Forever Curious, brilliantly bonkers as always

Last Friday morning a group of Forever Curious kids from Newport primary school visited W+K. They were here to take part in the pilot workshop for the third instalment of Forever Curious – ‘My Creative Future’.

The idea behind My Creative Future is to get everyone thinking about their creative past, present and most importantly future. These thoughts are then manifested in vibrantly decorated cards.

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Our volunteers eagerly awaited the children’s arrival and when they appeared; both sides were greeted with pleased enthusiastic faces. We gathered in a circle and remembered the fun we had at the workshops and exhibition in the summer.

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After some warm up games the kids and their buddies gathered around a table that was full of various postcards. Everyone had to pick three postcards from the selection on the table. One that in some way made them think of their past, present and future.

These postcards were then used to inspire the making of artwork at three different creative stations on larger cards.  The stations were themed, Black and White, Fluorescent and Primary Colours.

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After much cutting, sticking, painting and drawing some dazzling work was made. The themes were individual and varied; from “clumsiness” to “tidal waves” from their past.  One child showed how music made them feel inspired in their present. Their chosen future professions inspired some of the creative future cards – doctors, policeman and teachers to name a few while others showed how they wanted to continue learning creativity from role models like mothers in their future.

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After everyone had a chance to say a word about their cards we sat in a circle and said our heartfelt goodbyes.  We all had a magnificent morning and the volunteers from the agency were blown away as always, by the creativity of the children.

Forever Curious: A Great, Arty Day

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We recently ran the second of our Forever Curious 'My Creative Story' workshops at Chats Palace in Clapton with a brilliant bunch of kids from Millfields Community School. The W+K adults (or rather, big kids) in the group had just as much fun as the kids did. It was an absolutely wonderful day, and we loved getting stuck into some hands-on storytelling; we came away totally awe-struck and inspired by the kids and we can't wait to do it again. 

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One of the Millfields children we had the pleasure of spending the day with wrote us an account of her experience. Take it away, Ivy… 

I came to a big room with a big circle of about thirty or forty adults. We were told to write three words to explain what we felt like. Some people wrote things like brave, curious, excited and scared. Then we had to walk around and pretend to be strange things like giants and witches. Then we found a buddy, who was an adult. Me and my partner had to choose between painting inside out characters, acting our stories out, making dens and puppets. We chose to build dens. We made a lovely den out of two pink pieces of material and told stories in our dens. I then made some puppets from the story I made up earlier, and me and my buddy put on a show.

I worked with a lady called Amy and she was very nice. We did everything together and she let me choose what to do. I felt very happy that we worked well in a team. It was a great experience and I'd love to do it again. 

It made me feel a mixture of different things like curious, excited and brave. I liked it because it's like when you're reading a book and anything can happen. I also liked it because I felt like I was in a story. 

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Forever Curious: Magical Morning Mayhem, Vol. 1

W+Ker Ellie has been getting properly stuck in to our Forever Curious project, helping out with this year's brilliantly hands-on workshop. She wrote us a story about our latest FC day which, fittingly, was all about telling stories:

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Magical morning mayhem. That's the title I gave the morning I spent being ‘Forever Curious.' Let me explain….

I’m still a bit of a newbie to W+K, but one thing I have heard mentioned since day one is ‘Forever Curious.’ Being a curious soul, I was intrigued to learn more. I found out it involved helping children and being creative, so I took the leap into the unknown and signed up.

On Friday 27th March, I found myself at Chats Palace in Clapton at 9am. The workshop was called ‘My Creative Story’ and we were joined by 16 children from Newport school in Leyton, aged 8-10. I didn’t know what to expect, slightly fearful of having to stand up in front of everyone and make a fool of myself.

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We were paired off, one adult working with one child, although I was fortunate enough to be paired with two boys. They were brilliant.

The idea behind ‘My Creative Story’ is for children and adults to use our imaginations and create our own stories. We were each given a sheet of paper prompting us to describe a character, what happens, what prevents them from achieving what they want, etc. This became the outline of our story. 

From our story outlines, we could develop the story in more detail. There were four activities on offer, with each adult/child combo completing two activities. The activities were Puppet Corner, My Story Den, Act it Out and Inside Out. My team completed My Story Den and Inside out. 

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W+Ker Ellie has been getting properly stuck in to our Forever Curious project, helping out with this year's brilliantly hands-on workshop. She wrote us a story about our latest FC day which, fittingly, was all about telling stories:

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Magical morning mayhem. That's the title I gave the morning I spent being ‘Forever Curious.' Let me explain….

