Free courses and workshops to help creative people get ahead

August 25, 2015

CREATIVE people hoping to turn their hobbies into viable businesses and arts groups looking to improve what they have to offer are invited to take advantage of a series of FREE courses and workshops designed to boost their skills.

Courses are available in a range of areas, from business basics to fundraising, and take place throughout September and October. They vary in length from two hours to four weeks and are designed to equip people with the tools they need to develop their creativity further.

Some are aimed at teaching artists and creative people the essential skills they need to start and run a business, while others will help community arts groups to improve and expand; focusing on areas such as recruiting and managing volunteers, legislation and how to raise funds.

More general courses in customer service and safeguarding vulnerable people are also available.

While most take place at Tamworth Assembly Rooms, in Corporation Street, one of the sessions sees ballet dancers being invited to visit the newly-refurbished studios of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, where they will spend the day seeking inspiration from the world-renowned company.

Called I Am Development, the programme of courses has been made available as part of the 12-month I Am Tamworth initiative being delivered by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team with funding from Arts Council England.

I Am Tamworth aims to support art and creativity in the area, while encouraging more people to get creative and participate in the arts locally.


Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economy, said: “We have worked with our partners to provide a range of courses, based on feedback we received from local artists and groups about the sort of areas they needed help with.

“The courses are designed to help creative people learn or brush up on skills they need to help them further develop what they do. The overall aim is to help create a strong network of artists and arts groups in Tamworth, so that creative talents are nurtured and promoted.

“We hope people will take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”

Details of all the courses, and links to book places, can be found at

Here is a brief overview of the workshops available:

Discovering and Developing Your Business Future

This four-week course takes place across four Thursday workshops on September 10, September 17, September 24 and October 1. All are held between 1pm and 4.30pm at Tamworth Assembly Rooms and participants must attend all four.

It is designed to help creative people work towards developing their skills into a sustainable and profitable business.

The course will include creating a ‘business canvas’, pricing, costs, introduction to marketing, accounting and tax. Sessions are being delivered by business training specialist David James Ross and are suitable for creative people of any discipline, including freelancing and social enterprise, but are limited to 16 participants.

Volunteering in the Arts Toolkit Training

Wednesday, September 16, 1pm to 3pm, Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

This session is aimed at small to medium amateur arts and crafts groups and will give them the necessary skills and experience to recruit, retain and support volunteers, as well as introducing them to the work of Voluntary Arts and Tamworth Volunteer Centre.

The informal session will provide participants with a ‘how to guide’ for improving their volunteer management systems. Speakers include representatives from Tamworth Volunteer Centre and Voluntary Arts England.


Artist Development Day

Saturday, September 19, 10am-4pm, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Clore Learning Studio. Hosted by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s department for learning at its newly-refurbished studios, dancers are invited to learn new approaches and good practice to share with their peers and to inspire future practice.

Customer Care and Communication

Monday, September 28, 9am-5pm, Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

During the course participants will learn about effective customer service and communication strategies.

Business Development and Building Relationships

Tuesday, September 29, 1pm-5pm, Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

This workshop will be run by successful business owner, coach and trainer Amanda Pearce-Burton who is experienced in the balancing of creative practice with business skills.

The session will explore how to build effective business relationships, as well as understanding the significance of personal and organisational values and how these affect customers, stakeholders and staff.

Safeguarding Awareness for Vulnerable Adults and Children

Monday, October 5, 2pm-5pm. Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

This session will help participants to identify the relevant legislation and guidance that provides the framework for safeguarding children and adults at risk from abuse and neglect. It will help people to name the categories of abuse and recognise the signs and indicators of each, as well as teaching how to respond to concerns about someone’s safety or welfare.

Art Fundraising: The Fundamentals

Thursday, October 8, 11am-5pm, Tamworth Assembly Rooms.

Led by Amanda Rigali, Director of Programmes at Cause4 and head of the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme, this workshop promises to demystify the world of fundraising, as well as providing practical and achievable strategies to take forward.

It is suitable for both organisations and individuals and will include the basics of fundraising, including legal structures and governance, and practical advice and tips to help participants begin or further develop their own fundraising practice.