The value of Creative Practitioners?

Working with Artists and Creative Practitioners is a blog site that I have been working on for the last ten months, at first working on the purpose and design of it and then creating and uploading the content. This site has been one of the Legacy Projects from Cre8us, as part of contributing something beyond the life of the Creative Partnerships Programme for those who are interested in the use of Creativity.

It’s been a real labour of love. To look back at six years work, pulling together the essence of the Cre8us working practice and commission case studies of some of the great projects delivered in a range of school settings.

The reason I’m sharing this blog with you is twofold: firstly to begin to explore with you how artists and Creative Practitioners can be utilised very effectively to create impacts beyond art forms and secondly as the directors of changing cultures have been instrumental in some of the work within the site and the case studies and work referenced.

So to start with why use artists and Creative Practitioners in your work, what value can they bring?

One of the greatest mistakes that I see when schools and companies engage artists is that they don’t talk about the expectations of the appointment and what impact they want to see. It seems that there is a misconception about artists and creative practitioners which I’ll try and put right – we don’t read minds! We have lots of skills and one of them tends to be getting to the heart of what people really want, but ultimately we cannot reach into the minds of everyone to make sure we fulfil the unspoken. It has to be talked about.

So what do you really want to see, or achieve? Is it just a beautiful piece of performance or artwork and if so what do you think beautiful is? Is it for participants to achieve something beyond their current capability and if that’s the case what is their current capability and what would you like for them to be able to do. Or is it that you want greater communication and interpersonal skills between a group of professionals and if so, what are they currently like and what do you need?

Talk about it.

Artists and Creative Practitioners can bring great value to many different areas for many different reasons. But it can also be a terrible experience if it’s not set up or supported in the right way. I have seen lives transformed, schools and companies be improved, witnessed some incredible artistic and human moments and people go on to do fantastic, sometimes unimagined things from their experiences. I’ve also seen some real rubbish and witnessed real let downs.

So where do you start. Well of course I’m going to say with changing cultures! And as they say on the BBC, other brands also available!! I’m also going to point you in the direction of the Working With Artists blog.

This blog outlines the practice that the directors of changing cultures played a large part in developing and is continuing to taking forward to develop further: enquiry; collaboration; innovation; risk taking; reflection.

It details how to recruit artists which myself and Nikky Smedley helped to create; there are details of training programmes as developed and delivered by us all; there are details about reflection and evaluation processes that Philippa Cross contributed to significantly plus a number of case studies that would be of interest including:

Nicola Richardson – The impact of the Cre8us way on me

David Mckenna – Engaging Children and Parents (a project managed by Claire Marshall)

Pyn Stockman – The creative delivery of Maths (a project managed by Nikky Smedley)

Louise Braithwaite – Developing practice for working with children with disabilities (a project managed by Nikky Smedley)

Richard Hayhow – Something in the air (a project managed by Claire Marshall)

Eva Bennett – Creative approaches to learning skills (a project managed by Michael Supple)

Louise Bardgett – Early mand space and spaces (a project managed by Nicola Richardson

changing cultures can support and develop projects that uses ourselves and others as Artists and Creative Practitioners. To make sure it can be the most impactful project it can be, it all starts with a conversation…

It’s about dialogue so let’s start discussing the value of working with Creative Practitioners.

claire@changingcultures.org

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