Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter
May 2015 
Directors Blog
Newly re-launched coCreate programme and 5 new commissions announced!


Measuring and communicating impact was the theme of Phase 2 of the Arts Council's Cultural Commissioning training held at the M Shed in Bristol a couple of weeks ago. It was an informative 2 days, characterised by getting to grips with logic models and working on real life projects brought to the table by the various cultural organisations present. By far the most informative aspect of the training (although of course I am biased!) was a presentation by our own Manager Creative Wellbeing Programme, Philippa Forsey and Basil Wild, Commissioning & Contracts Officer - Mental Health, Adult Health, Social Care and Housing Partnership Trust. We have worked closely with Basil for many

years and the knowledge, understanding and generosity of Basil's thoughts were hugely appreciated, as was the expertise of Philippa in running and sustaining our current commission, the Mental Health Creative Support Service.


Last night we were all present at the first event in our newly re-launched co|Create programme, a Creative Conversation entitled 'Can Artists Really Change the World?" led by the inspirational Jocelyn Cunningham. We have many more provocative and exciting debates and training opportunities coming up in the near future, so do keep watching for forthcoming announcements.


One project that we are thrilled to announce is Pentagon. This is a series of 5 micro commissions of socially engaged public art to take place in five areas of Bath and North East Somerset and themed around the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Successful applicants will receive funding, expert advice and guidance and an incredible opportunity to partake in 2 days training with Darren O'Donnell of Mammalian Diving Reflex on our co|Create International Residency in August. If you are interested in creating high quality, socially engaged, provocative public art, then download the application form from our website and let us hear your ideas!


On a cultural ending, I would like to recommend 'Unearthed' that will be playing on tour around the south west and comes to Victoria Hall in Radstock on Saturday 9th  May written by young writer Alys Metcalf and produced by new South West based theatre company Folio Theatre and, if you have the inclination (and cash!) to drive 2 hours to Stratford, the RSC's production of Death of a Salesman is well worth catching.



(Director, Creativity Works) 


Announcing 5 new public art commissions!
The Pentagon Project


Creativity Works are commissioning 5 pieces of socially engaged public art inspired by 5 areas within Bath & North East Somerset with the theme of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Commissioned projects must include the audience/participants in the creation and presentation of the artwork. The audience/participants must be able to engage and interact with the artwork, participate in artistic activity and become an integral part of the artwork itself. We aim to create high quality artistic output, social interaction, debate and discussion and to bring a sense of playfulness and wonder to specific areas.

The projects commissioned will be of the highest artistic quality and include the following outcomes:

  • serve as a catalyst for social interaction
  • promote civic togetherness
  • raise awareness of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing
  • encourage participants to engage in further artistic practice

Any resulting pieces of art will be offered to the locality for further engagement and the process will be recorded and placed online as an inspirational legacy.


We are offering 5 micro-commissions:

  • 4 x £850 (inclusive of 1 x artists fees and materials)
  • 1 x £1450 (inclusive of 2 x artists fees and materials)

Mentoring and support from Creativity Works' team

Plus each artist will be invited to take part in our co|Create International Residency that includes 2 Days FREE training with Darren O'Donnell from Mammalian Diving Reflex ( on August 4th and 5th.


For more information and to download the application form, visit our website.FreshArtExhib1
Bath Fresh Art@ Exhibition during Bath Fringe Festival
22nd May - 6th June, 11am - 4pm, Bath Artists Studios, FREE entry.

Venue: Bath Artists Studios, The Old Malthouse, Comfortable Place, Bath BA1 3AJ

How to get there

Opening times: 11 - 4pm

Dates: Fri 22nd May - 6th June 11- 4pm Entrance FREE




"An Hour a Day" at the Bath Fresh Art Exhibition
Join in FREE activity and debate about wellbeing and creativity every day for an hour! 

During the 2 week Fresh Art@ exhibition there will be "An Hour a Day" - for  debate, discussion or creative activity for wellbeing each day. Keep an eye on the website - timetable will be published next week. For more info email or call 01761 438852. No experience necessary, just come along and join in!

You can also follow the Fresh Art activity via Facebook and Twitter!

Background info
Fresh Arts@ is creating inspiring new art for the walls of NHS House and Hillview Lodge inpatient unit. This exhibition showcases artwork that has been created by people affected by mental health and inspired by workshops within the Holburne Museum and the No.1 Royal Crescent Museum supported by AWP, Creativity Works and Sirona.


