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Creativity and positivity abound in challenging times

Sally and Hilary
Look Again's Hilary Nicoll and EIG's Sally Charles share their thoughts on the new Creative Entrepreneurship course, which had to very quickly move to online delivery.

In these uncertain and unprecedented times, it is really fantastic to be involved in something positive and creative that looks to a brighter future. RGU’s new Creative Entrepreneurship short course has provided that, not only for the students participating in it, but for Sally Charles and Hilary Nicoll, who have led on devising and delivering it.

A development of the highly acclaimed Creative Accelerator Programme that ran in summer 2019, the Creative Entrepreneurship course is an accredited Masters level qualification which allows participants to accumulate further credits and achieve a full postgraduate qualification over time. Both initiatives were developed through an innovative collaboration between the university’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group (EIG) and the Look Again team, part of Gray’s School of Art. 

After a fast-paced development period in winter 2019, the course was ready to receive the first cohort of selected participants in March. This group of 20 creative practitioners represent the high quality and ambition of the creative graduates in the region, and are working across a wide range of specialisms including animation, illustration, photography, ceramics and music production.

Originally planned to take place at RGU’s space in ONE TechHub, plans had to quickly change in response to the COVID-19 lockdown.  With only a week’s delay, the team worked hard to put the course entirely online, utilising the Blackboard Collaborate platform which is part of RGU’s digital estate. 

It has quickly become clear that there are several advantages to this. It cuts travel for everyone, and has provided the opportunity to easily invite guest speakers from outwith the region to ‘beam in’ for short sessions that would not have been feasible if the course were face to face.  It was great to welcome Clive Gillman, for example, who is Director of Creative Industries at Creative Scotland to speak about Creative Industries nationally and have a Q&A with the group, and fantastic to hear him affirm the importance of the course and the work that Look Again is doing.

With the first Creative Entrepreneurship course approaching its conclusion, the call for applications for the second round is now open, with a deadline of 6th May.  The first workshop will be held on 15th June and the course runs to the end of July.  Both cohorts will be invited to showcase their work in a virtual showcase on the Look Again website in August.  With the whole course now online, a further advantage is that applicants from across Scotland can take part, with location no longer a consideration. All in all an exciting and very positive outcome for all involved.

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