My time as a Project Assistant Intern at Severn Arts 

A bit about me... 

Hi, I'm Georgia and I'm a 23-year-old English and Creative Writing graduate from the University of Birmingham. I was first introduced to the performing arts at the age of 9 in a way that is a very familiar to Severn Arts - whole class violin lessons in primary school! I then carried on the lessons for the next 9 years and became even more involved in the arts. I joined a strings orchestra, and later on a choir, and I still play in an orchestra today. The internship with Severn Arts naturally caught my attention as the work they do very closely aligns with the wonderful experiences I had within the arts as I was growing up and I knew that I wanted to be involved in providing those experiences for other children like me. I signed up through the B-Experienced Internship Programme and I was so thrilled to be accepted! Here is a little bit about my time working as a Project assistant with Severn Arts... 

Week One 

My first week was spent discovering more about Severn Arts, being introduced to the team, and learning about the responsibilities of a project assistant. I first met with Projects manager Jason Jones and Arts director Elaine Knight, who I would be working closely with on the Pitch Up project. We ran through the structure of the project and looked at my timetable for my ten days with Severn Arts. 

I was shown around the office where I was introduced to the team and learnt about the different roles of people in the company. I was also given the opportunity to speak one-to-one with both the Marketing manager Min Sowden and CEO Laura Worsfold. It was interesting to hear about the journey they had taken in their career and what their current role entails.  

Part of my role as a project assistant was to ensure that the behind-the-scenes of the project ran smoothly to make sure that the event on the day went ahead as planned. This meant completing a risk assessment for the event, creating an evaluation for the students to complete after completing the project, and general admin tasks such as printing and making name badges. I also helped to create a schedule for the two days so everyone involved knew how the days would be structured. 

Week Two 

My second week with Severn Arts was spent at Heart of Worcestershire College delivering the brand-new Pitch Up programme, a four-day project where students learnt about artwork commission, pitched their ideas, and created their artwork. We started with an introduction to Severn Arts, and then introduced the students to their creative mentors, Gaby and Roz. Their brief was to create an idea for a piece of artwork and to pitch their idea in response to the theme ‘how has creativity positively impacted you?’.  

To help inspire their creativity and explore the theme, the creative mentors led workshops with the students to begin brainstorming some thoughts. Following their time with the mentors, they then had two further workshops. First was a collaborative workshop working with actor Tyronne Huggins. The students created a piece of movement in response to a piece of music, helping the students understand how to work collaboratively. The second was a workshop with film director and producer Sima Gonsai, where she talked about her time as a filmmaker and the processes that she has undertaken to pitch her own work to judges. During this time, I moved around the different workshops learning more about the facilitators running the workshops and how the students were initially responding to the theme.  

After the lunch break, we moved onto the idea generation and planning session. This session was led by the creative mentors to help generate ideas for their work and how they might deliver their pitch. During this time I moved around the different groups, speaking to students about their plans and how they were getting on with the project.  

On the second day, we were introduced to the four judges. Each of the four judges currently work in different areas of the arts and it was really interesting to hear their career journey. We then launched back into planning and the students were given the opportunity to run through a practise pitch and receive feedback from the judges. They were then given a bit of time to adjust their work and then it was time for the final pitch. The students were taken over to another building of the college where they waited to head over to Arch 27 to present their pitch. This part of the day involved a lot of running around to make sure everyone was in the correct building at the correct time!  

Once all the pitches were complete, we then returned to the college where the judges announced the winning groups. Those winning groups were invited to return to the college the following week to discuss how they were going to create their commission. 

Week Three 

My third week was spent back in the office where we reviewed how the first part of the project had gone and we worked through the evaluation completed by the students. We felt that the project had been a success, and the feedback from the students reflected this. Many students told us that they felt that they had grown in confidence working on Pitch Up, and that they had surprised themselves with how successful they had been. It was really nice to hear such positive feedback, knowing that the students enjoyed working on the project just as much as I had enjoyed being involved working on it. 

I then analysed the data and created an evaluation report based on the responses. This feedback showed how important the evaluation was as it allowed us to understand where the strong points of the project were, and ways that we can improve it for further cohorts working with Pitch Up. As an intern, it has been great working on a project that is also new to Severn Arts as it was new for all of us, and I felt immersed in the learning process. 

Week Four 

Week four was spent back at HoW College, working with the students as they began their commissions. Seeing their ideas move from ideas on paper to fully formed pieces of art has been really inspiring and the students have shown such resilience and talent. The students have worked with a variety of mediums, from spray painting to artificial skin tattooing. At this stage of the project, I saw the students work through their artistic burnout that had come from the end of college, and they flourished working on art that truly inspired and reflected them. 

The first of the two days back at the college was spent admiring their talent. The spray painting group were really interesting, as they were working with an art form that was completely new to them. Despite this, it took them no time at all to get used to the paints and the work they have created is incredible. When we first met the students they were nervous and somewhat apprehensive about the Pitch Up project, so to see their excitement and motivation to complete their artwork felt really rewarding. 

On the final day working at HoW college, students finished off their artwork ready to be taken over to Arch 27, a newly converted Victorian arch which has been converted into a multi-purpose exhibition and performance space, to set up their exhibition. Curating an exhibition was new for both me and the students, and it was fun figuring out ways to set up and display their work. Presenting their work in a creative environment outside of college made the event feel all the more professional. Some of the students invited family and friends along to view their artwork, and it was really nice to watch them share their work with the people they love. It was such a lovely way to round off the final day of the project, and my penultimate day working with Severn Arts. 

Click here to learn more about Pitch Up.

Week Five 

On my final day, I worked through the evaluation written by the students and finalised the evaluation report for Pitch Up.  

Working with Severn Arts has been rewarding and enjoyable, and it has opened my eyes to different roles working within the arts. I have developed an interest in working on projects, and I am now keen to look for employment in this line of work. I’ve particularly enjoyed the variety this role has offered, working both in the office and at the college.  

Watching the project move from an idea and a brief, to seeing the students present their final artwork has been a really rewarding journey and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot along the way. I better understand the behind the scenes of running a project like Pitch Up and I have enjoyed the process.

After an enjoyable month working with Severn Arts, they asked me to stay on. So, I now work part-time as Marketing and Arts Project Assistant. Severn Arts have been supportive throughout my time working with them, and I have always felt welcomed by the team. Being an intern and working on Pitch Up has been a wonderful experience and I am glad that I will be staying with Severn Arts as I continue to learn and grow.