For the last few months, I’ve been taking on the most challenging job I’ve ever done, as a Lead Artist on the Emerge Project run by the Mighty Creatives.
In this context, Lead Artist has meant going into two schools – Brunts Academy and Beech Academy in Mansfield – to work with young people there to put their artistic ideas together into a festival programme – Emerge Mansfield, on Saturday April 6th!
Over the course of the job, I’ve gone from workshop facilitator to venue scout to event manager, marketeer, director, programmer as well as an artist on a development programme. Early on we managed to secure the gorgeous Rufford Abbey in Ollerton as a venue and are now to set to pack it with a programme that I’m massively excited about.
We’ve had so many dedicated, enthusiastic, talented young artists across the two schools and have a massive range of artforms to offer, from visual art and installation to theatre, dance, music, poetry, workshops and family entertainment. We’ve built an island inspired by the Tempest and filled it with clay monsters, we’ve made shields with Shakespearean coats of arms. We have an original short play based on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead which is so sharp and witty and will involve interaction with a video screen. We’ve got a packed poetry and music stage with performers from Nottingham and Mansfield.
We’ve also managed to source some outside bookings and I’m massively excited to be bringing Zest Theatre’s two person show First Person, which is an outdoor, walk-about, interactive piece following two players on a quest for happiness with silent disco headphones!
Mainly though, the incredible thing has been seeing great work from so many young people come together. As one person, it’s been difficult to keep close track of everything being made. There’s been enormous help from teachers at both schools who have been closely involved in setting all this up with me, but there’s been a certain amount of faith involved too regarding great ideas coming good – and that faith and work is set to come brilliantly good!
The unique thing about the Emerge programme has been that, as well as a development opportunity for the young artists I’m working with, it’s also been a development opportunity for me and the other emerging and mid-career artists running the other 7 festivals which will be happening across the Midlands on the same day. The role was advertised as that, and it really has been that – I feel like I’ve learned a massive amount and picked up a huge amount of skillsets in different areas.
As a way to go into my first year of being fully freelance, it’s been a proper gem of a job – I’ve had the time and structure to build my own working routines and a nice big scary-at-first-and-now-still-scary-but-massively-exciting event to build it all up to
And after around six months of development, we’re now 3 weeks from the festival!
Hope to see you there (you know, if you’re in the area or fancy a day trip) x
Follow the Story on our Facebook page here – http://www.facebook.com/EmergeMansfield2019
Make me feel less anxious/even more excited and tell me you’re ‘GOING’ at our event page here (if you want to) – https://www.facebook.com/events/312378206088521/
Find out more about Mighty Creatives and the Emerge Project here – https://www.themightycreatives.com/our-work/emerge