2 February 2017

School of Spectacle

A new term of outdoor arts training starts in Salford

With Christmas and New Year done and dusted, 2017 got underway with the next round of learning in our School of Spectacle, an outdoor arts training and education programme funded by Creative Europe and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation      .

Our School of Spectacle is a sort of outdoor arts version of Hogwarts, in effect providing a learning arena for artists and creative practitioners from across Europe to share skills, collaborate together on a project in each of their countries and to learn from Walk the Plank’s experts in everything from parades and processions to fire drawings and community engagement through the arts.

Last autumn we staged our first school in Pafos, Cyprus, as part of preparations for the Pafos 2017 European Capital of Culture opening events in January 2017. Fast forward to January and our first partners meeting for our first the School of Spectacle for 2017 saw practitioners from the five European participating countries return for the next stage in their learning and development with a mix of theory and practice.

Held in Ordsall Hall , close to our own home in Salford, we greeted creative outdoor arts people from Kaunas (Lithuania); Plovidv (Bulgaria); Limerick (Eire); Pafos (Cyprus); and Greece. In an action packed programme, participants explored how to bring different elements within the wide spectrum of outdoor arts to their own communities by identifying stories and cultural elements that would resonate with local audiences.

“Thanks to Creative Europe and Stavros Niarchos we’ve been able to bring creative practitioners from five European countries together to sit round a table and share ideas.  Learning and collaboration doesn’t get much better than this and we’ll be repeating this process in the five participating countries over the next 18 months.  Our afternoon workshop showing techniques around how to create fire drawings simply reminded us all of the power of being together in one place, rather than communicating via the internet.”

Alexis Johnson, Walk the Plank Learning Director