On 11 April 2015, Di Fisher-Naylor, Director of Programme Development at Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE), led a workshop at Casgliad 2015, the first Youth Arts Network Cymru Conference held in Aberystwyth, Wales. After an introduction into the work, international programmes and values of CCE, she presented the International Creative Education Network (ICEnet), of which CCE is a founding partner. Several of the partners had been working together to develop the Self-Assessment Competency Framework for Creative Practitioners who work in educational settings to develop the creativity of children; this was part of the project Training Requirements and Key Skills for Artists and other creative practitioners to work in participatory settings (TRaKSforA), which was co-funded with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union. The SACF had been informed by the work of practitioners and cultural professionals across twelve European countries, and many of them shared their feedback on the draft versions of the SACF and wider issues through interviews, roundtables and workshops, among others. Prior to another set of roundtables and a soft-launch in Utrecht a few weeks later, it was hoped that a conversation with practitioners at the conference will further strengthen the framework’s content. Furthermore, the participants were to consider how the framework might be useful in the context of arts and creative learning in Wales.
Di held a discussion with a small group of Welsh practitioners to learn about their perspective, their own practice and needs and the Welsh context. Through a series of brainstorming and reflection exercises she also gathered their ideas on tips for successful participatory practice and useful resources for early-stage youth arts practitioners to consult, for developing these competencies respectively: Artistic and creative practice; Organisation; Working with others; Face to face delivery and facilitation; and Reflection and evaluation.
The participants’ contribution and their examples of successful approaches to practice development and sources of inspiration and advice helped shape the final stage of the SACF development. The hard work over the two years’ duration of the project and the quality of contribution from both partners and practitioners across Europe resulted in a framework that is hoped to be of value to be of great value to artists and creative practitioners at all stages of their careers, as well as to teachers and other people collaborating with them, training providers or policy makers, and consequently children, whose creative skills’ development is at the heart of the work.
More information on the project and the SACF and other outcomes can be found here.
Photo: Jain Boon, National Youth Theatre Wales
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