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Reinvent Residencies 2022:

Developing Your Socially Engaged Arts Practice

For the Reinvent Residencies 2022, Northern Stage are working alongside three North East based artist-practitioners, recruited through an open application process, to explore and develop effective methodologies for socially engaged practice.

The initial project started in January 2022 and, alongside supporting the residents to develop their knowledge and skills, will look in- depth at the varied appraches which underpin successful and meaningful work in this area.

Over the course of 12 months we’re offering each socially engaged practitioner 75 paid days to support their participation in a range of structured learning and vocational practice opportunities.

The content for the programme has been informed by each candidate’s professional areas of interest and is happening across existing community- based projects and events as well as within workshop-settings.

During the course of their residency, each artist-practitioner is being supported to devise, coordinate and deliver their own special project for applied learning.

Content being covered during the year currently includes:

  • Developing a more-detailed grasp of the logistical frameworks that support successful socially engaged practice; including partnership development, planning, preparation and implementation.
  • Understanding relational methodologies, how we discover, support and empower the expression of community and participant voice.
  • Local knowledge building: Understanding a community’s strengths, challenges and complexities.
  • Understanding who you’re working with and assessing need.
  • Approaches to effective recruitment and diverse reach.
  • Creative methodologies in working with young people and communities including gaining a deeper insight into the methodology and practice of meaningful and effective co-creation and co-curation.
  • Understanding partnership within the wider landscape; including community, statutory, 3rd Sector and political organisations.
  • Approaches to Safeguarding and safe working with communities, children and young people.
  • Poverty proofing the practice.
  • Project production: including structuring, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation and gathering/utilisation of data to support key learning.
  • Planning for a meaningful project legacy.

Our 2022 Reinvent Artists: Yilis del Carmel Suriel, Lyndsey Nicholson and James Whitman

This project has been made possible thanks to generous support from the Esme Fairbairn Reinvent Performing Arts fund which looks to find ways to connect with, and sustain more diverse audiences and artists for the future. In addition, the fund seeks to test- out and boost newly developed models and ways of working, whilst deepening the long-term impact of the most inventive, useful, and beneficial examples.

This project will enable Northern Stage to collaborate with local freelance artist-practitioners to effectively explore, develop and enhance our methodologies for socially- engaged community practice. It will also increase the pool of skilled practitioners in our region who in turn will be able to share their skills with others.