Arts Emergency

Isabella de Rosario


When I applied to study English Literature at university, it was not with any particular career in mind. All the usual social reasons for going to university came into play, but I wanted to study literature at a high level. I loved my degree, and still slightly miss the work.

There’s a part of me that would like to teach, and from a young age I’ve been interested in politics, but I don’t think I ever seriously considered working in anything other than the arts. I’ve been involved in music, theatre and film since I was at school. But when I graduated I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I got a flexible job working at the Barbican and tried out different internships and worked on various projects. After about 6 months it was obvious that I was more interested in film than any other medium, and within a year I realised that producing was what I really enjoyed, because you were able to see a project through to the end.

I’ve been fortunate in that my parents always supported me in whatever I have done in, and also because I’m impatient and therefore can’t stick to projects or jobs I’m not interested in! When I was at school, despite a relatively strong drama and art department, there wasn’t much support in terms of finding out about working in the arts. I remember meeting with a careers advisor who told me that with an English degree my best option was teaching. When I said I wanted to work in theatre or film perhaps, he said, ‘Oh – I can’t really help you with that’. As education becomes prohibitively expensive and arts funding increasingly scarce, I see volunteering for Arts Emergency as part of the fight back!