Bridging the Gap between Academic Theory and Community Relevance: Fresh Insights from American Pragmatism

Lead Research Organisation: Keele University
Department Name: Research Institute for Social Sciences

Abstract

The four AHRC projects involved in this collaborative grant application share the view that academic theories are not ends in themselves; rather that they must serve the needs of the communities studied. Indeed many scholars have raised concerns about the gap between academic interests for advancing knowledge for knowledge sake and the practical problems and needs of the communities studied by academics (Kelemen and Bansal, 2002).

Our collaboration is unique in that it has a dual focus on rigour and relevance and seeks to advance and promote a 'Pragmatist agenda' across the humanities, arts and social sciences. This Pragmatist agenda is rooted in the American Pragmatist philosophical school of thought represented by John Dewey, William James and Charles Peirce. Put simply, American Pragmatism may be described as a practical and anti-foundationalist philosophy that focuses on the future and is concerned with improving the conditions that enable individuals to thrive in their everyday lives. It collapses not only the artificial division between theory and practice, emphasising the link between knowledge and action, but also other restrictive dualisms (e.g. body-mind, subject-object), by a process of inquiry that understands knowledge as a practical activity and the value of theory by the practical consequences and actions it produces (Kelemen and Rumens, 2012).

By working together with our community partners, our international academic link and his community partners, we will reflect upon as well as share our existing experiences about advancing theories that meet the dual criteria of rigour and relevance. The project will benefit greatly from a cross-disciplinary approach in terms of both content and mode of delivery. Underpinned by a Pragmatist philosophical approach, the collaboration taps into narrative methods, dramaturgical approaches, visual studies, sociological theories, design studies and community studies. Its innovative mode of delivery includes open participant sessions, drama exercises, experiential workshops, story telling, visual methods and crowd sourcing in an attempt to address issues of language translation and cultural capital across academics and community partners.

The work of our Japanese partner which relates to and involves communities affected by the Tsunami (2011) and their way of coping with a crisis situation will benefit greatly our project by providing insights into an ongoing successful collaboration between academics and communities. Professor Kiyomiya's research focuses on what is considered 'actionable' knowledge by communities and what makes knowledge relevant, useful and/or practical at their end. We will produce two installations as a result of the workshops held in the UK and Japan that will tour various venues. The UK installation will also travel to Japan. We will disseminate our findings in conference papers and journal articles and will feed our lessons into the teaching curricula of the five universities taking part in the project.

Planned Impact

Expected areas of impact are to:

1. provide best practice guidelines for academics who engage with local communities and community based organisations (CBOs);
2. contribute to local debates about regeneration by providing a forum for academics, local communities and CBOs to discuss and reflect on how they work together and how they can enhance their contribution to society;
3. contribute to public policy debates on the 'third sector' at a local, regional and national level;
4. strengthen the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom by helping communities become more self-reliant and resilient through the effective use of academic knowledge;
5. enhance the quality of life of individuals/communities by ensuring that academic research accounts for and permeates their day-to-day life;
6. develop creative outputs at the community level by promoting community engagement with academia and encouraging knowledge-sharing;
7. evolve effective methods for capturing community level ideas and needs, to improve targeted and sustainable solution development by Not For Profit and supporting organisations;
8. improve teaching curriculum in areas such as design and innovation, third sector management, epistemology, philosophy and research methodology;
9. demonstrate the usefulness of Pragmatism as an academic paradigm that can deal successfully with the practical problems of communities.

We will engage our beneficiaries in our project from the very beginning. We will host a two day workshop at Keele University and the New Vic Theatre. Given that participation at the workshop will be free of charge, we will attract not only established CBOs, policy makers, and academics but also career young academics, PhD students, and members of the community at large. This workshop will facilitate networking amongst different stakeholders and combine dissemination activities with more proactive aspects. Structured and improvisational activities will be used to brainstorm ideas for translating the key themes into best practice for each community group at the event. We will hold a similar event in Japan to encourage cross-fertilisation of ideas about working with communities across the two cultures.

Our project will also help CBOs understand the potential value, costs, risks, benefits, and practicalities of working more closely with local communities and academics so that they can make informed decisions. Drawing on our local and national CBOs network, there are many groups of immediate stakeholders who will benefit from this research. Based on our existing contacts, they will include Newcastle Council for Volunteering Services, Volunteering Action Stoke-on-Trent, and Staffordshire Moorlands Council for Voluntary Service along with groups of volunteers and practitioners from the New Vic Theatre, Volunteer Experience@Keele, the Stoke-on-Trent Museums, Citizens Advice Bureau Stoke-on-Trent and ELITE (Stoke-on-Trent).

