PCEP Forum 2: Creative Connections: Caring and Creative Learning for Young People through, and beyond, COVID 19

What went on: Provocations, Conversations and a Call to Action

Caring and Creative Learning for Young People through, and beyond, COVID 19 was delivered on the 28th Feb and 1st March 2022.  It formed part of a series of quarterly events being delivered by Plymouth Cultural Education Partnership and was delivered in partnership with High View’s Schools‘ programme: Centre Of Excellence In Creative EducationTake A Part CIOWith Flying Colours and Plymouth Culture.

Chaired by Kim Wide MBE and CEO of Take A Part and Dr Ronda Gowland Pryde (Creative Education and Engagement Consultant) the two days were a chance to come together, reflect, map, learn and share what we have learned and how we can continue deep and relevant delivery of Creative Education teaching and projects moving forward post covid 19.  Using the experience of creativity and education in COVID, we also explored and reflected on themes of connecting with the community, utilising creative approaches to support vulnerable families and creating and delivering high quality creative learning experiences during a challenging time.  Biographies of the speakers from across the two days, and the partner organisations, can be found here

Day 1: A National Conversation
Day 1 invited Centre of Excellence in Creative Education and With Flying Colours to present their work and findings in a Plymouth context alongside Room 13 (Hareclive, Bristol) and Turner Prize nominees Gentle Radical (Cardiff)  Alongside sharing their working practice during covid, speakers offered up provocations around Creative Education.  Presentations were followed by Q&A session where participants could further explore the issues being raised.  You can check out the full recording of the session here, the zoom chat, which features further questions and responses is also available via this link.

As a further part of the session, following breakout rooms, the collective in the virtual room created a Call To Action around what we want to share and say collectively to funders, policy makers and those in positions of power in terms of supporting more creativity for younger people in our society.  This call is an open source document which people can add to, check it out here.

Day 2: The Plymouth Framework 
Held in house at High View School, this in person session focussing on the Plymouth context saw educators, artists and cultural organisations coming together to better understand project outcomes and opportunities from the learning of delivering Creative Education over the last 18 months.  The event was also an opportunity to explore the ways in which Plymouth want to best shape and develop collective action on creative education and support for young people across the city.  Speakers included Gem Smith and Jenny Hobbs from High View School and the With Flying Colours lead producer and artists working with the programme on the ground.  Additionally the ‘Offer and Ask’ segment of the day saw short presentations from artists and organisations in the city sharing what they do, what they’d like to do more of and what they can share with others.  For Offer and Ask we were joined by Josephine’s StoriesLiterature Works and Seadream Education.

Recordings of the presentations can be watched here:
High View
With Flying Colours
Offer and Ask

Additionally speakers presentation slides can be viewed here.

Alongside the presentations were some really rich conversations considering where we are with Creative Education post covid in Plymouth.  In particular looking at the Plymouth based approach to Creative Education- tables in the room had discussion and shared back, creating action points and next steps. This discussion and those potential next steps can be found here and again, this is an open source document that people are invited to feed in to.

Across both events the wonderful Far Flung Dance Theatre CIC provided an access audit and subsequent support including live captioning, support back of house on Zoom, provision of a chill out space for people to relax at during the in-person event.  Within the space there were ear-defenders, soft furnishings and quiet activities, the perfect chance to take a moment if things felt overwhelming.  Hugest thanks to Far Flung for all their hard work, expertise and support in ensuring that we aimed to make the events as accessible as possible.

All films from the event are available captioned by request, if you would like to view the films with captions please contact gem@plymouthculture.co.uk

The next PCEP forum will be reflecting on early years provision in Plymouth and will be held in May, date and time to be confirmed, we’ll be in touch!