Looking back at my Research Proposal for focus

I briefly mentioned my research proposal so I thought it might be useful to show the ideas which I have been looking at from that. At the moment I am comparing Education programmes, the feel of both places and people in those places. I have created a table in a Word doc. but it’s still in its infancy. I wanted to figure out how to evaluate it first. Anyway here are some things I’m pondering and trying to pin down at the moment. I have the whole day tomorrow to think about it. I am reading about A Postmodern Puzzle: Rewriting the Place of the Visitor in Art Museum Education (by Melinda M. Mayer) for my Current Issues in Art and Design Education course and looking at how Walsall Art Gallery and Tate Britain’s programmes are similar so hopefully this will give me more of a more theoretical context in which to place why the way the Education programme is run is so important and the impact It will have on the future of The Arts.


Aims: what do you hope to achieve and why?

Potential title: Blogging a comparative study of Traditional Arts Team (TAT) vs. New Art Gallery Walsall (NAGW)

I want to discuss these ideas in the blog. (Some of the elements here may simply continue as I use the blog in the future. For example, the festivals will not come to fruition until June):

–          Arts Events Management

–          Community Arts

–          Arts Education in galleries

–          Event/journal reviews

–          Planning festivals


–          Educational outreach programmes: I will research how they market and manage events which encourage engagement and participation within the local community. The scope of what can be done sometimes relies on funding so it is possible that NAGW has more capabilities regarding what they purchase or what they do for school groups.

–          Social media: I will compare the use of social media at NAGW and TAT. Social media is a major tool for marketing to a younger audience, especially as Young Storyteller of the Year becomes more popular. I am learning to be a storyteller and attending an art class and this helps me to understand what we are marketing as well as showing me what the organisation is about.

–          The venue itself: NAGW white box art gallery vs. TAT which is accommodation cum workspace

–          Community arts: This is principally about engagement rather than success/finance and the most apparent question is about justifying the spending of money on the Arts.

I mentioned writing reviews to Graham at The Traditional Arts Team and he suggested I could review some of their work too. This will help if I have to write copy in the future.

The use of Space

–          Assessing the idea of how a Space is used is interesting to me. Working in an office environment in a venue seems to drive inspiration and focus (for employees), through constantly seeing the product which is being developed and sold.

–          I will look into the difficulties of moving into someone else’s space and trying to have an impact on their work whilst conforming to their infrastructure. I would also like to assess the idea of an organisation being event-centric and what this changes for the organisation. There is not, for example, one main event but a continuously rolling schedule.


Handwritten Reflective Journal [Electronic version]

4.2.14 (Part Two)

I took on board the information given to me by Graham, queried a few details about the story and wrote copy for the website this week. This ‘Hand to Mouth’ storytelling event happened at Ort Gallery and Café.

My web copy on the Traditional Arts Team Website
My web copy on the Traditional Arts Team Website
Hand to Mouth storytelling poster designed by Graham Higgins
Hand to Mouth storytelling poster designed by Graham Higgins

I started working with Graham Langley and some students at Bournville College. We are learning how to tell stories. This education programme is a great way for students to develop confidence, public speaking skills and have fun through telling stories. Graham told us a funny story and we re-enacted it in a performance tableau. We have been writing “story maps” which plot the story and describe emotions at each point of the story. The stories we’ve been telling have about 10 plot points which can be mapped out. This is a really helpful way of remembering the stories.

As an intern it has been useful to shadow Graham in different workshops and events. I am learning the ethos of the company along with what they actually do. This will all be useful when I want to market the product to our target audiences. I have also attended Tales and Ales at the Prince of Wales. To tell a tales at this event is my target at the moment. There are only a few people sitting in the cocktail room with ale and a fire, but my memory is not very good, so we’ll see how that goes. I have been researching different folktales I would like to use; Hans Christian Anderson, Jewish folktales and French ‘contes et légendes’ are my top choices! I think the skills I will learn through the storytelling are ones I can use in volunteering at Mary Arden’s Farm – I would love to tell Shakespeare stories to the kids in a powerful or entertaining way.