It’s -14 degrees outside in New York. Eek.
Well, no further excuse needed to remain cosy in our apartment, look at the Empire State Building glowing from the window, and catch up on my blog.
there is a HUGE range of organisations supporting community artists in the US. Massive. More than I imagined.
The National Guild for Community Arts Education, for example, hosts webinars and brilliant training programs for community-based creatives. Its leadership course has trained over 150 people, all now blossoming and influencing others.
The NGCAE believe that tremendous projects come from preparing and nurturing artists for roles as teachers, facilitators and community organisers. The organisation also manages 8 research projects, each looking at how to grow the field. Mapping funding and its effectiveness. Building a video library of professional development tools. Sharing examples of failing. So great.
Talking to Executive Director Jonathan Herman, I heard about other artist training packages. These include:
- the National Centre for Creative Aging’s (NCCA) free 15-hour online training for artists to learn how to work with older adults;
- organisations providing training in their methods. For artists working with elders, these include Alzheimer’s Poetry Project (by Skype, and book), Opening Minds Through Art (volunteering, on-site training) and TimeSlips (study via online tools, practice and assessment).
- the Regional Arts Commission founded Community Arts Training (CAT). This institute helps those working at the intersection of art and community. (By nomination and application.)
- Springboard for the Arts runs Creative Exchange, a platform for those working in community settings, and toolkits to help make change happen;
- the Teaching Artists Guild (TAG) even has a database of 60+ programs available.
My plan is to undertake a few myself. I’ll prioritise those available online, accessible wherever you are in the world. I’ll let you all know my thoughts, reviewing usefulness from the perspective of a writer working with elders!
Some of these training packages are relevant only to specific contexts. Some may only be suitable for certain kinds of projects. But I’ll have a go at appraising them, with the intention of enticing other writers to pursue this kind of work too!