ArtsUnboxed from Greenwich Dance is a new online platform where schools, organizations, and art enthusiasts can purchase fully devised participation projects that introduce young people and local communities to dance, art, and creativity.
On the platform sits six different boxes, each containing a ‘recipe’ of sorts, including a participation project, that can be delivered in schools for different ages and abilities. As these can be experienced anywhere, it is a new and sustainable way of sharing projects and ideas. These boxes mean that artists can connect with their local schools through a carefully devised and tested framework, introducing young people to the transformative powers of dance and art.
In this blog, we will be sharing two of the boxes and how they can work in a school or youth club setting.
Unboxing Hopes & Dreams
Our first box is called Hopes & Dreams and is devised by Grounded Movement. Hopes & Dreams offers a framework of ideas, tasks and resources for creating a bespoke show with and for young people. It aims to promote arts and culture to young people through recognizing their own self-esteem, having access to expressing themselves, as well as hearing other’s perspectives and seeing everyone else's uniqueness. There are many ways to respond to the brief of Hopes & Dreams – it can be through painting, movement, rapping or expressive writing.
“The session helped to develop my confidence in creating new movement, which is something I have always found difficult. It has helped me to understand more about the choreographic process.” Student using Hopes & Dreams box
Hopes & Dreams also offers CPD for teachers by presenting new approaches and tools for learning who their students are – all through a range of art forms. Hopes & Dreams helps young people develop their creativity and their creative thinking: as defined by the Durham Commission's definition of creativity - it helps them develop their capacity to imagine, conceive, express, and make something that was not there before. This framework also helps teachers develop their creative pedagogy and practices, which can be applied to other subjects. The Durham Commission recognizes that creativity is vital for learning in all subjects and not just limited to subjects of art. The framework of Hopes & Dreams can be applied across the curriculum and is suitable for secondary schools and after-school clubs.
Unboxing Dance: Connects
Another of our boxes is called Dance: Connects, and is devised by Joss Arnott Dance. This box helps develop creativity through learning in a digital space, as part of the recommendations from the Durham Commission. For those who are looking for a choreographic framework that can be adapted to suit needs and abilities – this is a wonderfully creative concept with a focus on movement and connection.
Dance:Connects can be explored in a studio setting as well as at home, and is suitable for disabled and non-disabled participants. The resources available come in a range of formats, teaching warm-up exercises, dance techniques, choreography, and creative tasks. Then it’s up to the teacher or facilitator and their participants to put their own stamp on the piece and to create their very own Dance:Connects performance piece.
“A fantastic session that all of the students thoroughly enjoyed. The creative writing tasks worked extremely well alongside our current unit of work. Choreography is an area our students particularly struggle with but the workshop has given them a bank of tasks that they can use to encourage new movement and exploring movement in a new way.” Teacher using ArtsUnboxed
The idea is to share and connect your piece with the world – as a live performance, as a dance film, as a flash mob, or as a pop-up performance in your local community. Dance:Connects offers the opportunity to engage creatively with digital technology and offers students an introduction to learning dance in a digital space and nurtures their creative thinking. Dance:Connects can be explored in a studio setting as well as digitally, and it is suitable for all ages from KS2 and up.
Bringing creativity into classrooms across the country
Arts Unboxed can be explored anywhere! Although we are based in South East London, you can experience all of our boxes, which include a fully devised participation project, wherever you are, and in whatever setting. Schools can also work with local artists to deliver it, allowing new connections between artists and cultural partners in your communities.
ArtsUnboxed came from the need to do things differently, to offer artists a way for their work to live longer, and to be experienced in a different way. If a school or an organisation purchases a box, the original creator will receive royalties, allowing them to continue to develop and create more jobs in the wider cultural sector locally.
So, why not bring creativity into your classroom with Arts Unboxed and see what you will discover?