Creative digital storytelling workshops with LEEDS2023

A series of creative digital storytelling workshops

100% Digital Leeds are pleased to be partnering with LEEDS 2023 to offer a series of free workshops to partners, making creative digital skills and software more accessible to Leeds communities, an idea born via the Arts and Culture Digital Inclusion Network. The workshops are free, assume no prior digital skills, utilise free digital tools, and are led by experts from across Leeds’s creative industries. Together, we break down the perceptions that digital software is difficult to use, expensive and inaccessible to anyone outside of creative industries. The various software packages highlighted are free, powerful and support the creation of high-quality content.

At LEEDS 2023 we are building up to our year of culture, letting culture loose across the city. These upskilling workshops are one of the ways we are supporting artists, creatives, organisations and anyone who wants to get involved to learn new skills. It has been great to partner with 100% Digital Leeds on this programme to ensure that it reaches people across the city. Every workshop is free, we are offering bus fare for anyone that needs it, and we are creating online versions for people who can’t attend. We want to make sure that these workshops are open to everyone.

Adam Sas-Skowronski, Creative Technologist, LEEDS2023

The workshop series covers tools needed for capturing, creating, and sharing engaging digital content with workshops on the basics of video editing, sound recording, image editing, and streaming. Each workshop gives attendees the skills and knowledge needed to share their stories, and the stories of the people and communities they work with and in, using free and easy to use digital tools.

The workshops to date

Two workshops have taken place so far: ‘Audio editing with Audacity’ and ‘Video editing with DaVinci Resolve’.

Our aim is to give workshop participants the basic skills they need to begin experimenting and exploring their creative skills. We have already run workshops on the basics of video editing, using the program DaVinci Resolve which was lead by Northern Film School academic Lee Robinson, and sound editing on Audacity, which was lead by BBC Radio Leeds Producer Dan Purvis. The overwhelming feedback is that we should run more.

Adam Sas-Skowronski, Creative Technologist, LEEDS2023

Attendance

We have seen a lot of interest and ‘buzz’ around the series and both the first and second workshops in the series were sell-out events, with the second workshop being a full house on the day.

Tweet from Amy Hearn

Across workshops one and two over 50 people have booked spaces and the workshops have seen a 70% attendance rate on the day. The in-person events in the city centre have attracted people from across Leeds with attendees travelling from Armley, Guiseley, Harehills, Kirkstall, Moortown, Woodhouse, and Yeadon.

Attendance has been cross-sector:

  • around half to two thirds of attendees represent community or third sector
  • around a third attendees came from the creative industries
  • a small percentage attended from the public and education sectors

We’ve been pleased to see engagement from some of 100% Digital Leeds’s most valued digital inclusion delivery partners from across Leeds and supporting a range of Communities of Interest, including Richmond Hill Elderly Action, Proverbs 31 Woman, People Matters, The Highrise Project, Drighlington Digital and GIPSIL – Our Way Leeds, and community arts organisations supporting digital inclusion such as Open Source Arts, Pyramid, and Space2. We have also had support from third sector infrastructure partners in promoting the workshops.

Tweet from Forum Central

Reasons for attending the workshops include:

  • an interest in podcasting
  • developing skills to be later shared with communities
  • creating engaging community learning resources
  • recording community history and creating digital archives
  • supporting hybrid working and delivery
  • capturing and sharing organisational impact
  • creating content, from fitness videos to sermons

Impact and evaluation

On a scale of 1 to 5, 100% of responders said the workshops delivered to date rated as a 4 or 5 in terms of being both engaging and user friendly. Attendees also rated as a 4 or 5 the likelihood of them recommending the workshop series to a friend or attending another workshop themselves. 

Tweet from Donna Waldron

Comments from attendees are similarly overwhelmingly positive:

“I have broken the fear of trying a new software so thank you. I am left with plenty of materials to practice on at home and cannot wait for the next workshop.”

“I liked how accessible it felt, I am completely new to using audacity and sound and this felt really user friendly

“I was nervous that it the session would be full of people that work in creative technology but such an interesting mix of people, professions, ages, and reasons for attending.”

It was great, I learned a lot – some of what I learned is going to save me a lot of time in my current work”

“I liked this Workshop it was very engaging and I got to learn as I went along.”

“I learned loads and will definitely be signing up for another”.

Workshop attendees
Tweet from Highrise Project

Nearly half have of those who completed the evaluation commented that they would have liked the workshop to be longer so we have taken that on board and future sessions will last two hours rather than the originally planned 90 minutes. We will also ask attendees to arrive at the workshop 15 minuets before the start time to ensure we’re ready to start the workshop content promptly.

Future workshops

The rest of the series will see sessions on similar creative digital storytelling themes including:

  • Social media training for Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok
  • Interactive storytelling on Twine
  • Livestream using OBS, Twitch, YouTube Live and Restream
  • Basics of video game making using Unity

Workshops are announced on a month-by-month basis and the next session, ‘Image editing with GoDaddy Studio’ on Wednesday 22nd June, is now open for booking via Eventbrite.

Tweet from 100% Digital Leeds

Keep an eye on LEEDS 2023 and 100% Digital Leeds social accounts for news of future workshops and follow 100% digital Leeds on Eventbrite to book free tickets when the events go live.