Category: testimonial, BAME, BAME Inclusion, performing arts, Arts Council England, Theatre, Arts, Staff Testimonial, BAME Diversity
Say hello to Naomi, an Assistant based in our London office – she works with our Children and Young People and Learning teams and shares her career journey and love of immersive theatre…
What does your role involve?
I’m the Assistant to two Directors – one in the Children Young People (CYP) team and the other in the Learning team. I support the wider CYP team on different programmes including Music Education Hubs and our Artsmark accreditation. Part of my role also means I communicate with a range opof pele internally and externally, including some of the incredible organisations that we fund.
Tell us an unusual or interesting thing about you.
Last year, during Waltham Forest’s year as Borough of Culture, I commissioned one of the artists (who created portraits of inspirational women) to paint the Queen of Sheba as a reflection of my Ethiopian heritage.
Queen of Sheba by Lucy Henzell Thomas
What's your favourite memory of culture and creativity?
There’s so many – it’s difficult to choose one! We always went to panto when I was little, and I love the imagination and theatrics of it. I used to take part in local youth theatre groups so performing at the Lord Mayor’s Parade is still a highlight of mine!
What was your career like before you joined the Arts Council and what made you apply here?
My love of creativity started when I volunteered at my local theatre, Stratford East when I was doing my A-Levels and experienced life backstage. I worked with the stage manager on an immersive theatre show (‘You Me Bum Bum Train’) which opened my eyes to a whole different premise of a theatre show and being an audience member.
Instead of going to university, I did an apprenticeship in Community Arts Management at the Barbican Centre where I continued to work for another two years. I worked across all art forms with incredible artists on projects and events for young people and the local community, including large scale festivals.
After a career break travelling and missing working in this sector, I saw the job advert in Create Jobs (an amazing platform supporting young Londoners in the creative sector) and I put and application in — a year on I'm still here!
What's the best thing about working here?
The opportunity to meet inspiring young people across England especially during the recent consultation for our Strategy. It's exciting to see what the next generation will do!
What have you learned from working here?
I now have a deeper understanding of the policies for children and young people and the arts sector on a national scale.
What do you want to do in the future?
I would love to be producing theatre and live events which people feel inspired by and which make a difference – especially as being involved and attending as an audience member was what got me here!
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