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Truth and Lies

We were delighted to run our latest Creative Writing project, this time at Number 8 in Pershore in the Spring of 2024.

The project involved 2 workshops led by our own Steve Wilson and the poet Sarah Leavesley. Steve’s workshop concerned playwriting, based on the theme of Lies whilst Sarah’s poetry workshop was based on Truth.

The overall themes worked really well and we were thrilled with take up from local writers and the support from Number 8.

Workshops

The workshops took place on Saturday 16th March and were exceptionally well attended with a good range of ages and demographics.

In our playwriting workshop based on Lies we had some great discussions about why people lie and how we can get characters to lie in plays in the most effective way. There was a lot of laughter, and some great ideas began to emerge.

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The workshop attendees told us:

“Thank you! Great to spend time in this way being guided to try some new and different writing. Much appreciated!”

“Steve was fantastic – lots of great ideas and time to share ideas as well as get writing. It was great and really inspiring and motivating. Loved it!”

‘A very appropriate workshop for me as a wannabe scriptwriter. It was highly relevant to something I’m writing with a group of creative writers.”

We asked Sarah: ‘How was the poetry workshop?'

“It felt friendly, cooperative and productive, with lots of work started in the workshop being shared during the workshop sharing sections. It was quite intense – lots of different writing prompts and exercises, which seemed to be (mostly) appreciated and necessary in order to have enough pieces inspired and started to produce a showcase worth’s of work"

Post Workshop

After the workshop our writers went off and wrote some excellent work to which both Sarah and Steve responded. Writers sent in work that was given constructive feedback. Work was commented on, improved and from there, selected for the showcase.

Showcase and the feedback

The showcase event took place on Saturday 27th April. It was a show of two halves! The first half was the Truth part which saw 8 poets perform work, most poets read at least two poems. The second half saw 5 plays based on the theme of Lies which were kindly performed by members of the Pershore Operatic Drama Group. Again, feedback was excellent.

“It was a wonderful event to be part of. I very much enjoyed the workshops and the feedback received about the work I’d created was very helpful. I had great fun at all stages of the process and very much hope there will be more opportunities like this in the future. I found the experience of preparing a script for the stage and working with the actors extremely valuable. Many thanks to Sarah and to Steve for putting the event on. Thanks also to the PODS actors and the Number 8 staff who also contributed a huge amount.”

Number 8 viewpoint.

"We think the theme worked really well. For the workshops it was interesting and inspiring for participants. It gave the workshops a distinct angle and provided a starting point for the writers that they could immediately relate to that had a lot of scope/ wasn’t too limiting or prescriptive. It also worked well as a promotional hook for the Showcase. ‘The feedback from the workshops was excellent. I’m in the process of compiling the responses and will send details through when it’s finished."

What were your thoughts about the final performance? 

"The final performance worked really well, we got very good feedback from those that attended and from those who participated. The only thing that might have worked better for the performance is if the poetry and drama were interspersed rather than having separate sections for each. It was a shame we didn’t get a larger audience for the final performance but considering it was the first time we’ve done an event of this type it was a good start to build from".

Our conclusion

A great project to work on and lovely to be at Number 8 in Pershore. We hope to do more! Big thanks to all who took part and contributed.

Creative Space

We have come to the closing chapter of our 'Creative Space' project in Worcestershire's Probation service, funded by HM Prison and Probation Service.

We held two showcase events for the women who participated to celebrate what they had achieved through the arts courses.

In Redditch, the group shared the film they had collaboratively made. In Worcester they displayed their artistic creations and read out poems and prose from their published anthology, 'Bring Colour To Your Soul' (Thanks to Bite Poetry Press for design and print).

Read the ebook of 'Bring Colour To Your Soul'.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the showcase sessions, participants said:

'I look forward to coming each week. It's isolating being on my own but Fridays are my day for me'

'It's been welcoming. I'm treated like a person, a human being, here'.

'I've found the creative side in me again'.

 

 

 

Probation Officers said:

'We got so much from the conversations held whilst the women were busy doing creative work. It's broken down barriers that now we can build on'.

'We seek to broaden women's horizons and develop their skills. These workshops have naturally supported that'.

Thanks go to

  • the funder, HMPPS

  • the fantastic Probation team who supported the women through these workshops and

  • the women who so brilliantly shared their creative talents.​

The 'Creative Space' impact report can be read here.

 

 

Thanks too to the artistic team - Nicola Prestage Tiger Features, Spare Room Arts, Steve and Debbie! We hope we will be back soon!

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We were delighted to be back in Malvern as part of the 2023 Feast Festival. To find out more about the workshop we delivered at The Malvern Priory, click here: 

Crave Arts at Feast 2023

FEAST 2023

Creative Space

We are delighted that HM Prison and Probation Service have funded us to deliver an arts programme in the Probation Service in Worcester and Redditch.

Our programme, ‘Creative Space’, will bring creative writing, visual arts and film-making to women on Probation, with the aim of developing confidence, motivation, artistic and transferable skills for employment.

 

With our artists lined up, we start sessions in October 2023 and will continue into 2024.

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Debut

'Debut' was our latest writing-for-the-stage project involving participants creating new work under our mentorship. 

 

Taking place in the summer of 2023 at Worcester Theatres, it culminated in a performance evening of five new plays on Thursday 27th July 2023 at The Studio Theatre, as part of Worcester Fringe.

