The Power of the Participatory Arts.
We are committed to the idea that the participatory arts have the power to transform people's lives for the better. We would like to see the arts playing a part at all levels of the Criminal Justice System.
Our work is concerned with personal and social change in pursuit of a more just and equitable society. We seek to achieve these changes by providing people with a means to gain more control over their lives through participation in high quality, participatory arts programmes.
Conscious of the magnitude of this mission and also the challenges that exist in evidencing it we seek to achieve smaller, more realisable goals that we can measure and observe in our day to day work. Our projects are underpinned by a theory of change that has grown out of our extensive experience of working with people within the criminal justice system. The model draws upon a range of sources including desistance literature, self-determination theory, the impact of wellbeing on life outcomes and the results of studies and evaluations of our work.
We seek to have a positive impact on family and social relationships, self-identity, literacy and oracy levels, and employment prospects. Our projects develop practical and social skills and provide participants with a challenge, offering people new perspectives and a changed focus. Our work with young people has a clear focus on progression and we aim to help them successfully re-enter mainstream education or training.
We strongly believe that involvement in well-designed participatory arts projects improve self-efficacy, impact positively on levels of self-agency and improve social and cultural capital.
Critically, we believe that engagement with the arts should be a fun and positive experience. While our sessions may be exploring serious and contentious personal and social issues, we always remember that play and laughter are essential to learning and creative practice.