Why Creativity Matters NOW Press Release

Create Sheffield launches online programme to discuss Why Creativity Matters NOW

Create Sheffield is on a mission to raise creative skills and cultural opportunities in Sheffield for all children and young people. We are launching a programme to bring together educators, artists and cultural professionals to consider how arts and cultural experiences can support a road to recovery within school settings following the pandemic, from 4th - 22nd October, 2021. This series of events will be hosted by Create Sheffield, our City’s Cultural Education Partnership, and will be part of the Learn Sheffield Autumn Online Festival

The programme of 13 online workshops is free and open now for people working in Sheffield schools, educational settings and arts and cultural organisations. To book onto sessions and for more detail see here

Why Creativity Matters NOW conversations are led by Create Sheffield’s staff team, including newly appointed freelance Creative Education Producers Jenny Coats, Head of School at Beck Primary School, together with her colleagues Becky Stroud and Amy Willoughby. This series of events aims to introduce, inspire & connect up Sheffield’s education colleagues with Create Sheffield's 57 arts & cultural Partners so that they can;

  • Understand why a focus on arts and creativity is so vital now, in a road to recovery following the pandemic and discuss where arts & creative opportunities can fit in school priorities.
  • Learn about what is happening in schools right now & about the range of creative opportunities on offer in Sheffield. 
  • Connect with each other, and be inspired by brilliant creative case studies from schools and other arts & cultural organisations.
  • Connect with each other and learn how to make future connections successful.
  • Inform Create Sheffield’s cultural and creative education strategy going forward.

Create Sheffield had intended to kick-start these conversations with schools throughout April & May 2020, but then Covid happened.  Since that point, after months of disruption to schooling and online learning for many, there is now ever more pressure on schools to ‘catch up’ and fill in gaps in learning. This in turn has the potential to alter the possible routes into schools for arts and cultural partners, and limit the opportunities that children and young people are getting through schools, both to be audiences and also participants in arts and cultural projects.  If these last 18-months have proved something, it’s that engagement in the arts and cultural activities improves wellbeing, and so full recovery must include space to consider children’s educational and social wellbeing and what they have experienced over the pandemic.

"Over the pandemic many of us in schools have found that providing children with creative opportunities has supported their well-being. It has also helped to motivate and encourage them to return to the challenge of learning. As we plan for recovery and catch-up it is therefore extremely important that we continue to plan for creativity. I'm really excited to learn more about the range of creative organisations working in Sheffield and how we can work with them in schools."

Jenny Coats, Head of School, Beck Primary School & Creative Education Producer, Create Sheffield. 

The 13 Why Creativity Matters NOW sessions are open to all education colleagues and arts and cultural professionals in the city who work with children and young people, free of charge and bookable from the Create Sheffield website.  Most are 45 - 60 minutes long, and include short presentations by teachers and musicians/artists who deliver inspiring work with children and young people in our schools already. By the end of the 3 weeks, attendees will understand more, have had a chance to meet and connect with each other, and have had practical opportunities to consider their arts curriculums in school.  We hope many people will get involved.

“Because of Covid-19 Create Sheffield has yet been unable to have strategic conversations in all schools about arts and culture. Why Creativity Matters NOW provides Create Sheffield with an opportunity to finally reach school leaders to engage. strategically, gaining clarity about school leaders' position on arts and culture requirements and provision. This series of events will help both Learn Sheffield and Create Sheffield identify areas of need which will help to inform future strategic planning for the City.”

Ian Naylor Head of Music Education, Sheffield Music Hub and Create Sheffield Chair of Trustees.

“The Why Creativity Matters NOW sessions have been designed to inspire, as well as giving attendees the chance to engage in practical how-to conversations. We are looking forward to listening to as many views as we can, and using all that we hear to inform our strategy to bring arts and cultural opportunities to children and young people in Sheffield from January 2022.” 

Sophie Hunter, Programme Manager, Create Sheffield

Create Sheffield is our City’s Cultural Education Partnership, we are supported by IVE, the Arts Council’s Bridge Organisation for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Contact: Sophie Hunter, Programme Manager sophie@createsheffield.co.uk