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The Art of Invitation

Creative tools to engage with the ecological, cultural and social challenges of our time.

The Art of Invitation

How can we bring people together to engage with the challenges facing our communities? How can we ask questions creatively to encourage meaningful dialogue? What skills, resources and capacities do people already have that can be built upon?

The Art of Invitation training offered new creative tools for change to equip artists, groups, communities and organisations to engage in the ecological, cultural and social challenges of our time.

The training was expertly led by Ruth Ben-Tovim former director and founder of Encounter Arts (UK).

What the participants learned

  • New approaches to engaging people in creative, collective responses to challenges facing their communities
  • Creative ways to activate and inspire people to participate
  • A participatory approach to facilitation, involving doing, making and reflecting, both individually and in groups
  • Creative approaches to bring groups of people together and maintain their involvement
“I always struggled with how my work could reflect or help issues around climate and ecology. Now I have the tools to do that.”
Feedback from our participants

About Ruth Ben-Tovim

Ruth worked for ten years as a theatre director and dramaturg before focusing their practice within a community context as a socially and ecologically engaged artist, facilitator and designer.

From 2003 – 2020, Ruth was the co-founder and Executive Director of Encounters Arts, specialising in creative community involvement and engagement. She produced and delivered over 80 participatory projects and interventions that invited people from all backgrounds to explore and express creatively their experiences of the past, responses to the present and hopes and fears about the future. With Encounters, Ruth was part of the team representing the UK at the Venice Biennale of Architecture and delivered projects for the Liverpool Capital of Culture, the Arts Council and the Royal Society of Arts. Currently, Ruth is one of the lead artists in Walking Forest, a ten-year public artwork connecting women, trees and activism.

Artists Lucy Neal and Anne-Marie Culhane, who delivered The Art of Invitation with Ruth, visited the workshops online to talk about their practice.

Anne-Marie Culhane

I create events, performances and long-term projects that invite people into active and enquiring relationships with each other, the land and earth’s natural systems framed within the context of a global climate and ecological emergency. I am an artist, activist, project manager and collaborator working across a range of disciplines. Visit Anne's website for more information.

Lucy Neal

I am a theatre maker and writer exploring celebratory events that act as catalysts for change: from the gifting of a small seed in a six-minute ritual to the staging of a theatre of fire for 20,000 in a London Park. I am co-founder and Director of the London International Festival of Theatre (1981-2005), and my handbook ‘Playing for Time – Making Art As If the World Mattered’maps collaborative arts practices emerging in response to planetary challenges. I am author of ‘The Great Imagining – how the arts spark cultural change in Zero Carbon Britain’s Making It Happen’ and a founder ‘declarer’ of Culture Declares, a global movement of artists and cultural organisations declaring a climate and ecological emergency. Find out more on Lucy's website.

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