On Tuesday 12th Nov 2013 we held an end point evaluation session for everyone involved in the first year of the Action Research Bursary Programme. This was an opportunity for all of us - artists, mentors and managers - to share and reflect on process, experiences and learning during 2013.
It was a great morning - thanks to everyone for being so open and honest. I was really inspired by the level of deep thinking and the amount of consideration behind each of the 4 reaerch proejcts and every action (and even some non-actions!) during this whole process. We discussed, amongst other things, if research questions had been answered, was there enougth strucutre, what we had found valuable and challenging as well as what might be continued.
Q: What aspects of this process have you most valued?
ARB Artists - "Meeting other people interested in participatory practice and opportunities to disucss ideas." "Realising I want to work with a few people in depth." Changing ideas about work created - expanding out of comfort zone." " Observing the various ways in which people engaged with my work" ARB artists
ARB Mentors - "Asking myself what I would do if I were on the project - thinking about action reserach as a practice in relation to social justice." " 1:2:1 critical dialogue and creating a working equity." " Seeing *****[the artist] grow and develop and overcome challenges and keep on working."
One of the things I feedback as Programme Manager was how I'd found it difficult at certain times during the year feeling a bit removed from what the artists were doing and thinking - this was not a micro-managed process and as such the artists had to be very self-directed to make things happen largely for themselves and to their own timetable. The upside of this however has been the points when I have been able to hear about developments, this day included.
Can't wait for the final reports to be returned now...