As well as independent evaluations we also look for opportunities to undertake our own research projects which can support our learning and development as an organisation.

Artistic Director Sara Lee – Churchill Travelling Fellowship Report

Sara Lee Churchill report In February 2015 we were delighted to announce that our Artistic Director Sara Lee had been awarded a prestigious travel fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT). The travel fellowship was designed to allow people from all over the UK from a diverse range of backgrounds and interests to travel aboard to ‘gain fresh perspectives on their own field of interest and return with enhanced expertise, able to be more effective at work and in their contribution to the community.’

Sara started her travels in June 2015, taking in the West Coast of the US – you can read her blog from that first leg here – and continued in September 2015, taking in the East Coast – which you can read about here. For the third leg of her travels on October 2015, Sara headed over to Norway, which you can read about here.

Now that Sara has had time to reflect on her travels, she has completed her report about what she has learned from her travels and her recommendations for how what she has learned could be applied in the UK.

Read the full report here: Sara Lee WCMT report

Personal Development Manager – The Role of the Support Worker

The role of the support worker Hermione Jones, former Personal Development Manager at the Irene Taylor Trust, conducted an action research project on the role of the support worker in music projects for young people in challenging circumstances. In this report, Hermione investigates the importance of the Personal Development Manager role in the work of the Trust, and shares her findings from her research with other support workers in music, non-music, and non-arts settings. This action research was commissioned by Sound Connections as part of the Taking Off research project on what meaningful musical progression looks like for young Londoners facing challenging circumstances.

Read the report here: The Role of the Support Worker

RnD Lab

In October 2015 our wonderful project team spent two days together for our first ever RnD Lab. It was wonderful to have all of them in the same room at the same time (usually they work in teams of three, or in the case of our Musicians in Residence, on their own). The office team also had the chance join them to talk about our various roles and what happens ‘back stage’ in the office.

On the second day, the team got to put themselves in the position most of our participants are in on the first day of a project and try something totally new, with a contemporary dance class – working together in a new art-form, well out of the comfort zone! They all threw themselves into it with gusto.

The pilot RnD Lab provided an invaluable opportunity for the team to share their experiences and learnings, and to discuss challenges and possible solutions for the future. We hope to embed it as a regular ongoing part of our organisational development.

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