Creative Cafes

What Happened

Creative Cafés are informal, high energy, student-led events that were delivered in partnership with Culture Shift for the Art at Work Programme. Young people, teachers and course leaders, and a range of creative industry professionals met to share creative ideas and stories about themselves that led to improved understanding, raised aspirations and new knowledge.

Like any good café, there was a menu from which young people could choose their activities with guidance and support from an expert facilitator. Activities included: Speed dating, Q&A or ‘hot-seating’, presentations from industry professionals, games and creative activities related to industry practice, opportunities for feedback/critique of young peoples’ creative work, and refreshments along the way.

With a focus on technology as part of Global Enterprise Week, the first Creative Cafe took place at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) who experimented with running two short Cafés back-to-back – a double espresso of creative careers inspiration enabling lots of students to take part in a Creative Café while minimizing disruption to the school timetable.

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The best bit was learning about different people and how they became successful – BACA Year 10 student

Creative professionals

  • Dan Lake, freelance production manager, specialising in outdoor events and large scale community projects
  • Alex Buckley, filmmaker, writer and producer for RoleMop Arts Ltd
  • Frankie Stew, performer and lyricist, and one half of FS&HG
  • James Casey, digital media practitioner and educator
  • Seb Brown, of Red Design brand design and innovation
  • Bec Britain, freelance arts manager and artist specialising in arts festivals, heritage learning projects and arts education
  • Anouk Emanuel, Creative Director and production designer with Emanuel Leggo
  • JP Omari, director of hip hop dance company Streetfunk
  • Bruce Dickenson, musician and music education specialist

Approximately 70 students attended the two short sessions, one from 8.30- 10am and the second from 10-30 – 12 noon.

Each Café started with a carousel of 5-minute Q & As, giving all students the chance to meet all 9 practitioners.

After this, pupils selected a practitioner, and took part in a 40 minute creative activity, and there was time at the end for everyone to present their work back to each other.