Creating Change through Connection 
Launch of our new series of Creative Conversations 


The power of creativity in bringing about social change was highlighted in Creativity Works' Creative Conversation on 5 May when artists and creative thinkers came together to discuss

Can Artists Really Change the World?


led by Jocelyn Cunningham, Founder and Director of Arts and Society.The potential of art to encourage people to see their communities in a new way, to connect with others, to disrupt habitual thinking, to provoke new insights and ultimately improve lives in communities was given enthusiastic voice by participants.


Jocelyn dismissed the idea of artists as being "special" cases, and emphasised artists working alongside others in community settings. Change was framed as a ripple effect - changing one person, one experience at a time. Jocelyn led participants in a process of exploring and sharing the principles underlying their work.


"Thought provoking ... interesting ... fun ... absolutely brilliant ... fantastic", participants reflected. New insights from shared conversations were identified and valued.


The event held at Coworking Bath was part of Creativity Works relaunched coCreate programme - a programme of dialogue, training and networking for creatives interested in the arts and social and personal change. A full report of the discussion will be published on Creativity Works website.


The next Creative Conversation will be on Monday 15 June when writer, theatre maker and founder of Fun Palaces, Stella Duffy shares a vision of how the arts, science and fun can come together and reach out to people not usually engaged in the arts.


For more information on our co|Create programme and Creative Conversations contact



Creativity in Care Homes 
What factors would be important to you in choosing a care home?


Imagine you're in your 80s and you require more formal care than your family and close friends can provide. What factors would be important to you in choosing a care home?

This was the question posed to 16 care home workers and artists attending an afternoon's training just after Easter as part of a three-year project boosting creativity in care homes.  The top answers included:

  • A sense of community
  • Freedom/ choice
  • Stimulating activity/ something to get up for
  • Realistic ratio of staff: residents
  • Independence

Other answers included: alone time, energy, peace and quiet, a nice view, a mix of ages, the ability to live with a sexual partner or at least talk about sex, being allowed to smoke, and having gin and tonics!


Artists worked with staff to interpret the theme for the summer of "Bringing the Outside In". Participants made ceramics moulded from natural materials such as leaves, and constructed mobiles from found objects in nature.


They also planned future activities to take place in the three care homes Creativity Works is focusing on in Radstock (Manor Farm Care Home), Bristol (Brunel Care's Robinson House) and Twerton (Cleeve Court).


The training was part of the Home Service project, where Arts and Health Cornwall and Scilly and Creativity Works are being funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation to develop best practice for creativity in care settings.



Stories from our work with elders in Cleve Court
A lovely account from one of our volunteer 'collectors of stories'



Our work with elders is generating a wealth of fascinating stories, dialogue and narrative. In Sirona's Cleeve Court, Twerton, Hilda our lead artist, has been bringing in as many spring flowers as she can find from the garden of the Richard Jefferies Museum: daffodils, primroses, violas ...They have been talking about works of art including Turners landscapes, exploring and reading poetry and singing and reading aloud. We are planning a trip out to the Richard Jefferies Museum very soon. 


Our amazing volunteers Clare and Steph have been 'collectors of stories'. Here is what Clare has to say about the last session:


"I'm a volunteer listener and scribe with Hilda Sheehan and a fab team of volunteers and carers. It was my third visit this Wednesday. It's been lovely meeting the residents, and seeing how they engage with the objects, music and poems that Hilda has been bringing in. They love the daffodils, and were inspired by the herbs - I particularly liked Don's comment that rubbing a herb was like releasing a genie.


The gardens and flowers bring back memories of their childhoods - Greta talked about her grandfather's potting shed; Bridget talked about her Mam and Dad in rural Ireland, and their vegetable garden. She told me she was a hopeless cook, but she could cook potatoes! It was lovely seeing them all brandishing sticks of rhubarb - 'rhubarb is a dangerous weapon,' Evelyn told us.


They were all captivated when Hilda told a story this week, and Geoffrey was prompted to launch into a story of his own. At the end of the session I happened to show Greta a flower catalogue. She was very absorbed in it, commenting on the dramatic colour contrasts and knowing the names of many of the flowers. It turned out that she'd worked in a flower shop. She seemed really pleased when I said she could take the catalogue with her to her room. I hope she's enjoyed looking at it this week".


For more information on our work with elders, or if you would like to get involved please contact



Profile: An insight into working with Creativity Works
A Focus on: Amy - our Creative Wellbeing Assistant


When did you start working for Creativity Works?

