Encounter: Evaluation Report now available

HertsCreation have recently completed an evaluation report on their Research and Development project Encounterwhich we led with groups of young people from Francis Combe Academy and Signpost Counselling, Watford. In the report, we discuss the impacts of our work on participants, share examples of their work which was exhibited at Watford Museum and talk about the learning we are planning to take forward in future projects.

Download the report Encounter Report F3

Encounter – Private View and Celebration, Watford Museum, September 30th

IMG_0888mrHertsCreation was delighted to welcome young people from Frances Combe Academy and Signpost Counselling and their families, friends and supporting staff to the Private View of Encounter at Watford Museum on September 30th.

Encounter has been an exploration with young people into the links between art and sculpture-making and well being. The project has  promoted discussion and collaboration between a variety of agencies working in these areas.The project has culminated in an exhibition of sculpture and drawing created by young people in Watford aged 14-19. The exhibition is available to view at Watford Museum until 31 October.‘This has been a great experience for those who participated’. William Allen, Director of Operations, Signpost.

We are grateful for the support of The Arts Council of England, Watford Borough Council, Watford Community Housing Trust and Francis Combe Academy and for our collaboration with Watford Museum/

Encounter

Seminar Sharing and Exhibition

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Professionals working in the arts, cultural, heritage, education or public health sectors are warmly invited to join HertsCreation for a seminar to share findings from their research and development project Encounter, exploring sculpture and wellbeing with two groups of young people from Watford.

2.30 – 4.45 pm Wednesday, September 30th  at Watford Museum, 194 High Street, Watford, Herts WD17 2DT.

Exhibition continues from Thursday 1 October to Saturday 31 October

Directions: http://www.watfordmuseum.org.uk/info.html

logos group encounter.

In the seminar, we will share examples of our way of working and offer:

  • Findings from our project in relation to our key research question, “How might understandings of ways of working with materials and building techniques support greater, self-awareness, wellbeing and resilience?”
  • Case studies of young people’s work and responses
  • Practical activities to illustrate practice
  • Discussions and structured activity to explore potential ways forward for arts practitioners and organisations in Watford and Hertfordshire to identify new opportunities and prepare for the Hertfordshire Arts and Wellbeing conference in October 2015.

Places are limited. To confirm a booking please email admin@hertscreation.com

For further enquiries, please contact Martin Heaney: martin@hertscreation.com

With many thanks to funders, Arts Council England, Watford Borough Council, Watford Community Housing Trust, and Francis Combe Academy and generous supporters Watford Museum, Signpost and the YMCA.

YCA Celebration at the University of Hertfordshire, July 13

IMG_1567mrYCAs from Sir John Lawes, Ashfield, Onslow St. Audrey’s and Samuel Ryder schools gathered on Monday, July 13th at the Weston Auditorium to celebrate the second year of programme activity. YCAs led dance workshops and gave presentations on a busy year of setting up dance clubs, radio station, technical teams and running writing competitions! YCAs demonstrated just how much young people’s creativity and leadership has inspired deeper engagement in the arts and a legacy of further activity in their schools. It was a wonderful morning!

Encounter – a new research and development project

AegisWe are delighted to announce that we have secured funding from the Arts Council for our exciting new research and development project Encounter. HertsCreation Co-Directors Alex McIntyre and Martin Heaney have a shared interest, originating in our combined arts and research practices, in exploring transitional spaces for adolescents. We will begin this investigation with the working question:

How can we create transitional spaces by using the arts with young people to explore wellbeing?

Our project will be co-funded by Watford Community Housing Trust and Watford Museum. We are delighted that we will be working with young people at the Francis Combe Academy and SignPost Counselling Watford in a series of sessions that will lead an exhibition at Watford Museum. Through our research, we want to create a model of practice that we will share with other agencies with planned seminar and conference contributions. We aim to create a unique resource for Hertfordshire agencies to develop imaginative new pathways for young people to engage with the arts and increase their emotional wellbeing.

This work responds to the increasing presence of mental health issues for young people in Hertfordshire. One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 nationally have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems . Research data of the Hertfordshire Young People’s Manifesto 2014-2015 indicates that the overall majority of young people in Hertfordshire may not know how to keep themselves emotionally and mentally well. It also identifies a lack of funding for CAMHS in Hertfordshire, which means that many young people are waiting up to 6 months between an initial meeting and regular professional support.

