At a-n’s Collaborate Creatively event, artists gathered in Nottingham city centre to consider issues of collaboration. Through adopting the perspectives of politicians, shopkeepers, community workers and project managers, participants discussed key issues for working collaboratively.

Inspired by presentations from artists Alison Kershaw, Rosalie Schweiker and Donald Urquhart, through acting as others, we considered the multiple agendas surrounding a fictional art commission.

As a ‘politician’, I tabled my ambitions shaped by national policy as being: economic development, community cohesion and good design. My new colleagues outlined their party politics and desire for re-election! Shopkeepers debated the benefit of change; project managers talked of Gantt charts and being on budget; and community workers of facilitation and participation in decision making.

Tabling our individual perspectives, the role play supported us to think holistically around our collective concerns. Moving beyond stereotypes, the conversation also met the individuals behind their titles. We talked of how relationships (as collaborations) are made through common interests and shared values.

We didn’t agree on the project, but the experiential learning of acting out the fiction certainly illuminated the need for accounting for multiple perspectives.

Facilitated by Chris Freemantle, author of Reflections on Collaboration, Collaborate Creatively was programmed by a-n as part of the WEYA festival, Nottingham.

a-n is seeking partners in delivering the Collaborate Creatively series. Contact us to discuss: [email protected]