We have seen first hand the power of creativity and the benefits it can bring to anyone who does it more over the years.
It’s fun, relaxing and a great way to connect with others, amongst many things, but interestingly, did you know it can also be used as a vehicle for knowledge exchange between the Higher Education sector, the arts & cultural sector and the public?
‘How?’ I hear you say. Well, the best way to illustrate this is by way of a practical example and we've got just the one for you!
Working with Imperial on creative sessions
They were great and I’ll tell you why in a little while, but first, here is how we did it together.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Preparation goes into the event to ensure it runs smoothly and as a result everyone has really enjoyed them so far. You are shown how to do something creative and end up with your own piece of art, along with learning more about science in a fun and engaging way.
The event host and academic (in this case from Imperial) and an M.Y.O creative teacher meet in advance to get comfortable with each other, to ensure each has clear roles and to ensure the creative activity is broken down into key steps that is achievable to the audience in the timeframe (for many of these, the audience was families and younger children, so simplicity was key) and to also ensure the science that is shared is relevant and interesting to the expected audience. Being shown a venus fly trap snapping was a particular highlight!
There is also a clear structure put in place before the event on how it will run and some set questions to run through, the creative teacher and the scientist from Imperial can really go deep on certain topics and share a lot of useful information in a very relevant and interactive context, whilst also being able to take questions from the audience as it is happening. Imperial’s Public Engagement team was really great in helping to set up the event properly too.
2. The experience
It’s always run in a friendly way and as the guests learn so much about a topic whilst getting creative, they leave very happy and we have no doubt they will have learned more as a result and feel more attachment to everyone involved in the event.
In some cases, workbooks were also made available to attendees post-event, making them feel supported and more engaged with the university, so they could keep getting creative and also learn even more about the topic.
3. The result
The engagement online for these events was incredible, with lots of people sharing photos on social media of what they made and asking 100s of questions via the chat function. It was really nice to work with such a brilliant team in Imperial on the series of creative events. The Imperial researchers also witnessed new ways of engaging the public in a more collaborative and creative way and also learn from the public and the M.Y.O artist, new perspectives on their work that can help them see it differently and in new ways.
Inclusivity and costs
It’s all very inclusive and begginner friendly. We ensure it requires limited materials for people at home to get involved or if done in real life, so any cost is zero or very minimal - which is important. The format works if online or offline.
Interested in doing something similar with us?
If interested in chatting with us about running collaborative creative workshops for your community with us and your academics / researchers / scientists, we’re always delighted to chat.