Supporting arts and enterprise skills in schools through creative engagement with the local communities

Lead Research Organisation: University of Salford
Department Name: Sch of Arts & Media


The proposed project builds on a pilot research study that looked at the process of arts intervention in community or schools based enterprise projects. The pilot looked to exploit the creative potential of artist led research for a group based project. The Knowledge Transfer Fellow and a professional designer, Maxine Kennedy had been commissioned to generate visual research about an area in Salford. The visual findings were translated into the 'Salford Reds' a colour pallet specific to the localised area and incorporated in a new Innovation Hub Regeneration building. It was this colour range that was presented to the young people as a stimulus for enterprise activity. Working with university staff and postgraduates, the pupils developed a product based on the unique identity of the local built environment. Their main aim was to design commission and bring to market Salford branded products. Set against the social backdrop of urban renewal, the project effectively established a voice for young people that countered the imposition of regeneration initiatives.

The proposed project is looking to work initially in Phase One with CARISMA,(Community Alliance Renewal Inner South Manchester Area) a community based charity focused in a fractured neighbourhood and promoting peace, tolerance and community cohesion in areas of South Manchester that are critically affected by violent crime. The proposed new methodology to be developed is that of artistic practitioners, Community stakeholders and young people working together to address social issues, in this instance, gun crime.
University staff and artists will assist the charity and police in setting up active groups or enterprise cells as collaborative creative teams. Through action learning and creativity labs the group will generate design briefs and concepts for artefacts that represent aspirations for change that are shared. The common purpose current in Communities of South Manchester is the promotion of peace and the rejection of violence. The act of destroying guns and recycling the metal from that process is the core concept that leads to the invention of new creative and artistic design. Technologies and techniques available to the University team will be used to turn creative ideas into prototypes and batch production.
A local community led conference will explore the issues raised and work towards engaging local businesses in a cooperative venture to realise products for dissemination.

An outcome of the first phase will be an 'Enterprise Framework for Public Arts Intervention' resource pack based on the experiences of the CARISMA pilot alongside a series of CPD sessions aimed at bringing the community together.
Phase Two tests out the methodology in a new setting, Albion High School in partnership with the Innovation Hub. The lead artist will be based in a studio space in the Innovation Hub Building that doubles as an arts enterprise space for Albion pupils and a creative space for the local community. The artist and the young people will embark on idea generation and product creation, whilst the Knowledge Transfer Fellow will test and modify the methodology and resource pack. Products from both Phase one and Phase two of the project will be marketed and for sale within the communities.
The final few months of the project will concentrate on dissemination, in the community to a wider network of Schools and Communities and International via arts conferences.
CPD sessions for artists and designers will enable more creative practitioners to engage with the model and translate their skills into transferable knowledge for working with schools. Dissemination of the arts & enterprise teaching methodology alongside information and access to designers will enable many more schools to work in this way in the future.


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