Having a chat with our Intern turned Marketing & Participation Assistant on why #CultureMatters
We’ve been putting together a lot of Travelling Light stories looking to the theme of #CultureMatters, the Arts Council Campaign. Lydia Woolley, our Marketing and Participation Assistant started with us as an Intern, so we caught up with her to talk all things Travelling Light and why culture matters to her.
What was your first experience with Travelling Light?
Being new to Bristol and not catching any Travelling Light productions on tour, before I saw the internship I was unfamiliar with the company, so my first experience was researching Travelling Light for my interview and meeting everyone there. I had to put together a presentation on how I would market a project they were working on and it was a lot of fun coming up with as many creative ideas as I could to try and impress them! Learning about the company and meeting the staff made me really excited about the position – and wonderfully, I got the job.
What have you learnt from your Internship?
So much! It’s actually quite amazing to look back over the six months and to see all the brilliant things I’ve been able to be part of and all the things I’ve learnt. I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with the production and participation departments as well as the theatre administration and marketing side of things; that’s been the great thing about this internship, whenever an opportunity has arisen for me to try something new out or learn new skills, all the staff at Travelling Light having been amazingly supportive. From running marketing campaigns to getting to grips with the weird and wonderful world of social media, from energetic youth theatre sessions to experimental rehearsals, from tackling InDesign, Photoshop and updating the website, to creating stories and interesting materials, the variety of new skills and experiences have been great. My internship was also based two days at Barton Hill Settlement where I learnt a lot about working with the community and working across these two organisations gave me a great and diverse experience. I could fill the page with all the brilliant things I’ve learnt and how wonderful Travelling Light has been to support me in doing so, this is the reason I’ve been putting off this little article however, as I wasn’t quite sure how to write it without it being a weird homage to myself about how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learnt (but far, and loads if that wasn’t clear). But I just want to say a big thank you to everyone at Travelling Light for everything!
Do you have a favourite memory at Travelling Light?
Very hard to pick. I think I’ll go with the Community Performance of Strictly Balti, as it was a moment that sums up a lot of the work that Travelling Light does. This was a free show performed at BHS Settlement to a local/invited audience followed by a free Curry meal for everyone – this was great to combine the work I was doing over both organisations as well. It was brilliant to see Saikat’s performance and the local community engaging with it and enjoying it. Being part of the process of bringing that together and publicising it, and then seeing it come together was a real treat. Another special memory is working with the 4-6 youth theatre which is always different and the work the young people do is really great to be part of. I picked two! I could pick more, but I won’t…
How has working as an Intern helped you in starting a career in the arts?
I’m sure it’s the main reason why a career in the arts in now possible for me. First of all it has boosted my CV like crazy and there’s now so many more opportunities I can go on to do, and with a lot of confidence. More than just giving me lots of skills for the future, it’s helped me to figure out more of an idea exactly what I want to do, having the opportunity to work in lots of different areas and see which I enjoy has been invaluable. Finally it’s also instilled a really good ethos for working in the arts for me; Travelling Light have been so supportive and dedicated to nurturing me in my career and that has really made me sure that I will continue that support for others as I develop my career. I think it’s really important to support young people in developing their careers in the arts (or any industry) I was doing lots of unpaid experience and it was getting quite difficult to find a role that would help my career while still being able to support myself. I realise how lucky I am to get a paid learning opportunity, and it’s so important that young people are supported like this at the beginning of their careers.
We’re looking at the arts council campaign, #CultureMatters, what does that mean to you?
Through this internship I have really seen the role culture and the arts can play; in bringing a community together, in inspiring and challenging young people and in engaging people and starting a discussion like nothing else. Culture matters if it can be accessible to everyone, and if culture can allow us to explore ideas, share in an exciting moment or teach us then it matters. Seeing families in family storytelling getting to know each other, and young people engaging with Snow Mouse, or our local community being affected by the story of Strictly Balti, matters to me and clearly to those who have participated. Quite simply it makes life more exciting and enjoyable so that should be supported and made accessible for everyone.
For more information on the Art’s Council #CultureMatters campaign, take a look here.