Creative Internships Blog Week 7
Lauren Webb, National Theatre Wales
Hello, this week I thought I would talk a bit about how different it is working for a smaller arts organisation. Here at NTW we are a core staff of just 19, all in one lovely open plan office in the Castle Arcade. We don’t have a physical theatre space – the whole ethos is that we engage with many communities, bringing theatre and opportunities to locations across Wales. We work with both key and emerging artists, who are primarily Welsh or living in Wales, and after 5 years of theatre we have established our reputation for extraordinary work in unexpected places.
Being a small team who all work in such close proximity together ensures an environment of communication, collaboration and generous support of one another. Every Tuesday we have a whole company meeting, where we all share what we are working on at the moment and give our opinions on - for example – what we individually see as the risks and positives of our next production. This sense of inclusivity is extended to production tickets and ideas meetings, where every employee, no matter if it is relevant to their paid role or not, is encouraged to take part. NTW definitely gives the impression of a creative democracy, which is equally daring, nurturing and engaged. These values extend to my role too and I feel that my ideas are always considered sincerely. That has always been something I have most treasured about A&B Cymru’s internships – that I have never been treated like a typical intern on a typical internship.
This morning we had a big development planning meeting and discussed whether we need to update our company values to reflect where NTW is now. It was a great session where we all suggested possible new income strands to explore and how upcoming opportunities could best get funding. There is so much to think about in a smaller, young organisation; everything will have to be completely set up from scratch and so there are a lot of different avenues to consider, which is both really fun and daunting!
However it is a really refreshing experience to not inherit fundraising protocols but really be able to research for yourself what your community wants and devise new ways of creating that in the best way. I don’t have a go through any red tape and I am free to propose anything. Transparency, community and experimentation are such a part of NTW as an organisation that I suppose it is only natural that I have the privilege of translating these into fundraising terms too!
NTW’s current production is definitely creatively daring and inclusive – not least in that it is a theatrical game where audience members must endeavour to illegally cross an imaginary border into Wales. Bordergame is devised from the real experiences of immigrants in Wales, many of whom are taking part as actors. An online audience will be trying to spot the illegal immigrants, through CCTV and secret moles, and they can also determine the fate of those caught. So, cue promo, please join us or play online for free at http://activecitizens.net/.
In summary, I am really enjoying the ethos of this smaller organisation, and I am proud of the hefty arts innovation that they bring to Wales.View all news