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Dates for next year's Belfast Children's Festival
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Eight months into the pandemic, I was afforded the opportunity to undertake a paid internship with Young at Art as their Festival and Fundraising Intern. With a background in live events, the pandemic-induced work-from-home setting could’ve been a daunting introduction to the administrative world. I was very fortunate, however, that my internship wasn’t marred by its timing (thanks to the exceptionally supportive, kind, and engaged team at Young at Art).
Working for the first time behind the scenes of the Belfast Children’s Festival in its first year of virtual delivery was an invaluable (though hopefully) once in a lifetime experience. Assisting and observing as the BCF21 was adapted in real-time to global events showed me the value of reactivity in the live events industry, taught me new ways of thinking, and of approaching the glitches that inevitably arise.
Gaining access to the inner workings of an arts organisation has given me a far clearer picture of what goes into events; the different routes and components within the sector; and better direction for where to go next.
Without this internship, I would’ve remained within the cycle of undertaking unpaid work within the arts sector ‘for exposure’ while working a day job. The importance of paid work for young career creatives (or professionals in any industry, for that matter) cannot be stressed enough. Huge thanks to Creative & Cultural Skills for their support in making the internship happen.
Not only do I leave Young at Art with increased confidence and more direction, but with an overwhelming gratitude for the opportunity afforded to me, and a lot of hope for the future of the arts sector where young people are guided and supported through similar programmes.