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Successes and positive aspects of visit.

As a whole

  • Working as a team towards the end when it came to mounting the work was a good exercise in teamwork and problem solving.

  • The talk given about each organisation was very positive and important to all parties. Those that turned up to it, found it very interesting. We let down some by the usual apathy from parties who would have found it very interesting and informative. Perhaps an AFH style organisation could be started up in Sheffield and, had more of the relevant people come, a discussion may have arisen about the actual possibility of it.

  • From discussions with the visitors, these are the positive aspects we hope they got from the partnership.

  • Although it wasn't as relevant as it could have been getting to see struggles and team operations of another organisation was important for the visitors, especially how thing work in the UK and how we overcome problems.

  • Interacting with Access participants and meeting different people with different issues important to them and their cause.

  • Having the opportunity to explain about themselves and their organisations and answer questions relating to them.

  • Getting involved in some of the duties relating to the space.

Positive aspects of the visit for RTI/Access.

  • Hearing the visitors talk about their work and there organisations. Seeing the work they brought, their inspirations and aspirations were very encouraging and interesting.

  • Finding out about different approaches to work and problem solving.

  • Learning a little about the place of 'community arts' in the USA.

  • Having a diversity of people visit the space and interacting with the participants.

Problems with the visit and what would have made it more successful

  • More pre-visit correspondence about what visitors wanted to get out of the partnership would have helped both sides understand each other better and prepare for what had been planned. We felt that the visitors where unaware of what Access/RTI was about and correspondence by email was ineffective. This I think was because during the time I was trying to communicate with them before the visit, they were very busy preparing to travel abroad and couldn't give it their full attention. Had we been able to contact them earlier, communication may have been more effective.

  • During the 2.5 days with us visitors were tired and without time to orientate or compose themselves. The visit would have been a lot more effective if it had been longer.

  • At least a day at the beginning and end would have made all the difference, (to build up and wind down); especially because of their jetlag and the lack of time we had with them. As a result they seemed detached and at first unmotivated. This did improve greatly half way through the visit, although everybody felt a pressure to get something underway.

  • With two extra days, for example, the first day could have been an informal and relaxing way to get acquainted with the environment and people, it also would have given us all time to discuss realistically what we were hoping to achieve, together, without feeling the pressure of rushing on with it.

  • More involvement from other community groups and arts organisations would have been relevant and appealing to the visitors. More information could have been exchanged and Access RTI could have then played a part in organising online collaborations and the distribution of information via the web. Had the local arts groups, who had expressed an interest, turned up during the visit, aspects, such as, the painting workshop would have been a lot more excited and with further dimension. This also relates to the talk at the end of the visit, but this also related to the time it was happening (5.30 on a Friday) and due to the fact we didn't know if it was definitely happening until the visitors arrived. (This was nobodies fault as organisations were contacted, they just didn't come).

  • We should have scheduled the talks at the beginning of the visit. This would have broke the ice and encouraged discussion Those people who had come for the talk, we found out, wanted further communication with the visitors and would have had that opportunity, and to join the following activities.

  • I think the disorientation of the visitors also made it difficult for us to understand or know how they were feeling (I don't think they knew either) while they were here.

  • Some of the participants didn't like using computers and I don't think were at home in this environment.

  • As the visitors didn't come to the space until the afternoon of the first day, several hours later than planned, the time we had allocated for introductions, explanations, a visit discussion and so on, was missed. Due to the time pressures and initial busyness it didn't seem important that it had been neglected, especially as everyone was chatting, however, in hindsight we now realise that it could have changed the way the visit had gone, especially with regards to clarity throughout the space, it's staff, uses and the visitors themselves.


  • I'm don't think this was a very relevant partnership. Partnership with an organisation that wanted to set up a similar trash lab would have been much more effective, for all parties, and in the short time available, would have involved a bigger, more important exchange of information, especially on RTI side.

  • Further to this, somebody wanting to learn about the network, operating system and software at Access, would have encouraged more enthusiasm from the staff at Access/RTI. This was by no means a fault of the participants; rather the relevance wasn't clear.

  • I had thought before hand that we would have been most important to Street Level Youth Media, as they were also dealing with technology, but they use Microsoft and Windows OS and there was little relevance to them for this technology.

  • It also felt, that, had we not scheduled extra, none day to day activities, the visitor s would have been rather bored with the everyday running and activities in the space.

  • Successes and positive aspects of visit.

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Redundant Technology Initiative / Access Space
1 Sidney St. Sheffield S1 4RG Tel: 0114) 2495588