3 December 2013back

Creative Internships Blog Week 7

Lauren Webb, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama 

8 weeks ago I became the fourth member of the Development Department at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD). As the National Conservatoire for Wales, the College drives excellent training for the next generation of music and drama practitioners. Contained within state of the art facilities and having developed into a popular arts centre, this is an invigorating place to work. I have particularly come to value the brilliant difference that we first and foremost educate the young talent of the future, and that this is then balanced with a determination to improve access to the arts. (I think I may have been proudly using the ‘we’ since my very first week!)

I really like the focuses of fundraising and how varied the work load is due to the very different projects needing support. The achievement of funding world class educational and artistic opportunities is already feeling worthwhile. I have found it a privilege to work in an environment where you can see that vision realised, and witness the tangible end product; talent being developed in each new performance.

Arts organisations are increasingly forced to seek funding from new sources and fundraisers hold great responsibility to supply for creative possibilities. Throughout each piece of my work I feel so fortunate in how I have been supported, by my colleagues and my fundraising mentor, Lucy Stout. The time and patience that they put into going back to basics and helping me evaluate my progress has exceeded my expectations (which were already set high)! As a department they have fully embraced A&B Cymru’s intern ethos: my personal learning and skills development have been put first in my role here. For this I am so appreciative.

I also feel incredibly fortunate to have the advice of my business mentor, Robert Lloyd Griffiths. As the Director for the IOD in Wales (Institute of Directors) his expertise is invaluable and he has also invited me to events such as this week’s IOD Young Directors Evening - my most challenging networking event yet, not least because I won’t know a single person there! Between Lucy and Robert, my mentors have vast career experience for me to learn from. These great aspects, along with the insight from A&B Cymru’s training days, are the beauty of the Creative Internships. The varieties of educational inputs are brilliant and more than I would have expected 6 months after my degree. So I often find myself feeling relieved and grateful!

Initially my work consisted of research projects, particularly into new trusts, which we are now pairing up with projects in readiness to write proposals. I am also helping on a legacy campaign and researching new funding initiatives. Most excitingly I am working on a number of corporate sponsorships, varying from relationships at initiation point, to those being revived. So this promises to be a very interesting learning curve!!

The hub of student and arts activity ensures a vibrant atmosphere. The proportion of student performances guarantees a refreshing programme and their quality is undeniably the pride, and purpose, of the College. It is a privilege to feel a part of this great creative potential being realised. The fundraising that supports and develops these initiatives is of diverse excellence, fuelled by an intense care for the product; talent.


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