Articles exploring Building Community through Arts in more depth

The ‘Initiating Group’ in a Co-operative Inquiry

In order to anchor a Cooperative Inquiry process an ‘Initiating group’ is set up to launch the enquiry, as far as possible at all levels representing the host community, including relatives and the BCA team of consultant, facilitators and volunteers. The task of this group is described by Heron as three-stranded: to understand and accept the methodology being introduced, so that ‘they can make it their own’; to develop ‘participative decision-making and authentic collaboration so that the enquiry becomes truly cooperative’ to ‘ create a climate in which emotional states can be identified, so that distress and tension aroused by the enquiry can be openly accepted and processed, and joy and delight in it and with each other can be freely expressed.’* * From Heron Cooperative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition Ch.4 1996 London/Sage In our projects we endeavour to identify goals, review these at the mid-point, and finally [...]

2015-09-15T20:04:58+01:00By |Categories: Building Community through Arts|Tags: |

The Approach to the Arts

In a BCA programme our approach to the arts is based on the premise that we are all artists and not that the arts, as so commonly found in the West, are the exclusive province of a talented and esoteric elite. The artist Frederick Franck provides us with our theme: "..for all that is human we have in common"[1] and creativity is surely a fundamental and vital aspect of that humanity. Art is seen as a means and not an end. Artists are seen, not as special kinds of people, but people are seen as special and different kinds of artists. Working with the arts allows us to play, experiment, encourage each other to take risks, and let go of many of the constraining ideas we grew up with such as ‘There is only one answer’, and ‘everyone else is better than I am at this’. Instead we find our [...]

The Practice of Co-operative Inquiry

Cooperative inquiry is based on the work of John Heron and Peter Reason [1].  Using this method it is assumed that each member of the group has a unique contribution to offer, and it is essential that for the outcome to be complete, all members of the group are involved. The process begins by clarifying the purpose of the programme.  A small but comprehensive 'initiating group' identifies the aims, objectives and underlying values of the project, and monitors the process throughout the life of the project. Participants are invited from the local community and networks attached to the host organisation. Care is taken to invite people from across boundaries within society and even within organisations: thus managers and employees are encouraged to attend together, along with teachers and their students, and with care staff and their clients. BCA has used this method throughout its work in the community, especially working with people [...]

The Fragmentation of Society

Scott Peck in The Different Drum describes his own experience of the "isolation and fragmentation that have become the order of the day." The aim with BCA is to combat the forces which separate people from each other, and disintegrate society. BCA can enable people from differing backgrounds to communicate more effectively, to release their innate creative gifts and enable others in turn to find greater enjoyment. Increasingly in the years since the second world war, divisions have widened between the rich and the poor. In spite of comprehensive education the divide between the private sector and the state system has increased. The '80s saw great emphasis on personal responsibility and individual goals. Lip service is paid to the alternative to institutional provision of welfare — Care in the Community. However, lack of planning and inadequate funding has increasingly isolated those dependent on Care in the Community. Friends, families and [...]

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