The importance of networks: Community Art Network Training

The importance of networks: Community Art Network Training

22 Oct 2013, Posted by kate_mercer in Inspiration

GB, Wales. Overlooking Llanhilleth. © Kate Mercer 2013

Image: GB, Wales. Overlooking Llanhilleth. 2013 © Kate Mercer 2013

So this week I’m taking part on the Community Arts Network Training scheme up at the Llanhilleth Miners Institute. Whilst it’s proving to be fairly heavy going, an unexpected benefit of the course is that it takes place in such a beautiful location. This picture looks out of the miners institute onto the mountain overlooking the village. Not sure the weather does it justice!

Despite the intensity, I’m pleased to say it is proving totally worth it. The amount I’m learning about being a freelance arts professional is phenomenal – I seriously recommend this to all emerging practitioners, not only because it covers all the practical stuff (insurance, risk assessments, running workshops and approaching funders etc) but it puts you in contact with a whole host of people along the way.

This course is open to all types of creatives. What is more we all share a passion for art in the community – using our creative skills to encourage others to learn, create and communicate with a wider audience.

The importance of courses like these (and my main reason for this post) is that it builds and encourages networks. Networks offer individuals reassurance through contact with others, affirming the knowledge that other people think and feel the same way as they themselves do.

Increasingly, when in need of help, networks are where we turn to for support, encouragement and advice. It’s easy for creative people to feel isolated, artistically castrated even, when there are few perceived opportunities available to those who want to develop and grow their careers.

I am so glad I found out about this course via the Arts Council Of Wales website. Expanding my creative network via this scheme, I’ve created new opportunities for myself. I’ve pushed through my limitations and can now continue to develop my own practise.

I guess what I’m trying to say is never underestimate the power of the network. Long live community arts. Long live art in the community.