Our Method: The Creative Community Model

All of our work follows the principles of a model that we call the Creative Community Model. Over the years we’ve witnessed the incredible power this model has to transform lives, just look at some of our stories of impact. Our focus now is on training people around the world to be able to deliver programs based on this model. We’ve already reached thousands and the ripple effects are being felt from our founding home in North America to Myanmar, South Africa, India, the UK and Brazil among many others.

Will you join us? Find out how here.

The Creative Community Model offers an easy-to-learn method for creating learning experiences and environments that bring out the very best in people by making them feel safe, supported and heard.

You can learn more about the Creative Community Model in our book, Catch the Fire: An Art-Full Guide to Unleashing the Creative Power of Youth, Adults and Communities, or by attending one of our trainings.


How does it work?

Learning is a process; our Creative Community Model provides a unique structure to that process. It borrows powerful principles and practices from:

  • motivational and behavioral science
  • experiential learning
  • coaching and mentoring
  • facilitation and group dynamics
  • authentic communication
  • social and emotional learning.

Most importantly – and at the heart of its success – the Model also draws on the arts, including music, rhythm, visual arts, theatre, creative writing, story telling and movement as essential parts of the learning process. It’s based on the belief that humans are innately creative. When that creativity is encouraged in young people, it helps them develop the social and emotional skills often neglected in traditional education and youth programmes.


The impact of the Creative Community Model

“Creative expression is most often accompanied by a feeling of shimmering joy.” Rollo May

Our Model instills a powerful set of values – the very values from which it also evolved:

  • We are all creative
  • We all have the power to create change
  • Our inner world is as important as our outer world
  • Diversity is a resource
  • Young people are a source of creativity and vitality
  • We thrive in communities where we feel safe, supported and seen
  • We learn from nature
  • The challenges we face in life require collaboration and a sharing of wisdom across the generations

The Model helps create a learning environment that supports genuine and authentic connections – in other words, great communities. Young people can flourish when they feel understood and supported by the community around them. Without the fear of being put down, their ideas and imaginations take flight. This, in turn, creates an atmosphere of respect, co-operation and engagement. So we help teachers, trainers and facilitators establish a trusting, judgement-free environment where everyone feels safe enough to be themselves.


Putting it into practice

The Creative Community Model can be used with groups of all ages and sizes from 45 minute meetings to multi-day residential camps.

We have found that the deepest transformations happen in a seven-day residential camps are the best way to bring the Creative Community Model into play – and we can help you set them up. However, any workshop or programme can include the same transformative elements:

  • Powerful group bonding established from the start.
  • Buy-in created through community agreements with the young people involved.
  • A highly experiential learning process.
  • Exercises that cater for a wide range of learning styles.
  • Reflection time to deepen understanding.
  • Activities designed to seal the learning.

The Creative Community Model is also user-friendly. In a one-day training session, you can learn the basic principles, plus a range of activities that will immediately increase the impact of your work. The Model is easily adapted to a wide range of cultures and a broad range of issues – and most importantly, it has the power to engage even the most reluctant of participants!

If you would like to learn more about the specifics of The Creative Community Model you can attend one of our upcoming trainings or read the PYE book.


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