Members Blog: Best practice in youth arts project management

Clare Hankinson photo

Clare Hankinson

Supported by the FHSE Travel and Training Bursary, this autumn Clare Hankinson from Fabrica attended a six-day course run by Artswork on Youth Arts Project Management and Reflective Practice (YAPMRP).

Having managed Fabrica Film Club since 2013, when it was set up to engage older audiences, over the past few years we’ve also found that film can be a brilliant way to work with several key audiences at Fabrica, a contemporary art gallery based in a former Regency Church in the heart of Brighton.

Including younger voices

In 2016 we began a new project, supported by Film Hub South East, working with young film programmers (18-30) to weave younger voices into our programming and in turn encourage emerging programmers into the film industry. In 2017 this idea became ‘Fresh Perspectives’ – a young peer group for people aged 16-25 to programme a series of monthly film screenings at Fabrica.

Photo: Fresh Perspectives Screening at Fabrica, photographer: Syl Ojalla

Photo: Fresh Perspectives Screening at Fabrica, photographer: Syl Ojalla

The YAPMRP course came up just as Fresh Perspectives was starting, and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, as I wanted to make sure that not only the current cohort of young programmers were getting the best out of the project, but that I could spend some time on thinking about the future of this project and how it could become bigger, better and more sustainable.

Taking place over three months at Cockpit Arts, London, it was a chance to take time out of the day-to-day duties at Fabrica, and concentrate on this more strategic approach.

Building up a peer network

Over this time, we covered planning and budgeting, marketing, fundraising and evaluation. The course also became an incredibly supportive network of peers who are working across the arts and with a broad range of young audiences. That in itself was brilliant and we have kept in touch – I hope maybe I will partner with some of these new contacts in the future.

Image of young people doing presentation

Clare and her team pitching their film project idea to funders

For me, with more of a background in running projects aimed at older people, the most useful thing to learn from the course was about how to work successfully with young people. Learning about how people engage schools and youth groups will be something I take forward into new film programmes, and how to make sure people are safe, supported and have a true voice in the process of project-making was really helpful. Finding out about funding for this group was also really insightful, and knowing about key areas for development in youth-arts practice was very applicable to developing our film projects here at Fabrica.

I’m still absorbing the mountains of notes that I took during the course, plus all the additional materials and resources that were made available to us, but I’m certain that this will help make a longer-term project with young people and film a reality in the future – and I’m really grateful for that.