Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter February 2017
Read all about our current work, get in touch for more info and please share with a friend or colleague to help us spread the word. 
Director's Blog

The announcement of cuts to the arts budget in Bath and North East Somerset has the arts sector within the area up in arms regarding the lack of communication and vision from the council. There is a constant struggle for sustainability within our sector that is draining of both resources and energy, but it is critical that we keep up the fight and that we do not just roll over in the face of these devastating blows to our industry, our creativity and to the lives of artists and those associated with the arts and creative industries. 

In a recent conversation with co-Chairs of other What Next? Chapters nationally, we discussed the varied approaches to support delivered by local authorities from Hull to Newcastle and throughout Wales. Some are forward thinking and others are, in my opinion, blinkered, however all are faced with the reality of having to make huge savings to their budgets. How do we square this circle? What genuinely is next? 
As important as challenge and accountability are as concepts, the future for me must include dialogue and advocacy. As furious as cuts to the arts make me, and other colleagues in the sector, it is imperative that we come together and speak with one voice. I hope we can do this both through the Cultural Forum for the Bath Area, which, although quiet recently, is still positioned to be an excellent mouth piece for the arts community, and also through the recently formed West of England What Next? Chapter. Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday 24th February in Bath and we will be placing the recent cuts and our collective response to them at the top of the agenda. Please do get in touch with me if you would like more details regarding the What Next? Chapter, would like to join the mailing list of attendees, or indeed whether you would like time to make a representation at this or future meetings.

In other news, we were very pleased to start our new Care Course alongside Bath College's new Care Academy. We are working with a variety of artists and organisations to delivery short evenings of training in a variety of creative activity that can be used by students and professional carers in any care setting. This work has blossomed from our Home Service project, working with Elders across three sites in Radstock, Bath and Bristol. We are coming to the end of this project soon and are working on some amazing resources that we hope will be a lasting legacy of this project. We also hope to be able to gain further funding to continue this incredibly valuable part of our delivery portfolio. The work with the Care Academy is certainly part of this legacy of embedding creativity into the care home environment, upskilling the care workforce and ultimately improving the lives of the residents through creativity. The course is eight weeks long and although started, it is possible to still join if you are interested.


Director, Creativity Works
West of England What Next? Chapter - Friday 24 February, Bath

Date:  Friday 24th February
Time: 10.00am-12pm
Venue: Futures Hub, 2nd Floor, Roper Building, Bath College City Campus, Avon St, Bath, BA1 1UP
  • Funding Cuts and Local Authority Relations: speakers, discussion and group work
  • Our response
  • Models of good practice
  • Ways forward and actions
  • Thoughts on W of E What Next Chapter? future events and meetings
  • Further thoughts and AOB
Please let Olly know if you can come:  RSVP

B&NES Creative Wellbeing Courses
Textiles: Skill Seekers

Boost confidence, experiment, share and learn creative textile techniques in a small supportive group. Skill Seekers is a group that meets weekly to socialise, create and develop projects.  Come and share ideas and develop your skills. No previous experience is necessary. Suitable for B&NES residents who would like to support their wellbeing through creativity. A textiles tutor will offer advice and guidance for projects on the following dates: 21st February and 21st March.

When: Tuesdays (ongoing group) Arrive 1.30pm for a cuppa. Start 2pm - 4pm

Where: Odd Down Community Centre, Odins Rd,  Bath BA2 2TL 

Cost: £2 per session
To book: Call or email: Lesley Johnston tel: 01225 831411  email:

Photography: Snap and Stroll

There are still a few places available on our fun and creative Snap & Stroll photography course in Radstock.
The eight  sessions include exploring the natural and built environment of Radstock by foot as well as time indoors for discussions, group activities and viewing/editing photos. No previous experience is necessary.  You are welcome to bring along your own camera or digital cameras will be provided for you. There will also be the chance to exhibit your work and take part in curating workshops at the end of the course. The course is facilatated by professional photographer - Sally Collister.
This creative group is suitable for those who are experiencing or in recovery from anxiety, depression and mental health challenges.
When: Tuesdays: 1.30pm - 4.30pm  ( Dates: 31st Jan + 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th Feb + 7th, 14th, 21st March 2017 + Curation sessions 28th March, 4th April 2017)

Where:  Somer Valley Campus, Bath College, Wells Road, Radstock, BA3 3RW

Cost:  This course is provided free of charge and is for B&NES residents.
To book: Please ring Lynsey Parsons, Adult Community Learning  Tel: 01225 328822  Or Vicki Chapman Tel: 01761 433161 ext 330

Writing: Beginners Writing Group

Write your way to a more positive outlook on life by joining our new beginners writing group, which starts this month in Bath.  You don't need any previous creative writing experience to attend, just an open mind and a willingness to give creative writing a go!
Creative writing is one of the most accessible art forms: you need only pen and paper and it can be of huge benefit to anyone living with depression, anxiety and well, any challenges that life throws at us. There's a growing body of research that backs up what writers have known for years - it helps.

