Cultural Education Progression Group: progress review and next steps

16 July 2013

"For an organisation to survive, its rate of learning must be at least equal to the rate of change in its external environment." Revan's Law

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A New Direction's Cultural Education Progression Group came together this Monday to review progress and next steps.

At the start of the year A New Direction set up four Action Learning Sets led by experienced trainers Di Bligh and Katie Venner from Action Learning Associates. The cohort is made up of cultural education specialists from Dance, Archives, Theatre, Cross-Arts, Film, Museums, Music, Literature, Visual arts and Libraries and includes representatives from the following arts and cultural organisations:

Albert & Friends Instant Circus, Circus Space, Discover, Barbican, East London Dance, Phoenix Cinema, Tri-borough libraries (Westminster), Poetry Society, Ministry of Stories, Orleans House, London Transport Museum, Community Music, Spitalfields Music, National Youth Theatre, Oily Cart, Almeida Theatre, Half Moon Young People's Theatre, Theatre Centre, Theatre-Rites, The Photographers Gallery, South London Gallery, SPACE Studios, The National Jazz Archive, Iniva, Unicorn Theatre, Horniman Museum, Arts Depot and English National Ballet.

The work has provided a continuing professional development and cross-sector networking opportunity. We will publish a full report, but here are a few quotes from the day;

"If anything I think we should stop narrowing our sector definitions and look at ourselves as a bigger more powerful movement under the same umbrella."

"Action Learning enforced the importance of a neutral environment and having head space when things are stressful or problematic."

"I hope that the impact for the organisation will be that a little time to stop and think will push projects way ahead of what we would achieve with our heads down at our desks."

"A New Direction can scan horizons and call to attention things I might miss whilst busy delivering."

"We have shared far more in depth and personal stories than we would have with other 'network' representative, that makes for a far more long lasting network."

"Taking part in this programme has felt like going from one small room where I feel a bit alone with my joys and frustrations to an opulent hall, where they are many other people doing the same thing and we can all feel free to share our triumphs and concerns; laughing, crying and talking all the while."

Action Learning has helped to…"to contextualise the perception that I have of my own work and career path in more broad terms."

Thank you to all participants and especial thanks to Katie Venner and Di Bligh for their expertise.

(Images credit: Luis Dominguez)