Professional Development

Community out of bounds

Led by artist Jonathan Baxter and supported by Aberdeencity Creative Learning team the Community Out of Bounds programme explored different approaches to artists working collaboratively across community contexts.  CUSP members contributed to the programme with two workshops.  Chris Aldred led an evening workshop Exploring the idea of community...

'We took various approaches to this in our evening session, trying to incorporate arts-based approaches to our collaborative enquiry:

Some drama to start with – participants introduced themselves in a circle around the room.  Each person mimed a community they were part of.  We used a memory game approach to add each person to the mime, extending it around the room.

Then some artwork – each participant drew a community they were familiar with as a vegetable and then discussed their vegetables in small teams, producing a collective exhibit and giving it a title before exhibiting it in the whole group’s Flower Show. 

Then an imagination and writing exercise – we listed all the features we might include if we met an alien who found the idea of community puzzling and wanted to know how to recognise one. We came up with big lists of features!

Then back to artwork – two teams were asked to produce a collage or artwork presenting a view of ‘art(s) in the community’ and the other two teams produced artworks on ‘community/ies in art.’

Each of these ideas generated lively discussion as they progressed. '                                      

The programme concluded with a workshop on Theatre of the Oppressed, facilitated by Aileen Ackland.    

Arts-based research

Following attendance at an Aberdeen City Arts Education event, Dr Donald Gray and Dr Aileen Ackland were fortunate to be offered the opportunity to work with the artist Sarah Wakeford to organise  a workshop focussing on Arts-Based Research. 

                                     Students hard at work 
To find out more about the day visit the webpage You can view the presentation by Dr Donald Gray on Arts based research methods.


North Alliance Conference October 2015

Aileen Ackland and Chris Aldred also offered workshops at the North Alliance conference.  Aileen's workshop provided an introduction to participatory drama:

Theatre of the Oppressed workshop Norh Alliance conferebce 2015

Chris explored values in community work:  

This session looked at the usefulness and limitations of holding explicit values in CLD work. What do they help with, what do they leave out, when do we remember them and what makes us forget or subvert values we actually hold dear? What conflicts arise when we try to live by our own personal and professional values, and how do we resolve or live with these?      


See the full report of the North Alliance conference                                          

 Values workshop North Alliance conference 2015   

performing partnership

In autumn 2015, Aileen was funded by the North Alliance to work with Orkney CLD partnership.  An active workshop, entitled, A forum for self-evaluation: performing partnership, drew on techniques from forum and image theatre to explore the challenges and benefits of joint planning.   

The Changing Picture of Community Learning & Development

CPD that was commissioned by the Tayside Consortium of local authorities on ‘The Changing Picture of CLD' is being uploaded on   i-develop  - the website of the CLD Standards Council.  This includes videos of sessions delivered by Professor Karen McArdle along with other members of CUSP to participants with a CLD background to update them with recent changes in policy, theory and practice.