The Panel Day. What a day what a day! This was the day we had all been working towards for 12 weeks.
We met up in the Home Room of BAC at 9, calming excitement and nerves with juice and croissants. Not long after that we were on the marble steps getting photographed joined by the illustrious panel. The panel was made of up of Sunita Pandya (Deputy Director of Artistic Administration at Southbank Centre), Ravi Govindia (head of Wandsworth Council) Hasan Bakhshi (Director, Creative Economy in Policy & Research at NESTA), Lindsay Johns (writer, broadcaster and Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research at Harvard University) and Beth Turrell (Associate Producer at the BBC). A pretty big line-up I’m sure you’ll agree. We were also joined by J-Dog, Liz Moreton and David Jubb. It was a lovely moment, and a chance to cool some nerves by meeting the panel before the Agents went in to pitch. I can’t really tell you what happened inside because I wasn’t there!
The rest of the morning flew by as the groups and individual Agents went in one by in an order we’d preordained on Wednesday by drawing the names out of a hat. There was an amazing energy of support. Everyone who had by then gathered on the carpeted seating above the main steps gave Sydney, who was last in, a clap on her way in and out. I personally couldn’t stop smiling the whole time. One couldn’t help but be so proud of them all! All of their ideas were so strong and we’d been on such a journey over the last 12 weeks.
After Sydney was out Sunita, who was chairing the panel, came down to where we were all gathered at the top of the steps to say some words. The judges were evidently totally blown away. They refused to give any clues about who was going through. In fact, they insisted that they couldn’t possibly make a decision until they’d had some lunch! And the Agents were going to find out til Monday…
…And when they did, the funded projects were…
Making unseen talent seen
Christian Gordon (17)
Talentsea is a production company and app for local artists. Christian will provide much needed afordable services that enable artists to make showreels, music videos and portfolios. These will then be showcased on the app and companies with opportunities can find new local talent as well as artists finding new collaborators.
Get Fit Fast
Mohammed El-Bakali (17), Arnold Puplampu (15)
Get Fit Fast is a creative exercise class for children based on the currently closed Adventure Playground in Wandsworth. Mohammed and Arnold will work to re-open the playground and create classes run by teenage volunteers for local children to get fit whilst having fun.
Sydney Sylvah (18)
Sydney wants to start a pop up natural beauty stall at Clapham Junction where people can have all natural products made in front of them and be educated on the dangers of non -natural cosmetics. She will make some products out of house hold items demonstrating how easily people can take better care of their skin and hair. This will be partnered by a website with blogs and how to videos.
PHASE 1 IDEAS
The two groups that fought at tough contest but unfortunately didn’t get funding were:
True Battersea Stories
Teddy Dozie Achonwa (23), Zack Miah (17)
True Battersea Stories is a series of short documentaries based on unheard stories of people in the local area. Teddy & Zack are passionate about creating new platforms for marginalised groups to be represented. They will creatively produce the films and promote through youtube and online resources.
The Big Debate
Charlene Grant (17), Rochelle Campbell (17), Stevanie Matthews (16), Kayon Cummings (17)
This project is an after school boxing fitness club for primary school aged children. This would be the first project in the area to teach boxing skills to under 11’s. Boxing skills can be a very positive way for children to get interested in fitness and have fun. The tag line is ‘Big Brother Little Brother, Big Sister Little Sister’ as this project fosters relationships between older and younger young people in the area. This project provides much need employment as it works in partnership with Carney’s Community Boxing Club, an organisation that trains ex-offenders to be boxing coaches.