This week at the CRIPtic 1:1s

This week our Artistic Director Jamie Hale hosted the first of the CRIPtic 1:1 bookable slots. We were thrilled to be joined by a fantastic and wide range of creatives, and loved having the opportunity to discuss their ideas and offer advice.

Without giving anything away, here are some of Jamie’s reflections on what they discussed:

ACE Applications

Several people were working on Arts Council applications, and wanted to discuss how apply effectively. We talked about Investment Principles and how to apply them to work, and a few concrete things you can do to demonstrate in your application that you’re meeting them:

  • Ambition and quality
    • What is it that you want your work to achieve – whether for your own goals, for audiences, organisational development, or anything else
    • What would achieving that in a high quality way look like
    • How can you seek engagement and feedback in ways that improve the quality of this work
    • I try and demonstrate this by setting ambitious, targeted, and achievable goals, in which “high quality” can be measured and outlined, and in which I’m in a constant feedback loop with partners on the project
  • Dynamism
    • How does this work grow yourself as an artist and organisation
    • How are you accessing support, mentoring, and development to learn new things for yourself
    • How are you investing resources into supporting other people and organisations in growing also
    • How are you running your project in a structured way, ensuring you’re meeting your responsibilities to the people you work with
    • I try and demonstrate this by showing that I have a combination of:
      • My artistic project
      • How that fits in with my organisational practice
      • How I’m learning from other people
      • How I’m giving to other people
  • Environmental responsibility
    • I found this one the hardest, because a lot of it is about embedding environmental responsibility in your work, and measuring your impact, but a couple of things came up in discussions:
      • Using local people and minimising carbon footprint of travel
      • Making work available online again to minimise carbon footprint
  • Inclusivity and relevance
    • How are you reaching out to involve under-represented groups in your work
    • How are you building stronger community relationships as you carry out your work
    • How are you making sure that the work you create is inclusive
    • I try to demonstrate this by ensuring that parts of my project always involve outreach to deaf and disabled people who might be less involved in artistic work, by working with and partnering with other organisations, and by ensuring that I’ve built access provisions like BSL interpretation and audio-description into my projects

Running accessible events on a low budget

I had an interesting conversation with someone new to arts producing who hoped to put on a showcase as part of an academic project. We explored the logistical and financial aspects of building access into events, and especially DIY community events. We talked about how services like BSL interpretation are expensive, and about other ways you can work towards making work as accessible as possible – e.g. for a music event having printouts of the lyrics and descriptions of the music. We discussed access as something you’re working towards, and ways in which they could build upon that in future for funded events.

We also talked about the arts as a process of learning, and how it makes more sense to start on something feasible and do it well, then grow bit by bit from there.

Writing groups that are accessible for BSL signers

I talked to a BSL signer who wanted to join a specific-genre writing group and asked if I knew of any. I didn’t know of any that were currently open, and wasn’t sure about how many had access in place for Deaf signers. All I could offer here was contacting a couple of theatres to ask them, but I have also started to look into funding for a writing group for BSL signers, and how it could be done.

Advice on outreach and marketing as a disabled person

I had a conversation with someone who is releasing a piece of creative work soon, but isn’t able to tour and feature at events. We talked about their intended audience, and about what the best way to reach that audience was – recognising the difference between lots of people seeing it, and a few people loving it.

We also discussed how to approach people to ask for their support in marketing when you’re very nervous, and how it was important to:

  • Identify that you’re aware of that person and their work
  • Draw out a clear connection between yourself and them
  • Explain succinctly what you have done (e.g. what a book is about)
  • Ask them clearly for whatever it is that you want, giving them all the resources they need (e.g. if you want them to tweet, sending some sample tweets, a list of appropriate handles and hashtags, some good dates to tweet, an image, and an image description)
  • Give them an easy way to say no to you if they’re not available

Managing running an arts project when you have your own access needs

We talked about the importance of doing less well, and of centering your own access needs. I discussed some of the difficult things I’m learning at the moment with CRIPtic about needing to stay within my own capabilities. I explained that if you’re in a leadership role in an organisation, people will follow your norms, and if you ignore your own access needs, people will think that’s the correct and positive way to work. I also thought about sustainability, and how it’s better to do what you can do well, well, than to take on too much.

We also discussed not taking on a significant burden of unpaid work, unless that unpaid work is clearly going to lead to paid work (or is important enough and will benefit you enough that it’s worthwhile).

We’re excited to meet the next round of creatives at our 1:1s in April. If you’re interested in coming along, you can register your interest by emailing, or by reserving a spot through our website when bookings open. These will open soon so keep a look out!