I’m still a bit of a newbie to W+K, but one thing I have heard mentioned since day one is ‘Forever Curious.’ Being a curious soul, I was intrigued to learn more. I found out it involved helping children and being creative, so I took the leap into the unknown and signed up.

On Friday 27th March, I found myself at Chats Palace in Clapton at 9am. The workshop was called ‘My Creative Story’ and we were joined by 16 children from Newport school in Leyton, aged 8-10. I didn’t know what to expect, slightly fearful of having to stand up in front of everyone and make a fool of myself.

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We were paired off, one adult working with one child, although I was fortunate enough to be paired with two boys. They were brilliant.

The idea behind ‘My Creative Story’ is for children and adults to use our imaginations and create our own stories. We were each given a sheet of paper prompting us to describe a character, what happens, what prevents them from achieving what they want, etc. This became the outline of our story. 

From our story outlines, we could develop the story in more detail. There were four activities on offer, with each adult/child combo completing two activities. The activities were Puppet Corner, My Story Den, Act it Out and Inside Out. My team completed My Story Den and Inside out. 

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My Story Den was a great experience. We built dens! Yes, proper, hidey–hole type dens… I can’t really remember the last time I made a den, but I’m sure it was a very long time ago. We had chairs, tables,  coloured cloths and decorations to play with. So, after some careful consideration from my boys, a masterpiece was created; we even had a carpet in the den and electricity (a torch that one of the boys taped to the underside of a table). They had thought of everything. I added a few ribbons and banners, but they did the hard work and were quick about it. We got to sit in our dens in relative peace and start padding out our stories before visiting other dens and welcoming others to ours, reading each other stories.

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There was a general feeling of excitement by the time we got to our snack break. Most children were coming out of their shells and starting to feel comfortable around the adults. My buddies accepted me pretty quickly and the three of us got on well as a team.

After the break, teams were assigned our next activities. Ours was Inside Out. We were armed with a HUGE sheet of paper (slightly bigger than a 10 year old child), on which the child would lie down and be drawn round. This became the main character from their story. Their challenge was to show what their character looked like, on the inside. Lots of painting, sticking, cutting out and general creativity followed. The children seemed to love it.

It was great fun, and even though my team had two pictures to complete, we managed it (with a little bit of extra help). The pictures we created were instantly hung up, which was a real winner as the children could see each others' work on display. I must admit, I felt pretty proud of our handy work too.

The morning was drawing to an end, and we were called to the floor to sit in a circle for some reflective time. We were given post-it notes on which to write three separate words to describe how we felt about our morning together. ‘Creative,’ ‘fun,’ ‘happy’ and ‘exciting’ came up, amongst many other positive ones.

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We were then given one long piece of paper where we had to sum up the morning in a story title. I think the children were slightly better at this than the adults, mainly because they said what they felt. Speaking for myself, but I hope other adults felt the same, I felt like I had to come up with something amazing, creative, awe-inspiring or funny. Inside I was thinking, ‘well that was a fun morning, beats working in the office hands down,’ (sorry Neil!) but that’s not what I wrote – though I stand by what I did write. It was a magical morning, watching children change from being slightly shy, to coming out of their shells, to basically treating you like they've known you forever. Being able to glance into a child's creative thinking is fascinating. Being boring old adults, we sometimes lose our ability to just let ourselves go. I used the word mayhem in my title; it wasn’t really mayhem, it was just busy and fun and, to be fair, in the words of some of the children ‘the best morning ever.’

In a few months' time, we will all get together again for a showcase of all the work created between the wonderful children and the W+K volunteers, in an exhibition near our offices. Personally, I can’t wait to go along, see the children again and remind myself of the work we created together. I hope there will be a Vol 2 to my story, but for now this story is….

 ……to be continued.

 Ellie, aged 9 and a half (well, for a morning, at least).

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Forever Curious – My Creative Story

We are very pleased to say that Forever Curious is back for its second year!

Forever Curious is an agency initiative, where we work with young people in our local community to nurture their creativity. To us, it is just as important to learn from others during the activities as sharing our skills.

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Last year, we focused on a project called My Creative Spark. Our creative spark cards helped capture and share the moment when people feel most creative and when inspiration strikes.

