Mutual Curiosity: A look at participatory practice in Scotland

Scotland’s cultural sector has an excellent reputation for its participatory practice – artists and people working creatively together in communities, education contexts and other areas of public life such as social care and justice. 

Mutual Curiosity: a look at participatory practice in Scotland was commissioned by Creative Learning at Creative Scotland and developed through the ArtWorks Scotland programme, to support continual improvement in participatory practice.

The film gives a voice to artists and participants and highlights the processes involved in their projects. 

View the full 30 minute version of Mutual Curiosity: A look at participatory practice in Scotland.  

About the projects

Drake Music Scotland 

Drake Music Scotland is the nation’s leading arts organisation providing music making opportunities for people with disabilities. Their expertise in inclusive music technology and specialist teaching methods support people of all ages and a wide range of disabilities to play, learn and compose music independently. 

Developing out of the Drake Research Project founded in England by Adele Drake in 1988, Drake Music Scotland became a separate charitable organisation 1997 and since then has worked with over 10,000 children and adults across Scotland.

Their biggest achievements to date include setting up Inclusive Classroom their flagship education programme for special and mainstream schools, implementation of their acclaimed training and CPD programme, their innovative developments in technology, and most recently the introduction of Figurenotes.

Find out more about Drake Music Scotland on their website

Janice Parker Projects

Janice Parker is a dance-maker who describes her work as "working with people and dance", believing in everyone's right to contribute to the art form, to society, and to culture, and aiming not to change people but to make them more of themselves. Janice works collaboratively and responsively with people, place, and context, to develop collectively a wide range and spectrum of performance based works that question who can dance and what dance can be, value participation as professional, and place people, their diversity, possibilities and potentials at their heart.

Janice is artistic director of Janice Parker Projects. Find out more on her website

Junction 25 

Junction 25 is a collective of young people aged between 11 and 18 making original theatre work at the Tramway in Glasgow. The company is led and produced by Glas(s) Performance and engage in a collaborative process in order to create original and personal performance works.

Since its inception 2005 the company has made over twelve pieces of work including Elegant Variation (2006), From Where I’m Standing (2009), I Hope My Heart Goes First (2010), Figment (2013), I’d Rather Humble Than Hero (2014) and 5.9 Million (2015). They have toured to festivals and venues across Scotland as well as to the Stage@Leeds, Battersea Arts Centre and Rogaland Teater in Stavanger, Norway. In 2011 they presented I Hope My Heart Goes First at the Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Made in Scotland programme. In 2013 they presented Anoesis to sell-out audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe. Anoesis went on to be included as part of the Conexoes Festival in Brazil in 2015 through the British Council.  Junction 25 is part of the Call to Create Network started by the Roundhouse, London. In 2015 Junction 25 were awarded the prestigious CATS Whiskers award for "an outstanding achievement in pioneering and high-quality work by young people."

To find out more visit their website

Moniack Mhor Writers' Centre

Moniack Mhor Writers' Centre is a creative writing charity based in the Scottish Highlands. As well as a comprehensive Young Writers' Programme, the centre runs a variety of residential writing courses for the general public and courses run in partnership with other organisations. Written World is an outdoor learning project offered in partnership with the local forest trust. The Young Writers' Programme is supported by a youth forum and offers mentoring, outreach workshops and work experience for people in the Highlands under 25. 

To find out more, visit and follow them on Facebook at Moniack Mhor Young Writers or on Twitter @MMyoungwriters.

The Women's Unit

The Women's Unit was founded in February 2015 as part of a year long residency undertaken by Mandy Mcintosh hosted between Glasgow Women's Library and Castlemilk Community Centre. The residency referenced Franki Raffles' Zero Tolerance work and sought new artistic strategies to speak back to Violence Against Women. The Women's Unit offers a collective space where women can author their own art in their own terms. The Unit hosts workshops and exhibitions as well as dedicated studio space to women who wish to further explore art making. Most recently they offered creative workshops, including Land Art and Sugar Sculpture, free to all women, and they have been awarded funding from Stalled Spaces to rework the facade of Castlemilk Community Centre in collaboration with local women.

Glasgow Women's Library

Glasgow Women’s Library is a unique resource in Scotland. An award-winning, accredited museum, archive and lending library it specialises in conserving and promoting women’s history and culture and in 2015 became a Recognised Collection of National Significance.  GWL works with thousands of visitors, learners and audience members each year and programmes and commissions exciting and innovative events and learning opportunities. From its inception in 1991 GWL has developed through the involvement of artists, writers and other women creatives and is highly regarded as a crucible for the generation of new cultural works that address inequalities and for its effective engagement with diverse users.  The Library has a specialised staff team and works with over 100 volunteers each year. In 2014 GWL relocated to permanent premises, a former Carnegie library in Bridgeton and employed Mandy McIntosh as Artist in Residence for the Women of Glasgow.

Find out more on their website