It's felt like a long winter and we are uplifted to welcome the Spring again, but equally amazed that it's April already. Our new pilot project has kept us thankful to be busy connecting with our core groups, and there are many stories to share and celebrate, as well as practice to learn from and develop this year.
From Jan to March we started delivery of our pilot project Creative Action, a cross-artform creative programme in collaboration with our two core groups, The Women’s Creative Company and Shared Space.
We also welcomed two new team members to the project; Access Coordinator Elena Mary Harris and Project Coordinator Mina Heydari Waite as well as returning Shared Space Associate Artist Najma Abukar.
The project was initially developed to provide our participants with regular opportunities to expand their artistic talents and skills, improve their wellbeing and strengthen their solidarity networks.
In response to the isolating and challenging environment of COVID 19 lockdown, the Creative Action pilot has seen us explore ways of developing our practice, with a new but necessary focus on digital accessibility and the provision of high quality and meaningful creative practice at home. This At Home and Digital element of the project is being delivered under the banner of At A Distance Together. This has unfolded in several strands:
The At A Distance Together Creative Packs offer our groups quality creative explorations in the comfort and safety of their homes. In February, Project Coordinator Mina, and Access Coordinator Elena delivered 48 Creative Packs, direct to the doorstop of our groups.
The Creative Tasks from AMP team and associate artists, were collated visually in a design by Mina, and our first box packed with eight weeks worth of multi artform tasks and arts materials for participants to respond in text, image, textile, print, video, drawing and sound form.
We also set up a project digital platform for participants to share their responses and connect with each other, with written instructions provided with translations, and cheerful, user friendly instruction videos from Access Coordinator Elena uploaded each week.
With funding support from Connecting Scotland, Creative Action has seen us source and deliver over twenty Chromebooks and MiFi devices to group members experiencing practical challenges to online access. Access Coordinator Elena is leading on this element of the project, as well as the development of AMP's accessibility framework of delivery moving forward.
Whilst we cannot meet in person at present, we also offer regular data top ups, IT support and translations for elements of digital and at home creative programme and are planning for different levels of in person engagement when we are able to do so again.
Accessibility has always been at the heart our projects, and we are glad to also be part of a wider, and necessary conversation within our communities and cultural/funding sector surrounding digital access.
I just loved my gifts from you guys...came in that day...and it fair CHEERED me up...” Participant, Creative Action
Online Creative Sessions
The pilot project saw us offer 9 monthly cross-artform creative sessions for The Women’s Creative Company and Shared Space. Guest Artist Tawona Sithole and Rachael Morrison and AMP's Artistic Director Catrin Evans facilitated the sessions, exploring a range of creative skills and practice.
In addition to the groups' monthly creative workshops, we will be adding a social session and a monthly yoga sessions in 2021, allowing group members to focus on relationship-building, sharing experiences, interests and skills in an informal, safe space. As well as developing creative practice, we hope to provide reflective spaces that spark uplifting moments in our day and nurture positive health and wellbeing.
As lockdown restrictions lift, we plan to develop a supportive delivery framework for in person meeting, planning for varying tier levels, and working towards in-person meeting, individual support and creative development and finally - public performances/events.
We look forward to developing the project across 2021...