Conversation starter: defining and realising our values
Each month, the Culture Collective network have a ‘Cuppa’ – a conversation prompted by a conversation starter or provocation, often from one of our projects or artists. In this blog, we’re sharing the conversation starter offered by Elidh Brown, Project Coordinator at Combine to Create, at the August 2021 Cuppa. It offers an insight into the development of Combine to Create’s identity and values, and ends with a conversation starter which may offer useful food for thought for your own work or projects.
I came into post through secondment from the beginning of June, as Programme Coordinator with Findhorn Bay Arts on the Combine to Create project. Our first steps included developing a creative practitioners brief for targeted long term residencies, and bringing together a group of invited creative practitioners to feed into the development of this brief and generate a shared set of values through our first Combine to Create gathering. Some of the values we defined included:
- New connections
- Creative Connection
- Embracing diversity
Through this activity and the first gathering event, a collective Combine to Create identity began to emerge, with the shared values generated then being included in the creative practitioners brief, to be drawn on throughout the programme.
It’s still early days, but I believe that setting out and agreeing the shared set of values generated provides a starting point for us to consider how a broad and diverse range of stakeholders can feel valued and have their voice heard and identities represented through the Culture Collective programme. I think we may encounter many different understandings of what representation means depending on the stakeholders, their evolving roles/identities and the context in which these conversations take place.
Whilst the values do not dictate exactly how, where or when this will happen, they can underpin a range of activities, methods and approaches, providing a way for us to sense-check, and perhaps even evaluate, what each of us is doing/contributing to the process of generating sites of conversation to shape the future cultural life of Moray, and more widely the creative and cultural sector in Scotland, as a collective.
We hope that the values underpinning these residencies, developed by the emerging collective, enable many voices to be heard and valued, with new understandings and ways of working together being realised through creating safe, inclusive, playful and curious sites of conversation.
So we ask the question…