Write:Muse was a major initiative developed by Nikki, when she was Open Museum Officer, and Literature Development Officer, Kerry Featherstone. It supported learning providers to gain confidence in writing and speaking creatively through the use of museum objects and artworks as inspiration.
Write:Muse built upon a previous initiative, Write Words, which was devised by the previous Literature Development Officer Chris Jones. Write Words supported school teachers to gain confidence in creative writing through delivering a series of sixty creative writing workshops facilitated by local professional writers. The project resulted in the publication Poetry Prose and Playfulness.
Write:Muse developed the Write Words model, expanding it to support those working in educational, outreach or development roles who may lack the skills or confidence to support their service users in self-expression through creative writing. Write:Muse’s aim was also to raise awareness of the Open Museum and Library resources available within the county.
The initiative was developed over a period of five years, between 2005 – 2009, and was delivered through a series of distinct phases. It was funded by Esmee Fairburn Foundation, Arts Council England, Renaissance East Midlands, and Leicestershire County Council.
Phase 1: Creative writing with learning providersPhase 2: Writer and artist collaborationsPhase 3: Expanding the model to the region
Write:Muse has shown the remarkable potential of museum objects to release linguistic creativity and subsequently, improve literacy. The use of museum resources provided a captivating and distinctive approach, offering participants a shared learning experience.
You can read an evaluation report written about Phase 1 here.
The education resource Words & Things: writing creatively from objects and art, was also published. You can download a PDF copy here.