In addition the Mondo Challenge Foundation, a charity focusing on education and livelihood development within deprived communities, will bring their expertise to explore the processes and resource options for capturing and interpreting needs and resilient community solutions. Such communities will become more self-reliant, as they can learn to identify and solve problems for themselves.

Creative disciplines and co-design practitioners will benefit from an improved understanding amongst CBO clients, and from the guidance reporting what works and what does not work in CBOs and similar Not For Profit organisations, e.g. small charities. Our project partner, the Glass-House Community Led Design, which has significant expertise and substantial influence in its field, will be the main gateway to attracting other beneficiaries such as Nesta and Talk About Local.
 
Title A Bright Future for Stoke on Trent Exhibition 
Description This CASIC installation was part of the 'Back to the drawing board' exhibition and ran from November 23rd until January 16th. The installation contained a projection of Peter Rice's mural, Bridgewater artefacts, ordinary day to day objects, empty frames, voice overs and musical documentaries made by diverse communities which took part in previous CASIC research projects. Using Cultural Animation techniques of community engagement and knowledge co-production pioneered in the UK by Sue Moffat, Founding Director of New Vic Borderlines and developed further via the Connected Communities research, participants were encouraged to create and visualise a bright future for Stoke on Trent by filling empty frames with their own ideas and aspirations, drawing themselves in the projection, imagining conversations that will take place in the future, and writing haikus and cinquans about their aspirations, wishes and ambitions for Stoke on Trent. This living and interactive installation acted as a bridge between past, present and future and as a boundary object that can unite communities around ideas about the future. On November, 23rd, a steady stream of community members, students and staff came to visit the CASIC installation and take part in interactive workshops. Four theatre practitioners from the New Vic Boderlines encouraged participants to paint tea towels in the Pat Albeck's tradition, write haikus about their relationship with Stoke on Trent and put themselves in the projection of a mural by Peter Rice entitled 'A Bright Past for Stoke-on-Trent'. The discussions about Stoke and its impact on one's individual and collective identity have been fascinating. The created artifacts have been added to the installation and captured in picture and video form. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Change of views regarding the past and present of Stoke on Trent Community members joining the Community Animation and Social Innovation centre 
URL https://www.keele.ac.uk/casic/pastevents/
 
Title Bridging the gap: An interactive audio-visual installation 
Description This interactive installation took people on a voyage of self-discovery by inviting them to reflect on things that they or their communities might have lost and imagine a different future. Participants were invited to step into our specially constructed boat, listen to the recordings made at the New Vic Theatre workshop in June 2013 by the four groups and experience some of the objects (ceramics, textile, paper collages etc.) made by participants in the original workshop. The sails of the boat, drops of transparent materials (namely silk) had on them images of the four worlds created in the New Vic workshop: the world of coal, steel, ceramics and shipping. These worlds might have gone by now but these past worlds have taught individuals and communities to be resilient and find ways to regenerate and grow from within. The 'water world' also relates to our Japanese partner whose research revolves around the communities affected by the 2011 Tsunami (a visit is planed to this area for November 2013). We invited the participants to the CC Edinburgh showcase to jump onto the boat, make their own boats out of diverse materials (we have about 40 such little boats), learn how to crochet bridges and write their own small poems about things that have shaped their, past, present and future (about 40 poems in many languages were hung on the boat). In the background, there was a visual audio projection of the Keele University workshop. The music and light display suggested that vessels may encounter storms but they come out strongly at the other end and are able to build bridges between past, present and future, in order to get to the shore safely. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact changing perceptions of how communities deal with crisis at all levels in society 
URL http://flickr.com/gp/nishtimani/6b3HT3/
 
