25 November 2013back

Creative Internships Blog Week 6

Roisin Daley, Young at Art

Working at Young at Art has so far been a wonderful experience, where every day is different. They are a busy and vibrant organisation; Not only are they a children’s charity, who run the Belfast Children’s festival, they also have year-round outreach programmes, and a trading wing; Young at Art Events. All of this work is done with a small core of staff, although they work with many local freelance artists and facilitators.

Before I started, I felt anxious about the amount of responsibility I would be undertaking and feared that for some reason I would be thrown into the arena of writing core funding applications on my first week! However, I was made to feel extremely welcome by my line manager and the Director of the company, Ali FitzGibbon, who made me feel at ease by talking me through what my role was to involve, and gave me a tour of the premises, where I came across some of the incredible artworks and creations that they had made for previous festivals. The other members of staff have all been great to work with, many of whom are artists in their own right, and it has been fantastic to work alongside such creative people who are passionate about the arts.

As a fundraising intern, I have been learning many new practical skills, which has complimented much of the theoretical work which I have gained from my Masters in Arts Management. Recently, I have been gaining insight into the organisation's current funders, and have also been busy researching potential funding streams for the organisation’s future programmes. I have also completed a funding application for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and helped to work on sponsorship agreements with local businesses with my manager. I have really enjoyed the tasks and challenges involved in fundraising so far, and through this work, I’ve also been humbled; by recognizing the important place which the arts, play in many childrens lives in local communities  which simply couldn’t happen without support from funders.

Recently I attended the Theatre for Young Audiences conference in Derry, where I represented my organisation as a delegate, and got to see some fantastic live performance. In the past week I have also attended some training events with Arts & Business NI with the other Creative Interns, where we were fortunate enough to meet and talk to fundraising extraordinaire Ken Burnett, who gave an informative and inspiring talk on fundraising. Arts & Business NI’s training days have been really useful, particularly the most recent at the beautiful premises of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, at MacNeice house where myself and the other Creative Interns, were introduced to Arts Council Officers, who spoke with passion about their work in the arts.

People say that if you really enjoy the work that you do, then it doesn't feel like work, and this is certainly how I feel working at Young at Art. So far, the Creative Interns program has far exceeded my expectations. Every day is challenging, and enjoyable and I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity.

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