Stepping Up

I often tweet about ‘Making It Work’. It’s part of Oxfordshire Youth Arts Partnership Trusts’ Stepping Up -Young Creative Leaders Project which is one of those “If you build it, they will come – leap of faith projects” that @OYAPTrust were compelled to set up at the start of the recession in early 2009 having seen young people starting out in the creative industries struggling to survive and thrive, not all as well equipped by their FE/HE courses and initial attempts to ‘go it alone’ as they could have been. Now it’s grown into a succesful bridging/transition project for young creatives and it sees young people not just attending training session but also creating and delivering projects and work to put all that training to the test alongside professionals and in the public arena.

The creative industries are so diverse and eclectic that it can be hard to find a pathway forwards and the nitty gritty of the ‘business end’ can become overwhelming or the object of fear and loathing.  Twitter friends will have met my first mentee @beccafruit back in 09/10 who is currently working on a heritage project ‘Hidden’ in Oxford. Let me introduce you to some of this years, third tranche of Young Creative Leaders about to step up and step out…



I’m Anaïs: a Theatre & Performance graduate from the University of Warwick, of French and Irish heritage, currently living in East Oxford. Since graduating a few months ago I have set about gaining diverse experiences in the theatre industry and pondering where I want my professional life in the arts to go. My current aspiration is to work in theatre and education, and so to help me get there I am taking part in a training programme with OYAP Trust: learning how to develop, plan, fund, market and evaluate exciting youth arts projects. As part of the training I got to spend a day with Juliet Brain, of ArtsMonkey, getting an overview of all the legal bits and bobs (or trials and tribulations!) that go along with being self-employed and freelancing in the arts. You know, all the fun stuff: how to work out Inland Revenue, tackle self-assessments, expenses, intellectual property etc.

Throughout the day we kept returning to the topic of networking and self-promoting – how no one will give you work if they don’t know who you are, so you have to put yourself out there and make an impression. The importance of networking has been a recurring topic in all training sessions at OYAP, but Juliet was the one to finally inspire me to actually bite the bullet and make myself a Twitter account! I’m still learning the ropes, but hopefully I will find my way and see you there: @AnaisHiggins 

Please follow Anaïs if you’re on twitter and help her find her way through the twitter maze:0)


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Artsmonkey... Culture Active... Firestarter Arts active in the promotion, delivery and development of cultural projects and ideas, with a specialism in youth arts and theatre arts also a bit of a social media diva and photog