- Course: MA Audiences, Engagement, Participation
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your current career?
I am a spoken word poet and Creative Director of The Sunday Practise (TSP), a creative hub and poetry organisation based in Leeds. As a poet I have performed and facilitated creative writing workshops nationally and internationally. Over the years my poetry has been featured on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC1xtra and BBC iplayer. With TSP, I have produced and programmed regular events for over eight years showcasing both emerging and established poets. I have produced events in Miami, Amsterdam and partnered with leading UK arts organisations to curate exciting cultural experiences.
Please tell us about any other roles you’ve had since graduating from Leeds.
Since graduating, I completed a role with Ilkley Literature Festival as Apprentice Poet in Residence. This apprenticeship included taking part in a readings with exceptional poets associated with the University of Leeds Poetry Centre. I am now based in London working as an Events Coordinator at the British Film Institute. In this role I work alongside the programming team to manage the delivery of film industry events.
What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed the practical side of my module as it allowed me to showcase my strengths in facilitation whilst employing research to improve my existing methods. I also liked analysing the Human Rights Declaration and learning how policy impacts practise, people and creative industries around the world.
The course also gave me the opportunity to cultivate practical skills such as facilitation and project management by developing participatory projects such as art walks or workshops. As a creative, it was a great way to intellectualise the theory behind practice.
What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?
I was surprised to see the amount international students on campus. Given my interest in audiences, I saw this as an opportunity to engage with new people.
What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?
The learning facilities are great. There are a handful of libraries and learning clusters on campus that are available to students. There’s even a dedicated post-graduate study hub inside of the Edward Boyle Library. Once I expressed my preferred method of study using student support avenues, I was able to have assistive technology installed on my computer, such as a sophisticated voice to text application. The university is willing to support where resources are available.
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?
There are plenty of societies available to join via the student union. These group organise trips and general meetups to help students take part in life outside of studying. I currently volunteer as a course rep which has allowed me to meet students from all other areas of study but also access to further employability development.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
For anyone who is thinking of applying for an MA in Audiences, Participation and Engagement, I would say go for it. The course gives a unique perspective on arts management which I really enjoyed. Read through the optional modules available on the course page because this will help customise your experience.
If you are an arts practitioner (or simply interested in arts and culture) looking to learn more about your industry, whether it’s the audiences you attract or how funding decisions are made, then this course would be suited to you.