywhere is a web platform that lets users access and explore more than a dozen publicly available data sets including the UK Census, Index of Multiple Deprivation and grant giving from Arts Council England. The data reveals not only who, where and what has received funding but where there may be gaps in cultural provision. Based on this evidence, organisations can more efficiently construct proposals that support and engage their communities and are attractive to funders.

Crowdsourcing data about project impact

As well as hosting existing open data, the platform will produce its own by encouraging users to upload their project impact data. Alongside this, relevant research and good practice guides will be available.

The tool is being developed by creative arts provider Ignite Imaginations and The Better With Data Society after they identified that, while grassroots arts and heritage organisations can reach people and communities more easily than mainstream institutions, they often don’t have the same resources available to invest in researching and writing successful bids to fund their culture projects. The team will now use the £50,000 prize to develop the tool ready for launch in 2016.

The competition challenged applicants to develop a product or service that uses open data to engage more people in UK heritage and culture. It forms one of seven challenge prizes to invite businesses, startups and individuals to develop innovative solutions to social issues using open data.

Accessing data across the arts sector

Briony Phillips, Open Data Challenge Series programme manager, comments: “The Heritage and Culture challenge was a particularly close-run competition. I’m pleased we are able to support Culture Everywhere as they increase access to open data across the arts sector and hope to help level the playing field for smaller grassroots arts organisations. The platform has the potential to help arts organisations more easily apply for funding, provide opportunities and measure their impact thereby creating a virtuous cycle for the future.”

Jag Goraya, Culture Everywhere, adds: “Open data, like culture, is a powerful thing, but there’s still much to do to make it accessible and widely enjoyed. Our team is passionate about both, which is why we entered the challenge. Culture Everywhere puts open data into the hands of arts and heritage providers that don’t have the time, capacity, skills or inclination to become data experts. It gives them the insight and evidence to create better targeted projects that can help them engage their communities with culture.”

You can read more about Culture Everywhere and former challenge winners in Nesta and the ODI’s Open Data Challenge Series Handbook published today at


Image Credits. Top Image: (from left to right) Jag Goraya, Danny Antrobus, Ian Ibbotson, Luisa Golob
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