To facilitate means to make something possible, easing the process of exploration and learning. The role of a community arts facilitator is an important one: to create an encouraging environment in which groups – regardless of background, age or experience – can make things happen together. Numerous factors, commonly time and space, can work against you, so maintaining control, focus and collaboration is crucial to the success and enjoyment of your project.
One key benefit of summer schools or extracurricular sessions is their potential to disrupt the hierarchies that prescribe the social world of an existing group, offering scope for alternative identities for participants. New friendships and possibilities abound, and a new leader with no existing knowledge of a student’s abilities or perceived limitations, can be liberating for all involved. Unlike an ordinary school curriculum, full of assessment criteria and targets, achievements will be more holistic, individualised and experiential. Whether you’ve a final performance to work towards or are compiling a toolbox of skills, experiences and knowledge for participants – exploration, group work and fun will be at the heart of your project.