Description We have refined the techniques of cultural animation methodologies and documented how they can be put to use in the service of communities in crisis in the UK and Japan.
Exploitation Route The 'Bridging the Gap' Boat Installation: Journeying from past to future
This interactive audio-visual installation took the participants on an imaginary voyage of self-discovery, inviting them to make artefacts, write poems, record stories about matters that they or their communities might have lost and how that could feed into imagining a different future. The Bridging the Gap Installation was displayed at the Connected Communities Showcase in Edinburgh, 2013 and a podcast was commissioned by the AHRC to capture the complex process by which it had been created and re-enacted.
Podcast: 'Weathering the Storm: How Communities Respond to Adversity'
http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/Watch-and-Listen/Pages/Weathering-the-storm-How-communities-respond-to-adversity.aspx
The Tree of Life Installation
As a symbol of longevity and endurance in Japanese mythology, the 'Tree of Life' Installation captures stories and artifacts made by Japanese communities affected by the 2011 Tsunami, in experiential workshops led by Sue Moffat, Director of New Vic Borderlines, in Minami Sanriku. The Tree of Life Interactive Installation was showcased at the Connected Communities Festival in Cardiff, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRa71sYijxI
Ongoing dissemination
Project website: http://www.keele.ac.uk/bridgingthedivide/
Blog: How can American Pragmatism support community-led design?
This Blog published on the Glass-House website was written following the event at Keele University, and aimed to disseminate both information about the project and event in the context of community led design and to pose relevant questions to the community and professional networks engaged in making physical transformations to places.
http://www.theglasshouse.org.uk/blog-entry/_/how-can-american-pragmatism-support-community-led-design/93/
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy

URL http://www.keele.ac.uk/bridgingthedivide/
 
Description The findings have been used by the Minami-Sanriku tsunami survivors and their communities
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Bridging the gap: An interactive audio-visual installation and knowledge dissemination grant
Amount £18,990 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2013 
End 07/2014
 
Description Co-Production and Creativity: ethos, typologies and innovation in public engagement practice
Amount £99,787 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R019908/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2019
 
Description Connected Communities Cardiff Festival
Amount £16,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 03/2015
 
Description Connected Communities Festival 2015
Amount £13,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Description Scale and growth Award
Amount £7,000 (GBP)
Organisation NIHR/HEFCE Higher Education Fund for England 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description early career Leverhulme fellowship
Amount £40,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 08/2019
 
Title Cultural Animation 
Description • draws on the everyday experiences of people and their creative abilities to make sense of the world • builds up trusting relationships between participants by inviting them to work together in activities which may be new to them but which rely on their life experiences • when people move about and complete tasks together, it facilitates new ways of seeing and thinking • boundary objects (everyday objects) are central to the collaboration and communication between academics, medical practitioners and members of the public • common sense, academic expertise and practical skills are valued in equal measure • knowledge and experiences are articulated in actions, images, installations as well as via the written word • the cultural animateur acts as a facilitator • pioneered in the UK by New Vic Borderlines and the Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre at Keele University 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Cultural animation provides a route to co-produce research agendas, empowers the public to engage actively with health professionals/academics/policy makers and make a positive contribution to their community. 
URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221717310779
 
Description Audencia Business School 
Organisation Audencia Business School
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution On April 7th, 2016, CASIC hosted Professor Latchezar Hristov from Audencia Business School, Nantes who gave a talk about responsible innovation to a mixed audience that included both academics and community partners. Professor Hristov outlined the economic and social context of innovation, providing insightful examples of technological and social innovations that have changed the world. He stressed the need for organisations to embrace a more responsible approach to innovation that would ensure social benefits and a sustainability for future generations. The talk was followed by three cultural animation exercises run by theatre practitioners from New Vic Borderlines. Participants debated and enacted the meanings of responsible innovation, creating installations, poems and performances. The event concludes with a collective reflection on the topic and suggestions for future events on social innovation.
Collaborator Contribution Mihaela Kelemen has given a talk on Academia-Community Engagement: Creative Approaches to Knowledge coproduction September, 2016 , Audencia Business School, Nantes Further events will follow in 2017
Impact one workshop and one academic talk
Start Year 2015
 
