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Artist Development opportunity for Creative Producers

31 January 2020

Lancaster Arts will be running Action Learning Sets for specific roles in the creative sector over the next two years. This is a key part of our artist development programme and will be targeted towards specific roles that we think could benefit from this kind of support. We hope that each group will become self-sustaining and grow into an informal and supportive network.

So, what is action learning?

Action Learning Sets have been commonly used in the creative sector for many years now. They can be an inspiring approach to professional development that offer a small group of peers (approximately 5 to 7 people) a structured and reflective way to explore the issues they face. This happens within a trusted group of people with a similar level of responsibility and experience, often doing a similar kind of role. You can read more about them here.

Action Learning can make an enormous difference to your work in the following ways through:

  • Helping you to step outside of your day-to-day pressures, supporting you to reflect and view your work from a fresh perspective.
  • Having a group of peers supporting you to identify your own creative solutions to take away and act upon.
  • Giving you the opportunity to develop ideas, see connections and hear about others’ experiences across the region.
  • Helping you to build networks and partnerships across different parts of the arts sector and beyond.

They help to create circles of trust, the value of which last far longer than the sessions themselves.

In 2020, we will host Action Learning sets for a role that we think could really use a peer to peer support network. One that often can be isolated and that would benefit from sharing practice in a safe space with others in the same role. In 2020 we are running Action Learning sets for Creative Producers working or based in the northwest of England.

So, what do we mean by a creative producer in this context?

If you ask this question in google you get:

A creative producer takes a concept and makes it a reality. This process involves everything from generating ideas and assembling the right team to seeing the project through to the final stages of production.

This is not far off the mark for us but also involves a desire to make change – often the role is seen as a change-maker. Someone who makes things happen and works with a broad range of people to make it happen such as artists, public and social sectors arts (such as in health or with councils and/or those working directly with people in specific communities).

This could mean you might be an artist practicing in any artform or someone working with an organisation to make something happen with partners outside your organisation or someone who does socially engaged arts practice (or participatory practice). You are working from an idea, if not yours then close to your heart – trying to make something new. Not so much of a project manager or producer who is focussed on the nuts and bolts of activity although if you are interested in moving in this new direction, that might work too.

It’s the producer’s role to be the bridge between the work and the world, the artist and the audience

Michael Morris

We hope to run at least 2 sets, each of about 5 to 6 months long. We will be announcing an application process for the 2020 Creative Producer set in February and the date of a taster session so you can see how it works for yourself. We will be asking everyone to commit to all sessions and pay a small contribution of £50 to costs.

We hope that participants will continue them after these sessions are completed. If you are interested in being kept informed please get in touch with us at: producers@lancasterarts.org

Artist: Joseph Houlders
  • Image credit: Joseph Houlders
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