Professional Development opportunity for Creative Producers

Lancaster Arts is still going ahead with Action Learning Sets!

One of Lancaster Arts’ last in-person public gatherings was the Taster Session for our Action Learning Sets on Monday 16 March 2020 and we were surprised at how good conversations could still be had, given adherence to social distancing!

Action Learning Set Taster Session
Action Learning Set Taster Session (March 2020)

We had a great turn out – given the times we are going through and by chance, a very interesting cross section of practitioners in the room; musicians, programmers, film makers, producers, project managers, writers and artists. Such a positive reaction from the participants in the room on this session led us to the decision to carry on with planning, and we are pleased to finally be able to host these sessions online in 2021.

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.

If you are interested in learning more about Action Learning Sets, have a look at this:

In 2021, we are hosting 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 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:

Artist: Joseph Houlders

Posted on 26th Mar, 2020