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Community programme group around a model gallery of Pallant House

Symposium | Creating Community: Exploring Values Led Engagement

Share your insights, passion, and expertise

This one-day symposium took place on 18 March 2024 at Pallant House Gallery delivered in partnership with Engage. It was inspired by the work of our Community Programme.

21 years ago the Community Programme was founded on a clear set of values and principles that have shaped and defined it for the past two decades, driven by the core notion that every participant’s unique journey as an artist remains front and centre in programme development and delivery. Whilst the values and principles have remained the same, the programme has constantly evolved and developed.

As we come of age we have been reflecting on the concept of values-led engagement, what it means for us and for the cultural sector, both now and in the future.

 

Photograph of a group of people sat at a table chatting with artworks on the wall behind them

A professional development symposium to mark and celebrate over 20 years of the Gallery’s Community Programme, the event was attended by contributors and delegates including representatives from Bluecoat Liverpool, Kettle’s Yard, London Transport Museum, National Gallery, NHS, Science Museum, Southampton Forward, The Barber Institute, Take a Part, Tate Modern, York Museums and numerous local organisations.

 

I really enjoyed the day and left feeling inspired and with a renewed sense of possibility and community. The panel and key note speaker were particularly interesting as was the session by Blue Coat and Pallant House Community Programme. Everyone was friendly and helpful and I especially found it interesting to hear the experience of the community programme artists.

Delegate feedback

The event attracted over sixty delegates involved in community engagement practice in the arts and heritage sector, attending from over forty-five organisations nationally, including a delegate from the Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm.

It was an extremely valuable opportunity to discuss best practice amongst fellow community engagement professionals working in the arts, raising the profile of the Gallery’s community engagement work nationally and enabling many new connections to be made across the sector for participants.

 

I so enjoyed speaking at yesterday’s sector event, Creating Community: Exploring Values-Led Engagement at Pallant House Gallery. I reflected on my role and how learning programmes have influenced wider organisational development, values led work and forward planning, sharing the session with the brilliant Lucy Elmes from Take a Part.

As well as getting to meet people in person I’ve only ever seen on a zoom screen, the opportunity to hear from other cultural leaders/ professionals in the wider sector is always a privilege. So well organised and a lovely and welcoming team- well done Pallant House.

Symposium contributor Flora Kay, Head of Learning at the Barber Institute, University of Birmingham

The day began with a key note from Trish Scott, lecturer in the Department for Culture, Media and Creative Industries, Kings College London. Trish provided a theoretical underpinning for the day’s workshops, asking delegates to consider the balance of power and distribution of authorship between artists, communities and institutions and encouraging us to consider our own values and how they align with those of the organisations we work with and for.

 

Illustration in blue and black of a room split into squares marked out in text

We then continued to enjoy a series of stimulating break-out sessions, creative workshops and a panel discussion which supported the exploration of key questions including what skills and attributes do we need to deliver successful community engagement, how do we engage with communities for the long term and what are meaningful outcomes for community engagement.

Pallant House Gallery produced this event in collaboration with Engage, the leading charity for promoting engagement and participation in the visual arts.

This event was generously funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Speakers

 

In partnership with

Engage logo with Engage in big light blue letters and in darker blue beneath it says Bringing people and art together
Lottery Community Fund logo

Event live scribed by Annalees Lim

Schedule AM

Welcome | 10am

Cynara Davies, Head of Learning and Public Programmes at Pallant House Gallery

 

Key note | 10am

What is Values-led engagement?

Trish Scott, Department for Culture, Media and Creative industries, King’s College London

 

Coffee break | 10.45am

 

Break out session | 11.20am |

Delegates to attend 1 of the following sessions

What skills and attributes do we need to facilitate successful community engagement?

Alex Woodall, GLAM Cares and York Museums Trust

Hannah Gaunt and Jane Sillis, Engage

 

Creative workshop | 11.20am

What are meaningful outcomes for Community Engagement?

Flora Duley, Artist

 

Break out session | 11.20am

How do we engage with communities for the long term?

Kate Maple, Southampton Forward

Becky Waite and Laura Yates, Bluecoat, Liverpool

 

Presentation | 12.25pm

Presenting Pallant House Gallery Community Programme

Schedule PM

Lunch | 1pm

Lunch will be provided by Pallant Cafe with the opportunity to meet Community Programme ambassadors in the Studio.

 

Panel discussion | 2.05pm

What does best practice in community engagement look like and what are the challenges?

Chair, Trish Scott with Panellists, Beloved Elizabeth Adonai, Tom Hall, Mary Paterson, Dhikshana Turakhia Pering

 

Coffee break | 3.05pm

 

Break out session | 3.30pm

Delegates to attend 1 of the following sessions.

What are meaningful outcomes for Community Engagement?

