Fifty Year 10 students from Clacton Coastal Academy, Harwich and Dovercourt High School, Paxman Academy, and Thomas Lord Audley School came together to explore careers in the Creative Arts through our exciting new project! This two-day event was devised in collaboration with Make Happen partners University of Essex and the Lakeside Theatre, along with The Mercury Theatre and a whole host of amazing creative arts employers and training providers.
The invited students were either studying a performing arts subject or were interested in pursuing a future course or career in the creative arts industry. With the growing number of students choosing not to pursue options with the creative arts*, our main objective was for students to explore the wide variety of creative arts careers and education opportunities and to equip students with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the industry. We also set out to support young people to build their skills, confidence, and self-belief so that they are well-equipped to progress in the future.
Day 1. Creative HE Discovery Day (February 2023)
On day one, we were hosted by the Lakeside Theatre and University of Essex, Colchester Campus to showcase higher education and career opportunities related to the creative arts.
Throughout the day students took part in a fantastic drama workshop delivered by professional theatre companies Punchdrunk Enrichment, Les Enfants Terribles, and Mercury Theatre. They also heard from current Drama student at the University, have a tour of the campus, take part in an interactive session from PUSH on encountering failure and developing resilience, and finally an industry Q&A panel to finish the day and answer all their burning questions!
Day 2. Creative Arts Careers Fair (March 2023)
We invited the same students back for a second day in collaboration with Mercury Theatre in Colchester. The theatre staff gave us an incredible behind the scenes tour of the building where students could see every technical and performance aspect of a professional theatre production including the planning, stage management, rehearsal, set design, and construction!
To finish the day, the Make Happen team coordinated our Creative Arts Careers Fair for students to explore a range of opportunities in the industry. An impressive line up of local FE institutions, HE institutions, employers, and training providers from the creative arts industry were on hand.
The evaluation data shows the event improved the students’ sense of wellbeing, their perception that university is for people like them, and that they would have the skills to succeed at university. A strong majority of students also agreed the creative arts event will help them ‘make an informed choice about my options after school/college.’
Thank you to all the participating schools and delivery partners for making this unique and impactful project a success. We hope to see you all again soon!
Check out our instagram to see all the fun we had during this project.
*The Independent – ‘GCSE creative arts subjects at risk of becoming preserve of private schools’