HertsCreation Autumn Newsletter 2013


It’s been an exciting year so far for HertsCreation! We began life as a Community Interest Company in October 2012 with a busy period of funding applications and meetings across the county with organisations in the voluntary and local government sectors.

Although the funding climate remains challenging, one striking feature across the Herts landscape is the growing number of networks and hubs for arts and cultural activity, including the Hertfordshire Arts Partnership and support of Royal Opera House (ROH) Bridge.  We have been pleasantly surprised at the number of doors that were opened for us by different individuals and groups with a vision for the arts. We are fortunate that these conversations are now helping us build a strong programme of activity this autumn. So what are we up to?

June 20, YCA Launch Event, , Royal Opera House

Our Activities in 2013 Continue reading


YCA Launch Event June 20, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

HertsCreation are delighted to be project managers for the Hertfordshire Young Cultural Ambassadors (YCA)Programme and to have facilitated a successful launch in the Crush Room at the Royal Opera House on June 20th, attended by over 70 young people and an additional 30 teachers and artists. The programme reflects our passion to continue to support teachers and young people to access and produce high quality art and cultural experiences. The work continues our engagement in Hertfordshire which began with the support of Royal Opera House Creative Partnerships. The current work of ROH Bridge is invaluable in sustaining and building new partnerships with Teaching Alliances and other arts organisations in Hertfordshire. The YCA programme is showing strong potential to act as a catalyst for dialogue and exchange between different cultural groups and organisations. We look forward to the next phase of activity which we hope will expand cultural capacity of schools and arts organisations in Hertfordshire and support the engagement of young people in the arts and cultural sectors. Visit www.hertsyca.org.uk  to see what we have been up to and read teacher posts on inspiration.
Emily Gray, Artistic Director, Trestle Theatre said : ‘what a pleasure and privilege it was to work with you at the Launch – splendid collaboration in a splendid setting. There is such passion and energy behind this project and I do hope it goes well for Herts Creation and all the young people involved.’
Sandringham School tweeted: ‘@ROHBridge @HertsCreation Thank you all for an inspiring day. We have lots of ideas to go away and work with. A fantastic and inspiring venue.’

Herts YCA Programme – the next chapter

A while ago Martin referred to starting up a community interest company as a little like jumping out of a plane and making the parachute on your way down.  Well – now we have a team of sky divers with us and, like skydiving (I can only imagine here) – it is exhilarating!

Establishing relationships

We met our YCA Lead Teachers again on May 10th at Welwyn Garden City Library.   Emma Betts, Programme Manager ROH Bridge, and our evaluator Hannah Wilcox also joined us.  It was a fruitful morning as everyone arrived excited and raring to get going.  First we explored the YCA role – the tasks that might be undertaken, the skills and qualities needed,  who we might want to recruit to the programme, and how.  Together, we asked  how the YCAs might be supported in their role, where there was space for them to lead and how they might drive the programme – both online and off, in the schools and across the wider communities.

Next we got cracking Continue reading

OUR STORY part 2: Fail Again, Fail Better… Fly

Jumping out of a plane

Starting up a social enterprise is frequently compared to jumping out of a plane and making a parachute on the way down. Six months into the start-up of a Community Interest Company, HertsCreation, it feels appropriate to examine the heady mix of highs and disappointments that has accompanied our six-month existence and draw some lessons from it. We are going into 2013 with an exciting project, a pilot Youth Cultural Ambassador (YCA) Scheme with strong partners: the Royal Opera House Bridge and the Wroxham and Sir John Lawes Teaching Alliances. While we are looking forward to new relationships and revitalising old ones, there has also been learning for us in the experiment of setting up a new venture Continue reading

HertsCreation will manage Young Cultural Ambassadors programme

We are thrilled to announce that HertsCreation C.I.C will be working in partnership with The Royal Opera House Bridge, The Wroxham and Sir John Lawes Teaching Schools to deliver a Young Cultural Ambassadors programme in Hertfordshire over the next 18 months.


This morning as I look back on HertsCreation’s founding year I enjoy a rich sense of anticipation, excitement and a large degree of bounce.  January began with a surprising and exploratory conversation between Martin and I stimulated by colleagues and friends Andy D’Cruz, Vicky Wilson and Fiona Lesley.  Since then we have launched HertsCreation C.I.C through a whole school change project with Woolenwick Infants and Nursery School culminating in a twilight inset for teachers in neighbouring schools; designed and built an evolving website; legally established HertsCreation as a community interest company; opened a company bank account (and earned funds to put in it); discovered new working relationships and rekindled conversations with friends and colleagues.

Martin and I have been working together since 2009 and already  shared a way of working, understanding and values built on common experiences and the roots of practice.  As we prepared our fertile ground for HertsCreation we spent time examining, understanding and discovering the meeting of two practices and overlapping curiosities to drive future projects. We mulched and composted conversations, gathered thoughts, and undertook research revealing an emerging aesthetic and some key, underpinning, questions.  This is truly exciting and we look forward to sharing more on this, work, new collaborations and ideas in the year to come.  For now a big thank you to everyone who has joined us on the journey so far and we wish you a joyous and fulfilled 2013.