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Developing Talent with Culture Collective

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Last week I had the chance to join the Culture Collective in one of their weekly creative writing sessions held in the Southbank Centre.

Led by Nadia Gasper, the founder of Scribble Ink, and the Culture Collectives very own resident Story Consultant. Nadia gives 16-25 year olds the opportunity to explore their creative writing talents with hands-on help, exercises, and feedback. Nadia has previously worked as a script writer and consultant on other projects, but has recently found herself being drawn to helping others with developing their own stories, beyond just the script format. After finding a home with SE1 United, a local South East London youth agency, she helped to organise the Culture Collective.

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The Culture Collective has been running for about a year out of SE1 United and Southbank Centre. Their aim is for the members to collectively post to their online blog, enabling the members to keep a record of their progress, but to also hopefully publishing a book of their accumulated content later down the road too.

Since that initial aim, the group has expanded further by organising trips to museums, galleries, and even aboard. They also hope to further develop their media skills and explore other projects. The members say they would like to develop their writing and digital media skills for the blog.

Members of the Culture Collective come from different stages of education and a number creative backgrounds outside of creative writing – some are either currently studying A-Levels, Degrees, or working in the media industry themselves.

Could you explain the relationship between Southbank Centre, SE1 United and the Culture Collective? How did they come together?

Southbank Centre is not directly linked to SE1 United. SE1 United are an independent charity and Southbank Centre has given them a home (the violet Room), but their businesses are separate. The Culture Collective is a sub-group born from the larger SE1 United organisation. Scribble Ink has a relationship with both groups. I have developed and hosted workshops for SE1 United (as one off’s) but I host regular sessions (preset programmes) with the Culture Collective.

What do you hope young people get out of the Culture Collective? Do they have a goal you help set for them?
The Culture Collective is a fantastic initiative because it was established and is sustained by young people keen to develop their creative and new media skills. I hope that this fantastic group continue to expand on their entrepreneurial and creative abilities as this will certainly invaluable in confidence boosting and the development of essential life skills.

Part of the development process for the collective, is the continuous life-coaching and goal-setting that is provided as a natural extension of the creative writing sessions. We often establish the following things in our workshops:
What have we done?
How did we find the experience?
What can we do to make it even better next time?
What do we want to do next?
When do we want to do it by?
How will we get there?

What other areas can you help young people develop outside of creative writing? Why do you think creative writing in particular is helpful for young people?
Because I am business woman as well as a writer, I have had the privilege of supporting young people in the development of their entrepreneurial skills. Creative and entrepreneurial skills compliment each other and work so well together in the world we now live in. When both powers fuse together, they become very transferable, so I hope the lessons I provide lead to invaluable development and fantastic experiences which feed into education, employability and all round fun!

Is there anything you’re particularly proud of that the Culture Collective have achieved or been involved in since its founding?
I could name so many things! But right now…off the top of my head, I’d say that I’ve been amazed and inspired by the collectives passion for creativity and their keenness to channel their ambitions in such an innovative way.

Has there been any notable feedback from your members so far? Have they expressed ideas about any projects they would like to pursue through the Culture Collective?
I’m pleased to say the group are keen to write more, and I’m so glad that they’ve asked me to be a part of that!

The Culture Collective meets in the Southbank Centre’s Violet Room every Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm, and always happy to accept new members. Make sure to like them on facebook check out their blog entries for yourself. Be on the lookout for their upcoming projects later in 2014.

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