Pitch Up, a brand new four-day project delivered by Severn Arts in partnership with Worcestershire County Council and supported by The Arts Society was designed for second year students at Heart of Worcestershire (HoW) College. Students learnt about the process of pitching, working with their peers and creative professionals to develop an idea for an arts commission in response to the theme ‘how has creativity positively impacted you?’. Three groups were awarded funding for their commission, and these students were able to create the idea they had pitched. Find out more about the four days in the film, day by day diary of the project and the project intern's blog.

Day one – 6 June  

On the first day, Severn Arts visited Heart of Worcestershire College and met the students who would be working on the project. They were introduced to Severn Arts, and the creative mentors, Gaby and Roz working with them on Pitch Up. Students were then given their brief explaining how the two pitching days were going to run and explaining the theme for the project.  

Students were then asked to complete a variety of workshops to help them work through the theme and begin developing their ideas. The first workshop was with performer Tyrone Huggins where students were asked to create a piece of movement in response to a piece of music, teaching the students to work collaboratively. The second workshop was with filmmaker Sima Gonsai, who covered how the students could deliver their pitch.  

The students were then split into their groups, and they began working on their ideas for their commission and pitch. They were given the rest of the day to brainstorm ideas and come up with a plan, assisted by the creative mentors. 

Day two – 8 June  

On the second day of the project, students were introduced to the four judges: Dr Hannah Phillips, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for the Applied Writing BA at Newman University, Keiren Hamilton-Amos, a Birmingham-based performer, Mark Riley, a Birmingham-based visual artist, and Freddie Barker, a Worcester-based creative. They each spoke a little bit about their career in the arts and gave the students advice for their pitch. 

The students returned to their groups to begin finalising their ideas. They were then given the opportunity to run a rehearsal pitch with the judges, receiving feedback and extra time to make adjustments to their work before presenting their final, official pitch. 

They then headed over to St Dunstan’s, another building of HoW College, where each group waited their turn to pitch their ideas in Arch 27, a newly converted Victorian arch which has been converted into a multi-purpose exhibition and performance space. Once all pitches were complete, students returned to the college where the judges announced the three winning groups. Each winning group received a £1000 commission, providing them with a fee for their time as an artist, and to cover material costs. 

Day three – 20 June  

The winning groups returned to HoW College where they then set about creating their commissions. Students were left to work on their art independently, however the creative mentors were always on hand if they needed any creative guidance. 

The students embraced the opportunity to have creative control over their work, and spent the entire day immersed in creating their artwork. 

Day four – 22 June  

On the final day of Pitch Up, students returned to HoW College and finalised their work, ready to be presented in an exhibition open to the public in Arch 27. Once their artwork was transported over to the exhibition space, they got to work on curating the exhibition.  

With help from the creative mentors, and Severn Arts staff, the students displayed their work in a way they felt best showed off everything they had created and achieved. The exhibition opened and the students’ family and friends were invited along to view their hard work. 

There was a wide variety of work created, from working with spray paints for the first time to tattooing on artificial skin. The students of Heart of Worcestershire College showed great talent and confidence throughout the Pitch Up project, and they have learnt about the process of pitching and responding to a commission, which are great skills to take into their future as artists. 

Read the Project Assistant Intern's Blog