Some thoughts on delivering creative projects in community settings...
Following on from the latest professional development round table discussion event last week (9 Feb 2011) I have come up with a series of questions and suggestions to identify some of the things that should be considered when delivering creative projects in community settings and of course some of the challenges to be aware of - I hope that you find them useful...
- finding the right venue/space – think about your criteria and the practicalities
- what skills do artists need to deliver participatory work in community settings? Think about whether you are able to deliver a high quality process for your community participants as well as a high quality artwork for your clients - and how you will balance that with practical project coordination tasks. What skills sets do you need to develop in order to do this?
- what support might you need as an artist working in this context?
- getting people engaged in the project is often a challenge - making sure you have participants and stakeholders that can give you support and that you can keep interested. Think about the skills they have, shared interestes etc as your starting point. getting people talking is often the first step and then the creativite activities can get started from there.
- Although you will have planned your project carefully you need to keep an element of flexibility within your delivery timeframe – to accommodate the community you are working with (timing and patience)
- keep an eye out for any unexpected outcomes and links that you might make during delivery that will bring added benefits to those you are working with and might lead to your next piece of work i.e. a new initiative in the area, someone with a venue or funding based on the work you are already doing...
- have resources in place – bring down all barriers to participation that you can i.e. think about the transport, venue, language (this will form part of your planning but is an essential part of delivery as it will enable people to attend the project)
- dealing with unexpected problems – can’t plan for them – i.e. not getting permissions…loss of contacts – stakeholders changing etc
- a large part of delivery is about reporting to your funders and stakeholders etc – communication is key – you can find different ways to do this – not just dry reports, depending on who you are reporting to
- timing is important – be realistic about how long things take to deliver to the get results you or your funders want
IMAGE: Beyond Bricks Project; delivered by Reel Access, 2010; Photography by Lee Allen