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Arts Council England: Meet our Youth Advisory Board members

Category: Arts Council England, Career Development, career journey, Arts and culture, Building a career, career opportunities, National Careers Week, Youth Advisory Board, Creative and cultural sector, Careers at Arts Council England

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To celebrate National Careers Week, we spoke to two members of our Youth Advisory Board members, Rosie and Abby, to find out more about their roles and ambitions for their careers in creativity and culture.


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What encouraged you to be part of the Arts Council’s Youth Advisory Board?

Rosie: I wanted to be part of Arts Council’s Youth Advisory Board because I know that there is great strength in young people's voices, and I wanted to meet other empowered people who wanted to make a change! I submitted my first funding bid when I was 19 and I felt totally lost in the application. I applied to the Youth Advisory Board with the ambition to introduce video applications to help make applying for funding more accessible. Working with such an incredible group of people has really shown me that it’s possible to make a difference. 

Abby: I wanted to join the Youth Advisory Board as I have a passion for creativity and culture, and wanted to have my voice heard! Specifically, I want to make it more accessible to those living outside of big cities. I live in a working-class town and can see that the presence of creativity and culture as a whole makes people happier and builds a sense of community. Through my work with Youth Advisory Board, I want to explore how creativity and culture can be shared with local communities rather than being concentrated within cities. 


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What has been your favourite part of your career so far? 

Rosie: My six-month-long career has already been a whirlwind and I would say that is my favourite part... the craziness! I have been thrown into the deep end, for example as a dresser and props-maker on a pantomime, with no experience at all. Whilst this is the nature of the industry post-covid, it is also fantastic as someone who has no degree-level training to have been given so many opportunities to experience the sector. Wearing different hats is something that many people in the creative and cultural sector do and I enjoy the sense of everyone coming together in different roles to create something magical! 

Abby: So far, my favourite part of being on the Youth Advisory Board has been travelling and getting to meet like-minded people. We all share a common goal to make creativity and culture more accessible. I especially enjoyed our first meeting at Leeds Art Gallery as I was incredibly excited to meet everyone, and it was wonderful to be part of the fervent energy in the room. I also had a chance to explore the city before catching the train home which was an added bonus!


youth advisory board

What are your ambitions following the end of your term on the Youth Advisory Board?  

Rosie: I would love to develop my own theatre work so that I can create more joyful art that makes you want to stand up, dance and celebrate the little things. I am particularly passionate about body positivity and would love to work in schools and run workshops about loving yourself and your body. Being part of Youth Advisory Board has made me passionate about creating more opportunities for children and young people to experience creativity and culture within school. 

I'd also be keen to continue working with Arts Council as they develop their environmental outlook and help freelancers, practitioners and companies to consider their sustainability when applying for funding. It is so important that, as creatives, we support each other in the fight against climate change.

Abby: After finishing my term on the Youth Advisory Board, I would like to travel to help me get a better understanding of the world, before establishing myself as a freelance artist. I think that the Youth Advisory Board has helped me with my communication and networking skills, which are incredibly useful in the creative fields, and I hope that I will continue to form meaningful relationships with other young creatives as my career blossoms.

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What would you say to other young people thinking about a career in creativity and culture?

Rosie: Do it your way! Your route might take some figuring out, but everybody has a different journey, and you can find like-minded, creative people who support you along the way. Look for opportunities where you can experience the industry first-hand, like the Youth Advisory Board, and just keep going. It might be tough at times, as any career path is, but with time and persistence, you will find your way!

Abby: My message for other young creatives would be to do what makes you happy! Even if you live in a community where creativity isn't necessarily taken seriously, the world still needs creativity and culture. I think there is a myth that you'll never be successful in the arts and that it's an elitist society but with things like social media, that is not true. Anyone can start their own business online and market themselves, it takes skills and determination but if you want to work in a creative field then it is definitely possible!


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