February 2021 marks the ten year anniversary of the publication of the final research report of Inspiring Change; a year-long pilot project that ran in five Scottish prisons in 2010 that was designed and delivered through a partnership between Motherwell College (now New College Lanarkshire), the Scottish Prison Service, National Galleries of Scotland, Citizens Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Scottish Opera, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble and the National Youth Choir of Scotland.
The project was innovative for its time; it took years to plan (led by the resilient Kirsten Sams, Motherwell College) and involved over 200 people in custody as participants, 15 senior prison staff, 10 Learning Centre staff and 22 project leaders from partner arts organisations.
The final report was a collection of the material gathered and analyzed by the Research Team made up of an interdisciplinary group of academics from the Universities of Edinburgh (Univeristy affiliants indicate location at the time of the 2011 report publication), Kirstin Anderson (Music), Sarah Colvin (European Languages and Cultures), Katie Overy (Music), Richard Sparks (PI) (Law/Criminology) and Lyn Tett (Education); Glasgow, Fergus McNeill (Social Work/Criminology), and Strathclyde Mike Nellis (Social Work/Community Justice). The publication of the Inspiring Change report was followed by an energised recognition of research in this field and funding to support artists in developing their practice with people in custody.
Justice and Arts Scotland is organising a series of conversations in 2021 to reflect on this point in time in Scotland, take stock of where we are now in our practice and communities, and to imagine what we want the next ten years could look like in this sector for Scotland.
The first of these conversations will take place on the 25th May between 10-12. This Conversation will take place on Zoom & tickets can be ordered on Eventbrite: CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
We welcome all participants, partners, artists and prison staff who took part in the Inspiring Change project, and people who worked in the sector at the time, to share their memories and experiences with us, and to help develop the kinds of conversations we want to have as a community.
Please note, this series of conversations is a work in progress. We are eager to hear from the community about what kinds of topics you want to discuss in relation to this project and the current arts and justice sector in Scotland