23 June 2014back

Creative Internships Blog Week 34

Ciara McCafferty, Prime Cut Productions

This week in the Prime Cut office we were finally able to celebrate publicly the remarkable news that our Artistic Director, Emma Jordan, was one of the winners of the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Breakthrough Award. This award was set up to support exceptional entrepreneurs in the cultural sector in the UK. Emma will receive an astounding £295,000 to develop her work as a theatre director, pursue new international collaborations and will lead a series of development opportunities for emerging theatre-makers in Northern Ireland.

This idea of Cultural Entrepreneurship fascinates me. Cultures and Globalisation: The Cultural Economy suggests that Cultural Entrepreneur’s need to be three things; a strategist who establishes critical new perspectives, an innovator creating new possibilities and a catalyst that makes things happen.

This is illustrated evidently in Emma’s aim to develop opportunities for emerging theatre-makers. She will be working with a number of key stakeholders to strategise for a brighter future for emerging companies and individual artists in Northern Ireland, by brokering chances for them to gain access to the required resources to hone and advance their craft.

As an emerging artist it is a relief to know that established individuals and companies are taking action to help secure the future of theatre in Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole. Recently I have been involved in a number of consultations on how matters can be improved for emerging companies in Northern Ireland. One major endeavour in joined up thinking is the idea of established companies working with emerging companies on applications for funding in order to release funds to the emerging companies who might not be able to gain access to them through their own means.

This economic climate has meant continuous cuts to funding for the arts from statutory bodies and so creative thinking is crucial now more than ever. However, these new perspectives need to be coming from not only the artists but also the grant makers. The Breakthrough Award acknowledges the immense benefits of funding those with compelling visions for how to make great things happen in the arts but giving them the flexibility of  granting them support before they have drawn up detailed plans of work. Now that is responsive funding.

The good news continued in the Prime Cut office with the opening of our new shows, The Chilean Trilogy or ‘The Chilogy’ as it was fondly referred to, with rave reviews including a five-star review from The Belfast Telegraph for Tejas Verdes. These three shows were a massive undertaking for the entire creative team and the five wonderful ladies who performed in all three plays. There is no better feeling than stepping outside of the office and experiencing the productions that you have helped to bring to fruition. I loved every moment of being part of the team that helped to bring these hard-hitting political drama’s to Belfast, a city which has more than a few similarities in its past to Chile. Witnessing the audience experience these immersive pieces really brought home what an unbelievable opportunity the past 8 months have been, I have been incredibly fortunate to work with such a dedicated team.

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