Blog 2021/22

Week 5: Suzy, National Youth Arts Wales

Suzy, National Youth Arts Wales Intern

I’m now a month into my placement with National Youth Arts Wales and I don’t know where the time has gone!

I’m feeling very grateful to be a part of the NYAW team, they have all been very welcoming and have each taken the time to speak to me one-to-one not only about their role, but their background and how they came to work at NYAW as well. This has been really useful to fully understand how everyone works together for the charity to run and made settling into my first professional role in an arts organisation that bit easier!

So far, I’ve had a variety of tasks and opportunities. Firstly, I took some time at the start of the internship to look over the current fundraising strategy and business plan – to have that in-depth knowledge of the organisation. Since then, I have been researching trusts and foundations for funding towards our Cor Skills project and researching Welsh businesses and their corporate social responsibility to see if it’s worth getting in touch to be a corporate partner/sponsor.

Recently, I have helped with a grant application that two of the trainee producers at NYAW have been working on, assisted at one of our audition evenings to meet a few of our members whilst showing them to their warm-up room, and been looking at possible ‘support-us’ content for the relaunch of our website - watch out for the launch in January! As one of our main income sources is from The Arts Council of Wales and various Trusts and Foundations, we are developing the individual giving and corporate sponsorship income streams and our website should be a good grounding for this. We’re looking to expand the number of fundraising pages on our website and add specific details about where donations will be spent – which is what I’ve had a go at writing drafts for.

I’m looking forward to continuing my placement with NYAW and I’ve already been told some of my potential projects for the future including organising a drinks event with potential donors in the summer and helping David, the Fundraising and Development Manager for NYAW, with the new fundraising strategy for the organisation in the new year – which is both very exciting and slightly daunting! It is an exciting time to be at NYAW as it’s still growing and developing from starting up in 2017. I’ve really enjoyed the internship so far and I’m excited to see what more opportunities I’ll be given in the coming months!


Week 4: Rosie, Wales Millennium Centre

Rosie, Wales Millennium Centre Intern

It is safe to say that this first month at Wales Millennium Centre has flown by! I have been welcomed into the Development team with open arms and have met people from a variety of areas within the centre. The team consists of my line manager Esyllt Williams (Trusts and Foundations Manager), Cecily Morgan (Individual Giving Manager), Kia Shah (Development Assistant) and Sian Morgan (Director of Development and Partnerships). As someone who has visited WMC many times, I thought I knew the building well – I was wrong. Wales Millennium Centre is even bigger than it looks, and what a building it is! I feel so grateful to be working here.

Wales Millennium Centre

Over this last month I have spent time looking into the three fundraising categories we deal with at WMC and have been helping with a variety of tasks. I have been updating the Trust and Foundations database, to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information and details regarding application deadlines and criteria. Another task I have been given is to work on our fundraising privacy policy and this has aided my understanding of our process of handling customer data. I helped to finalise a film for a new fundraising application by finding suitable photos and artwork to match the spoken content. In addition, I have also been given the task of looking after the members’ lounge bookings, which is part of our Ffrind+, Partner and Partner Awen memberships. There have been many performances, festivals and workshops taking place over the last month of me being here. I was fortunate to see behind the scenes of Festival of Voice, which took place at the start of the month, and I was shown the fantastic work that had started before COVID and was showcased at the festival. I also signed up to the virtual reality experience ‘Ripples of Kindness’, which was an activity funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation Culture Fund alongside WMC production of The Boy With Two Hearts. You were able to sit down with the Amiri family and hear their story of fleeing Afghanistan for Cardiff, presenting the difficulties they faced on their journey and what followed.

We have a lot coming up before the New Year and I look forward to what lies ahead. The world of Fundraising is so broad that I am doing something new every single day of my internship. Over the next few months, I will be assisting with funding applications and research, and helping with our members' events around Beauty and the Beast. On top of that, I will hopefully be helping to secure new funding for WMC to continue the creative and community work that makes such a difference.


Week 3: Eve, Rubicon Dance

Eve, Rubicon Dance Intern

I’m two weeks into my internship with Rubicon Dance and after a particularly difficult time since graduating in trying to begin a career in the arts sector, this opportunity couldn’t have made me happier! My excitement was matched by my team and colleagues as they welcomed me to my new position with smiling faces and tiny waving hands on my computer screen. I have regular meetings with my fellow fundraisers, Carlota and Lauren, which means I can ask them all the questions I have and get to know them more to create friendships. I have a Rubicon mentor too who I catch up with at the end of every week which helps me to remember everything I’m achieving. I have recently met my A&B Cymru business mentor who I am excited to get to know more soon as we have only met once so far. Even though I am undertaking this internship remotely I feel as though I have managed to settle in and get comfortable with this way of working, as you can see by my cosy corner in the picture below.

