Cross-Sector Collaboration: Animating Communities in Change

Finding ways for business, government and nonprofits to work collaboratively in our community can be a challenge. Cross-sector collaboration is at the core of what Pillar Nonprofit Network was built on, believes in and works towards.

Pioneered in the UK by New Vic Borderlines and Keele University ‘cultural animation' is an exciting and new technique that helps bring communities together. It has been used to explore such issues as poverty, sustainability, aging and violence in the UK, Japan, Greece and Poland.

This is a rare opportunity for our community to learn about the 'cultural animation' technique and explore what the experience is like for all pillars of our community when we work together. How can we be more effective and efficient and work together to solve issues and make our community a better place?

This experiential workshop explores two questions:
1.What can we learn from communities in crisis?
Learn lessons from communities based in Stoke on Trent, UK and Minami Sanriku, Japan, highlighting their innovative responses to crisis and ambitions to re-build from within rather than waiting for outside help.

2. How do communities respond to socio-economic crises or natural disasters?
We will participate in a series of experiential exercises introducing participants to cultural animation techniques, invite them to define crisis in their own terms and find collective solutions through the use of animative processes.

The learning objectives are to:

  • Encourage empathy and connection amongst individuals around issues that may be sensitive for individuals and/or communities 
  • Stimulate active participation to collective problem solving 
  • Facilitate fresh thinking and the emergence of grassroots stories and perspectives

Target Audience:
Individuals from government, business and nonprofit sectors who want to explore collaboration.

About the Presenters:
Susan Moffat (New Vic Theatre, UK) is a Keele University Honorary Research Fellow and Founding Director of New Vic Borderlines, an outreach department of the New Vic Theatre. Her work with individuals and communities which exist on the borders of society is inspired by the social agenda and the belief that all individuals have the capacity to create dynamic and positive relationships and take on roles and responsibilities which enhance themselves and their communities. She has been acknowledged for her work through a number of national awards including a British Crime Concern Award for work on offending behaviour, and two Global Ethics Awards regionally and nationally for work done with young Muslim women and victims of racism. Her work on historiographies of the Holocaust resulted in her becoming a Fellow of the Imperial War Museum in Holocaust Education.

Professor Mihaela Kelemen (Keele University, UK): Her research is underpinned by a Pragmatist philosophy and a collaborative way of co-inquiry which taps into narrative methods, dramaturgical approaches, visual studies, organisational theories and community studies, and explores what is considered ‘actionable’ knowledge by communities and what makes knowledge relevant, useful and practical at their end. Her research has been disseminated, beyond books and articles, via audio-visual interactive installations displayed in the UK,Canada, Italy, and Japan and documentary interactive performances.

Learn more:
Connected Communities Festival: Animating Communities: A Three Dimensional Interactive Installation

Thank you to our 2015 Professional Development Sponsors:



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