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Transforming lives with creative arts that challenge and inspire

We have had a fantastic year, celebrating new and existing creative and criminal justice partnerships. We are incredibly proud of all of our projects and the 6699 participants we worked with!

Odd Arts Vision and Values: Odd Arts uses specialist high quality arts to challenge, inspire and transform the lives of vulnerable and excluded people. Odd Arts works within the criminal justice, community and education sectors. Key outcomes include: ● ● ● ● ●

Increased engagement in arts and culture by disadvantaged groups Improved work based skills through accredited artistic opportunities Improved mental wellbeing including increased confidence and self-worth. More cohesive and safer communities Reduced risk of (re-) offending



We completed our Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded programme 'Creative Leadership’ that worked with 85 participants and delivered 12 main programmes of work in different community and prison settings. The project aimed to improve leadership & life skills, increase employability, create understanding of participant's own barriers and challenges, and improve well-being. Within the workshops we used interactive 'forum theatre' to allow participants to create their own performance and workshop based on the issues most important to them. All participants also completed an accreditation. The University of Central Lancashire were on site evaluating the project (formal publication Feb 2018). Overall the project was shown to make real changes to the participant's lives, UCLAN wrote the project's outcomes: 'demonstrate factors related to confidence, self-awareness and selfpresentation, and, therefore, skills and capacities required to show creative

leadership of self and others and negotiate entry into the world of employment'. “I wanted to say how brilliant the young people on Project 8 were today. The drama piece they performed at MMU was contemporary, authentic and powerful. In fact it made me feel quite emotional watching and listening which I assume was the intention. It really does go to show the talent and potential in young people who can produce such a performance in 4 weeks – they looked like real professionals. I also wanted to record my thanks and appreciation to the workers who have been supporting the group – you all know who you are. A great well done.” Paul Fletcher, Chief Executive, Manchester Young Lives

FORWARD: We delivered an Arts Council England funded programme 'FORWARD'. This went in to adult prisons, children's care homes, rehabilitation centres and a secure unit. The project focused on the theme of 'resettlement', using the arts, especially forum theatre, to allow participants to re-imagine their futures and confront some of the challenges they were likely to face. Company Chameleon and Hercules Productions came in to some of the participating prisons as part of widening the participant's creative and cultural experiences.

"Relevant, beneficial, life changing" (description of the project by a participant). This project was evaluated by Manchester Metropolitan University, the full academic report to be published Feb 2018. The evaluation included outcomes including: Development of confidence; Increased ability to work in diverse groups; Development of peer support / education / empathy; Expertise and professionalism of Odd Arts staff.

Both FORWARD and CREATIVE LEADERSHIP also worked with high levels of creative practitioners, artists and criminal justice related staff to up skill in creative facilitation and toolkit training.

SHARING STORIES: We worked with clinical psychologists, mental health service users and practitioners from the UK and Uganda to reduce the stigma of mental ill health through storytelling and theatre. The project was such a success we plan to go to Uganda in summer 2018 for continued development and learning. "You have inspired me to let out my inner voice", "The actors were brave and beautiful. Thought provoking & activating".

PLAYFUL REVOLUTION: This project worked in partnership with Wigan Council and Total Rethink. It used the arts and interactive play to create a truly innovative exhibition of work. Our film and theatre project in partnership with Total Rethink also saw the young people involved win an award for 'Contribution to the Community' in reducing mental health stigma.

ONGOING PROGRAMMES OF WORK: We are extremely proud of the ongoing partnerships we have with many colleges, secure units, councils, Police forces, prisons and community setting organisations. We have continued to deliver high numbers of successful projects including: Domestic Abuse / Health relationships; Radicalisation; Offending behaviour; Self Harm, just to name a few. Our self-harm and anxiety workshop and performance in partnership with Salford CCG was awarded for it's excellent partnership and impact. We were also shortlisted for MYL's partnership organisation of the year. Sherives films has created a number of new films with us, including one very important one: 'Visibility' in partnership with Fathers Against Violence. This project was a catalyst for work that has continued to be delivered in our local Manchester communities, and will for a long time to come.

OTHER NEWS Oct 2016 - Sept 2017: Directors Hannah Russell and Rebecca Friel were both off during the year to have babies!

Hannah Russell has stepped down after 15 years of Directing the Company. Odd Arts is incredibly proud and grateful for Hannah's service and dedication and wish her well for the future.

We are incredibly lucky to have a very talented and committed staff team and Board that help guide the organisation to thrive. This year Odd Arts also hired its first Office Manager. The Odd Arts Team:

Kyle Walker

Jo Lane

Jess Noonan

Odd Arts Annual Report Oct 2016 - Sept 2017  
Odd Arts Annual Report Oct 2016 - Sept 2017