A flavour of workshops in 2020
As we reach the end of 2020, I'm sharing some of the projects and organisations I've been working with this year, along with key things I've learned along the way.
I've really enjoyed the opportunity to work with all kinds of organisations on one-off workshops, talks and conversations - a flavour of which are below:
Image: A still from a workshop for Eden Project Communities, which you can watch online here.
A workshop with with awesome CW team and their Make Space artists, focussed on embedding a creative project in communities, building collaboration and welcoming a wider range of people into your creative process.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
In a bit of a 'pinch yourself' moment for me, I was thrilled to be part of the Fringe Central programme - delivering a session for artists with some tools and approaches to making the most of your time and focussing energy on the things that matter.
SHIFT Summer School: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
An interactive session on 'Planning for action' for students looking to shift into a career in the Arts and Creative Industries, covering prioritisation and effective working, action planing, self reflection and goal setting.
Creative Entrepreneurs Club
An Elevenses conversation (with the fabulous Sandy Thomson) entitled 'Cracking on and getting shit done', which you can watch here.
Eden Project Communities
Led online workshops on sustainable funding models, lessons from instigating community-rooted projects (which you can watch here), and the practicalities of making ideas into reality.
Three things I've learned:
Conversation, not lectures. I was inspired early in lockdown by the facilitation style of Katey Warran and Laura Wright's Social Cohesion in Social Isolation events. They seed events with questions, prompts, provocations - asking every attendee to actively contribute to the event. I've drawn on this approach regularly and have found it leads to richer, more collaborative, and inclusive events.
Showing weakness is a strength. I've sometimes found myself falling into the trap of feeling like I need to know everything (and be seen to know everything) about a subject I'm speaking on. Learning to relax, to say 'I don't know', and to invite others to share their knowledge has made for better events and a less stressed host!
Having a 'no thanks' list. There are some topics I could talk about all day, and some topics that people are really keen to book me for. Those topics often - but don't always - match. I've found it incredibly liberating to be able to say no thanks to the events that don't suit my style or my passions - and am slowly building up a list of incredible speakers to recommend in my place.