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Action Learning Set invitation - application deadline

Your invitation to join an Action Learning set for people working in arts and culture in Gloucestershire (free of charge) in Summer 2016

Would you like to be part of an inspiring professional development network in Gloucestershire?

Would you benefit from structured space and time to develop your artistic ideas and solve current professional challenges?

  • Are you an independent artist, producer or manager with at least 5 years experience of working in the arts or cultural sector?
  • Are you involved or interested in socially engaged practice?
  • Are you currently based or wanting to locate yourself in Gloucestershire?

Then Action Learning could be for you!  It is also FREE to join! 

Who this is for: 

We are looking for up to 8 professionals who want to be part of a committed peer-led development group. You may be an independent artist, maker or producer. Or you may be employed in an arts/cultural organisation or a creative enterprise. You must have worked for around 5 years in the sector and be based in Gloucestershire or hope to be so in the near future. 

Participants in the pilot AL set CG ran last year developed problem-solving, listening, and management skills. Have a look at the blog and comments of some of the participants involved in the pilot Action Learning set (2015-16): 
‘The sessions have given me the confidence to move forward with my artistic practice..’ 
‘…extremely goal oriented, incredibly helpful in giving me the clarity and positivity I needed to move forward with my career.’
‘…networking, mutual support… tease out problems, opportunity to learn and develop listening skills’  
Create Gloucestershire AL participants, 2015-16

What is Action Learning? 

Action learning is an inspiring approach to professional development that offers a small group of peers a structured and reflective way to explore the issues they face. You can read more here:

 It can support you in your professional development by:

•  Helping you to step outside of your day-to-day pressures, enabling you to reflect and view your work from a fresh perspective.

•  Giving you the opportunity to develop ideas, see connections and hear about others’ experiences across the region.

•  Using active listening, questioning and sharing feedback, with the group challenging and supporting you to identify your own creative solutions to take away and act on.

•  Giving you an understanding of other practices, roles and organisations.

•  Helping you and/or your organisation to build networks and partnerships across different parts of the arts sector and beyond.

How will it work?

The action learning set will meet together for a full day, every 6-8 weeks between June 2016 and March 2017 (a total of six whole days initially). The first day in June will be an introductory day to action learning and to Joanna Ridout, our Learning Set facilitator, a UK expert in this field. Joanna will facilitate the rest of the 5 sessions with the aim that the set can be self-facilitating from April 2017 if participants wish it to.

How to apply - application download here

As we expect demand to be high, individuals will be selected by application but this is not an onerous process. We cannot guarantee a place for everyone who is interested – we will make judgments based on the right mix of people in a set and your ability to commit to the six sessions, including the introductory day. Set members will agree dates and locations for the following five set meetings at the introductory meeting in June 2016. We will expect participants to contract for attendance.


Applications open                                           Friday 13 April

Application deadline                                       Friday 13 May, noon

Successful applicants notified by email        by Wednesday 18 May  

Introductory day                                             Monday 20 or Tuesday 28 June

The set will then meet every 6-8 weeks during July 2015 to March 2017 for full weekday sessions, with dates and location agreed by the group in advance.


It is free to attend. Successful applicants will receive a fully-funded place in the Action Learning set, worth more than £600 of professional development, subsidised by CG and Arts Council England.

You or your organisation or company must cover any travel costs. As part of our access policy we have a small bursary fund for freelance artists who are not able to claim travel costs from an organisation and would find it difficult to fund travel costs themselves. Applications for a bursary will be judged on the basis of whether travel costs would prevent you participating, and any other access needs.

Our aims for the Action Learning Set and eventual network

CG wants to grow a pool of extraordinary and diverse artists and producers in Gloucestershire. This underpins our manifesto aims, which you can read about here:

CG is addressing this need through a combination of training, bespoke and peer support, aimed at sharing practice and learning. We think Action Learning sets are a great way to support artists and producers to grow and develop their practice and to make new connections and relationships with others working in the sector.  

Ready to apply?

Please submit your application by completing the attached form and send by email to: by Friday 13 May, noon.

Please note: if you work for an organisation, your line manager’s support is required on the form.


If you have any queries about this opportunity please contact Louise Bardgett at Create Gloucestershire via