Developing Creative Capacity

Transitions is a series of workshops, discussions and presentations for arts organisations, individual artists and people working with the communities of Calderdale.

Funded by the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Transitions will take place across the Calder Valley in 2018 and is designed to explore issues relevant to anyone working in the cultural sector. It will build on Landlines and Watermarks - our 2017 programme exploring the impact of the devastating floods of 2015.

Over the following months we will look at many different aspects of creativity in the Calder Valley including:

  • Cultural Diversity in Community Settings
  • The Dissident Artist (with Hebden Bridge Arts Festival)
  • Education and Learning in the Arts
  • Business Planning
  • Creative Leadership
  • Data Protection.

Many of the sessions will have invited speakers and all will have space for lively discussion, information sharing and informal networking over tea and biscuits. There will be regular opportunities to share thoughts, ideas and plans with others and at the end of the year there will be a bit of a shindig where we look back over 2018 and make plans for 2019.

In addition to the regular programme, there will also be opportunities for one-to-one capacity building and business planning sessions for local creative businesses and sole traders. Details to be announced in the near future.

Transitions sessions are free to all local groups, organisations and individuals.

Workshop information can be found below, alternatively contact Paula Horton: t: 07810 541907 or email

Booking is available online, alternatively please download the documents Transitions draft schedule ,Transitions Booking Form ,Transitions general information.


1. Reflections - tackling the tough stuff 27.03.18

Not everything in life is a bed of roses and working with communities isn’t all about celebration. How do we respond to difficult
questions, circumstances and events sensitively and appropriately in a creative community setting?

When: 27.03.18. Where: Cornerstone Room, Square Chapel, Halifax 9.15am - 12.30pm

Guest Speaker

Karenza McLarnon, Director and founder of Buddleia, Manchester and Freelance Producer, Manchester International Festival’s  2017 ‘What’s A City?’ Karenza will speak about how the bombing at Manchester Arena impacted on the MIF project  ‘What is a City?’ How is that archived and recorded? How do you reference the event in your creative project and how do you record and archive the temporary memorials and ephemera which spring up around an event such as the Manchester bombing?

Discussion Panel

Polly Thomas – Award winning producer and director,  Producer and Director of the film, ‘Shout’ – one of six commissions of the Landlines and Watermarks project 2017 in response to the 2015 Floods across the Calder Valley, which was screened in Hebden Bridge and at The People’s Fair in September/ October 2017, at the Piece Hall, Halifax.Polly works across BBC and community networks, comedy and straight drama.

Bryan Tweddle - Sculptor, designing and making for Theatre, Opera, Ballet, Street Performance, Television, Film, Animation, Educational Projects, Exhibition and Carnival. He is the Artistic Director of Nuit des Lampion in Luxembourg and the Festival of Light in Trier, Germany.  Bryan led the commissioned Fire and Water team from Sowerby Bridge who created the giant goose for the Landlines and Watermarks project which appeared at the Sowerby Bridge Rush Bearings and The People’s Fair as part of the opening programme for the newly refurbished Piece Hall, Halifax. 

Alison Duddle – a puppet and mask artist and director, Alison has worked with Handmade Parade, Thingumajig, Horse and Bamboo Theatre, she works both nationally and internationally. Alison directed the Todmorden commission ‘Grow with the Flow’ for Landlines and Watermarks.

2. Best Kept Secrets: What does the new General Data Protection Regulation mean for you? 18.04.18

The Data Protection Act is no more and in its place are regulations that protect personal privacy with rigour. Anyone who keeps data on individuals – audiences, participants, general contacts – needs to know how to stay compliant without getting lost in a procedural nightmare of their own making.

When: 18.04.18. Where: Central Methodist Church, Commercial Street, Brighouse,HD6 1AQ

Speaker - William Chadwick

William truly “walks the equality and diversity talk and all its related subjects”.

Prior to becoming a freelance trainer, he was for nearly 20 years the UK Head of Personnel and Training for the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). And before that promotion he was one of the EOC’s Tribunal and County Court Officers helping to represent people taking discrimination claims from both an employment and service delivery perspective. And he provided an advisory service to employers in the private, public and not for profit sectors.

3. Are We There Yet? Creative Diversity in the Calder Valley 17.05.18

What assumptions do we make about the people and communities we work with and do we ever challenge ourselves? What is
the Arts Council’s Creative Case? Who have we been ignoring and has it limited our creativity as artists? The Calder Valley is
made up of many different communities and they do not all have equality of access to cultural opportunity.

When: 17.05.18. Where: Halifax venue tbc

4. Pitch Perfect. What are your individual and company skills and how can they be shared? 18.06.18

Do you have great ideas for projects that you need the support of others to realise? Creative Time Banks – how do they work and do we want one in Calderdale? To include a session on social media.

When: 18.06.18. Where: Elland venue tbc

5. Taking a Stand: The Dissident Artist and Creative Conformity

Throughout history artists have challenged social norms and assumptions. Not so long ago Ai Wei Wei was imprisoned because
of his art. Today the Belarus Free Theatre has been exiled to London, unable to work in its home country. In India, Iran, China
and countless other countries artists make work as an act of defiance. Have the arts in the UK become too close to the
establishment? Has it normalised what we do? Has creativity become too comfortable? Is dissent on the decline? Who is
challenging the accepted world-view and what do they have to say?

When: TBA Where: Hebden Bridge Town Hall, Hebden Bridge (With Hebden Bridge Arts Festival)

6. The Dog Ate My Homework – Arts and Imagination in the Education Sector 19.09.18

The unrelenting focus on core STEM subjects has squeezed arts out of the curriculum. How do we keep open the talent pipeline
that starts in infant schools and ends (for some) with paid employment in the arts? How do arts organisations provide creative
experiences for young people and what kind of relationships can be developed with schools, colleges and universities today?

When: 19.09.18. Where: Mytholmroyd venue tbc

7. Over The Rainbow: how to build a business plan that works 18.10.18

Love them or hate them, business plans are here to stay. And believe it or not, they can be useful. A good business plan allows
an organisation to explain what it does, to set achievable goals and look beyond today’s problems. Sensible planning can go a
long way, and provide a framework for making the great art we want to make.

When: 18.10.18. Where: Sowerby Bridge venue tbc

8. Leading From the Front: ‘excellence in leadership is not defined by personality type, but by values and behaviour’ 16.11.18

The Calder Valley has a great richness of creative and cultural talent. How can we demonstrate regional leadership? Is it about
people or place? Do small towns and villages have to dance to the metropolitan tunes of Manchester and Leeds or can we do
things differently enough so that people stand up and take notice?

When: 16.11.18. Where: Todmorden venue tbc

9. Cheese On Sticks. Convivial Collaboration at the end of the year 11.12.18

A roundup of where we are, what we have achieved in the last 12 months, a Pecha Kucha and a celebration!

When: 11.12.18. Where: Halifax venue tbc

 Booking Form

5 + 12 =