Behind the Scenes in the Arts

Hi all, my name is Grace Kirk and I’ve been here at TVA this week gaining some all important work experience! I initially wanted to get involved with Tees Valley Arts after speaking to Ree at the Steph McGovern ‘Promote Yourself’ event at my college, Macmillan Academy. And, after a mock interview with Ree, I was told that TVA would be more than happy to have me for work experience, which I was thrilled to know about.

What I expected compared to what I did

Being an advocate and a participant of charity, community events, what I wanted to achieve from work experience with TVA was simple – to understand the ‘behind the scenes’ of all these great, artistic events that happen in my local area. I expected this to include a lot of trips to various places and external visitors coming in and out of the office constantly. This is certainly not the case, it’s hard to believe that such a fun, ‘arty’ career involves a lot of typical office work- for me it has been extremely important that I’ve learnt that this week. Despite this week I have visited mosaic art pieces created by artist Bub Bacon and Volunteering Matters and also set up a wordpress account and wrote my first ever blog post, I’ve also done (much) less artistic but still important activities such as sorting finance records and helping to organise documents regarding membership, Arts Award and Artsmark. With all the wonderful activities that are occurring more and more frequently in the North East, sometimes we forget all the planning, preparation and paper work that make such events possible!

Come and share a pot of tea
Mosaic by Bub Bacon and participants from Volunteering Matters at the North Ormesby Community Hub that Ree and I visited this week. Photo: Grace Kirk

What I’ve Learnt

Working with the staff at TVA has enabled me to realise and appreciate that jobs in the arts are most definitely NOT as simple as one might assume – it takes a lot of organisation, administration and lots and lots of lever arch files!! This week, I feel, has matured my view of the world of work whilst developing my already great love and appreciation of the arts and those who dedicate themselves to providing fantastic events for all in society. I believe the lessons I’ve learned here at TVA this week will have the utmost importance when i enter the real world of work and also will help me to stand out when I’m applying for my Literature-History course at universities later this year. I would absolutely recommend the experience to anyone, it’s so important to put yourself out there!

Big thanks to Ree, Rowena and Peter, I’ve had a great time and I hope I see you all in the future!

I’m Grace, 17 years old. I’m doing work experience at Tees Valley Arts currently alongside my college A2-Levels, Literature, History and Drama.

  • And what a pleasure it’s been having Grace here. We couldn’t ask for a more diligent, interested and competent work experience placement. Though only with us for three days, her contribution to our members archive has been immense – we finally have an organised and complete list! – which I would never of had the time to work through in my normal hours. I’d like to wish Grace all the best for the future and have no doubt at all that’ll she’ll excel in her chosen field. All the best!

  • Michael Lavery

    Really enjoyed reading your blog Grace – delighted you had such a positive, inspiring and affirming experience. The power of the arts to empower, liberate, motivate and heal is incredible and I’m delighted that it’s shaped your view of the world and society during your time with us at TVA.
    Best of luck in the future. Michael (musician, dad, uni director, and TVA Trustee)

  • Richard Anderson

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with this blog. I’m glad you found the work experience rewarding. We are very grateful for your efforts particularly in helping to organise and document our important legacy. Richard Anderson (TVA Chairman)