Lucy Elmes, Take A Part CIO

Flora Kay, Head of Learning and Engagement, The Barber Institute

 

Creative workshop | 3.30pm

What are your values? How do your values inform your work?

Asten Holmes- Elliott, Artist

 

Break out session | 3.30pm

What is values-led engagement? A leadership perspective.

Simon Martin, Director of Pallant House Gallery

Dhikshana Turakhia Pering, Creative & Cultural Consultant

 

Plenary | 4.35pm

Cynara Davies, Head of Learning and Public Programmes at Pallant House Gallery

 

End | 4.50pm

Speakers

We had a fantastic selection of speakers from across the sector from a variety of different organisations:

 

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Beloved Elizabeth Adonai

Curator and Project Manager

Beloved has a decade of experience developing creative/artistic community projects for heritage museums and visual arts galleries including John Hansard Gallery, Southampton and Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth. Beloved leads and develops successful public/engagement programmes for diverse audiences, schools, universities, colleges, families, young people and many more. Beloved’s central practices include curation, co-curation, engagement programming and developing pathways for people and artists to gain access and/or employment in the creative industries.

Headshot of a lady with shoulder length brown grey hair

Flora Duley

Artist

Flora Duley is studying an MA at the RCA, London researching the social potential of Sculpture in the expanded field. Previous projects include Learning and Project coordination with Peckham Platform, Artist Lead, Southwark Park Galleries Seniors Art School, Artist Lead and Consultation ACAVA Flourish Program, Artist Lead Aspex Gallery, Young Curators and most recent projects include a collaboration between ACAVA Flourish and NHM new Urban Garden Project for their opening in the Spring 2024.

Photograph of a woman standing facing left with shoulder length dark hair and she wears a long grey woolen coat

Lucy Elmes

Take A Part CIO

Lucy Elmes is Special Programmes Producer for Take A Part CIO, based in Plymouth. Take A Part supports communities to lead change and build capacity locally through arts, heritage and conservation projects. Lucy’s work for Take A Part includes programming the biennial Symposium ‘Social Making’ on Social Practice, and delivering work that enables communities to use creativity to set their own agendas and take action where they live, including PRIMEdesign. Lucy holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is a Co-Director of Rame Projects and Flock South West.

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Hannah Gaunt

Engage

Hannah Gaunt is Engage’s Creative Producer and leads a UK-wide programme of training and professional development opportunities for the visual arts engagement workforce, with a particular focus on Engage’s role as an Investment Principle Support Organisation for Arts Council England. Outside of Engage, Hannah is a Network Coordinator for Greater Manchester Arts. In her spare time Hannah is a Non-Executive Director of Everyday (Wigan), a member of the Artworks Alliance Oversight Group, and also volunteers as a Coach and Mentor.

Photograph of a man to the left wearing sunglasses and talking into a mirror tiled megaphone hanging from a string

Tom Hall

Freelance curator and outreach artist

Tom Hall is an artist with a long track record of exhibiting in England, Europe and America including shows at Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute, Utica, NY, USA and the 57th Venice Biennale, Italy. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art he has been heavily involved in arts education. More recently he has worked as a freelance curator and outreach artist. Tom currently works as a Gallery Programmer and Mentor at spudWORKS in Sway, New Forest, the MA Fine Art at AUB and delivers inspiring workshops in collaboration with many arts organisations including Aspex Gallery and John Hansard Gallery.

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Asten Holmes-Elliott

Artist and Learning Officer, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

Asten Holmes-Elliott is an artist, curator and educator with over ten years’ experience working within the arts sector. Asten’s work examines ideas of identity, otherness and belonging, focussing on accessibility and approachability whilst amplifying visibility and community cohesion. Asten currently runs the Learning and Engagement Programme at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery who refocussed as a community museum, with emphasis on pro-active and symbiotic relationships with local communities, awarding them NPO status. Asten is the co-founder of SQIFF and has worked with organisations such as Tate, GOMA, Wellcome Trust, BBC Scotland, British Council and John Hansard Gallery.

Photograph of a woman with dark hair wearing a black top looking sstraight at camera

Flora Kay

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Flora Kay is the Head of Learning & Engagement at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. There she leads on the strategic and creative vision for the public programme, family, schools and student engagement. With a in background in arts making, Flora is passionate about working with artists to embed creative led practice in gallery engagement. Her research interests include how we can disrupt and take ownership of space to improve access and engagement with the arts. Recent projects include the Gender Gap, artist in schools programmes and the development of the Barber’s flagship programme, Barber Health.

Portrait photograph of a woman with blonde hair tied back wearing a black blazer with a white painted brick wall behind

Kate Maple

Southampton Forward

Kate is a curator and creative producer who has worked in the cultural sector for over 25 years. She is Programming and Community Engagement Manager for Southampton Forward and previously was Curator of Solent Showcase Gallery, at Solent University from 2011 – 2023, focussing on community engagement, co-creation and participation. She is passionate about the value of creativity and the right to be included, represented and heard.

