Friday, 27 November 2015

AHSW Provocation notes

In response to:
  "if any of you has any notes that you would be happy for me to upload to the      AHSW website as an ongoing resource "
   "It was great to hear your talk ..... it was the most engaging of all the provocations." feedback

 Notes made 'after' a 10 min provocation at AHSW Conference, so summarising the appeal....

To set the scene there were good longer presentations from Paul Dieppe and Plymouth Music Zone 
and others before me, so we had looked at broad aspects of the work already including practical join in Laughing Yoga...illustrating how quickly simple movements can change mood and engender community.

Providing Inclusive Pathways...

I want to raise the question of "and then what?" 
You run closed specific art groups for people in health care settings, they enjoy it there are wonderful breakthrough stories of how art can open, give room for expression, support, allow another route for communication at depth, give fun, joy and sense of community.
Your project finishes and then what?
Where can participants continue their new found relationship with the arts.?

What is there in their local community that can welcome, include, support and understand them?

Where they can meet more people, continue their art form?
What do artists, facilitators and project providers provide as progression?
If you believe your work is worthwhile, why isn't it more widely available and accessible within the community? 

This is not only progression and continuing care, but preventative, providing community and expression and makes for a healthier society.

It also allows people to step out from one user group into supported friendly truly inclusive groups. I don't believe the word inclusion is about including different groups in experiencing the arts, it's creating spaces which include all sorts of people with and without support needs.

I have seen an approach work for a myriad of ages and abilities I have seen it work and each time I have learnt from it. Stretch your practice build pools of inclusive community arts don't restrict the joy of it to closed funded groups in health care settings, take that good practice and approach and spread it, learn from it and embed it within society. We know it works and has impact now take that further in your own way.

It has been around long enough and has proved itself, now please consider providing inclusive pathways for the arts within society. That are not linked to specific attainments, further education but run on the grounding of a person centred approach and for the fun/ joy of it for all involved, including the providers. 

PS. One way of enabling inclusion is to ask for donations, with a suggested fee, rather than set a fee, this enables everyone to feel they can come. Many people are on low income and some have little self esteem at first and don't believe they are worth it,  (this often changes) and those who can't pay can help in other ways - an energy exchange. 
Also to run groups in central accessible local spaces: church halls, village halls, community centres. 

For more practical suggestions, to discuss ideas and support feel free to contact Jo Willis 

1 comment:

  1. Jo, the work you do is nothing short of miraculous. I speak from personal experience, being moved to tears joining one of your sessions with my daughter, where we danced free and joyous making deep connections with others. Lovely x