TOOLBOX: A series of Labs for Producers
At 101 Outdoor Arts and online
Toolbox is organised in association with Arts Agenda, a production and coaching practice led by Bettina Linstrum.
Toolbox is our leadership and development programme for producers working outdoors and in public spaces.
101 has run two Toolbox labs for producers - in autumn 2019 with 11 participants, and online, in spring 2021 with 19 participants. Both groups were invited to a residential Toolbox at 101 in November 2021, to consolidate the learning for these two cohorts.
Toolbox was set up to address a lack of opportunities for producers to develop their skills, to network and support each other.
It was opportunity for producers to take dedicated time to invest in their self-development surrounded by other producers and expert leaders.
Both labs contained a mix of general leadership sessions, and more practical sessions, e.g. on pitching or on challenges for outdoor producers.
This was the initial invitation to producers.
Over the period of the course you will:
- Explore the role of the producer in relation to your own personal experience and that of others.
- Discover new leadership and coaching techniques to support you in recognizing your own areas for development and to enable you to support others in the same way.
- Reflect on how we can continue to support creativity, work safely in light of a global pandemic and build towards the future
- Gain inspiration and insight from guest speakers with their own expertise and perspective on the work we do and the role of leadership in the arts
- Take part in action learning and peer discussion to examine and address the issues you face in your professional life
"Creative Producers are like a Swiss army knife, with different tools & skills available, depending on the task at hand. There is no clear pathway to becoming a producer, which makes it exciting, because it’s self-determined and can be lonely and exhausting. Toolbox is a space where creative producers can reflect on their practice and continual challenges, and rekindle their passion and creativity. We develop their leadership skills and sharpen their awareness of self and their boundaries in career and life. The residential experience and Action Learning sets make for strong bonding which create a long legacy of professional support.”
Participants worked together on creative team activities – or developing individual skills like pitching.
Participants also undertook a practical, creative task, creating a pyro display. Specialist speakers and facilitators were brought in but there were also opportunities for networking through more informal breakout sessions.
Following the first lab, an action learning set was created. One participant credited this connection with helping her to decide to continue working in the arts. Two participants set up follow up networking after the second lab.