It’s Time To Give Young Producers The Keys To Venues

This year, Call to Create are celebrating young creativity in a season of multi-discipline performances and moments co-created by young people and established artists from around the world.

Alex Murphy is one of the emerging producers behind Hourglass – a multi-art-form Festival that took place in March, in association with Call to Create. He told us why having real-life industry experience has been so important.

People often ask me: ‘What exactly is it that a producer does?’

I find that my response varies drastically: I contact venues, I manage the budget, I am trying to learn Twitter to promote my shows or I make sure there are only blue M&M’s in the artist’s dressing room.

So it was comforting to hear that this shifting sense of professional identity is not exclusive to an emerging producer like me. At a recent gathering of industry professionals I heard an established producer say: ‘Producing is feeling your way in the dark.’ If someone with years of experience and at the top of their game is finding it tough, you can understand how important it is to find advice and a network for experiences and traumas to be shared. But if you are just starting out, where can you start?

Getting an opportunity like the BAC young producers scheme has been invaluable.

Together we’ve established a team of individuals that are working collectively to put together a fantastic festival that draws on each of our personal experiences. And key to this is that it’s not a tokenistic scheme that exists just to keep ‘youngsters’ occupied. Young Producers is providing us with a professional support group, offering us experience and opportunities to collaborate with established artists.

Organisations like Battersea Arts Centre, in my experience, understand how important it is to take young artists seriously. Their artistic programmes contain opportunities to nurture young creatives from seedlings to flourishing plants! Gardening metaphors aside, what this means practically is that they give space to young artists voices alongside those more established in the industry.

As Young Producers, we haven’t just been shown a tour of the building, instead we have been given the keys. During Hourglass Festival, the venue is a blank canvas onto which we can reimagine the space, programme work we feel is relevant and invite an audience of all ages to take a journey with us. We work alongside the senior producing team as peers, and our opinions matter.

And why should you care about all that? Well if you head down to BAC on 24-29 March then you’ll discover confident, relevant theatre made by some of the freshest artists and producers in London at the moment. Its just one in a series of incredible artistic moments this year combining the new ideas, energy and talent of young people with the experience of established artists.

> Find out more about Call to Create and how you can get involved.

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