New Creatives: Easing out of lockdown through creativity!

Over the last few months, I have been attending Rich Mix in Shoreditch, as a
participant on the new Creatives programme, facilitated by Alex Brown and Chia
Phoenix.

 

Through Wired4Music, I have gained so much experience externally and internally. I
was scrolling through the newsletter, and saw an upcoming programme “New
Creatives’ ‘. I was skeptical because it would mean interacting with people again,
which has been unfamiliar territory throughout 2020 and parts of 2021.

I was, however intrigued by the concept of having constant and a reason to think deeper
about creativity. Throughout lockdown, finding the motivation and space to “be
creative`’ has been challenging. Being in a physical environment where I can
connect with other young people, twice a week, have controversial discussions about
creativity and wellbeing, has been so refreshing.

 

The programme so far has helped me with my confidence and ability to share more
openly, which is definitely something I have struggled with. The first session was
quite surreal. Based in the stage room in the rich Mix building, and chairs perfectly
placed in a circle, all of the young people sat in silence. It was quite nerve racking,
being in close proximity to other young people. Questions started circulating, what
will they think of me? Why are we all here? I wonder what we will do collectively? We
had all come from different backgrounds and circumstances, but all found ourselves
here, to better ourselves in some way.

 

After some interactive and light hearted games, it definitely eased the atmosphere.
Despite the fact that we were all very different, we found ourselves connecting,
especially when we went round in a circle to say what creative practice we enjoy the
most. Instantly, I started thinking about collaborations, which again, feels very
unfamiliar. More recently, we have been having discussions that stimulate other
areas of our mental health. Discussing words that we associate with creativity,
positioned all of the participants to think deeper about our own relationship with the
arts. We have also experimented with taking pictures around the area
(Shoreditch/Brick Lane), capturing the parts that appeal to us. This was a great way
to invite more conversation about creativity and mental health, but also showed us
that creativity can be found in a simplistic way.


Having Consistency again
At the beginning, the end goal was not entirely clear. It was challenging to see where
we would end up as participants, just simply trusting the process. Alex and Chia had
set a presence, ensuring that we are all equal and have a say in the confidentiality
agreement that is collectively created at the start. Trusting the process has been
rewarding. While it is not always clear, New Creatives have framed a positive path
for us to better our mental health, creative practice, but also for us to connect again.
Alex and Chia have also made a point of ensuring that we have a say in how we
progress on the programme.

 

Through one to one meetings and informal discussions,
we have been able to platform our highs and lows. As the weeks have progressed,
we have been able to articulate an area of creative interest (writing/,music/events
act). This has led to further collaborations outside of the sessions. Making use of the
space, some of our participants (Gabriella, Dominique and Milli-Rose) stayed on
after, to sing, harmonise and to generally explore what it means to connect again
through music. This just reinforces how necessary it is for young people to have a
home away from home, without pressure or expectation.

 

As we approach the end of module one, the growth from all of us, the facilitators
included, has been a warm, heartfelt experience. We have had a balance between
practicing the life skills that we will use in an interview or professional setting, and
looking more inward , exploring our creative interests. Along with this, we have had
regular communication in and outside of the sessions with Alex and Chia, which has
really helped build a trusting relationship with them. For the second module , we can
all take on a different role, inviting others and having a more mentoring role, to new
participants that join. Looking forward, we will work towards finding comfort in
creativity, wherever that may be and supporting each other. It has been a chance to
exhale and relax, in a stable facility which will only improve our confidence as we
move on to this exciting next chapter.

 

Written by W4M member Milli-Rose Rubin!

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