Festival News: How can cultural diversity, inclusion and identity be encouraged through creative partnerships?

Published: 1 November 2021
In this session, you will have the chance to hear about creative projects that have supported children’s understanding of cultural diversity and identity.

As part of the Why Creativity Matters NOW strand of the Learn Sheffield Autumn Online Festival, Amy Willoughby, Create Sheffield’s Creative Education Producer and Assistant Head at Beck school, welcomed arts organisations and schools to discuss how cultural diversity can be encouraged through creative partnerships. We hear from Justin Banks from Handsworth Grange, Ignite Imaginations, Sheffield Museums and IVE.  Below is a little bit of information about what was shared.


Ignite Imaginations and Handsworth Grange Secondary School

Emma Waslin, Programme Manager at Ignite Imaginations and Justin Banks Head of Art, Music and Drama at Handsworth Grange Secondary School, shared learning from their partnership and involvement in the Migration Matters Festival through projects Routes to Roots and Talking About My Generation. 

Justin shared how the creative projects with Ignite had helped the school engage students from non-white backgrounds, some with English as a second language. These students historically had not readily participated in arts subjects or extra-curricular events, and Justin saw an opportunity within the Migration Matters Festival to be able to represent and attract the full cohort of students at Handsworth Grange. 

Below are a few examples of how and why cultural diversity, inclusion and identity were able to be encouraged in this work. 

  • It was youth-led/ co-produced. 
  • It was facilitated by artists and leaders with lived experience of migration. This was intentional right from the recruitment stages. 
  • It brought together artists from diverse creative disciplines. 
  • The project enabled the stories of the young people to come through in the performances or productions. 

You can read more on Ignite Imagination's website


Sheffield Museums 

Laura Travis Head of Learning and Participation at the Sheffield Museums Trust shared the work the Museums have been doing over lockdown with True Talk Africa CIC, who were commissioned to look at inclusion and representation in their school programme through a racial lense.  Sheffield Museums have acknowledged that many of Sheffield’s historic collections are rooted in British colonial history and took the opportunity to use True Talk Africa’s expertise in re-writing their Ancient Egypt school offer.

Schools can now book onto 'Ancient Egypt: A Mummy's Story' for Key Stage 2 which fits within Geography, environment, History and ICT curriculum areas. As part of the experience, children will consider how colonialism equipped museums with the knowledge of lives in Ancient Egypt and think about how this makes them feel. This workshop uses enquiry-based learning to encourage children to connect and empathise with Djedma'atiuesankh through a combination of research, discussion and structured debate. 

This is just the start for Museums Sheffield Trust, who are currently reflectly and reconsidering how they engage with schools across all of their programming. You can keep up to date on their school offer here.  

These case studies are well worth watching in full. If you missed this session and would like to find out more about what was presented, you can watch the recording here


About Create Sheffield 

Create Sheffield is Sheffield’s Cultural Education Partnership, it exists to take the young people of Sheffield on ‘a journey into the arts, culture and heritage sectors, benefiting the lives of all those in Sheffield aged 0-24. Create Sheffield is supported byIVE, the Arts Council Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber and also has received support from other organisations in Sheffield.  

Create Sheffield ask everyone who has attended one of the sessions or watched the replay to fill in a ‘Getting to Know You’ form to help us gather your thoughts and needs, in order to inform Create Sheffield’s Cultural and Creative Education Strategy that will be implemented from january 2022.

In return for filling in the form, you will:

  • Have the opportunity to shape future CPD sessions to suit your needs and interests
  • Have access to CPD opportunities
  • Shape opportunities for further networking
  • Have the option to join and create networks and sessions that support your learning
  • Have the opportunity to share & shout about creative and cultural learning projects 
  • Have your voice heard!

Participant (education) Getting to Know You form

Participant (Arts & Cultural Partners) Getting to Know You form.


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