The Screen Industries Growth Network provided the funding for The Artery to offer two peer support business programmes for creatives starting out on their careers in the screen industries. The funding allowed us to trial two models, one using AR and Animation to support business skills development and the other using Screen Storytelling.
The programme in Craven ran over three weekends in January, the Scarborough programme was offered as a hybrid. We structured both programmes around a Story of Change model with Action Learning embedded to ensure all content was led by the groups. There was a focus in Craven on animation and AR as a way of supporting business skills developing, helping young creatives shape the business stories they want to tell. The programmes were delivered by:
- Virpi Kettu an award-winning director, animator and digital artist with over two decades long career working extensively in Europe and Canada. Virpi has Animated for Aardman Animations for the “Wallace and Gromit”, ‘Shaun the Sheep’, ‘Creature Comforts’ and for The National Film Board of Canada, DreamWorks and Universal Pictures.
- Leo Devine former head of BBC South West. He transformed regional news gathering across the BBC. Leo worked in journalism for the BBC for 34 years as a reporter, presenter, producer, radio and TV editor, and senior leader. He ran four of the BBC regions and was also Head of Journalism for the BBC’s Nations and Regions and Head of Editorial Standards. Leo provides a unique insight into broadcast media and the power of story telling through journalism.
- Karen Merrifield founder of the Artery with has a long history in the cultural and heritage sector. She works on learning strategy, audience engagement and evaluation of large scale heritage projects. She also holds an MBA and an MA in Education by Research but values creative and cultural business and project management models.
We were privileged to work with two great groups of young creatives facing a variety of challenges.
What we learned.
The young people we worked with are talented, committed and often award-winning but they are facing a number of common challenges:
- Physical isolation in rural or coastal communities/Access to broader networks
- How to build a business from scratch with no prior business development learning
- Practicalities, how to access equipment, transport/transport costs, training opportunities.
They are keen to connect with other young creatives in areas where the population is made up largely of older people, second home owners, or those retiring to the area.
- Poorly paid part time work is subsiding creative careers
- Lack of medium or large creative businesses to employ them directly and provide valuable creative work experience
- Setting up a business may be the only way to get their foot on the creative career path but they do not have the knowledge or support to do this
- Contrasting rural communities, locals versus more confident people who move to the area and inhabit the creative/cultural spaces more easily
- Lack of awareness of support that is out there.
There is a need for:
- Considered ‘placemaking’ activity created for, or even better, with or by young people
- Support for young people to be visible in a world where everyone is visible. Support around self-promotion, how to communicate with businesses, how to tell their stories to attract customers or audiences?
- How to access organisations who can provide support, how these organisations can reach out to this cohort of young people.
They have great stories to tell, great connections to place, diversity of experience and important voices.