Creative Quarter

A series of case studies exploring the role and effectiveness of the creative arts in supporting positive outcomes for people being supported by social services.

This series also includes Creative Bites (Bite-sized chunks of creativity). We invited 40 people to share their thoughts and ideas to inspire creativity and imagination in the social services.

Serendipity and conference attendance

Narrative Practitioner Conference
Narrative Practitioner Conference, Keele University, 2009. I asked audience members to bring objects with them. In the photo, they are exchanging them with someone whom they do not know.

I remember quite well a major national disciplinary group’s annual conference in Birmingham that I attended some time ago now.

Curating social care digital content - learning from other industries

Keeping track of digital content, deciding what to read. listen to and watch can be daunting.

In the music industry radio and the music press used to be how peoples listening and buying decisions would be influenced. Helping people to navigate genres, styles, fads, the niche and eccentric.

However, today radio and the printed word are no longer preeminent. With youtube being the biggest music discovery platform and the hype machine being the 'have to go to' music blog review site how can people get heard above the crowd?

Timelines and stories

A big part of my job is running training sessions about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) identities for staff who work in older peoples’ services.

Reconstructing Ourselves

Art projects do not normally seek ethical clearance – but when should they?

Reconstructing Ourselves is an Arts Research project with patients and staff in complex breast reconstruction at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, Wales. I wrote my first creative bite just as we were starting and we are now one year on and six months left to run. See the invite to the symposium and exhibition and more information at: www.reconstructingourselves.com

Engage and Create

The Art of Talking

How does facilitating discussions about paintings by Van Gogh & Picasso open up amazing conversations between people with dementia living in care homes?  In The Art of Talking, Rachel Mortimer shows how her social enterprise Engage & Create ignites people's minds, engages their interest, and creates wonderful connections.

Failing better

I’ve been talking a lot about failure recently. We know that risk and failure are central components of innovation. Indeed, it’s been claimed that “success can breed failure by hindering learning at both the individual and the organisational level” (Gino and Pisano, 2011).

So, I’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen that we need to share our experiences of failure as well as our success stories.

It isn’t easy though, is it? Particularly in the public sector. Failure is news. It generates controversy, particularly about who was responsible.

Some stories and some gifts

It is some time since I blogged here – apologies to anyone who missed me and apologies, also, to anyone who would have been happy for me to stay away!

This time around is all about stories and gifts. The first story is that of the Creative Conversations that I have been working on for 3 years with Edinburgh Council and the wonderful Linda Lees, who has been the driving force behind them.

School of Life

I recently attend two courses at the School of Life. One was called ‘How to communicate better at work’ and the other ‘How to have better conversations’. Both classes were pretty theoretical (as the School of Life has arisen from making people aware of the philosophies we do or do not engage with in our lives). However, one key point I drew from each class was that good questions are key when communicating.

Creative consultations

I work for LGBT Health and Wellbeing, supporting services working with older people to become more inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. This is a valuable opportunity to affect change – and I want it to be the change that older LGBT people actually want to see! 

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