Common Ground Leaders: What We’ve Been Up To

Photo credit: Jordan Hunnisett

Since launching Common Ground Leaders, the group have been busy taking part in loads of different activities…

Masterclasses and Action Groups

Over Spring and Summer 2021, we ran monthly masterclasses for the group, where they learned sector-specific skills from industry professionals.

  1. How Heritage Inspires Creativity

Our first masterclass took place on the evening of March 4 over Zoom. Katie Green, creator of The Imagination Museum, led a one-hour masterclass that explored how heritage can inspire creativity. She covered how she works as a freelance creative, why she chooses to work in heritage settings, and how to find and harness inspiration in these spaces.

The masterclass was followed by a one-hour action group, where the Leaders put into practise what they’d just learned by designing a Common Ground event for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Katie’s masterclass provided some great inspiration and got the group thinking about how to creatively represent heritage in their upcoming Festival event.

Some of the Leaders’ ideas on what they find inspiring about heritage

2. Creating an Artist Brief

This session was run on 29 March by Grace Davies, previous Contemporary Arts Programme Manager for the National Trust, and their current curator in South Wales. After covering the processes behind hiring an artist, creating a brief, and selecting an application, Grace helped the group begin writing their own artist brief for the Festival event. By the end of the action group, the Leaders had nearly written a whole brief for their callout for artists – pretty impressive, right?!

3. Copywriting in Arts and Heritage

As part of the continuing preparation for Living Landscapes, our third masterclass focused on writing copy in the arts and heritage sector. Steve Forster of SFP Communications taught the group how to effectively write copy and sell their event for Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2021. After covering topics such as research, audience, content and editing, the Leaders went on to create their own copy to advertise Living Landscapes.

4. Didn’t We Do Well? A Masterclass in Evaluation

How do you determine success? Evaluation Consultant Andrea Spain led this masterclass to guide the group through the various ways of evaluating projects in the arts and heritage sector. She covered the quantitative and qualitative methods, before showing the steps involved in monitoring, feedback and triangulation.

As part of the action group, the Leaders helped to consider ways in which Common Ground can evaluate future projects. The ideas the group generated for using social media as an evaluation tool were taken on board by Andrea and will be put to use by Common Ground!

Living Landscapes

Common Ground Leaders were tasked with putting on an event at 2021’s Norfolk & Norwich Festival to represent Common Ground (no pressure).

From deciding the form and commissioning artists, to marketing the event and helping with production, the Leaders had full control every step of the way.

The Living Landscapes exhibition ran from 24 to 29 May at the Undercroft in Norwich. See the results of their event here.

Cley Marshes Exhibition

Throughout November 2021, the Leaders curated an exhibition at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley Marshes using content from Common Ground’s summer project at Roydon Common.

The group got involved in selecting the photos to be displayed, curating a theme, visiting the exhibition space and much more. You can read more about the process over on our blog.

Commissions

  • Photography: one of our Leaders, Jordan Hunnisett, led a photoshoot of the group and got some cracking headshots for individuals to use. Check out his work here.
  • Illustration: another Leaders member, Callum Ritchie, worked on illustrating a bespoke Arts Award pack created by Common Ground. Although not yet ready for public viewing, we can confirm it’s going to be pretty incredible.
  • Monoprinting: Artist and Common Ground Leader Ellen Harling was commissioned by Norfolk Wildlife Trust and Common Ground to deliver a workshop as part of Cley Calling 2021. Check out Ellen’s website and view the results of the workshop on her Instagram.

If you want to be commissioned for your art and creative work, sign up below to become a Common Ground Leader and hear about upcoming opportunities.