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Socially Engaged Practice

At Knowle West Media Centre we work according to the principles of socially engaged art practice.

Being ‘socially engaged’ is about supporting people to do the things that they want to do, which may not necessarily be what is expected… For us, socially engaged practice is about doing something but also thinking about it, reflecting on it and responding to it. It is a process that allows creative and arts-based ‘solutions’ to be identified that are based on local people’s ideas, concerns and priorities.

Socially engaged artists are often commissioned by KWMC to work with local residents, in ways that inform the artist’s practice and products. Through such practice, local people are supported to articulate their own concerns and priorities. For example, young people at KWMC were supported to evaluate the South Bristol Urban 2 programme and produced a report and publication entitled ‘In Our Opinion.’

Through local people’s involvement in other strands of KWMC work – such as the production of the Knowledge newsletter and website – and alongside KWMC’s active role in the local community partnership, KWMC supports local people to influence local and Bristol-wide policy.

KWMC was recently featured in the “Citizen Driven Innovation Handbook”, co-produced by the World Bank and European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL).

Girls Making History Report

Communities & Culture Network+ funded research pilot 2013/2014

This report presents the findings from a six month CCN+ funded pilot study led by the Girls Making History project...

This report presents the findings from a six month CCN+ funded pilot study led by the Girls Making History project in collaboration with the University of Bristol. Girls Making History is an ongoing Bristol-based project designed and led, in a co-productive partnership, by Knowle West Media Centre and a group of local young women aged 13-24. The project aims to ask how, by harnessing the expertise of young women’s direct experience of violence and coercive control in their relationships, digital tools might raise awareness of the cultural normalisation of partner violence in teenage relationships and social networks.

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Girls Making History Report

MemoryScapes Report

This report contains evidence from MemoryScapes, the activities that have taken place during the project and the outcomes from and...

This report contains evidence from MemoryScapes, the activities that have taken place during the project and the outcomes from and impact of those activities. MemoryScapes was a ten-month pilot programme that engaged people living with dementia along with other community members who have a common interest in exploring, gathering, sharing and documenting local, social and cultural history. MemoryScapes has connected people with similar interests and experiences, who have developed relationships that have extended beyond the project, developing support networks and nurturing greater community cohesion.

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MemoryScapes Report

Connected Communities Research

With the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)

From 2011-2012, volunteers and staff completed 350 surveys with Knowle West residents to investigate the social connections that exist within the community....

From 2011-2012, volunteers and staff completed 350 surveys with Knowle West residents to investigate the social connections that exist within the community. This research was part of the Connected Communities project and led to the development of the social prescription project Social Mirror.

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Read the Knowle West Findings

KWMC Creative Data Toolkit Report

Digital R&D Fund for the Arts

This report is about a project funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, through which partners hoped to...

This report is about a project funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, through which partners hoped to enable young people to access and understand the potential power of data and explore how they might use it in creative projects that would reach new audiences. Central ideas informing the project were data ownership, interpretation, and the power of data to change people’s understanding of the world. The project demonstrates that arts organisations can begin to build audience reach by engaging young people in creative data programmes – and the report articulates this. The Data Toolkit, created as an output from this project, offers arts organisations the opportunity to benefit from the learning that has taken place and to replicate audience development activities among traditional, young and hard-to-reach groups. Based on the success of the project, KWMC are continuing with the Junior Digital Producer scheme and have successfully secured further Arts Council England Creative Employment Programme funding for the next cohort of young people. For more information about the project and the fund visit Nesta’s blog and website.

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Digital R&D Fund for the Arts: KWMC Creative Data Toolkit Report

ELEBCIS Report

ELEBCIS (Entry Level Employment in Bristol’s Creative and Digital Industries) is a research project that aimed to: identify how existing training...

ELEBCIS (Entry Level Employment in Bristol’s Creative and Digital Industries) is a research project that aimed to: identify how existing training frameworks and support within Bristol’s existing creative and digital industries could be improved, overcome the barriers identified, and ensure that young people are able to access employment opportunities. A report has been produced that outlines ten recommendations to ensure that all Bristol residents can access employment opportunities in the region – and no one is ‘left behind’.

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Download the report

Foodscapes Report

Foodscapes was an AHRC Connected Communities project (2013) that explored the use of art as a way of opening up discussion...

Foodscapes was an AHRC Connected Communities project (2013) that explored the use of art as a way of opening up discussion about food. Participants in the project included Knowle West Media Centre, The Matthew Tree Project (TMTP), the Edible Landscapes Movement (ELM), UWE Bristol, University of Southampton, the James Hutton Institute and Paul Hurley (artist-in-residence). Together, we explored how arts intervention and cultural engagement can help address food, food poverty, and sustainable communities. As co-designed action research, the project also examined how arts intervention can enhance interchange between community organisations and research institutions. Throughout Foodscapes there was an attempt to integrate the research questions, arts programming and evaluative activities into the actual process of the work, so that these activities could become entwined and, it is hoped, more meaningful for all involved.

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Summary Report

Becoming ecological citizens: connecting people through performance art, food matter and practices

Emma Roe, University of Southampton and Michael Buser, University of the West of England

This publication was informed by the 2013 Foodscapes project.

Can I bake you a cake?

Dr Paul Hurley

In 2012 artist Paul Hurley created a series of new live art performances in Knowle West. These performances, ‘Dances of...

In 2012 artist Paul Hurley created a series of new live art performances in Knowle West. These performances, ‘Dances of Earthly Wonder’, were inspired by the theme of harvest. They were developed in connection with different groups in the community, who took responsibility for documenting the performances using the CONNECTION/TIME interface. This paper explores this process, firstly through an interview in which members of the community and staff at Knowle West Media Centre asked Paul Hurley questions about the project and secondly through Paul’s own reflections on the work.

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Read Can I bake you a cake?

In Our Opinion

This book, published in 2008, was developed and produced by a team of young people who were supported to evaluate the...

This book, published in 2008, was developed and produced by a team of young people who were supported to evaluate the Urban 2 programme. It explores the roles taken by young people in a variety of community regeneration projects across South Bristol. In producing the book, young people sought to address three key questions: How has the involvement of young people in Urban 2 made a difference to the impact of the South Bristol Urban 2 programme? What learning about the benefits of engaging young people can be passed onto future projects and programmes? What learning about the most effective and meaningful ways of engaging young people can be passed onto future projects and programmes?

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Download In Our Opinion

Blueboard

KWMC, Suited and Booted, Firstborn Creatives and Calling the Shots

Published in 2007, Blueboard offers an introduction to some ways in which partnership work, between creative practitioners and schools, can...

Published in 2007, Blueboard offers an introduction to some ways in which partnership work, between creative practitioners and schools, can enhance the learning opportunities of children and young people. It also articulates the key learning journeys, outcomes and models of effective practice identified during the Blueboard project. The Blueboard project and publication were developed and delivered by four independent media companies: KWMC, Suited and Booted, Firstborn Creatives and Calling the Shots. Paper copies of this publication are available from KWMC on request.

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Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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