Curious Blog: Ace of CASE

Curious Minds awarded £1m National Lottery funding to improve young people’s involvement in heritage
July 19, 2018
Curious Minds’ Vacancy: Cultural Education Co-ordinator
August 21, 2018
Curious Minds awarded £1m National Lottery funding to improve young people’s involvement in heritage
July 19, 2018
Curious Minds’ Vacancy: Cultural Education Co-ordinator
August 21, 2018
Half-way through their year-long fellowship, we asked some of our Culture and Arts Schools Experts to reflect on the CASE programme and how it has influenced their practice. Here's what they said:
Trying to dance with oddly shaped balls….
Delivering a cultural programme within a sports organisation does come with its challenges but it’s also ensured that I have become an expert advocate for arts and culture! The question is often raised, 'why a sport organisation deliver arts?’ and I am fortunate enough to have the support of an open minded line manager and a Board of Trustees who see the value in our cultural programme.

The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation may not be the most obvious choice of organisation to deliver high quality arts and culture, but we do - and with great success. The Foundation’s aim is to provide life changing opportunities that enrich, inspire & celebrate our community. By using the power of the Warrington Wolves badge and organisation’s brand, I have a unique advantage over other arts organisations, by reaching new audiences who may not otherwise engage within arts/culture.

My participation on the CASE programme has added extra credibility to my own and my organisation’s role within the cultural education sector; and my increased knowledge and confidence has now put us at the forefront of cultural education within the town. Yes, being an ‘artist’ within a sports charity does have its challenges, but these challenges have led me to become even more creative in the way I engage with the community - thinking outside of the box to capture their sporting imagination.

I am Leah and I’m proud to be a creative Wolf!

The Very Definition of a Modern Culture Fellowship
‘Fellowship: (n.) A post which involves research work’
Back in October 2017, when I applied to take part in the CASE Fellowship Programme, I hoped it would provide a valuable opportunity to learn more about the issues facing teachers and other decision makers within schools and that I might gain a greater understanding of how cultural organisations like my own might offer support to schools and adapt to meet their diverse needs.

‘Fellowship: (n.) A feeling of friendship between people taking part in a shared experience’
The fellowship has undoubtedly provided a valuable insight into the complex issues surrounding the relationship between schools and cultural education. However, perhaps the most surprising and also the most joyous and inspirational outcome of taking part in this fellowship, has been the close bond which has quickly developed between the diverse members of our group as a result of the intensity of the fellowship experience.

‘Fellowship: (n.) A group of people united for a common cause’
This support network has already proved invaluable as each of us embarks on a journey of change and is also leading to the development of closer working relationships between our parent organisations across the region. This support network, which will grow each year as we welcome new fellows, will cement the lasting legacy of this project and will have a deep impact on the cultural education landscape in the region for many years to come.

Individual approaches to a common challenge
Prior to CASE, my experience of schools comes from working with three specific institutions. These experiences have given me a crash course in how different schools are run. I always assumed that all schools are different, mainly due leadership. I’m now rethinking my assumptions.

Of course, schools can be different and individual’s approaches, particularly a Head teacher’s, will influence the way they are run. However, education is a challenging area and I’m now far more aware of the communal pressures that schools are facing. CASE has given me the knowledge and time to explore education and understand the daily challenges that all schools are facing. I now see schools as part of a wider sector, one under immense pressure. I can not only acknowledge school’s differences but also that they’re all working under the same pressures while fighting to provide their pupils with the best.

This understanding will not only help me to support schools I currently work with but also support me as I progress within the cultural sector. I believe with, my greater understanding of school’s communal pressures, I can encourage them individually and as a sector to embrace cultural opportunities.

Curious Minds is currently recruiting for it's 2018-19 CASE fellowship programme. To find out more and apply, click here. The deadline for applications is 21st September 2018.

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