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14th November 2017 Bea Udeh

Another small step: The power of partnerships. #ADA

Carrie Blake, is Broadway’s Marketing and Outreach Assistant. As Carrie draws to the end of her time as a Fellow on the Audience Diversity Academy, she’s currently developing engagement activities for and with Children, Young people and Families in North Nottingham and Nottingham City, aiming to increase socio-economic diversity of participants engaging with Broadway’s creative learning programme.

Broadway has a 25 year history as an educational charity, so our reputation is established, right? Well not really, not to everyone that we’d like to reach and this takes time. So how do we challenge and change this?  Building trust is key, taking the time to build positive relationships with organisations and gatekeepers that already have the trust of communities has really helped, forming and maintaining good partnerships are invaluable.

Drawing in.  

Designing, developing and delivering and testing introduction to film primary school workshops along with one of community partners at Broadway. We continue to host groups of Yr 6 pupils from Nottingham City schools, with the possibility of repeating this workshop off site.

Sustaining links with young people engaged through this collaborative approach is crucial, and through our partnership’s we’ve provided fully subsidised places on our Filmmaking Summer School to some of their regular Year 10 students who have shown a creative talent and passion or film.

We are now exploring how we can expand this offer to more young people, to challenge and remove barriers to access.

It’s been a great experience being part of the ADA. Having the support of my mentor and encouragement and permission to explore and discover a fresh approaches has been liberating, however this hasn’t been without challenges.

Keeping an agile approach.

I like to keep hold of my ideas until I feel their fully formed and ready to share, which can be a killer of creativity and is the antithesis of all things agile. It might not be your best contribution or it might be the best brainwave you ever had, how are you going to know if you don’t put it out there and share it with others?

Be willing and open to input and collaboration, otherwise nothing will flourish. I’ll admit at times it’s been difficult getting knocked off course.

Of course, working in an agile way means that this will inevitably happen; you’ll come up against the unexpected and have to shift direction.  Being open and adaptable to rapid change isn’t always easy, try to embrace it and be willing to reassess, and if necessary rip it up and start all over, this is the nature of experimentation.

Seeking permission.

We all need organisational buy in. However sometimes not receiving the desired level of input can be a convenient excuse for not pursuing what may be a daunting challenge.  Organisational strategy, hierarchical structures and workplace politics can make moving forward quite difficult at times. However part of this process is to test ideas, nothing is fixed or formed.  So if I have been put forward for the ADA by my organisation, then there needs to be some acceptance that this is all about quick paced experiments, and I’ll need to move forward with them! Thanks to Monica Montgomery my wonderful mentor for giving me a gentle nudge in this direction 😉

Finding strategies for negotiation always helps and I found the Managing Up online workshop with Auriel Majumdar was really useful! Presenting your experiment in the same terms as the organisations strategy, using the same language/approach to articulate what you are doing, to show that this aligns.

Being bold, being brave, embracing change and the challenges that come with this, is not easy, however small shifts and changes are not to be underestimated, they all add up.