Herts YCAs’ Big Day Out at the Palace!

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31 YCAs from 4 Hertfordshire secondary schools: Sir John Lawes, Samuel Ryder, Onslow St. Audrey and Adeyfield had a great day out at Watford Palace Theatre this week. HertsCreation was pleased to welcome the YCAs to an action-packed event. The Theatre Participation team hosted workshops on presentation skills and how to run a workshop.20150429_9777

YCAs also got a backstage tour of the theatre,information on Creative Courses in Hertfordshire – plus a workshop from Into Film on how to set up a Film Club and more…. Great organisation from everyone at the Palace. Thank you so much from everyone at #hertsyca!

Inspirations for Encounter

AegisToday we begin fundraising for an exciting new research and development project Encounter. We have a shared interest, originating in our combined arts and research practices, in exploring transitional spaces for adolescents, particularly for those who are vulnerable or marginalised in their social and school environments. We draw on our combined interests and passions for working with young people to begin this investigation with the working question:

How can we create transitional spaces by using the arts with vulnerable young people?

Our Starting Points

Alex McIntyre’s interest in transitional space is informed by her exploration of sculpture, exhibition curation and participatory arts practice. The production and viewing of sculpture in particular is seen as a process in which the subject is consciously embodied and so routed in present experience. Her current work as a practitioner with Art for Change, a creative learning project in collaboration with Watford Palace Theatre and three schools in Watford, demonstrates engagement with the use of creative processes to enable expression, conversation and transformation. The project uses the arts as a means to de-stigmatise mental health and to provoke discussion amongst young people across the schools. Her observation and reflection on conversations with young people and teachers regarding the challenges of discussing mental health has revealed ways in which the use of the arts might help us understand, re-imagine, and so change, responses to mental illness. Alex’s participatory practice has evolved through previous work producing sculptural installations and exhibitions, which aimed to engage the viewer in moments of interaction and response.   Visitors were invited to construct their journey within an exhibition space by reacting creatively to sculptures and written stimuli.

Martin Heaney is completing a PhD, which explores theatre in relation to ideas of transitional spaces of the male adolescent. He is particularly interested in exploring testing Donald Winnicott’s ideas of transitional space, that the event of inner transition is made possible only in relation to ‘the outside world of people, environments and events’ and exploring the arts in relation to Massumi’s ideas of ‘emergent’ transitional space where identities are played with and rehearsed.

Together, we wish to investigate how we can construct a dynamic transitional space for young people that has, in its construction, multiple dimensions of relational care, art-making, sensory engagement and productivity.

Brent Museum and archives lr2 Our Context

We are responding to the increasing presence of mental health issues for young people in Hertfordshire. One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 nationally have a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven has less severe problems[1]. Research data of the Hertfordshire Young People’s Manifesto 2014-2015 indicates that the overall majority of young people in Hertfordshire may not know how to keep themselves emotionally and mentally well. It also identifies a lack of funding for CAMHS in Hertfordshire, which means that many young people are waiting up to 6 months between an initial meeting and regular professional support.[2]

Our Objective

Through our research, we want to create a model of practice and research findings that we will share with other agencies. Through the exhibition, seminar and conference contributions we have planned, we aim to create a unique resource for Hertfordshire agencies to develop imaginative new pathways for young people to engage with the arts and increase their emotional wellbeing.

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[1] Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2012, Our Children Deserve Better: Prevention Pays

[2] Hertfordshire Young People’s Manifesto. https://www.youthconnexions-hertfordshire.org/media/428032/Manifesto-1125-2014.pdf

Joelle Taylor, Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors UK, leads workshop for HertsYCAs

LR Joelle MagicJoelle Taylor ran a highly successful workshop for Hertfordshire YCA’s at Watford Library on February 13th.

Joelle Taylor is a spoken word artist, slam poet, playwright and  novelist. She has performed across the UK as well as internationally for the British Council (Zimbabwe, Botswana) taking in a diverse range of venues from Dingwalls, the 100 Club, the 02 Arena, the Royal Festival Hall and Ronnie Scott’s to the Royal Court, the Globe, the ICA, Buckingham Palace and both Pentonville and Holloway prisons. Joelle is currently the Artistic Director ofSLAMbassadors UK, the national youth slam championships. Joelle is also the coach of the national team and delivers Master Classes and ongoing mentoring for emerging poets and spoken word artists.