 Eve, Rubicon Dance Intern, Work Space

So far, there have been some exciting tasks to complete, mainly involved in preparations for Christmas festivities and doing lots of things that have a personal heartfelt touch. Rubicon is presenting its first-ever Christmas show called The Nutcracker which has meant that I’ve been helping with ticket sales initiatives and how Google Ads are being used in our advertisements for the show as well as for general Rubicon happenings. I have been put in the lead of sending invitations to Rubicon’s VIPs to attend The Nutcracker and correspond with them in arranging this. I’ve started to prepare infographics and social media content highlighting what Rubicon has achieved this year whether that’s fundraising, awards or new dance sessions introduced. Finally, I have recently made a start on sending postcards to those who have supported Rubicon's fundraising efforts with a personalised note of appreciation.

As well as finishing these tasks, it has been important that I continue to learn about what Rubicon does for the dancing community across Wales and the rest of the UK and how beneficial it is for such a variety of people, so reading through social media, the website and blogs have been very helpful to do this. However, I gained first-hand experience in Rubicon’s vital work for dance practitioners all over the UK by taking part in a Wales Wide Training Programme session online delivered by Lisa Dowler, Small Things Dance Collective, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool who leads dance sessions and offer performances across several wards in the children’s hospital. I have many more sessions upcoming to look forward to which will continue to teach me why it is necessary for the dance community to network through continuous professional development.

I’m really happy to have been given such a high level of responsibility particularly in sending invites to our VIPs, gotten to know a lovely team of people in Rubicon as well as within A&B Cymru and made such a positive start to my internship which I’m sure will only get better and better.


Week 2: Chieh-Ju Yang, NoFit State

Chieh-Ju Yang, NoFit State Creative Intern

Three weeks have flown by, and it has been exciting to join NoFit State.
I’ve received such a warm welcome from the circus company and the development team that includes my mentor Bethan and my line manager Ed, who I’ve been working very closely with. Ed has offered me great support and a variety of opportunities to understand the fundraising world.

During these weeks, I got to understand the main income streams of the company, from grants offered by trusts and foundations, and government sponsored bodies like Arts Council England, to business sponsors and individual giving. To understand these organisations better, I carried out ongoing research via their websites and gather information into templates. I also helped complete The Arts Portfolio of Wales survey where I got to grips with NoFit State and its ethos through a range of projects that have already taken place.

One of the best things about being in the development team is getting to understand different people’s work within the company. I attended a Community Brunch where the teachers and other team members gather together to discuss possible ways to work with our local community and how to open up dialogues. I enjoyed meeting the members of the wider team and began to understand some of the changes happening in the company.

Recently, I have had a chance to explore some of the marketing side of the work with Anna, our Marketing and Communications Officer, as our circus show, LEXICON, will be on during the winter! There is a host of tasks assigned to me, from event listing and updating our website, to researching how to create a package for a relaxed performance and how to talk about it on social media.

The past three weeks have passed fairly quickly and it’s great to have the opportunity to write this blog post so that I have a chance to stop and reflect on what I’ve done and achieved– a great way to monitor the learning curve!


Week 1: Aled Rosser, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias 

Aled Rosser, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias Creative Intern

Strand 2 here I come!

As I’ve finished my strand 1 placement with Frân Wen they have offered me a part time job with them AND I’ve been lucky enought to be accepted on to A&B Cymru’s strand 2 of the Internship. This year I’ve been placed with Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (CGWM for short). Back in October, when I started, I was thrown right in at the deep end helping them out at their International Piano Festival. It was a great way to get to know some of the impressive work that the organisation does. After this, it is straight into strategising for the next festival – The Wales International Harp Festival – in 2023.

Meeting with Elinor Bennet, the Artistic Director of the Festival, gives me an idea of what the festival will be and how it wil look. Allowing me to form a strategy of what trusts and foundations to target, and form a plan of action.

Whilst working on the strategy for the Harp Festival, I have also been researching on long term funding for the important Canfod y Gân project that CGWM runs. It is a project that works with adults with learning disabilities and non-disabled adults to facilitate the discovery of the individuals own song. Current funding is prospected to come to an end in the next year, therefore I shall be researching prospective funders for this incredibly important project.

So far so good, it’s great to be in the internship and have the chance to further develop my skills as a fundraiser in all fields.