Earthen Lamp Summer Snapshot
We’re already halfway through the year and it’s been a busy six months at Earthen Lamp. Here is a round-up of the story so far in 2023, highlighting just a few of the exciting things we’ve been working on.
We have a varied portfolio of ongoing work. Some key themes emerging this year include cultural voice of children and young people, heritage-based projects, and support for professional development in varied cultural settings.
Exploring Cultural Voice of Children and Young People
This year, we have been working with three different Local Cultural Education Partnerships (LCEPs) across the country. These include Spark (Wakefield), Shout Out For The Arts (Warwickshire), the first youth-led LCEP in the country, and Coventry Music, one of the partner organisations in the Coventry LCEP.
LCEPs support access to culture and arts education among children and young people through the development of local networks. A group of partner organisations unite to provide a ‘joined up’ cultural offer, enabling young people to more effectively fulfil their creative potential and access high-quality cultural experiences. Working with these different LCEPs concurrently to evaluate their impact is a great opportunity for us to understand practices, identify learnings and hopefully share insights with the sector. You can read more about LCEPs here.
Complementing our work with LCEPs is our current project with Powered by CAN, who support children, young people and young adults across the Black Country and wider Midlands region to realise their potential, offering a range of free-to-access programmes and projects. We are developing impact case studies to celebrate the organisation’s 10th anniversary. The case studies will be both reflective and future facing; recounting their journey and considering how they have learnt and grown. You can read more about Powered by CAN’s projects here.
In 2023 we are working on evaluations of two National Heritage Lottery Fund (NHLF) funded projects. Firstly, the Chamberlain Highbury Trust, which aims to engage people of all ages with the historic Highbury house and estate in Birmingham, providing a varied array of activities. Secondly, we have worked with True Form Projects, which curates fascinating community-led archives of artefacts and oral histories, particularly focusing on South Asian diasporic communities.
These projects build on our continued interest in history and heritage, having worked last year with Birmingham Libraries and Sampad’s unique project “From City of Empire to City of Diversity” which explored Commonwealth migration to Birmingham and Derby University and The Postal Museums project Addressing Health which explored the health of Edwardian and Victorian Postal Workers.
Our keen interest in heritage also extends beyond active projects and you can read about our visit to the newly restored Charterhouse in Coventry, a historic site dating back to 1381.
Supporting Professional Development
Another important strand of our work is supporting professional development in the sector. We have helped organisations develop effective frameworks for training, reflective learning and data collection.
Highlights have included our evaluations of professional development programmes at Centrala and Birmingham REP’s new iteration of ‘Foundry’ . We have been training the team at mac as they embark on a vital audience research initiative aiming to better understand who they are currently engaging with. We are also working with East Street Arts on their organisational data collection mechanisms and reporting frameworks.
As we reach the heart of summer, we will be working with an exciting array of annual cultural festivals including Birmingham Mela (22nd – 23rd July) Art in the Park (5th-6th August 2023) and Full Shebang (2nd September 2023). We are also delighted to be working with the National Trust this summer on an exciting visitor study across the country – look out for more on this very soon.
See you again at the end of the year for our next round-up! Keep up to date with everything happening at Earthen Lamp by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn.