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Blog 2023-24

Blog 5: Celeste Ingrams, SPAN Arts

Being in this last stretch of the Internship has highlighted some of the brilliant infrastructure around the learning which I have been feeling particularly grateful for at this point in the process. Meeting with the other interns, Cal and Karolina earlier in the week was great to feel the support around some of what we’ve been navigating in our separate placements. To be able to share successes, learning points and figuring through challenges has been invaluable to have that understanding, as well as inspiration. I’ve enjoyed hearing about their areas of focus within their fundraising work which help give insight into these different elements as well as other organisational approaches too. I am looking forward to the Internship swap later in the summer which will help to flesh this out even more!

It has been great also to have regular check-ins with the Internship co-ordinator at Arts & Business Cymru; have the support there and keeping on track with the objectives as well as accessing the training on offer. I have really appreciated meeting with my mentors this month and their helpful listening along with guidance and suggestions to help me with strengthening my next steps.

In terms of work at SPAN, there has been the ongoing mix of applications, monitoring and reporting, and working on developing the Individual Giving scheme, alongside helping out at our programme of events. We are getting close to launching our new website, which is an exciting thing on the cards too!

Blog 5: Cal Ellis, National Youth Arts Wales

If you’ve been keeping up with my A&B Cymru blog posts, you’ll know my last one was about reshaping my mindset and idea of success as a fundraiser. I’ve been really applying this new mindset to trust and foundation applications and valuing my work on the quality as opposed to just the results they generate. This fresh perspective has resulted in me feeling a lot happier in my work and workload.

Aside from the trenches of trust and foundation applications, I have been managing NYAW entries for Cardiff Half Marathon 2024. This has been a project I am hugely passionate about and excited to be delivering. We have had more sign-ups than expected and I’m really enjoying the stewardship element of this project.

The legacy giving campaign I have been working on with the help of my business mentor Roman Kubiak is really starting to take shape and come together. I am hugely grateful to Roman, and his expert knowledge of the legality of wills and their administration is mind blowing.

As I am now over halfway through my Internship with NYAW I have begun looking at my next steps. It’s a really exciting time for me in my career and I look forward to the opportunities and challenges the future brings.

Blog 4: Laura Moulding, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Time is going by so fast. It’s now less than 3 months until my Apprenticeship ends, and when the time comes, I’m going to miss being a Communities Engagement Apprentice. It has been such a wonderful experience being able to support the RWCMD and community groups, schools and colleges. I have learnt a lot of skills that I am able to take forward – administrative, supporting groups, running tours, and leading on my own projects such as focus groups – just to name a few.

I’ve been grateful to have been given opportunities to train in Ramp Cymru’s Disability Awareness training – where within it, I learnt about different terminology which is positive and negative to use. I’m currently on the list to have entry level British Sign Language training. All such important training.

On the 10th of April, I also led on my second ever group tour. I felt more prepared this time around, having planned and liaised with different teams with more confidence than I had before. They enjoyed the tour and aim to come back soon for another one! I also overheard a member saying, “She’s an asset to your team.” This made me smile. I always try to give 110% in all that I do, and I’m so glad this was seen.

I also attended a Round Table session with Action for Children’s Arts. It was an engaging session where we spoke about our position in Wales and how we can support arts for children. I’m pleased to have been given the opportunity to attend.

I’m thankful to my business mentor too, who has assisted me with updating my CV and cover letter. I always enjoy seeing them, and it’s nice to have a little catch up too.

Blog 4: Karema Ahmed, Theatr Iolo

Since my last update, I have discussed with my manger what I would like my remaining time I have left at Theatr Iolo to be focused on. We have planned out a rough schedule of what I will be doing for the upcoming months, I have been looking into shadowing some facilitators within music as I would like to eventually create and deliver my own music workshop for Theatr Iolo and in the future. Although I have already helped facilitate in multiple workshops throughout my time as an Apprentice, I would ideally like to specialise in delivering music workshops. Theatr Iolo have been really supportive and accommodating, by providing me with the skills and contacts I need to hopefully feel confident enough to deliver workshops when I finish my Apprenticeship.

I am currently working on a project that Theatr Iolo run, called Playhouse. Playhouse is a unique participatory national theatre project that connects schools with professional theatres, script writers and theatre makers, so they may be inspired and empowered to experience the benefits of professional theatre making. At the end of the project, they will perform the finished play to an audience on a theatre stage, which shall be taking place at The Riverfront in Newport this year. Theatr Iolo have been running this project for a few years now and I am excited to be a part of this year’s Playhouse and see the final result. You can find out more information about Playhouse at https://www.theatriolo.com/playhouse.

I am having a great time at Theatr Iolo and really enjoying exploring the areas I am most interested in!

Blog 4: Jo West, Urban Circle

As I reflect on my journey halfway through the Apprenticeship, the past month has proven to be the most challenging. Balancing work responsibilities, managing my own business, and being a mother has tested me in ways I hadn’t anticipated. However, amidst the trials, I’ve discovered invaluable lessons about myself.

Urban Circle has been an incredible pillar of support during these trying times. Typically one to navigate difficulties alone, their presence has made me feel less isolated. Knowing that I have their support throughout this journey has been a source comfort.

While the professional aspects of the Apprenticeship have been relatively smooth, the mental toll has been overwhelming. Fortunately, having Paula as my mentor has been immensely beneficial. Initially expecting guidance solely in the work aspect, her shared experience as a mother has allowed for candid conversations that I deeply needed.

One crucial takeaway from these past months is the importance of achieving a balance between work and life. Making time for self-care has become non-negotiable, a lesson I’m grateful to have learned.

Vlog 4: Idris Jones, Anthem

Blog 4: Celeste Ingrams, SPAN Arts

Just over the halfway point of the Internship and it has been a helpful time to pause, consider where I’m up to with my objectives, and look at the time ahead and what I want to achieve and focus on through the next five months. It was satisfying to see that I am on target with a lot of what I set out at the beginning and to see how this process has been unfolding with the various activities and work with SPAN.

I have particularly enjoyed being alongside the running of a project that I was successful with a funding application for early on in the internship. The project was delivering a mix of creative workshop sessions for unpaid carers to support having a break from caring responsibilities, learning new skills, making new connections and promoting wellbeing through the arts activity. The sessions are now finished, but we have got a celebration event coming up to mark the end of the project and the wonderful work that has been done over the weeks which I am looking forward to. I am currently working on evaluating and monitoring which will bring the project to a close. It is particularly satisfying to see a process through from the inception and initial funding application to the final reporting and tying up of a funded project. On top of this, I submitted another funding application to build on this successful work – so it is brilliant to take the learning from the project into a further year programme in supporting unpaid carers in Pembrokeshire through creative workshop sessions over the next year.

Alongside this, we have been successful with receiving funding from two funding bids that we worked on at the end of last year. One of them is funding a year of our creative programme activity supporting arts as social change in Pembrokeshire through a number of strands, along with a new post within the team to help run this. The other is a tender for the design, management and delivery of a large-scale lantern parade in Haverfordwest later this year. It has been great to understand the different approaches to writing these bids and give insight into the different criteria and ask needed to develop a strong application. It’s a great feeling to be part of the team being awarded these too!

These last couple of months have also held a lot of work on research to develop our new individual giving strategy which has been a really rich process and supported a lot of learning in this area of fundraising. I have enjoyed the challenge of this and look forward to the next stages which include working with a consultant to help develop the strategy. This learning has really been supported by some fantastic training courses I have been on with A&B Cymru; a brilliant benefit built in as part of the internship to have access to these courses for free.

I’m mindful of how the last couple of months have been influenced by managing big life changes and health challenges alongside work; having some helpful conversations with my manager and feeling the support in acknowledging how that has influenced my work at times has been useful. Recognising my health as part of a fuller and more integrated picture of how I’m able to do my best work, and be fulfilled by that, is important. I am grateful for the approach and culture of the SPAN team towards this. I think going through this patch and an openness of dialogue with the organisation has helped build understanding, supporting fuller engagement with the work and enhancing the learning that has been such a rich and rewarding experience with this placement at SPAN.

Blog 4: Karolina Birger, Hijinx Theatre

I hope you had a wonderful Easter break! Since my last update, I have been keeping busy with various projects and training sessions. One of the highlights was working on the application for the A&B Cymru Business Member, Grand Stephens Family Law partnership opportunity. The focus was on securing sponsorship for the Unity Festival 2024. I also completed the Project Management training course organised by A&B and delivered by Rhys Lilley, Project Delivery Lead at Admiral, which helped me further develop my skills. Additionally, I am gaining experience in writing reports to our current funders.

Looking ahead, I am excited to be part of the planning team for the upcoming 25th-anniversary celebration of Odyssey, an inclusive community theatre group, that will take place in September. We are already working on the event and searching for the perfect venue.

Reflecting on the changing world around us, I have been thinking about the importance of adaptability and resilience in the face of challenges. The current economic climate has made fundraising more difficult, but it has also encouraged our team to be more creative and innovative.

Despite the new projects, my primary focus remains on the Unity Festival. The past few weeks have been filled with valuable experiences and learning opportunities, and I am eagerly anticipating the remainder of my internship with Hijinx.

Blog 4: Cal Ellis, National Youth Arts Wales

How do you define a good fundraiser? Is it by the amount of money they bring in? Or the quality and volume of applications they send out?

These were the questions that we discussed at the halfway meeting for my Arts and Business internship at National Youth Arts Wales.

I’ve been really struggling of late, finding myself defining the quality and worth of my work on the money it brings in. Seeking self-esteem and validation to continue from a winning application.

This has really highlighted a big lesson for me in how I define myself as a fundraiser and what success looks like.

Can you define a good application on its success?

So many other factors come into play when it comes to the trust and foundations game. The project might not be the right fit, or the trustees just didn’t like the name. A well written funding application is just that, a well written funding application. A successful application is another thing all together.

It’s difficult because on one hand being a fundraiser, it’s sort of in the title what’s expected of you. On the other hand, no one has a 100% success rate. (And if they do, I would love to speak with them)

I’ve started finding value in my pride for my work and seeing it as more of a craft. A craft I am still learning… (nice little Segway line)

I’ve also learned not to be so hard on myself. I’m an intern at the end of the day. I ain’t been doing this 10 years, I’ve been doing it 10 months. Lots of things learned and a whole lot more to be learned. I’ve been reading successful applications from different colleagues, that’s giving me new ways to refine my own work.

So, they are the big two lessons I’ve had lately.

Outside of these two lessons, the cogs of the NYAW funding machine are well and truly oiled and turning. It’s full steam ahead for the Cardiff Half Marathon in 2024 (if you do want to run it supporting the next generation of young Welsh performing talent, do get in touch). I’ve been working hard on our big legacy giving push during summer performances, with help of one of my amazing mentors Roman Kubiak. Got a good few trusts and foundation applications out and more are being sent weekly.

In summary, all is going well. It’s not always easy but if it was everyone would be doing it. I’m learning loads about fundraising and myself. I’m grateful for the opportunity, grateful to work with great organisational colleagues and wider sector colleagues.

Big up x

Blog 3: Laura Moulding, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

By the time you read this, I’ll be halfway through my apprenticeship! The time has gone by so fast.

Since my last post I have completed two tours (one with support and one solo); supported in the running of a workshop for young people; taken part in the Old Library Engagement Day; attended a showing of Snow White in Cardiff Bay, and Wearable Arts at the College; attended lots of training (including branding, individual giving and project management); helped to recruit 2 new volunteers; started working on an accessibility module for staff at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; helped work on our Community Ticketing Scheme; sent out invites for a focus group I am leading on; and I’m soon to be supporting on an interview day! In short, every day is busy, but very exciting! I’m grateful for the support and trust from those around me in completing my tasks.

A highlight for me since my last post is being able to see the Wearable Art show and costumes at the College – did you know they were all made using recycled materials? The students are so talented! I didn’t know they only had about a month to plan and design them.

I am also extremely thankful to my business mentor, who has been supportive and helpful in my development. In the last couple of sessions, we have been looking through my CV, as well as developing my skills in other areas I’m also curious in.

At this halfway point, I’m reflecting on my apprenticeship journey so far, but I’m also thinking a lot about the future. Although I don’t know what the future will hold, I know it’ll be an interesting one!

Blog 3: Karema Ahmed, Theatr Iolo

I am at the halfway point of my A&B Cymru Apprenticeship, which has absolutely flown by! Things have been very busy these past few months but enjoying every bit.

After looking at my objectives this week, which I made before starting my apprenticeship, I can see that I have achieved them or in the process of achieving them. I am currently focusing more on the outreach projects that Theatr Iolo have to offer as I would love to work with children after my Apprenticeship. This has allowed me to get an insight into the possibilities of being able to become a freelance facilitator in the future. Thankfully I have been paired up with an amazing organisation who really wants to support me with the skills and experiences I need to succeed within the creative industry.

So far this has been a wonderful experience and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds!

Blog 3: Jo West, Urban Circle

In recent months, my journey with Urban Circle has been a revelation, shaping my understanding of what I aim to gain from this experience. I’ve gained invaluable insights that will help my plans in entrepreneurship. While my learning objectives for this apprenticeship changed, embracing this change has led me to realise what needs to be looked at again and what goals I want for myself.

This apprenticeship has provided me with the space to reflect deeply on my aspirations, opening unexpected doors sooner than I expected. It’s become evident that this experience extends beyond learning skills like editing; but how to communicate, organise, work in a team, personal motivation, and a better work-life balance—a realisation that has become the highlight of my journey.

The supportive environment at Urban Circle has nurtured my creativity, allowing me to explore and express my ideas authentically— which I am genuinely grateful for.

Among the significant milestones of these past months, creating the festival’s design stands out as a crowning achievement. This not only showcased my knowledge but also a sense of accomplishment upon seeing my work materialise into print. In the next phase of this journey, I look forward to witnessing efforts at the festival, knowing that it represents not only my personal growth but also the collective dedication of the team.

Vlog 3: Idris Jones, Anthem

Blog 3: Karolina Birger, Hijinx Theatre

I can hardly believe that I am already approaching the midway point of my internship with Hijinx. The past few weeks have been filled with a multitude of experiences and projects that have expanded my skills.

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in Hijinx’s latest production, Meta vs Life. This unique hybrid experience offers a blend of online and in-person gameplay, combining elements of an immersive performance, escape room, and murder mystery. As either ghost hunters in-person or the recently deceased online, the audience is actively involved in the experience. I joined the adventure online and had an amazing time!

In addition to this, I have also attended two great training sessions: Cultural Competency Awareness with Hijinx and Disability Equality & Diversity training by A&B Cymru. These sessions have provided me with valuable insights and knowledge that I can apply not only in my work with Hijinx but also in my personal life.

Navigating through multiple projects can sometimes feel overwhelming, but the unwavering support and guidance from the team at Hijinx and A&B Cymru have been priceless. From working on the Unity Festival application and reaching out to potential sponsors to handling applications for Odyssey, Young People Theatre, and a new short film, every task has been a learning experience in itself.

Further, I now have a greater understanding of the organisation’s operations and strategic planning because of my exploration of Hijinx Competitive Analysis and participation in the budgeting process.

As I look ahead to the next half of my internship, I am excited about the new challenges and opportunities that await me.

Blog 3: Celeste Ingrams, SPAN Arts

Since my last blog I have enjoyed getting involved in a number of different projects within SPAN in the broad scope of the programming activity we do here. From a co-created music project with a youth group, a multigenerational singing programme; Cor Pawb, to evaluation planning for an arts and health project working with a health board, social care providers, artists and other collaborators using creative workshops to inform the provision of care within the community. It is great working with different members of the team and different communities in and around Pembrokeshire to understand more the reach of our work and how we continue to develop in supporting arts for social change in West Wales.

All the activities I do translate into a deeper understanding of what difference our work makes and how to talk about that in a fundraising context to support the work to continue and evolve. Learning about fundraising with SPAN is helping me to know how to weave these stories together to demonstrate the need, value and difference this can make to people’s lives. Telling these stories is a skill that I feel passionate about, and learning how to improve how I do this alongside developing the oversight needed for implementing and monitoring a project is something I’m feeling more confident in through the practice of doing it.

Working on three large funding applications over the last couple of months has been a great experience for fleshing out this learning, and I am now enjoying getting stuck into creating a strategy for our individual giving and friends of scheme going forward, which is exciting!

To find out more about our work visit www.span-arts.org.uk

Blog 3: Cal Ellis, National Youth Arts Wales

Greetings, esteemed readers! Today, I’m pleased to share insights from the dynamic realm of my fundraising internship with National Youth Arts Wales. Picture me as one of the orchestrators behind the scenes, juggling the Legacy Giving Campaign, navigating the Cardiff Half Marathon waters, and crafting trust and foundation applications like a maestro.

I tip my hat to Arts and Business Cymru – the unsung heroes in my grand opera of fundraising. Their support has been instrumental in propelling my mission forward. Now, for a touch of wit amidst the seriousness: Why did the fundraising intern bring a ladder to the marathon? To reach new heights in donor engagement, of course! In a world often draped in formality, it’s refreshing to be part of a team that works with a dash of humour and dedication. Here’s to more laughter, triumphs, and transforming aspirations into reality. Stay tuned for the unfolding chapters of this captivating fundraising saga!

Blog 2: Laura Moulding, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

A lot has happened since my last blog, and I’ve been kept extremely busy.

I was fortunate to watch ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the RWCMD before the break. It was fantastic, with some very talented actors in the show. What really excited me was the involvement of a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, who played a role within the show too. I had never seen a BSL performance before. I hope I can support more people to go to BSL shows in the future.

During the week the show was running, I got to meet some members of the D/deaf community. Although my BSL is basic, I was able to have my first-ever conversation with a lovely person (signing my name using the BSL alphabet). This person lit up with excitement when she knew I understood her, and she understood me. To this day, I would say this was one of the big (of many) highlights of my time at the College. Being able to engage with different community members is important to me, and being able to assist them in any way I can is such an amazing experience.

Another amazing moment was being able to see Jason Watkins at the College! Having watched him in the ‘Nativity’ films when I was a young person, made me very happy to see him in person. It was great seeing ‘The One Note Man,’ and seeing all the engagement with the schools that visited that day.

Other exciting things I’m working on include leading on a tour (for about 25 people) and leading on the creation and presentation of focus groups being held soon.

Blog 2: Karema Ahmed, Theatr Iolo

My apprenticeship with Theatr Iolo is going great! Since my last update, we have finished Peter Pan. We are currently in rehearsals for Tidy, which shall be at Polka Theatre in London next month.

Theatr Iolo has been given funding from Co-op which we are using to create 200 Creative Play Packs, filled with all sorts of arts and crafts goodies and activities. I am currently the lead on this project and will be deciding what shall go in the packs. The packs shall have recourses to create their own play and make a mini stage or use the resources to make whatever they would like. We have decided to give all 200 packs to Taff Housing, where they will then be distributed out to families that may not have these resources at home. This has been a very rewarding project to work on and to be a part of something that provides children with the opportunity to be creative. I feel creativity is very important for children’s development and these packs are a great way to explore that!

I am learning new things every day from my colleagues, and I am truly enjoying my time at Theatr Iolo. I look forward to being a part of many different projects and showing that Theatr Iolo have in the upcoming months.

Vlog 2: Jo West, Urban Circle

Vlog 2: Idris Jones, Anthem

Blog 2: Karolina Birger, Hijinx Theatre

Since my last update at Hijinx, the journey has been exciting, marked by intensified dedication to inclusivity and diversity in the arts. My focus centered around securing corporate sponsorships for the Unity Festival 2024, Europe’s largest inclusive festival, providing a stage for neurodiverse actors. Simultaneously, my attention was drawn towards securing crucial financial support for diverse projects through trust and foundation applications, so Hijinx can continues its mission to create more inclusive word.

A standout moment of the last few weeks was for me attending “Humburg!” performance. This unique production brought together the talents of Odyssey, an inclusive community theatre group featuring actors with learning disabilities and/or autism. The impact of collaboration and inclusivity was strongly felt, leaving a lasting impression on the audience, and solidifying the arts’ ability to create positive change.

On the end of November, I attended event at CultVR celebrating year of partnership between Hijinx and Folk creative agency. Event unfolded under the expansive 360 dome, Hijinx provided thought-provoking training session, and the guest could join the panel session about the inclusivity in the media.

Moreover, my professional growth has been elevated by participation in Arts & Business Cymru training sessions:  “Autism in Women and Girls,” “Planning a Fundraising Strategy,” “5 Steps to Sponsorship Success,” and “Unconscious Bias”. Those trainings have provided me with the necessary knowledge and abilities to successfully navigate the complex intersection of art, business, and inclusivity.

I continue to immerse myself in the vibrant world of Hijinx, I look forward to the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead. The journey is not just about the projects and festivals; it’s about fostering a culture where diversity is celebrated, and every voice, is heard and appreciated. Stay tuned for more updates on this incredible adventure!

Blog 2: Celeste Ingrams, SPAN Arts

I’ve been at SPAN Arts for just over a couple of months now, and it has been a really varied and rich experience. I am feeling much more settled into a routine with the work as well as continued wide-ranging activity in getting involved with the programme work and different aspects of fundraising.

I heard back about the first successful funding application that I worked on, which felt fantastic in supporting what I believe to be a really valuable project to happen. The fund is running creative sessions for unpaid carers early next year with the aim to provide a break from their caring responsibilities and benefit their wellbeing through the arts activities and connecting with other unpaid carers. It is great to get to know a project through research and understand the background in order to then support delivering a quality experience for participants.

I have also been working on monitoring reports providing current funders updates on the work we are doing with the funding they have given us. This has been really interesting to find out more about the brilliant work that has been done, hearing the views of people involved in the projects and the difference it is making in their lives, as well as the numbers and budgeting side of the reports. It is giving me insights into different aspects involved in the fundraising process, which is helping to flesh out my understanding and inform my ongoing work.

There are three funding applications we are working on with tight deadlines over the next month, so it is a busy time with lots more learning in store! I am also gearing up to look at our individual giving scheme in the new year and consider different approaches to this in the work we do at SPAN.

Blog 2: Cal Ellis, National Youth Arts Wales

My internship with National Youth Arts Wales is going really well. I’m feeling really settled both within the team and my work plan. My primary responsibility so far has been trust and foundation applications and I’ve noticed my approach to applications and writing skills developing. I really enjoy the investigation and research that precedes a fundraising plan, I’ve really found a system for trusts and foundations that works for me and the organisation.

I’ve now met and confirmed both my business and arts mentors through Arts & Business Cymru. They are both fantastic and I can already tell I’m going to learn a great deal from them. I look forward to developing these relationships and gaining a further understand of their specialist areas.

It was also great to catch up with the other A&B Cymru interns and have a chat about how we have all been getting on share by useful resources with one another.

All in all I’m really happy and content with my internship and you know what they said ‘you can’t spell fundraising without the word Fun.’

Blog 1: Laura Moulding, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

It’s been weeks since I started my apprenticeship with the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama; they say “time goes fast when you are having fun,” and it’s true.

In the time I’ve been here, I have been grateful to manage Microsoft Forms and Excel sheets, whilst undertaking lots of important training and meetings, and create tour guides/plans. I’ve attended events including an Open Workshop and Q+A for primary school children at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay and a showing of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s ‘Playhouse Creatures.’ I enjoyed seeing students’ enthusiasm at the Workshop, and the ‘Playhouse Creatures’ show was amazing.

I also recently went to see the ‘Voice Trio’ perform some of Hildegard Von Bingen’s 12th century music and the Sinfonia Cymru and Jess Gillam concert – Jess, in particular, is such an amazing saxophonist, and I was very fortunate to meet Jess Gillam at the end!

It has been nice meeting all the staff too. Normally I’m very anxious about meeting new people, but I can honestly say I’ve never felt more welcome. I look forward to working with them further over my apprenticeship.

I’ve also been assigned my business mentor, who is amazing and inspiring. I look forward to how they can assist me, and how I can develop as a person through this and my apprenticeship. I’m incredibly grateful to Arts & Business Cymru for accepting me, and to the College for allowing me to be part of their team.

 

Blog 1: Karema Ahmed, Theatr Iolo

I have been working at Theatr Iolo as an apprentice for just over a month now and it’s been amazing. So far it has been a wonderful experience, all the staff are talented, hardworking and have been so welcoming.

I kind of just went straight into everything which I feel is the best way to learn and I can ask questions as I go along. I joined when Theatr Iolo was in R&D for Welsh Dragon, which we put on a sharing on for. We have also been running free workshops for Welsh Dragon at schools, presented in English or Welsh which I am currently in charge of booking through. Theatr Iolo are currently in production for Peter Pan which is going well. I am helping with the access materials for Peter Pan and creating the Trigger Warnings and Storyboard for the show.

I am also in charge of a new project to find out information about electric charging points at different venues or where the closest one is, to understand a current picture of what options there are on the touring circuits throughout Wales to know whether it is possible to use an electric touring vehicle.

I attended my first board meeting which was beneficial as I got to know a lot more about the company and understand the aspirations they have for the future. I have really gotten an insight into how the company works and I can’t wait to learn more!