This picture shows YCAs from Sir John Lawes School, Harpenden,in action writing and developing  work. We had an inspiring workshop and wonderful support from Emily Jacques, Young People’s Services Co-Ordinator at Watford Libary. Emily hosted the event and told us much more about what the library has to offer. It was a great day for YCAs!

Open Doors, part of the Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors Programme

IMG_5264Calling all venue-based Arts and Cultural Organisations in Hertfordshire to participate in OPEN DOORS, part of the HertsYCA programme 2014-2015.

The Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors programme is a youth leadership programme co-funded by the Royal Opera House Bridge working in partnership with Sir John Lawes and The Wroxham Teaching Schools, their school alliances and local cultural partners in Hertfordshire. HertsCreation Community Interest Company manages the project. Now in its second year, the Herts YCA programme will work with 10 schools and up to 12 young people in each school during the 2014-2015 academic year. The programme aims to deepen relationships between young people and arts and cultural organisations in Hertfordshire.

We would like to hear from venue-based arts and cultural organisations seeking to build stronger links with schools and young people.

  • In the Autumn or Spring terms, can you ‘open your doors’ to offer ambassadors a tour of your venue, give a short talk about what you do and how you work?
  • Could you link this YCA visit to an existing workshop or programme that YCAs can participate in?
  • Do you have a young person or families offer that you would like publicise through this visit?

Please note that to aid participation all Open Door events should be free or low cost to schools and YCAs.

What’s in it for you?

YCAs will tell their school and community about your cultural offer. They will actively encourage their teachers, peers and families to visit your venue by undertaking a blog post on the HertsYCA website and an assembly at their school. YCAs may seek to develop a longer-term partnership between your venue and their school.

What do you need to do?

  1. Select 3 to 5 dates and times between November 3 and 2 April 2015 when you could host a visit by a YCA school group and their lead teacher.
  2. State your venue’s name, address and details of how to book including a contact name and maximum number of guests you can host.
  3. Give brief information about your work and the sort of experience YCAs can expect when they visit you.
  4. What else can you offer? Please give information on any other offers you wish to make to YCAs and schools involved in the programme. This can include information on existing programmes of work and key dates that you wish to publicise to audiences.

Email information to Alex@hertscreation.com including ‘Open Doors’ in the subject line. Do get in touch if you would like more information about the programme or have other ideas about how you and your organization would like to be involved.

Deadline for submissions Monday 6 October 2014

 

Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors Youth Arts Calendar

Calling all Arts and Cultural Organisations in Hertfordshire.

 

 

FREE Publicity offered for your events in the Youth Arts Calendar of the Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors (YCA) Programme 2014-2015. Copy Deadline: Monday, October 6th.

 The Hertfordshire YCA programme is co-funded by the Royal Opera House Bridge working in partnership with Sir John Lawes and The Wroxham Teaching Schools, their school alliances and local cultural partners in Hertfordshire. HertsCreation Community Interest Company manages the project. Now in its second year, the Herts YCA programme will work across 10 schools involving up to 12 young people in each school during the 2014-2015 academic year. The programme aims to develop youth leadership and deepen relationships between young people and arts and cultural organisations in Hertfordshire.

We are creating a youth arts calendar of selected events and programmes across Hertfordshire for inclusion in our YCA toolkit.

  • Do you have a schools, families or young person’s offer that you would like to publicise?
  • Is the offer free or low-cost?

What’s in it for you?

  • Your event or programme will be included in the HertsYCA toolkit for teachers and YCAs across 10 schools.
  • YCAs may tell their school and community about your event.
  • They may participate in your event / programme or encourage their peers to get involved. If YCAs are interested in your work, YCAs may undertake a blog post on the website publlicising your work. YCAs may seek to develop a longer-term partnership between your organisation and their school.

What do you need to do?

Please send us:

  • 1 image
  • Name of event or programme
  • Location
  • When – dates, times of event.
  • Type of event (e.g. workshop, performance, exhibition)
  • Two sentences about the event (50 words max)
  • Cost
  • How to book
  • Website or contact details for further information

Email information to Alex@hertscreation.com including ‘HertsYCA Calendar’ in the subject line. Do get in touch if you would like more information about the programme or have other ideas about how you and your organisation would like to be involved.

Deadline for submissions Monday 6 October 2014