Create Sheffield has launched a programme to bring together educators, artists and cultural professionals to consider how arts and cultural experiences can support a road to recovery within school settings following the pandemic.

From 4th – 22nd October, the Why Creativity Matters NOW  series of events will be hosted by Create Sheffield, the city’s Cultural Education Partnership, and will be part of the Learn Sheffield Autumn Online Festival.

The programme of 13 online workshops is free and open now for people working in Sheffield schools, educational settings and arts and cultural organisations.

Why Creativity Matters NOW conversations are led by Create Sheffield’s staff team, including newly appointed freelance creative education producers Jenny Coats, head of school at Beck Primary School, together with her colleagues Becky Stroud and Amy Willoughby.

The events aim to introduce, inspire and connect up Sheffield’s education colleagues with Create Sheffield’s 57 arts and cultural partners so that they can:

  • Understand why a focus on arts and creativity is so vital now, in a road to recovery following the pandemic and discuss where arts & creative opportunities can fit in school priorities.
  • Learn about what is happening in schools right now and about the range of creative opportunities on offer in Sheffield.
  • Connect with each other, and be inspired by creative case studies from schools and other arts & cultural organisations.
  • Connect with each other and learn how to make future connections successful.
  • Inform Create Sheffield’s cultural and creative education strategy going forward.

Create Sheffield had intended to kick-start these conversations with schools throughout April and May 2020, but COVID-19 restriction delayed the events.  Since that point, the team at Create Sheffield say after months of disruption to schooling and online learning for many, there is now ever more pressure on schools to ‘catch up’ and fill in gaps in learning.

This in turn has the potential to alter the possible routes into schools for arts and cultural partners and limit the opportunities that children and young people are getting through schools, both to be audiences and also participants in arts and cultural projects.

Jenny Coats said: “Over the pandemic many of us in schools have found that providing children with creative opportunities has supported their well-being. It has also helped to motivate and encourage them to return to the challenge of learning.

“As we plan for recovery and catch-up it is therefore extremely important that we continue to plan for creativity. I’m really excited to learn more about the range of creative organisations working in Sheffield and how we can work with them in schools.”

Find out more: