October 12, 2023, by Arts Placements

Lakeside Arts Creative Placement Programme at FABRIC

Widening Participation Creative Placement Programme

By Sophie Slack

During my long summer break and the months of June and July 2023, I was lucky enough to participate in the Lakeside Arts Creative Placement Programme. I undertook the role of a communications assistant at FABRIC (formerly Dance4) for 5 weeks.  My role involved helping with the smooth-running of class programmes and events.  As I approach my final year of studying History in Nottingham, this eye-widening experience has made me far less apprehensive.   It allowed me to explore what I enjoy and the career path I want to pursue. My time at FABRIC equipped me with solid experience, knowledge and skills and I am excited to share some of my highlights.

Getting stuck in

On my first week of placement, it’s safe to say I was quite literally thrown in at the deep end! I was tasked to assist with the CAT (Centre for Advanced Training) audition for the upcoming year. This involved greeting and registering over 50 auditionees, supporting the directors, creating panel and information packs and ensuring the overall running of the day. I was lucky enough to visit the Birmingham office and work alongside the participation producer.  I assisted with the Critical Mass Collective, which performed at Birmingham’s Festival 23. A real stand out for me was observing the distinct, individualistic levels of care in place for such a mass project. Working on these larger-scale projects and helping with event and project planning ignited a specific interest of mine.


Other highlights

I conducted audience research for the upcoming residencies to encourage engagement with QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous People of Colour), Chinese, visually impaired, and Eastern/ Western African communities. This was particularly rewarding as my work helped to engage and amplify marginalised voices. I enjoyed helping to book and research the most cost-effective accommodation for the artists in residency and organising catering (a large Cobb delivery!) in order to support the summer Dance Discovery Day.

Additionally, I created social media content which helped influence the marketing strategy and representation of FABRIC. I also got to grips with some new software, such as Canva, Tessitura, Wufoo and advanced my Microsoft Excel skills. As a History student, it’s safe to say I prefer my words to numbers, however, this placement forced me to conquer spreadsheets and cash-handling!

Reflecting on the experience

During my 5 weeks, I had the pleasure of meeting some truly incredible, likeminded people. In fact, meeting new people certainly proved one of my favourite things about my time at FABRIC. On my final day, the celebration event hosted at Lakeside Arts and with the other Creative Placement Programme interns, took place. We reflected and celebrated our time on placement and what we had achieved in the 5 weeks. Everyone truly valued what one another had to say.

It was an honour to participate in University of Nottingham’s widening participation Lakeside Arts Creative Placement Programme. I would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of applying! My weeks were so varied and definitely no day was the same! It was amazing to witness the strong connections between artists, the team, and other local organisations that create an inclusive, supportive environment. The experience is certainly something I am proud to say I have been a part of.

Posted in Creative Placement ProgrammePaid placementWidening Participation