I began working for Creativity Works on 18th December 2014 when I joined the Facilitation Training run by St Mungos and Creativity Works.


What is your professional background?

I graduated from a degree in Fine Art last year from the University of the West of England. Before the internship at Creativity Works I completed another internship with Shape Disability Arts in London where I helped with the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre. Most of my working life before my degree was as a mental health support worker.

What does a typical day look like for (Your Name) at Creativity Works?

I help with two groups, Creativity in the Potting Shed in Radstock on a Wednesday morning and Breathing Space on a Friday afternoon in Keynsham. Thursdays are mainly supporting with admin and meetings. For example I have been involved with the Peer Mentoring Steering group, which is a partnership working project to look at how to develop a peer mentoring framework. Along side other work I am doing a research project to explore how arts groups can facilitate independence.


What do you enjoy most about working here?

I love working with groups and creating spaces where people can make. It is a real buzz when everyone is in the zone and engaged in the creative process.


What do you find most challenging?

I am very much an in the moment person so I struggle with planning my time and keeping a longer time perspective of projects.


What has been most surprising during your time so far at Creativity Works?

I have been amazed by my colleague's ability to multitask and keep lots of balls in the air at once. I was also surprised how small the core team are considering the ambition of the organisation and all the projects we are involved with.


What has been your biggest professional or personal achievement to date?

I think it would be the Breathing Space group - supporting them to grow in numbers but also creatively. It's really enjoyable to come and make work together. It's a mixed group but everyone has something to contribute.TrusteeAd

Could you be a Trustee for Creativity Works?
Trustees Required

We are still looking to widen our Board of Trustees for Creativity Works and would welcome any expressions of interest. We are particularly looking for those with skills in the following areas:  

- Human Resources;
- Legal Services;
- Fundraising;
- Marketing and PR;
- Accounting;
- or the Visual Arts.


You will be helping to lead a hard working, creative and dedicated team of staff, steering the way in the effective growth and promotion of this expanding organisation.

Trustees meet at least 6 times a year and we encourage engagement in particular areas of work and ongoing projects.


Further detail about our work is available on our website


For more information please contact our Chairman, Karl Bevis ( If you would like to apply for a position as a Trustee, please send Karl your CV and written application. Consideration of applications will be ongoing.

Please feel free to spread the word - you can download the advert here.CelebCoffee
Celebrating Creativity Coffee Morning 
A review of the event organised by New Hope, St Mungos and Creativity Works


The "Celebrating Creativity" Coffee Morning at the Holburne Museum on 26th March was a huge success. The event was organised by New Hope, St Mungos and Creativity Works, with the help of the museum. You can tell a good event when people are still engaged in discussion half an hour after the events ended. There were a whole spectrum of people there from all different groups and backgrounds. Creativity works had a roll of paper where we were asking what future creative opportunities people wanted these ranged from street art to stone carving to art in the countryside.


The museum gave an introduction to how the collection has inspired generations of visitors. Their volunteers did a sterling job of doing tours of the museum. A number of groups and organisations spoke about their work and projects and people had the opportunity to mingle and find out more. The Gardeners Lodge group put on a really diverse display of their artwork and there were some very moving poetry recitals from a Julian Trust Creative Writing Group.


Many came with a selection of their creative output and there were lots of conversations about people's work. The place was buzzing with New Hope gallantly keeping everyone topped up with coffee, tea and croissants. From the many conversations being had about creativity and mental health it seemed clear to me that sustaining these groups and events is at the core of many peoples well being and journey through their challenges. Watch this space for information about the next "Celebrating Creativity" Coffee Morning and we look forward to seeing you there.


Amy Powell, Creative Wellbeing Assistant, Creativity Works. 

Other News...


Our Big Gig in your community this July!


Love music? Love your community? Then be a part of Our Big Gig, the UK's biggest community music celebration taking place from the 10th - 12th July 2015!

Not for profit arts organisation Superact are working with crowd funding platform Spacehive to offer funding to community groups this year.


Organisers can receive £100 towards events in July if they register on the crowd funding platform Spacehive. Superact is also offering free training in crowd funding and event management, as well as support from their network of Regional Managers to help groups with their crowd funding campaigns.


With over 100 free music events happening across England, Our Big Gig will bring communities together to showcase local performers and inspire people to have a go at making music.


Thank you for reading our newsletter. If you would like to follow our updates in between newsletters remember that you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest

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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