Festival News: Using Performance to Build Community

Published: 12 October 2021
Joanne Bradshaw from Sheffield South East Learning Partnership, Ian Naylor from the Sheffield Music Hub and Rachael Walton from Third Angel, share examples of how performance can help build community.

Amy Willoughby, Create Sheffield’s Creative Education Producer and Assistant Headteacher at Beck School, hosted a conversation which aimed to answer the question ‘how can engaging in performances and events build community? (for KS2 & up)’. 

Amy was joined by Joanne Bradshaw, Sheffield South East Learning Partnership (SSELP), Ian Naylor, Sheffield Music Hub and Rachael Walton, Third Angel, who shared examples of work in this area. 


SSELP is a Locality schools company, consisting of 16 schools in the South East of Sheffield. Through SSELP, schools are able to work strategically, achieving more together than they can do on their own. SSELP schools have each invested a little pot of money, which when put together, has opened up opportunities for them to work with arts and cultural partners, such as the Music Hub, Music in the Round and Concerteenies. These opportunities have included multiple performances, live streamed concerts, CPD for teachers and school workshops. Schools have been able to perform in big city-centre locations such as the City Hall and the Crucible, providing once in a lifetime experiences for children and their families. 


In her presentation, Rachael Walton, Artistic Director at Third Angel  lists a few examples of what she believes performance offers to community building and the children and young people that get involved in them;


•Give people positive feelings about being part of a community and being part of something bigger.

•Allows us to share stories that can reinforce ‘normative force’ or explain what ‘good or bad’ looks like but also offers opportunities to change the narrative and contribute to social change.

•Opens up opportunities for larger conversations around difficult topics. 

•Positions the participants as the experts - gives young people a voice.

•Offers a sense of pride and belonging.

•Creates safe spaces which allows for expression beyond the normal day to day.


There was further discussion around funding, project timelines and some advice on how schools and creative organisations can work successfully in partnerships. If you missed this session and would like to find out more about what was presented, you can watch the recording here


Third Angel are running their Future Makers and Arts Award, FREE arts, film and theatre workshops in Sheffield S7 for 11-13 year olds living in Nether Edge, Highfield and Sharrow. Visit their website for more details. 


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 by IVE, 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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