Today is my last day volunteering at Mid Pennine Arts, having taken on the role as Project Assistant a year ago today in order to complete a year in Industry as part of my Art and Design degree at the University of Leeds, I just want to say a massive thank you to Mid Pennine Arts for such an amazing and worthwhile year!
I have absolutely loved being a part of the MPA team this last year, working with such lovely people who are all so amazing at what they do has been very special.
When I applied to extend my degree to four years at University so that I could complete a year in industry I never imagined that I would get so much out of it! Thank you for giving me so much confidence in what I enjoy doing.
I remember sitting down with Nick (Creative Director) during my first couple of months and speaking about what it was that I wanted to achieve whilst working at Mid Pennine Arts. After helping artist Cath Ford a few weeks prior, running some primary schools workshops, I said that by the end of my placement I wanted to be running such sessions myself and to have brought something new to MPA. Thanks to the brilliant team who have given me lots of responsibility and trust I have been able to achieve this.
Over the past few weeks for example I have been running my own project ‘Banners, Protests and Campaigning with a group of high school pupils and this week we celebrated their hard work with their own pop up exhibition. It was lovely to see the girls faces when they saw there work displayed and being viewed by members of the public, they have worked so hard and have listened so amazingly to the advice and support I have given them.
Helping out with this years Todmorden Treat, artist Cath Ford gave me the confidence to lead several sessions. Hearing and seeing the children really enjoy the sessions I was delivering was great and I felt so confident interacting with them and helping them with what they were doing.
There have been many more highlights: Working alongside the brilliant Spodden Valley Revealed project manager Diana Hamilton in order to organise several events and seeing my proposal for ‘Character bags’ come to life has exceeded my expectations of what I would be doing as an intern. Helping to organise a very successful and sunny Burnley Canal Festival, embarking on various research trips and helping to source material for a huge exhibition which will be a part of the British Textiles Biennial. I was also really happy to be asked to work with the lovely Greenways Project Manager Shonagh Short to interview artists for a new commission. Working with such a range of partners and community members has been so valuable.
My time at Mid Pennine Arts has also encouraged me to take on further volunteering at a local women’s refuge, I feel so lucky to have had this experience and work with such strong and inspiring women.
I could continue on about all of the other fabulous things I have been involved in and the opportunities I have been given, but more importantly I want to say a massive thank you to everybody at Mid Pennine Arts and everybody else I have worked with, for making this my best year yet! A special thank you of course to Nick and Melanie for being fantastic hosts, it has been brilliant to work alongside you both and despite being dressed as an explorer many times I still want to work in the Arts!