30 June 2014back

Creative Internships Blog Week 35

Johanna Shepherd, Wales Millennium Centre

In a few hours performers all over Wales Millennium Centre will be taking their cues. The National Theatre’s War Horse will play to a full house in the Donald Gordon Theatre. Dance artists from all over Wales will perform their work in the Weston Studio as part of Wales Dance Platform 2014. Jonathan Dimbleby will present Radio 4’s Any Questions in a live broadcast from Hoddinott Hall. In the bar acoustic folk du Remembering August will be setting up for their set, and singer songwriter Sarah Louise Owen will be singing her heart out on the Glanfa stage – just two of over 400 free performances the Centre has planned for this year. “In the room people come and go” from visual artist Shani Rhys James’ installation, Florilingua in the Foyer, and Ernest Shackleton’s King Penguin and Alfred Russell Wallace’s Giant Bee, observe it all from the pop up museum in the Concourse, on loan from Amgueddfa Cymru and Oxford University Museum of Natural History. You might see any of this if you wander into the building this evening.

But even though this buzz of artistic activity is a great example of what Wales Millennium Centre does, you won’t see some of the things I’m most proud of. For example, thanks to the support of Colwinston Charitable Trust and PRS for Music Foundation, the Centre was able to commission a new choral piece from exciting composer Paul Mealor called ‘Spirit of Hope’. Sixty-five children from Wales had the opportunity to perform this brand new work in Cape Town, as part of the celebrations commemorating 20 years of democracy in South Africa. You won’t see it performed in the building, but you can see its UK debut at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod this July.

It’s said that fundraisers should expect 9 no’s for every yes, and some of the other things you won’t see in the building – at least not yet – are the projects that couldn’t get over that final hurdle. But I am proud of the quality and the work that went into these proposals and projects as well.

There are no shortcuts in life, but the Creative Internships programme has provided me with something very close to it: a jump start. My arts mentor, Marie Wood, my business mentor, Gwenda Williams, and countless others at Arts & Business Cymru and the Centre have invested time and expertise in training me, and I've grown in confidence and learned so much in a relatively short time. I wasn't sure when I began the internship whether fundraising was for me; I've discovered to my delight that it is. I've been given the opportunity to try my hand at almost every area of fundraising, and I've seen that there a variety of ways to develop a rewarding and fulfilling career. I've been privileged to work for an organisation that aspires to become an artistic powerhouse, creu gwir fel gwydr o ffwrnais awen - creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration. The Creative Internships programme itself has been a furnace of inspiration for me, and I'm looking forward to refining and building on the skills that I have gained as my journey continues.

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