 

To find out more about the project please see our report: Evaluation of Debut 

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ART of Leadership

Crave Arts are excited to announce a new training course available for management teams in any organisation!

 

'Doing the Right Thing' is the first half day course we have developed in our ART of Leadership training programme, all about the key ingredients for good decision making at work. 

We were thrilled to deliver our very first session to Sanctuary in July and to receive great feedback:

'The acting/story drew you in and made you reflect about yourself'

'Really powerful'

To find out more about Crave Arts Training, visit our Training page.

NT Connections

We had a really lovely three days at the beginning of April as part of the NT Connections Theatre Project for young people. Held at Worcester Theatres for the first time, we ran a 90 minute workshop which we repeated to the nine participating theatre companies. The workshop was based on how you create great characters and how you then provide conflict for them. The workshop was very well received. Beth Walsh and Bev Bevan from Worcester Theatre Makers loved their workshop as you can see in this image. 

Behind the scenes

Not all of our work is about us delivering public-facing projects.  We often support others to deliver their work using arts and heritage.

 

We're currently providing consultancy to Worcester Theatres and Ledbury Poetry Festival, we're mentoring creative freelancers on the Connect Freelancer Development programme through Culture Central, and we're evaluating The Severn Rising 2222, an environmental game about climate change by Sarah Millin and Andrew Round of Paradise Multimedia, funded by Arts Council England.  You can find out more about this exciting initiative using illustration and digital media here

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Fantastical wildlife - The Severn Rising 2222 - by Sarah Millin

Workshops Date 16th March 2024

Performance Date 27th April 2024

We were delighted to run our latest Creative Writing project, this time at Number 8 in Pershore.

The project saw two workshops led by our own Steve Wilson and the poet Sarah Leavesley. Steve’s workshop was a playwriting one based on the theme of Lies while Sarah’s poetry one was based on Truth. The theme worked really well as a promotion tool for marketing purposes, and we were delighted with the support from Number 8.

Playwriting Workshops

The workshops took place on Saturday 16th March and were exceptionally well attended with a good range of ages and demographics.

Our playwriting workshop based on Lies, led by Steve, was very well attended. We had some great discussions about why people lie and how we can get characters to lie in plays in the most effective way. There was a lot of laughter, and some great ideas began to emerge.

The workshop attendees told us:

“Thank you! Great to spend time in this way being guided to try some new and different writing. Much appreciated!”

“Steve was fantastic – lots of great ideas and time to share ideas as well as get writing. It was great and really inspiring and motivating. Loved it!”

‘A very appropriate workshop for me as a wannabe scriptwriter. It was highly relevant to something I’m writing with a group of creative writers.”

Spoken Word with Sarah Leavesley

 

We asked Sarah.

‘How was the poetry workshop? “

‘It felt friendly, cooperative and productive, with lots of work started in the workshop being shared during the workshop sharing sections. It was quite intense – lots of different writing prompts and exercises, which seemed to be (mostly) appreciated and necessary in order to have enough pieces inspired and started to produce a showcase worth’s of work. (I think all of the work sent for feedback was started in the workshop, rather than generated afterwards using

the handout I’d produced for anyone who wanted to write more at home.’

The workshop attendees told us:

“Very clear, easy to follow guidance, thought-provoking discussion and valuable feedback.”

“Learning to write against time. Any subject/object/experience is suited to a poem. A good idea does not a poem make.”

“Good to hear fellow writers having a go and upping the bar in a useful way.”

Post Workshop

After the workshop our writers went off and wrote some excellent work that both Sarah and Steve responded too. Writers sent in work that was given constructive feedback. Work was commented on, improved and from there, work was selected for the showcase.

Showcase and the feedback

The showcase event took place on Saturday 27th April. It was a show of two halves! The first half was the Truth part which saw 8 poets perform work, most poets read at least two poems. The second half saw 5 plays based on the theme of lies which were kindly performed by performers of the Pershore Operatic Drama Group. Again, feedback was excellent.

“It was a wonderful event to be part of. I very much enjoyed the workshops and the feedback received about the work I’d created was very helpful. I had great fun at all stages of the process and very much hope there will be more opportunities like this in the future. I found the experience of preparing a script for the stage and working with the actors extremely valuable. Many thanks to Sarah and to Steve for putting the event on. Thanks also to the PODS actors and the Number 8 staff who also contributed a huge amount.”

Number 8 viewpoint.

‘We think the theme worked really well. For the workshops it was interesting and inspiring for participants. It gave the workshops a distinct angle and provided a starting point for the writers that they could immediately relate to that had a lot of scope/ wasn’t too limiting or prescriptive. It also worked well as a promotional hook for the Showcase. ‘The feedback from the workshops was excellent. I’m in the process of compiling the responses and will send details through when it’s finished.’

What were your thoughts about the final performance? 

‘The final performance worked really well, we got very good feedback from those that attended and from those who participated. The only thing that might have worked better for the performance is if the poetry and drama were interspersed rather than having separate sections for each. It was a shame we didn’t get a larger audience for the final performance but considering it was the first time we’ve done an event of this type it was a good start to build from’.

Our conclusion

A great project to work on and lovely to be at Number 8 in Pershore. We hope to do more! Big thanks to all who took part and contributed.

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