We are very pleased this month, to welcome Sarah Gilmartin to the organisation in the role of Artists Training and Development Manager. Sarah joins us from Surrey Arts where she was Arts for Health and Dance Development Officer. Sarah’s appointment completes our latest recruitment activity with the recent appointments of Stella Yates as Business Development Manager and Morwhenna Woolcock as Comms & Admin Co-coordinator. It is great to be back to a full complement, with fresh energy and a positive outlook for the future.
Sarah will be in charge of our co|Create programme of training, development and support for socially engaged artists. This programme has been quiet recently as we have been going through the process of recruitment, with the last workshop being a highly insightful session on social media, and previously a fully attended, practical and perceptive session on creative facilitation.
We will continue to deliver these vital workshops and many others like them, but we also have new ideas about how we can best support artists working in this field in our region. This will include a revamped Artists Area on our website with astute, constructive, pragmatic resources and innovative ways of being connected to each other and to new opportunities. It will also include more in-depth support and opportunities for artists to join peer-support initiatives, action learning circles and mentoring. We are committed to sustaining and improving the quality of artistic practice in socially engaged arts and we welcome ideas on how we can do this and how we can genuinely support you as an artist, so please do get in touch with us and let us know your thoughts.
Philippa, myself and a few of our dazzling volunteers and peer-support group members kicked off our Community Matters project recently with a brilliant two days of research training facilitated by the South West Foundation. Community Matters is a community based participatory project, where we will be working with academics from The University of Bath to examine what works best in our peer-support groups and how we can make the experiences even better and more sustainable. The research will be undertaken by members of the community and will provide vital feedback on how we can improve our services and practice.
I am biting my lip regarding Brexit, but suffice to say, amongst the plethora of opinions and writings that have emerged since the result of the referendum, the most important sentiment for me is that the arts and creativity are needed now in our society more than ever. They can bring communities together and make us understand the world and ourselves better, in an encompassing and insightful manner. In essence, Creativity Works!
(Director, Creativity Works)