I’m currently a senior manager in a bustling venue, responsible for working with young people, community groups, schools and running projects in collaboration with lots of exciting artists and practitioners. Coming up I’m planning for running a radio play in a week course which will air at Christmas, a promenade piece of horror theatre, a collaborative project with the Academy of Contemporary music, a dance festival and programming for our spring season, so I get to do a lot of different things.
I’ve always been passionate about the arts – for a long time I wanted to be an actor and studied performing arts, English and theatre at A-Level, but when I went to university in Leeds and studied English Literature and Theatre Studies, my eyes were opened to the enormous possibilities the arts industry had to offer. I fell sideways into working for the Shakespeare Schools Festival and discovered that my primary interests, people and storytelling, were served fantastically by community work, particularly with young people. After that I pursued work with young people in theatre and arts settings, moving all over the country and getting to know the industry and my place in it. The jobs I’ve had were unanimously offered by people who thought I had potential, a spark, and who offered me their time and expertise, a chance to learn.
I’m volunteering for Arts Emergency for these people – generosity of expertise and a shared passion were incredibly important to my development as an arts student and practitioner and I want to share them with the next round.