I'm so proud to be a patron of CCI. Curiosity, landscape, imagination, creativity, childhood, wildness - the organisation's passions and values could hardly be more important or inspiring right now. Every one of its projects makes me see things strangely again, tips a little more wonder back into the world.
I believe profoundly that everyone has a story to tell, a song to sing. I'm all for empowering children and young people to have their own words especially when they are young. Encouraging young people to believe in themselves and find their own voice whether it's through writing, drama or art is so important in giving young people a sense of self-worth. There are so many young people who don't believe in themselves and their mentality gets fixed in failure.
Michael Morpurgo (Guardian, 2012)
CCI is a creative organisation that works to inspire and enrich communities, to support them 'to believe in themselves and find their own voice'. We design ways for people of all ages to develop their own curiosity and imagination by inviting them into playful environments, both indoors and outdoors, and giving them the permission to explore.
Our work is programmed within two main strands:
Footprints enables creative connections with local wild places
Re-Imagine questions ideas, issues and spaces.
Why work with us?
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. Albert Einstein
For many of us now there is an increasing dislocation from our creative selves, both personal and professional, and the world around us. We may have forgotten how to play, or lost faith in our capacities to have ideas and take the lead. Sometimes we are fearful of taking risks and venturing into the unknown. CCI’s work addresses this. Our team:
- Work with educators to remind them of children’s creative powers and how to support them
- Explore alongside children and families to build creative connections and confidence
- Develop creative practices in professional groups
- Validate the learning experiences with our Arts Award programmes
- Reconnect communities with their local outdoor spaces
- Create resources that celebrate and share the work
We think carefully about how to ensure a sustainable legacy for our work. For example, our four most recent Footprints projects have left confident and passionate educators who are continuing to lead their own outdoor learning programmes on their local wild spaces; two of these (Bramblefields and Lattersey) were established two years ago.
We assert the need to emphasise the intrinsic value of exciting children’s imagination. To experience the delights – and pains – of imagining, and of entering the imaginative world of others, is to become a more rounded person. Cambridge Primary Review, 2009
How CCI works
Our work is developed to suit each partnership and can draw on elements of: supported projects, creative workshops, professional development sessions and resource development. Whilst we welcome straight commissions, we can also work with partners to identify sources of funding and strategies for working collaboratively with multiple partners. Contact us here to discuss a potential partnership.
CCI also raises funds through donations and sales of our publications and prints (available via our shop).
We work with the public, private and voluntary sectors and with people of all ages and from all backgrounds in very diverse settings (in galleries, museums, woodlands, hospitals, Universities and FE colleges, schools, nurseries, groups with special educational needs, with property developers and even our local waste management centre!). We have developed close links with the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education through programmes of joint research and professional development workshops and courses for both educators and artists. A full list of our partners and funders is here.
Thinking about our work
We are continuously seeking to understand (and challenge commonly held notions of) what it means to be creative, where creative experiences can happen and how creative practice can be understood. Further details on current research is here.
Our short film The Inspirers, was made for the 2016 International Women’s Day Event in Homerton College, University of Cambridge, and celebrates just a few of the creative women and girls we have met in our work.
What people say
It’s such important work. Our teachers have to be bubbling with creativity, else our children won’t be. Simple. Michael Morpurgo, CCI Patron
The creative experiences that make up CCI’s programmes have been repeatedly demonstrated through evaluations and research to offer opportunities to build the skills, confidence and self-esteem of those we work with. Here are some examples of what people have said about our work.
CCI was founded in 2002 by artist Idit Nathan together with many of the colleagues still closely associated with the work, particularly Sue Bainbridge, Mary Jane Drummond, Susanne Jasilek, Filipa Pereira-Brown, Ruth Sapsed and Sally Todd. It is a charity limited by guarantee and is guided by the policies below.
Ruth Sapsed, Director
Joanna Holland, Associate Director
Neil Parker, Office Manager
Jo Diver, Finance Manager