Shetland Arts are offering a new series of paid online workshops to support practitioners working in community arts.

Freelance practitioners often work on their own in challenging settings and currently have the added challenge of adapting to online working. Shetland Arts are keen to offer opportunities for practitioners to connect, share their new skills and experiences and gain support from each other. These workshops are designed to strengthen relationships between practitioners, acknowledge and celebrate the work that they do and to give space for people to focus on their own wellbeing practices.

In these workshops, a range of practical tools will be introduced, participants will have the chance to explore and experiment with various techniques and creative approaches so they can go on to develop their own personal support systems with more clarity and confidence. The emphasis will be on:

  • facilitating connection and sharing between practitioners from different disciplines
  • specific, practical tools to support workshop leaders
  • creative approaches from a holistic perspective of wellbeing
  • gaining an overview of specific peer support systems


  • Session 1: Introduction to listening partnerships and unconditional positive regard. Play, flow and nurturing your own creativity
  • Session 2: Introduction to somatic centering practices and grounding techniques. Getting to know your nervous system and the ‘window of tolerance’
  • Session 3: Creative tools for self-reflection and peer supervision. Feedback, praise and growth mindset
  • Session 4: Adapted active learning sets for creative groups. Tools to help set warm limits and boundaries in small community settings
  • Session 5: Trauma sensitive practices - making mindfulness safer. Developing shared templates for online delivery (guideline documents, referral contact lists)
  • Session 6: Digital tools and resources. Tailoring your own support system

The workshops will be facilitated by Alice Ritch, registered music therapist. Alice has a large range of experience as a music teacher, community musician and in leading online support groups. She is also a certified Hand in Hand Parenting Instructor and is trained in Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness.

Alice has been fantastic as the group leader. She introduced the tools and has offered her own experiences which really helped to understand how the tools can be implemented in day-to-day life.

Alice has been incredibly supportive. Really friendly, approachable and knowledgeable

We want to bring together and support freelance community arts practitioners who have been working through such a challenging period, and look to new ways we can continue to support them in future. Alice is an experienced and supportive workshop facilitator who will introduce many tools and skills that I’m sure practitioners will find useful. (Bryan Peterson, Shetland Arts)

Sessions will be online, last for 90 minutes and run once a fortnight from Monday 29 March / Wednesday 31 March.

Participants will be paid a fee of £300 and are expect to attend the whole programme of 6 workshops.

Participants must be based in Shetland or have strong links to the isles.

To apply please email the following to with the subject "Community Arts Workshop Programme" by midnight on Sunday 21 March.

  • A CV
  • A Cover Letter, explaining how this training will assist with your professional development
  • Indication of whether you would be available for Monday mornings (10-11:30am starting 29th March), and/or Wednesday evenings (7:30-9pm starting 31st March).

Depending on demand, workshops may run on Monday mornings and/or Wednesday afternoons. Full workshop schedule is as follows:

  • Monday mornings (10-11:30am) 29th March, 12th & 26th April, 10th & 24th May, 7th June
  • Wednesday evenings (7:30-9pm) 31st March, 14th & 28th April 12th & 26th May, 9th June

Supported by Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund.

Image: Christmas Crafting at Taing House, 2019.


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