Main Image Credit: Leon Bach.
Professional practitioners have described Intercultural Roots as:
Also known as 'Enable-the-Enabler' this is our community hub for practitioners offering mutual care, support and sharing that also includes professional opportunities for artistic, somatic and facilitator co-learning that is all a part of Continuing Professional Development.
From September 2019 when we first began to offer our Practitioner and Creative Labs, Mental Health First Aid certified workshops and performance sharings, we were struck by the feedback received from professional artists and somatic practitioners. They found value not only in the quality of professional training and development received but in the unique support and care they experienced.
The effort required to transition from 'passion to profession' and to sustain a professional career can be very difficult, more especially in times of pandemic and lockdown! The feedback we have received suggests that freelance practitioners in particular need a "home", a community where they can find nourishment and a continuity of friendship with colleagues they have missed since leaving professional training.
The foundation of our early work was our Health & WELLth project that invited practitioners in our Creative Labs to respond to the question 'What matters to you?' emphasising taking responsibility for our own health and wellbeing. Intercultural Roots cares about our community of practitioners wherever they are in the world and invests much in building and supporting meaningful relationships.
It's also about the culture we promote through the methodologies for collaboration that we bring to our meetings and work. As well as their individual backgrounds Intercultural Roots' Directors Drs. Alex Boyd and Andrea Maciel are members of the IFTR Embodied Research Working Group and Cross Pollination groups and have many other influences that provide an ethos for the culture of Intercultural Roots. At its heart are felt-sensed ecological values of integrity, equality and respect.
While Intercultural Roots is working to create employment opportunities for practitioners through our Practitioner Partnerships programme we are also concerned with providing ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD). At the heart of this will always be the 'personal' support practitioners need to ensure their own health and wellbeing, including the discovery and embodiment of tools required for maintaining self care.
Developing and sustaining a professional career as a practitioner, never mind in such difficult times, is not easy. There is a complex ecology of seemingly counter-acting parameters to balance. Intercultural Roots is an organisation that leads in this by the example of it's Core People in how they carry out its work.
Intercultural Roots pathway for transforming Passion into Profession:
- 'from artist to activist'
This is where we offer opportunities for you to develop and extend your roots from passion towards developing a personal practice, collaborate with other practitioners and benefit from current embodied research. Our Practitioner Labs and Creative Labs are Intercultural Roots' particular projects aimed at developing an artistic and/or somatic practice, fostering collaborative support, care and sharing and disseminating research methodologies. All of our carefully curated Get Active Online 'What's On' events present diverse ways in which you can develop and extend your embodied knowledge, looking at and deepening yourself and your practice through different lenses.
- 'remaining relevant to peoples' needs'
'Traditional' refers to 'time' and, for a practice to become sustainable over a long time, it needs to remain relevant to the needs of its community (Boyd, 2014). This invests responsibility on those who are stewards of such knowledge. In alignment with principles of integrity, equality and respect Intercultural Roots promotes a progressive and critical approach to education which is non-hierarchical and emphasises the establishment of conditions required (including 'non-empty spaces') for something to happen. We prefer the term 'enabler' or 'facilitator' to 'trainer' or 'teacher' as embodied learning requires a collaborative 'Gifting' in its transmission that melds the giving and receiving that occurs between people and our learning environment (including ancestors, non-human entities, land, nature and sky). Our projects such as 'Constellations' explore pedagogies of enabling, and present opportunities for enablers to critically share their work with a care and support for one another.
- 'be the change you want to see in the world'
While there are many people who have developed a personal practice there are fewer still who have embodied the culture of becoming an enabler. Unfortunately even fewer of such people have developed the professional skills and experience required to apply their knowledge in communities - more especially in this modern world that relies so much on being proficient with such areas as:
That's why Intercultural Roots has established our Practitioner Partnerships programme that supports practitioners through these complexities , sharing infrastructure, back-office and expertise, allowing artists and somatic practitioners to do what they do best. Our horizontal structure and open-source approach offers an opportunity for mutually beneficial partnership that has our core values at heart.
At the same time we understand the need for practitioners to hold appropriate qualifications and this is why we offer Mental Health First Aid certification through the Evexia Foundation and are actively engaged in supporting new programmes that offer credit for modularised learning and artistic residencies as well as Continuing Professional Development (CPD). We expect to offer further curricular news and opportunities regarding this in the near future.