Every Quality Principles group I have worked with has been different, because each is dependent on the mix of personalities in the room, and the topics they bring to share. Each session is an opportunity for HIVE MIND – a chance to experience the power of our collective intelligence as we bring our thoughts and experiences together.
After rising from the ashes of shattered hopes and projects after our last session together this session with the group has felt like a journey inwards – an exploration of depth rather than breadth.
In a time of scarcity, it feels like an obvious thing to try to offer more, but we know that more doesn’t necessarily mean quality. One of the ways in which I’ve used the Quality Principles with this group is by thinking about what tools we already have on offer that we may not use to our advantage. As financial constraints get tighter, and the context within which we work gets more fragile, it feels vital to be 100% clear about what we are doing, and why we are doing it, and what we are hoping to achieve by doing it (and if we managed to achieve it).
We all know that the opportunities for young people to go deeper in the arts are rare, and becoming rarer, and we all know such opportunities are the things that change hearts and minds. It was powerful to hear this group talk about the things that they do well – and to hear them celebrating their own work. We asked ourselves “is it a numbers game or is it a quality game?”, “is it about box ticking or about things that might really change young people’s lives?”
When the world around you says ‘do more, not less!’ or ‘what are you doing that’s new?’, it takes a certain boldness and confidence to focus on doing what you know you already do really well, doing it to the best of your ability, and then finding a way to shout about it and celebrate it.
I wonder what the next group will focus on?
Sophie Hunter, Quality Principles Session Facilitator – November 2016