This is a ten week course for beginners of writing to develop confidence in creative writing, m ake friends, have fun and get writing. No experience necessary.  Please bring something to write with - all other materials will be provided.
When: Mondays: 4pm - 6pm  Start date: 20th Feb 2017  Then every Monday until 24th April 2017
20, 27th Feb, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March 3rd, 10th, 24th April, 8th May  (please note there will not be a session 17th April, 1st May)
Where: St. Michaels Without Church, Broad Street, Bath, BA1 5JL   To enter please use the side entrance door opposite Waitrose

Cost: This course is provided free of charge and is for B&NES residents.

Suitable for:  B&NES residents who are experiencing or in recovery from anxiety, depression and mental health challenges. 
To book: Call or email the  Wellbeing College 01225 831820

co|Create News
Creative Conversation: The Record - Last Tickets

I hope you can join us at Bristol Old Vic for 
The  Record this Friday 10th February, we only have a few tickets left at the very special price of £13.50.

This coICreate special offer includes; 7pm Performance of The Record, 8pm Post Show Discussion, 9pm Creative Conversation and networking in the bar with nibbles!

This exciting new socially engaged show from award winning New York company 600 Highwaymen, has 45 Bristolians at its heart, who will meet for the first time shortly before the performance. 

IBT17 Bristol International Festival and Award-winning New York  the atre company 600 HIGHWAYMEN bring 45 Bristolians together on stage for  the  first time. In 61 minutes  the y show us who  the y are, and who  the y could be. Part  the atre, part dance, part group hallucination - a vivid human assembly on an epic scale.

Featuring live music and performed by individuals who don't meet until  the  moment of  the  first performance,  The Record  captures  the  mortality of us all: breakable, magnificent, and inescapably human.

"The awesome strangeness of being alive in the here and now"  THE NEW YORK TIMES
For further information email:

When: 7pm,Friday 10th February
Where:Bristol Old Vic, King St, Bristol BS1 4ED (entrance Rackhay (BS1 4HJ) off Queen Charlotte Street )
Offer Price: £13.50 (incl fees) 
(Offer price includes a Dress Circle side ticket normal price £17.50, post show talk and nibbles)
Booking: Call Bristol Old Vic on 0117 9074907  Quote:  17-AK-9QQA 
Embedding Five Ways to Wellbeing into arts  practice

Last week we ran the first 'Embedding Five Ways to Wellbeing' workshop for artists as part of our co|Create programme.  It was a rich conversation with participants coming from a broad range of sectors and a wide geographical area. 

Artist Kerry Russell was inspirational talking about her work delivering the Five Ways to Wellbeing in schools and her various approaches to working with different age groups and the schools approach to wellbeing. Kerry was very generous and open in sharing her planning and ideas with us, as well as what she had learned in the process. 

As part of our exploration of the Five Ways to Wellbeing we have created our own creative idea postcard to encourage everyone to engage in the Five Ways e.g: Creative Idea - Bird Watching. Go for a walk (Get Active) to seek out a bird you don't know, photograph it and then look it up (Keep Learning) create a collage or card of the bird taking notice of its size and colour (Take Notice) and give it to a friend (Give/Connect). 

Overall we were clear that we believe the Five Ways to Wellbeing are already embedded in what we do, but with thought, we can extend, highlight and explore them further to improve our offer and outcomes for participants in the longer term.

The Embedding Five Ways to Wellbeing workshop is for artists who have a basic knowledge of the Five Ways and who are keen to extend their knowledge and embed the Five Ways into their practice.  We support participants to think about how they can use the Five Ways in simple to more complex ideas for workshops, planning, delivery, reflection and evaluation. We are planning to run a follow up conversation as well as this course again (although next time it will be a least half a day!).  If you are interested in this topic and would like to join the conversation please email Sarah Gilmartin - Artists Training & Development Manager and for more information on Five Ways to Wellbeing see
News, Useful Websites, Articles & Events

Early Bird tickets are now on sale for the
Culture, Health & Wellbeing conference in Bristol 19 - 21 June.

The conference will showcase inspirational practice, policy and the latest research in culture and arts in health and wellbeing. It will discuss the role of arts and creativity in healing, care and wellbeing across the life course. It will encourage discussion and shared learning, facilitating dialogue between researchers, policy makers and practitioners.
What Works For Peer Support - Abstract Published in Mental Health Journal

The Journal of Mental Health & Social Inclusion has included an abstract written by  Jon FieldhouseDepartment of Allied Health Professions,  University of the West of England , Bristol, UK,  Vanessa ParmenterDepartment of Allied Health Professions,  University of the West of England , Bristol, UK,  Ralph LillywhiteBridges to Wellbeing Service, St Mungo's, Bath, UK and  Philippa ForseyCreative Wellbeing, Creativity Works, Bath, UK

Entitled - What works for peer support groups: learning from mental health and wellbeing groups in Bath and North East Somerset. The purpose of this paper is to explore what worked well in terms of peer involvement in a diverse network of community groups for people affected by mental health problems in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES), UK.
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With Best Wishes,

The Creativity Works Team

For more information:
Tel: 01761 438852


Supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council and Arts Council England

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