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All in it together

All in it together

29th September 2015

A major international research centre launches in October with New Vic Borderlines as a founding partner.

The Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC) based at Keele University is to launch at an international summit featuring speakers from across the world.

CASIC has grown out of the relationship between New Vic Borderlines and Keele University’s Management School, who have worked together on projects which have changed lives around the world.

Topics such as volunteering, ageing, violence, exclusion and communities in crisis have already been explored within multiple settings in the UK, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Greece and Poland.

Sue Moffat, Director of New Vic Borderlines, said: “The work Borderlines has undertaken with Keele University has allowed us to work closely with communities in Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and around the world. Together, we have explored issues which affect them and have developed skills in team work, management and leadership to enable them to create positive futures for themselves.”

Professor Mihaela Kelemen, Director of CASIC, said: “The international launch of CASIC is an exciting opportunity for Keele researchers and New Vic Borderlines practitioners to share with an international audience lessons, research findings and cultural artefacts co-created with communities in the UK, Japan, Greece and Canada over the last four years via projects funded by the Connected Communities Programme, Economic and Social Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

“I hope that the launch of CASIC will facilitate the development of new and more creative dialogues and relationships between academia and the community.”

Sue Moffat added: “For Borderlines, being a founder member of CASIC allows us to reach out to a bigger audience and to bring about
change with a partner who shares our ethics, beliefs and ambitions.”

Launched in 1999, New Vic Borderlines is the award-winning initiative using theatre in social contexts. It undertakes work of national and international significance and is acknowledged as a beacon for the ways theatre can be used to work within the community.

The New Vic tradition of drama documentaries puts the voices of real people on stage; Borderlines puts the community itself on stage presenting drama about real lives.

As film director Mike Leigh said about the New Vic: “a theatre that’s got its windows open for the fresh air of the community to blow through”.