This year is providing some brilliant opportunities to develop new skills and make new contacts across different arts sectors and within different areas of the county.
Producing / Programme Management
In my contract with Awards for Young Musicians (AYM), I got the exciting opportunity to co-commission five films, working with 16 music teachers and with five filmmakers in different areas of the country, to be used as an educational training resource for music leaders. I learnt that music licensing can be an absolute nightmare and that editing can a very lengthy process but also how much I thrive when collaborating creatively with others as a producer. I feel immensely proud of the journey each artistic team went on and the results that were produced and can’t want to see the films launch. Watch this space! I was also able to draw on my PGCE to co-devise an exciting new CPD course that is currently being delivered across the country.
I finished my contract with AYM a little earlier than expected, at the end of June, as they were successful in securing funding for a full-time position which I didn’t feel able to commit to. However, I hope to remain involved with all their wonderful work in the future and will be joining them as they celebrate their 20th anniversary in October.
I continue to work as Associate for Arts Connect, delivering development days and supporting schools to demonstrate their commitment to arts and culture by gaining Artsmark. I really enjoy leading this training where I get to facilitate interesting discussion between senior leaders and teachers and hear how passionately and tirelessly some of the education sector work to keep arts alive in schools. Hooray for them!
Mentoring and facilitation
I continue to deliver mentoring sessions and facilitate visioning days for companies across the Midlands and have an ongoing relationship with Birmingham Dance Network, Shropshire Inclusive Dance, Bostin Creative, Here We Are and Dash.
Just before the summer, Dash asked me to deliver an accessible evaluation day to wrap up their Cultivate project, a mentoring programme for disabled visual artists. It was a fascinating challenge to devise tasks that successfully engaged people with different disabilities, interests and needs but I enjoyed the creative challenge and got some lovely feedback. Should they be successful in fundraising Dash have asked me to lead a training programme for mentors in 2019 as an extension to Cultivate which I am really excited about, so please keep your fingers crossed or donate to their cause!
I am passionate about coaching and the positive impact it can have and have been working hard to expand the proportion of my work which focuses of this.
I regularly deliver sessions and series of sessions for those working in the arts and in order to further develop my skills and the breadth and range of both clients and issues that I work with I have recently started to coach on a voluntary basis with the Shaw Trust in Birmingham. This works with people who are in long term unemployment for a variety of reasons. Its still early days but I’m hoping this intervention will be empowering and useful to those that take up the offer.
In addition to my voluntary work with the Shaw Trust, I continue in my role as Vice Chair for People Dancing. I have been a board member with them for a substantial amount of time now and am due to end my service with them early next year. They are a brilliant organisation to get involved with and may be looking for new trustees in the future – do keep a look out if you’re interested.
I love the variety of my work and the flexibility that being freelance can provide.