28 May 2014back

Creative Internships Blog Week 30

Roisin Daley, Young at Art

One of my favourite aspects of this internship is that I am always learning new skills and partaking in so many new activities. Recently I have been working on securing a sponsorship between my organisation Young at Art and Castlecourt, one of Belfast’s biggest shopping centres. Since January, Young at Art have been renting a vacant retail unit in the centre, and facilitating art workshops and exhibitions which are free and open to the public. This has been a fantastic way of introducing the work that we do to new audiences and spreading awareness of our organisation, particularly over the Belfast Children’s Festival. The results have been tremendous and we have engaged with hundreds of families, who got to spend an afternoon getting creative with their kids and trying something new, with Castlecourt also seeing increased spend in local cafes as a result of our initiative.

Recent conversations between Castlecourt and Young at Art have lead to talks of continuing the relationship through an Arts & Business NI Investment Programme, which promotes and sustains partnerships between businesses and arts organisations. The programme is a great way for businesses to try new ventures and encourage existing partnerships to develop and thrive. After discussions with both Castlecourt and Arts and Business, I drew up an application to A&B NI to receive funding for Young at Art to hold a parent and toddler group in their retail space in Castlecourt. After submitting the proposal, I was pleased to hear back that it had been successful, and that the project would go ahead. After discussing this news with my manager Ali, she suggested that I project manage the scheme from start to finish. I am really looking forward to the responsibility and hopefully making it a big success over the next few months.

Aside from that, I have been busy compiling reports for the organisation’s different funders. It has been great to get this kind of experience, as this internship has taught me it is not just about securing money for your organisation, it is also about ensuring that funders terms and conditions are met and adhered to.

Another highlight of the internship is that myself and the other creative interns are regularly given opportunities to partake in training and avail of attending interesting seminars. We were recently invited by Arts & Business NI to a very interesting discussion at the Ulster Museum about philanthropy in the arts. Organised by A&B NI and Audiences NI, the event featured special guest and expert fundraiser Lucy Bird who discussed how arts organisations can try ways to increase their contributions of their donors. Lucy has an impressive track record with fundraising; having recently coordinated a £12,000,000 endowment fund, and it was fascinating to hear her speak about her own first-hand experience in overcoming the obstacles and challenges which many people face as a fundraiser. Lucy was very witty and honest about her experiences, and it gave me real insight into the possibilities of increased philanthropy in my own arts organisation for the future.

View all news