Photograph of a man leaning his elbows on the edge of a waist high wall. He wears a blue suit with white shirt and a red tie. In the background is a wall of many different coloured triangles.

Simon Martin

Pallant House Gallery

Simon Martin is a curator, writer, and Director of Pallant House Gallery. He is a Trustee of the Artist Collecting Society and serves on the Courtauld Association Committee. He has curated and commissioned numerous exhibitions at the Gallery, and written and contributed to a wide range publications on modern and contemporary British art.

Simon has been involved with the Community Programme since its inception. He has witnessed the benefits that the initiative has brought to individual participants, to the wider community and to the Gallery. Now, as Director, he is looking forward to sharing his experiences and reflections.

 

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Mary Paterson

rb&hArts

Mary Paterson is a writer and arts manager who works primarily with socially engaged art, disability arts and community practice. She was external evaluator for Pallant House Gallery’s ‘Pallant Partners‘ project, and has devised and managed evaluation projects for a range of organisations across the UK. She has recently joined Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals as Head of Arts.

 

Photograph of a woman with long dark hair and round brown glasses smiling. She wears a mustard coloured coat over an orange top. Behind her is a grey stone wall.

Dhikshana Turakhia Pering

Creative & Cultural Consultant

Unwilling to let background, education, or connections dictate people’s involvement in the sector, Dhikshana champions inclusivity, to ensure that the arts reflect the rich diversity of our society, making it accessible to all. Dhikshana is currently a Creative & Cultural Consultant, previously working in learning and engagement across the Science Museum, London Transport Museum, Brent 2020 – London Borough of Culture, Somerset House and the National Saturday Club. She is dedicated to fostering collaboration and innovation, leading teams in the development and delivery of diverse and engaging programming and promoting representation and equity in the workplace.

Photograph of a woman with brown hair tied in bun on top of her head. Looks straight at camera smiling wearing a floral shirt with right arm on hip and other at her side. In the background are some leaves.

Trish Scott

King’s College London

Dr. Trish Scott is a lecturer at King’s College London in the Department for Culture, Media and Creative Industries. Her current practice is concerned with the distribution of power within institutions, with a focus on how participatory curatorial frameworks can challenge and dismantle traditional organisational hierarchies and systems of value and create space for multiple voices. Trish is an engagement specialist and over the last decade has worked with many different communities to develop projects, programmes and exhibitions with organisations including Tate, Turner Contemporary, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, Ideas Test and the Koestler Trust.

 

Photograph of a woman from the shoulders upwards wearing a black sleeveless dress with red highlights. She has shoulder length white hair and stands in front of a brown wall with a plant in a copper pot.

Jane Sillis

Engage

Jane Sillis is the Director of Engage, which she helped establish. Before joining Engage in 2005 she was a consultant specialising in audience engagement working across the UK and internationally. Clients included Tate, the National Gallery, the British Council, Clore Duffield Foundation, DCMS & DFE and Look Ahead Housing and Care for whom Jane ran an arts programme with homeless people. Jane was Head of Education at Whitechapel Gallery and has also worked at Ikon Gallery, the Museum of London, Science Museum, the British Council and in a local authority. Jane was a trustee of Iniva and Chisenhale Gallery.

Photograph of a woman with long brown hair, glasses and wearing a black and orange top on a white background.

Becky Waite

Bluecoat

Since graduating from Manchester School of Art, Becky has worked within the landscape of inclusive arts for over a decade. Collaborating creatively with Blue Room artists at the Bluecoat since 2010, she now supports a team of artist facilitators, assistants and volunteers to deliver a high quality, year round programme of inclusive arts. As Blue Room Creative Manager she is particularly focussed on supporting learning disabled and neurodivergent artists with advocacy in the wider arts sector.

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Alex Woodall

York Museums Trust

Dr. Alexandra Woodall is Head of Public Engagement, Curatorial and Collections for York Museums Trust. She has managed museum and gallery learning, interpretation and exhibition programmes for over 20 years. She also has an academic background, most recently as Programme Director for Creative and Cultural Industries Management at the University of Sheffield. Particularly interested in workplace wellbeing, she is a Mentor and Professional Reviewer for the Museums Association’s AMA and instigated their research on bullying in the sector, ‘Sticks and Stones’. She is a co-founder of GLAM Cares, a support network for community engagement practitioners.

Photograph of a woman with long blonde hair wearing a black jumper

Laura Yates

Bluecoat

Laura Yates is an arts participation specialist. She is currently Head of Participation at Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool where she has been working with the team to develop their long-term innovative approaches to arts engagement for the past 9 years. Laura’s previous work includes deep-level engagement producing for the recently NPO awarded At the Library and the seminal digital arts programme tenantspin.