Blog 1: Joanne West, Urban Circle

Now, where do I start? Well, firstly, I have to say this experience of transitioning from working at home to being in an office has been very enlightening. While working from home, I had my own hours and my own time, building my own structure. However, working with Urban Circle and having a dedicated workspace has provided a sense of freedom and structure I’ve never experienced before. When I first joined, Urban Circle welcomed me warmly, and their organization exudes a family vibe, which I love. Working alongside other black creatives has been something I’ve been seeking. I’ve often felt like a slight outsider, not fully relating to many people. It’s refreshing to be around individuals from the same culture, who understand me and share the same lingo. Going to work has become an enjoyable experience.

From the start, I knew I wanted to delve into editing. Learning how to edit, put things together, and create content has given me a clear vision of my desired path within the industry. Urban Circle’s environment offers a sense of peace, providing creative freedom with guidance. In terms of my own business development, I finally feel confident in the path I’m about to embark on in the next few years. The anticipation for what 2024 holds is genuine; my mind is buzzing with ideas and direction. The current journey I’m on now makes sense, fulfilling a quest I’ve been on for clarity. This was the primary reason I joined Arts & Business Cymru, and even though it hasn’t been long in this apprenticeship, I’m already gaining so much. The excitement is real, and I look forward to sharing the developments I make over the next year.

Vlog 1: Idris Jones, Anthem

Blog 1: Karolina Birger, Hijinx

How thrilling my first month at Hijinx has been!

I’ve been spending the past few weeks getting to know the organization—learning about its past projects, mission, and goals for the upcoming months. I also had the opportunity to meet every staff member, from the production crew to the administration.

Last Monday, I attended the Hijinx’s Academy session, where I got the chance to meet actors in person. They welcomed me with open arms and helped me settle in with their group.

During my second week with the organization, I attended the Housemate production, which Hijinx presented in collaboration with Sherman Theatre. The narrative of Housemate centres on Alan, a young person with Down syndrome who lives in an Ely hospital, and all he wants is to live in a house and be in a band. Based on a true story, the production is set in Cardiff in the 1970s. Several times while watching Housemates, I had tears in my eyes. The production demonstrates the great value of neurodiverse performers to the arts and their right to greater visibility in the field of performance art.

In the coming weeks, my main priorities will be working on trust and foundation applications, as well as, finding sponsors for the Unity Festival 2024 – the largest inclusive festival in Europe. Wish me luck!

Blog 1: Celeste Ingrams, SPAN ARTS

Just three weeks into my internship with SPAN Arts and it’s been a really varied and rich time of learning. I’ve enjoyed meeting and spending time with each member of the team (7 in the team in total), learning the different workings of the organisation and how my role works alongside.

I’ve attended different meetings, getting to know the wider community, who SPAN work with. This week I attended three Privilege Cafe’s we hosted at different locations across Pembrokeshire, which was inspiring and thought provoking. It was great to visit different venues and be involved with conversations in different parts of the county alongside the wonderful artist-facilitators.

I visited a Volunteers Fair at Pembrokeshire College, engaging college students in the work of SPAN Arts and chatting with other stall-holders getting to know other organisations locally.

It’s given a bit of a taster into the variety of activity and areas of engagement for SPAN Arts which helps me understand the programme, projects and organisation further. I’ve felt really welcomed by everyone and feel very grateful for being made to feel at home so quickly.

This week I submitted my first funding application, which was nerve-wracking, but also really satisfying, learning from and supported by the team and getting to understand SPAN Art’s way of working more.

Overall, it has been a fantastic start and introduction to the work, and I’m really looking forward to all that comes next

Blog 1: Call Ellis, National Youth Arts Wales

As I write this blog entry, I am coming to the end of my second week working as a creative fundraising intern at National Youth Arts Wales.

It’s been a bit of whirlwind couple of weeks meeting the team and settling into the new office. Before I started, I had sort of prepared myself for it to be a bit mentally overwhelming but in all honesty, it’s been really enjoyable. The team at NYAW are friendly and have a great work ethic that is infectious and inspiring. My work plan is set up now and my aims and objectives have been clearly established. I’m currently working on secure funding from trusts and foundations for a couple of NYAW brilliant contemporary music projects.

On the 11th I had the opportunity to attend Arts & Business Cymrus fundraising symposium. This was a really well organised event and provided some great information from a range of potential trusts and foundations.

I think the thing I’m enjoying most about working at NYAW is getting to see the work the charity does in providing some extremely talented Welsh young people with the opportunity to progress from grassroots to professional standard. It’s a pleasure and privilege to be a part of that process.