Junction Arts helps early career artists by mentoring for Webinart, a professional development programme by Creative Leicestershire.

For the past twelve months we have been supporting early and mid-career artists and creatives through the ‘Webinart’ programme. Offering a package of support, we have mentored three emerging artists in the East Midlands and delivered a webinar focussing on successful community arts delivery. Developed by Creative Leicestershire, Webinart is a one-year professional development programme and Junction Arts have been a partner for the 2020/21 programme. To find out more about Webinart visit:   https://www.creativeleics.co.uk/webinart 

As part of the programme our Managing Director, Paul Steele has written a BLOG entitled “Community Art in a time of Coronavirus” reflecting on the past year and the important role creativity plays in resilience and understanding.

“Ultimately the arts give us a space to make sense of the world, which is probably why they were so important in 2020. When there is so much disruption and uncertainty in the world the arts can be used as a vehicle to process and legitimise our feelings.

Like so many others we had to innovate and adapt our programme in 2020. Our focus was to ensure we continued to support health & wellbeing by helping people be creative, keep learning and stay connected. As a response we developed a range of initiatives that kept people connected through creating participatory artwork. The artists that we work with have also had to adapt to alternative ways of delivery. The foundations of community/participatory arts are based on physical connections. The process of participation and creating the artwork is just as important as the artwork itself. To re-create that ‘at-distance’ is fraught with conflict and tensions about what a participatory experience actually is. However, we did it, working with our artists we distributed ‘Curiosity Boxes’ to primary schools (including art and tech materials), encouraged people to post poetry about their ‘place’ on a virtual map, linked together 5 care homes and 10 isolated individuals through a series of online workshops and delivered our annual Bright Winter Nights festival using Click & Collect, artist surgeries and recreating a parade on social media. The innovation from creatives and artists to ‘find a way’ and keep going was incredible and the response from our communities was even more incredible with over 4,500 people engaging with our programme last year.” – Paul Steele

You can read the full Blog post here: https://www.creativeleics.co.uk/post/community-art-in-a-time-of-coronavirus