Description CASIC summer school for creative methods of research and community engagement 
Organisation Arts Council England
Department New Vic Theatre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution https://www.keele.ac.uk/casic/summerschool2017/Speakers will include: · Professor Mihaela Kelemen - CASIC Director · Dr Lindsay Hamilton - Keele Management School, Keele University · Dr Emma Surman - Keele Management School, Keele University · Dr Ceri Morgan - School of Humanities, Keele University · Professor Rajmil Fischman - School of Music, Keele University
Collaborator Contribution · Véronique Jochum - Research Manager, National Council for Voluntary Organisations · Sue Moffat - Director of New Vic Borderlines, New Vic Theatre
Impact Arts-based research · Transformative research frameworks · Mixed-methods research · Knowledge co-production · Research using technology · Writing creatively for research
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cultural Animation and Social Innovation Centre, Keele University 
Organisation Arts Council England
Department New Vic Theatre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC) is rooted in Keele University's tradition of multi and trans-disciplinary research and its commitment to community engagement as reflected in the Strategic Plan. The Centre builds on existing relations with the award-winning New Vic Theatre, with which Keele developed a specific methodology of knowledge co-creation and of community engagement, entitled 'Cultural Animation'. Keele University has funded a two day per week admin support post for CASIC.
Collaborator Contribution Cultural Animation has been used to co-create knowledge on diverse topics such as volunteering (http://www.keele.ac.uk/volunteeringstories/), personal community (http://www.keele.ac.uk/exploringpersonalcommunities/), community asset mapping, energy poverty and energy use/reduction, sustainability, ageing, violence, exclusion, communities in crisis (http://www.keele.ac.uk/bridgingthedivide/), within multiple community settings in the UK, Canada, Japan, Greece and Poland.
Impact https://www.keele.ac.uk/casic/workingpaperseries/
Start Year 2015
 
Description SEISMIC collaboration 
Organisation SEiSMiC Project
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution SEiSMiC National Workshop On April 12th 2016, CASIC and the New Vic Theatre co-hosted a SEiSMiC National Workshop on 'Improving the Engagement of Public Authorities with Community Organisations'. The event attracted over 60 participants from the UK and Holland. Academics, public authorities, funders and community partners explored how community organisations, and especially community enterprises, could work more effectively with formal (public) authorities in accessing funding, in public procurement and in conducting research and delivering innovation. The participants were divided into three groups to debate 1) accessing public funding - grants and projects, 2) public procurement and 3) being involved in research and innovation projects. The key issues identified in the morning were then animated via three experiential workshops led by theatre practitioners from the New Vic Borderlines. Participants created poems, installations and performances that were presented to the larger group. The event concluded with a presentation by Professor Kate Pahl from Sheffield University who synthesised the main communicative challenges in collaborating with multiple stakeholders and highlighted the potential of community animation techniques to surpass them, followed by a talk by Mike Coyne (SEiSMiC) who placed the findings of the workshop in a European context.
Collaborator Contribution After an introduction to CASIC by Professor Mihaela Kelemen, there was a panel discussion led by representatives from two community enterprises: Cordwainers Grow and Firesouls, The Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, Birmingham City Council and JPI Urban Europe.
Impact the collaboration was multidisciplinary: management, social policy, theatre studies, cultural studies Workshop and best practice paper
Start Year 2015
 
Description CASIC video 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We commissioned a short film to showcase the research done by CASIC members.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.moonbrushed.com/casic
 
Description CASIC, 2018 The Keele Showcase Global Brochure 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CASIC
Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre

CASIC is an international and interdisciplinary research centre founded by Keele University in collaboration with the New Vic Theatre. The centre has developed a unique and highly effective methodology of community/business engagement and knowledge co-production entitled Cultural Animation. At the heart of Cultural Animation is the creation of democratic research environments that challenge existing scientific hierarchies and empower community partners to play a more central role in shaping what counts as knowledge and truth.

With academic and community members in the United Kingdom, Japan, Poland, France, Singapore, USA, Malaysia and Finland, the centre aims to build capacity for community-centred solutions to local and global problems and bridge the gap between theoretical rigour and practical relevance, thus making it possible for policy makers and others in positions of power to better understand the real needs and the ambitions of communities.

To date, CASIC researchers have tackled a variety of social problems including food poverty, volunteering, disaster management, community assets and community leadership. Since its launch, the centre has attracted more than fifteen grants including from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Find out more at www.keele.ac.uk/casic or follow @KeeleCASIC on Twitter.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Connected Communities Festival Health in the community workshop, Keele, 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact More than forty participants from academia and the community took part in an interactive immersive workshop organised by the Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC), on June 25th, 2015, as part of the Connected Communities Festival sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Participants worked collaboratively to explore what health meant for their communities and created models of ideal communities using artifacts and theatrical props provided by the New Vic Theatre. Sue Moffat and her team of theatre practitioners from the New Vic Borderlines ran a number of activities prior to the event capturing stories of health in various community venues such as schools, community centres and food banks. Parallel cultural animation activities took place on the day in Darwin Building, on the Keele grounds where a health tent was erected and in the KAVE (School of Pharmacy) where Luke Bracegirdle designed a virtual health environment. The latter incorporated findings co-produced with communities in previous research projects carried out by Mihaela Kelemen (KMS), Rajmil Fischman (Music) and Emma Surman (KMS). The workshop stimulated community-academia debate as well as personal and collective reflection on the meanings health in the diverse communities of Stoke on Trent, providing also a fertile ground for enhancing community assets and connections with academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.keele.ac.uk/casic/connectedcommunitiesfestival/healthcommunity/
 
