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Keeping the Arts alive

As demonstrated in the last issue of The Moment magazine, there has been some great innovation in the arts and cultural sector during Covid-19 but it has also hit some of our independent artists really hard, particularly those just starting out on their career. Metal has been piloting new programmes that support these artists, keeping them creatively active and connected

A new programme for all arts students deferring studies until 2021
Even those on their journey to creative careers need support. Due to Covid-19 some students are having to make difficult decisions to defer their degree studies until next year. Metal has created an online programme of creative skills workshops and training to help keep young artists creatively active and help them feel connected. The programme will kick start in October, is for all art forms and is made FREE through the support of Festival Bridge, Royal Opera House Bridge, Curious Minds and Arts Council. Young artists can register their interest for this programme by emailing

Early career artists
Metal is also currently piloting a programme of support for early career artists called Metal New Artist Network. An early career artist can be: • in their first four years of defining themselves as an artist • any age but probably 18+ including those who have entered the arts later in life • someone who has done a degree or who left school and didn’t enter Higher Education Early career artists often have limited track record of creating and presenting full work and require support in order to maximise their potential and to propel them into the next phase of their development. When we say artists, we mean artists from all disciplines; theatre, visual art, film, music, writing or a mixture of all, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, with unique personal perspectives to offer.

Metal realises this can be a particularly difficult time where artists can face many barriers to keeping up their practice. Metal New Artists Network offers FREE training and networking opportunities (currently online), creative challenges and information on local and national opportunities. If this is of interest to you sign up to the Early Career newsletter via metalculture.com In the future Metal wants to offer residencies, intensive training and performance / exhibition opportunities. Whilst they seek the funding to do this they are piloting a residency programme in partnership with Eastern Angles Theatre Company and University Centre Peterborough. This offers new artists the support and guidance of Metal and Eastern Angles staff plus a week in their venues to create work and explore new ideas.

This September welcomes Emily Smith and Hannah Gooden of Cold Shoulder Productions and Lewis Beaver…

INTRODUCING COLD SHOULDER PRODUCTIONS

Tell us a bit about yourself
Hey! We’re Emily & Hannah, having met at De Montfort University we both graduated in 2019 with a degree in Drama Studies & Drama & English. We both absolutely love salsa dancing & travel & have actually been to New York together!

What ideas are you developing in Peterborough?
We’re both super passionate about the audience experience & the use of technology & its incorporation in the theatrical space (basically making our audiences feel super involved in everything we do).

What do you hope to achieve with your residency?
We hope to have created some photo & video content in order to build our social media platform & begin to play & experiment with the idea of performance & gender.

Why are these opportunities important to you and other graduates?
They allow graduates a completely supportive, inclusive & non judgemental space to enhance their craft & network with other likeminded professionals in the field.

In five years time we will be…
Established artists (and hopefully getting paid for it too!)

INTRODUCING LEWIS BEAVER

Tell us a bit about yourself
I graduated this year (mid pandemic) from my Performing Arts degree at University Centre Peterborough (ARU) in which I achieved First Class Honours. Outside of performing arts I enjoy listening to Country Music, mainly Johnny Cash whom I use to influence a lot of my work, and reading comic books.

What ideas are you developing in Peterborough?
I’m currently developing an idea to bring mobile phone technology into performance by using the audience’s voicemails. At the moment I am the only one leaving voicemails, but I hope to develop it into a collaboration of messages from myself and the audience, as well as other outside sources.

What do you hope to achieve with your residency?
I hope that this residency gives me a chance to work on my idea and test it with some professionals (and perhaps get a few other ideas off the ground too). Using the vast experience within Peterborough I hope that I can improve my skills and knowledge in order to continue to grow.

Why are these opportunities important to you and other graduates?
This industry is incredibly difficult to thrive in and it’s these opportunities that really extend a helping hand to graduates all over the country. One of my favourite things to do at Uni was to put on a performance of my own work, something I thought I would really miss, but thanks to this opportunity I can keep going.

In five years time we will be…
In five years time I will be thanking Metal and Eastern Angles in my Bafta acceptance speech… before my alarm goes off and wakes me up of course.

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