Title Developing a model of arts residency applied to civic engagement
Project Number UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-689
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
Marketing Text Residency adapted the artist residency model to develop vocational opportunities for artists, cultural animators and community workers, to work effectively together. Involving artists and community organisations from the UK, Poland and Spain, the research findings have a cross cultural perspective. The Residency project has identified effective pathways to integrate the role of the artist in processes concerning social change and civic engagement, as well as create a toolkit to help facilitate this process.
The increase in EU funded projects involving participatory arts demonstrated that there is a growing interest by EU member states in the development of vocational training for artists and cultural practitioners working in community-based participatory settings. However, there is still no universal vehicle for training and most practitioners have to learn ‘on the job’ with no clear model to support their professional development. Residencies enables artists to develop their skills within cultural institutions but there is no accepted working model for extending this concept into community settings. It is very difficult for practitioners developing their practice to access work-based learning and there are few learning materials that adequately support it. RESIDENCY developed an EU-wide model of arts-based residency for the vocational training of participatory artists and community workers working directly with excluded communities. Participatory methods (e.g., UK's Get Talking initiative) were used to identify the specific needs of excluded groups and they were involved in the process of shaping project delivery.
- acted as a ´live-laboratory´ which enabled participating organisations and communities to experience the benefits of working with a visiting EU participatory artist.
- provided an action-learning environment for the artist working with a local community practitioner and local trainee participatory artist, acting as a mentor, collaborator and co-learner.
- functioned as an action research project. The Partner University was responsible for managing the overall project and appointed a research team to work with the artist, the community worker and trainee to apply their learning and apply it to the development of a ‘toolkit’ guide.
The project was organised by 3 academic institutions experienced in organising educational and vocational training in participatory arts and community work and with long track records of management and participation in international projects.
On completion of the project, both Staffordshire University and the University of Barcelona had created accredited courses based upon the project findings. The project team continue to disseminate the results of the project to a wider network of students, academics and VET providers, as well community groups and institutions.
Outcomes included a toolkit guide published in each participating country's language and available online. The project and toolkit were launched at an international seminar at the end of the project involving all partner organisations and relevant sector institutions from partner countries. The toolkit which was produced aims to support the participatory arts sector in each country aims to help increase the numbers and quality of projects taking place.
The project is based upon 3 residencies in Poland, Spain and the UK. Each residency hosted an artist from another host country and take place in a community setting. The artist was supported by a local practitioner to develop the placement, and they helped enable the artist to work within the community to deliver a project which addressed issues concerning the local community and encouraged participation in civic life. Each project incorporated participatory action research to learn from the experience of the artists, the participants and the community organisations. The findings have helped develop vocational training in the form an accredited post graduate module for participatory artists developing their practice related to civic engagement work. The project also produced a toolkit for people associated with working with artists or providing arts based approaches in community settings.
The Partner's met 17-19 January 2014 to agree upon a central workplan for the project and to allocate roles and responsibilities.Each Residency was offered as an open call to an artist from one of the partner countries. In each residency, Artists and local people participated through their involvement in discussions about the project themes.Learning from each residency was shared with those about to host a residency in order to share good practice.
The UK Residency in Care Settings created a project called, 'Me Us Community' andused photography, craft and audio recordings to explore ways to connect the people living in care settings with the wider community. Spanish Artist, Almudena Caso and local trainee Artist Cathie Powell Davies developed the project in the care settings. To prepare for this work, we participated in the West Midlands Participatory Arts Forum Event 'Outside In' on 30 July 2014 to learn more about the needs of artists wanting to work in community settings, and to use these findings to help shape the Residency. We also attended and facilitated discussion groups at the Arts and Public Health Conference at Loughborough University on 10 July, and this helped inform we could make links between the Residency and the care sector. Finally, we hosted a workshop for older people and creative practitioners at the Live Age Festival in North Staffordshire,2-3 October 2014 and this helped us develop a local perspective on the proposed residency as well as developing links with community groups involving older people.
The UK Residency commenced on 13 October 2013 and was hosted by St.Quentin's residential and nursing home and The Cambrian Care Hotel.As an action research project, the artists, community practitioner and the staff worked together as an action learning set to help develop the project and analyse the process.To aid this process, we worked with Creative Health CIC to pilot a new reflective tool for arts and health work. In addition, our trainee took part in mentoring sessions on a regular basis.
The Partners met for their 2nd Partners Meeting , 6-10 November 2014. At this meeting the plans for the future residencies were finalised- Poland hosted a UK Artist, Plattformer, and the residency took place in the suburbs of Warsaw and involved a community partnership in the district of Wola. In Spain, A Polish Artist from Mech was appointed to work with Germantes, a community project reclaiming a derelict space for community use. Both partners were engaged in research with local artists and excluded groups to help develop the brief and deliver the residency.
A research framework and bi monthly project meetings involving all partners helped guide the work.In terms of dissemination, the Spanish team presented a paper at the International Conference on Community Psychology, 3-6 September 2014. The UK team were commissioned to contribute a chapter about artist training and the community arts movement in the 1980s for a publication being launched in late 2015.Janet Hetherington presented at the MAPSI Conference (Managing arts projects with a social impact).
The Partners were continually engaged in dissemination and accreditation. Accreditation options were explored in each country, and the UK team worked with project partners to establish a CPD module concentrating on community arts and civic engagement using a blended learning model.
Bitjam were appointed to develop a web based toolkit, which forms a depository for information and learning which emergesd during the the project. Graphic Design students developed a logo in October 2014 and the published toolkit was designed by Blue and White Creative. Information for the toolkit was generated and reviewed by the steering group and project partners. The blog and facebook page were used as the main forms of communication during Residency to disseminate project progress.
In the period January-March 2015, the Spanish and Polish Partners advertised and recruited artists, trainees and community practitioners for their residencies. People and professionals from the communities which hosted the residencies led this process. In Germantes in Spain, community consultation meetings were held with the assembly at Germanetes- the organisation hosting the Residency. Mapping and participatory voting activities helped select Anya Zawadzka . In Poland community organisations and representatives from the local community chose Plattformer.
Work in the Wola district of warsaw concentrated on exploring ways to use the arts to encourage closer collaboration between different groups in the area. In Germanetes the artists worked with local people to create dialogue with the local authorities about potential developments on the Germantes land.
A writer and designer, Blue and White Creative have been appointed for the creation of the publication.
In May , two study trips took place in Poland and Barcelona.
A launch event for the toolkit took place in Stoke on Trent on 18 September 2014.
Utilization and distribution of results
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Other Service Activities
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
open and distance learning
material for open learning
Product information The main product of the Residency project is the development of a printed and online toolkit designed upon the Residency model and the launch of a new post graduate CPD module focusing on community arts and civic engagement and delivered at both an introductory and an advanced level.