On Thursday 3rd December, 33,000 Everyday Artists hosted a ‘student engagement’ event to introduce students to the project, get feedback on initial ideas and to encourage them to get involved in rolling out the project from January to March.
Jo and David ran the two overarching ideas of the ‘artwork’ and the ’31 Day Challenge’ by the students to hear feedback and so as to be able to work in any comments and suggestions for the final implementation starting in January.
Overall, students were really excited and enthusiastic about the project and keen to be involved. Creating a crowd-sourced digital artwork that challenged the posters of King’s famous alumni pictured on the front of the Strand and Waterloo campuses by celebrating everyday creativity really resonated with students, with one person exclaiming, ‘Yes, we are important too!’.
In group discussions, students came up with fun ideas to communicate the project to different groups. For example: speed-dating socials over lunch, a flash mob, captive screens in toilets, messages on everything from whiteboards to microwaves, ambassadors to recruit new people and virtual (or physical) galleries.
A reoccurring idea from students was was to harness as much social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and King’s media platforms (King’s app, website, student newspaper, KEATS) as possible to get the word out about the project. They said that if notifications came from the ‘top-down’ (i.e. official King’s email correspondence) then they would be likely to delete emails before even reading them. This is an issue that’s been highlighted in several meetings so finessing the communications strategy is a key challenge and aspect of the project overall.
The response from the students was extremely positive and the event created a buzz that we hope to hold on to and channel through to January, when the activities start. The fact that students were really engaged and receptive suggests that there is an appetite for embedding a culture of creativity, and importantly changing the culture of King’s, which the project will work towards achieving in its three month intervention period.