Collaboration begins when we learn together

October 5, 2016

Inspired by the exceptional work already being done in East London, our Collaborative Learning programme, led by people make it work, brings cultural leaders together to share, develop and apply new ideas, practical skills and innovative approaches to enhance collaborative working.

We spoke to 30 cultural organisations from across East London and built this programme in response to what people really want — stream-lined, digestible learning and strategic, thoughtful support to nurture meaningful collaborative practice together.”  Richard Watts, people make it work

Since launching in April 2016, over 60 cultural leaders have taken part in monthly sessions exploring topics including;

  • Empowering Youth Voice in collaborative practice / Sound Connections
  • The Choreography of Collaboration / Studio Wayne McGregor
  • Learning through Innovation / Redbridge Drama Centre
  • Digital Evolution / Therein Digital Strategists
  • Developing Shared Vision and Commitment / Theatre Royal Stratford East
  • Trends and opportunities in cultural education sector funding / Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Cause 4
  • Supporting Schools on the Artsmark Journey / Arts Council England and A New Direction 
  • Measuring Impact in the the Arts / Cultrue Case and Nesta 

Read top tips from our sessions on Measuring Impact in the arts and Supporting Schools on the Artsmark Journey.

Collaboration and partnership working have become cornerstones of professional practice and new leadership models in Cultural Education as with so many sectors. Demonstrating capacity to do more with less and to manage partnerships effectively is a widely accepted indicator of organisational strength and resilience in the eyes of Arts Council and beyond.

In this context, our Collaborative Learning Programme is supporting culture sector professionals to evolve and strengthen collaborative practice through structured professional learning, dialogue and experimentation.

The curriculum is rooted in practical skills-development around partnership and collaboration. Access to insights and intelligence from peers (both members and non-members), case studies, data, research, tools and practical resources will ensure that learning is concrete, up to the moment and transferable. One annual subscription will entitle your entire organisation to access programme events, network activity and resources making it an exceptional value for money proposition.

Demonstrating effective partnership practice within organisational planning and delivery is now a key eligibility criteria for major funding streams including the Arts Council’s National Portfolio. As a member of Creative Schools, you will form part of a national strategic consortia initiative around Cultural Education positioning your organisation at the leading edge of collaborative innovation and partnership.

The programme brings together a community of outward looking leaders committed to going beyond their comfort zone to engage in meaningful mutual enquiry and to develop new ways of working strategically with each other and with schools from East London.

I’m excited that we’re all coming together to create this exceptional professional development opportunity, and can’t wait to get stuck in to some, inspiring, challenging and practical learning with my fellow East London Cultural Leaders…” Louise Dennison, Serious

Find out more about how we are working with Cultural Organisations or get in touch with us at


Image credit: Ollie Harrop, Creative Schools launch