Description Forum for Rural Research in Health and Well Being 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This initiative is a partnership between the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, the Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC), South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust (SSSFT), and the New Vic Borderlines (the outreach department of the award winning New Vic Theatre). The FRRESH Initiative provides an opportunity - that would otherwise be lacking - to explore and respond to rural health inequalities and the apparent research gap.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Interview for Cash and Culture, Nantes Radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact http://www.euradionantes.eu/article/cash-culture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.euradionantes.eu/news/2017/2/6/cash-and-culture-on-the-importance-of-communities-to-cultu...
 
Description Presentation at the UK Participatory Research Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a talk on the work CASIC have been undertaking recently, entitled: "Co-creating knowledge with communities using cultural animation".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Social Futures, community based research installation showcased at the launch of the Keele Deal Culture, January 23rd, 2019, Spode Creative Village, Stoke on Trent 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This CASIC installation was showcased at the launch of the Keele Deal Culture, January 23rd, 2019, Spode Creative Village, Stoke on Trent. More than 60 people attended and we had a number of artistic interactive activities for the participants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Stories of Public Health through local arts-based community engagement - SOLACE blogs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Stories of Public Health through local arts-based community engagement - SOLACE blogs, 2018 https://solace-research.com/happiness-is-what-you-do/ and https://solace-research.com/1310-2/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Visit to Audencia Business School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Mihaela Kelemen (CASIC) visited Audencia Business School in Nantes in June 2017 for a series of meetings, talks and workshops aimed at strengthening the collaboration between the two business schools. The highlight of the trip was a Cultural Animation workshop focusing on food poverty and waste in the UK and France. The event brought together academics, students and industry and was facilitated by Sue Moffat from the New Vic Borderlines. The workshop was part of a series of activities funded by Audencia to research CASIC's social innovation practices and its contribution to enhancing community engagement and research impact.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description field visit for the Alley Theatre Huston, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A team from the Alley Theatre, Huston, USA (https://www.alleytheatre.org/) visited CASIC on April 26-27th. The team composed of the Director of Education and Community Engagement, the Executive Manager of Education and Community Engagement and the Associate General Manager received a travel grant to research best international practices with regards to theatre-university-community partnerships.

During their first day, the team visited Keele University's digital MakerSpace (https://www.keele.ac.uk/make/) where Dr. Dimitra Blana run a workshop on how technology could be used creatively for community engagement purposes. Following this, Professor Rajmil Fischman demonstrated the Manual Actions Expressive System - MAES, https://cycling74.com/tools/maes-manual-actions-expressive-system-3/) and PhD student William Brearley (Music) presented ongoing work on music expression through body tracking in the Moser Motion Capture Suite. The team also visited the KAVE in the School of Pharmacy where the visitors immersed themselves virtually in the food and health research carried out by CASIC researchers for the 2015 Connected Communities festival. The second day consisted of a visit to the New Vic Theatre where they were hosted by New Vic Borderlines Director Sue Moffat and to various communities groups in Stoke on Trent. Cathy Bencivenga, Shayna Schlosberg and Mary Sutton said about their visit to CASIC:

" Besides the getting to observe the exemplary cultural animation techniques, what made our visit to CASIC special was the idea of measuring "legacy," rather than impact. So often, when trying to animate a group through art-making, the assessment is difficult to capture. It seems so evident now that we think about it, that when dealing with populations living at the margins of society, measuring impact doesn't adequately define the work. The CASIC folks are really onto something! We do this work to deeply effect our community in a way that reverberates beyond that one intervention or project, i.e. to create a lasting "legacy." Our visit with the dedicated professionals at CASIC helped us reframe and refresh our desire to work within our community in Houston."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.keele.ac.uk/casic/news/alleytheatrehoustonusavisitscasic.php