This year, we’ve evolved the idea with our new project, My Creative Story. Stories are at the heart of creativity. By reading stories aloud or bringing them to life, we can create images and ideas in the minds of the listeners too. Stories allow us to be seen and heard creatively. Stories encourage people to unite and share. Stories are universal. Stories transcend age, race, religion and position.

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So last Friday, volunteers from the agency were reunited with the schoolchildren from Milllfields Community School and Newport Primary School they worked with last year. We also welcomed some new helpers from W+K.

First, we warmed up our brains with some unusual and exciting icebreaker games. We played quick-fire story telling rounds and had a great time pretending to be characters from our favourite stories.

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Once our brains were feeling pumped and ready for some creativity we were each given a specially designed creative story card, pre-loaded with prompts and space to get creative. We all had a great time filling in the boxes with writing, pictures and doodles as we built our stories. It was inspiring to hear everyone’s creative stories and the titles they chose, as both children and adults read aloud to the whole group.

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We have a lot more planned for My Creative Story, with two more interactive workshops coming up, and an exhibition filled with all the wonderful work that builds up from My Creative Story.

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W+K Forever Curious ‘My Creative Spark’ Exhibition

Monday saw a day of celebration for our Forever Curious project. Following an inspiring series of 'my creative spark' card creation sessions and spark card workshops with pupils from Millfelds and Newport primary schools, we held an exhibition of the work we've been creating together over the past couple of months, at The Rag Factory, just off Brick Lane.
 
The photos that follow were taken by our talented WracK Edit Assistant, Lainey Richardson.
 
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Our buddies and their teachers joined us in the afternoon to check out their very own private view of the exhibition. We all sat down to share our stories of creativity after exploring installations of spark cards, robots and super hero drawings created by the kids and W+Kers, as well as photographs documenting the workshop day. The schools were also treated to a special screening of a short film we created to capture a day bursting with creativity, naturally accompanied by some popcorn to really set the cinema scene. 
 
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At the end of each session, the participating children were given an official certificate celebrating their "sparkiness" and a scrapbook to help keep those creative sparks burning brightly.
 
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We loved having the chance to spend some time with our buddies again and see the exhibition through their eyes. 
 
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The feedback we received from pupils and adults alike was a testament to the incredible thought, energy, care and passion that the Forever Curious team have dedicated in to the project over the past month.
 
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We'll leave you with the delightful manifesto that accompanied the exhibition, crafted by Creative Directors Dan and Ray. 
 
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Forever Curious Spark Card Workshops

On Friday, two groups of W+Kers reunited with schoolchildren from Milllfields Community School and Newport Primary School at Chats Palace, Homerton, for the next installment of our Forever Curious workshops.

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Over the course of two carefully crafted sessions inspired by some of our Spark Cards, kids teamed up with W+Kers to explore a series of workshops designed to encourage them to think creatively and let their imaginations run free. We created superhero versions of ourselves, played with parachutes, arranged flowers and created play dough sculptures. 

It’s safe to say we W+Kers were humbled by the talent, insights and enthusiasm of our young buddies, who schooled us in rainbow looming, 80s hip hop and YouTube bloggers, amongst many other things.

The sheer amount of creativity, fun and joy we all experienced is hard to capture in words, so here are a few pictures from the day.

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We’re really excited to see the results of our workshops come to life in an exhibition later this month. Watch this space!

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W+K Forever Curious – My Creative Spark

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As a creative business, fostering creativity in future generations is incredibly important to us, and we’re always looking for ways to finding meaningful ways to give back to our community. 

For us, staying curious is as much about learning from others as it is about sharing our own knowledge and skills. 

We’ve commissioned a special project, My Creative Spark, which is part of the W+K Forever Curious project, aiming to develop creativity with young people in our local community. 

My Creative Spark focuses on capturing and sharing creative spark moments, when inspiration strikes or when we feel at our most creative. 

To help open up this conversation about creativity amongst W+Kers and school kids alike, we designed cards which allow people to share their Creative Spark moments in a simple way. We distributed them within our agency and to the two schools we’ll be working with on the project: Millfields Community School in Hackney (whose adorable choir you may remember from our Christmas Chocolate Coin Factory installation) and Newport Primary School in Leyton. 

Here are a few examples: 

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We held our first sharing sessions last week, and we're already blown away by what we've seen. There's lot more planned for this project and we can't wait to get stuck in to our first round of workshops later this week, so stay tuned for much more from us.