Lakeside Arts
Part of University of Nottingham
Lakeside Arts

The seven 2020-21 Creative Pathways interns stand in front of the aqua background of the Lakeside Arts Pavilion building


By Emily Bicknell

The Creative Pathways Graduate Internship programme is designed to connect promising University of Nottingham graduates, driven to pursue careers in the Arts, with one of seven Nottingham organisations. Over the past six months, I was fortunate enough to be one of the selected interns for the second year of the programme, gaining experience in a number of areas relevant to the sector including events management, marketing, participation, finance, administration and technical insights. For us, joining the programme during the lockdown in January made the past six months a unique experience of not only working and networking solely online for much of our time, but also learning about the Arts industry during a distinct period of its history. We were delighted to commemorate the conclusion of this year’s programme with an in-person graduation ceremony held at Lakeside Arts on Wednesday 30 June that was also live streamed for close friends and family.

Lakeside Arts welcomed friends of the Creative Pathways programme to join us in celebrating our graduation from the 2020-21 programme, as well as reuniting with interns from the previous year and members of all seven host organisations. The ceremony opened with videos produced by both years of interns, reflecting on their time in the Creative Pathways programme. Videographer Georgiana Scurfield produced a film of the 2019-20 interns, whilst talented illustrator Rafael Achache worked closely with myself and my fellow interns to produce an animated video giving an overview of our unique experience. Creative Pathways 2019-20 alumni Ella Burns Robbins, who previously interned at Nottingham Contemporary, bridged the space between these two videos by performing a beautiful original spoken word piece, for which she was commissioned especially for the occasion.

Poet Ella Burns Robbins stands on stage performing, with the blue Creative Pathways slides in the backgroundThe seven interns sit at socially distanced tables, watching the animated video playing on stageMembers of the 2019-20 cohort in discussion with Director of Lakeside Arts, Shona Powell

From left to right: Creative Pathways 2019-20 alumni Ella Burns Robbins performing 'Sanitiser' on stage; The 2020-21 cohort seated in the Djanogly theatre, enjoying their animated video; Shona Powell, Director of Lakeside Arts, in conversation with members of the 2019-20 cohort.

Our achievements throughout the year were highlighted by speeches from line managers and team members at each of the seven organisations, drawing light on how, in such a short period of time and with such unusual circumstances, we had each managed to flourish and shape our experiences to be as unique as we are. Professor Jeremy Gregory, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts, provided an enlightening speech that drew perfectly upon the importance of such a programme to the people involved and to the University of Nottingham. The occasion was tied together by the wonderful efforts of Lakeside Arts’ catering team who produced a delicious selection mocktails and vegan tapas to enjoy outside whilst socially-distanced interactions took place.


Professor Jeremy Gregory in conversation with members of the Creative Pathways programme in Highfields Park, with the Lakeside Pavilion in the backgroundA display of non-alcoholic mojitos in mini mason jarsMembers of the 2019-20 cohort hold drinks and smile at the camera

From left to right: Professor Jeremy Gregory in conversation with Emily Tregale and Emma Hayes, Executive Director of Dance4; The stellar mini mojitos and homemade lemonade prepared by the Lakeside cafe team; Members of the 2019-20 Creative Pathways programme (L-R: Ruby; Ella; Dan; Ilya; Holly).

Although my six months on the programme really flew by, a lot of experience that will benefit me was packed into them. Looking back, I can’t imagine taking another path after University. I’ve been lucky enough to not only flourish under the support of my team here at Lakeside, but also had the rare opportunity to build friendships with six other amazing people who found themselves in the same boat as me - hungry to work in the Arts and seizing an amazing opportunity to do so. Our distinct personalities and passions are marked by the work that we are now doing post-Creative Pathways, ranging from continuing our work at our host organisations with roles as Programme Administrators and Producers, to freelancing as musicians and videographers.

Now that my time as an intern has passed, I am delighted to be continuing my development at Lakeside Arts for the next few months as a Marketing Assistant. Some particular highlights from the past six months include working on the Creative Pathways 2021-22 recruitment campaign, which included liaising with our artist to create the graphics used for the campaign and also presenting at the Graduate Job Fair, and also shadowing Georgi Scurfield on the production on Lakeside’s reopening campaign video. I even got to star in some of the shots and do some voiceover work in the studio! Looking to the future, I am very excited to not only be a part of, but also a witness to the next generation of the Nottingham Arts sector who are so passionate and driven to champion its great work.


L-R: Amelia (City Arts), Emily T (Dance4), Emily B (Lakeside Ats), Gianluca (Nonsuch Studios), Weronika (Nottingham Contemporary), Adam (Nottingham Playhouse), Phoebe (Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature).

Please enjoy both videos from the graduation ceremony, highlighting the experience of our 2019-20 and 2020-21 interns, below.


THE 2019-20 COHORT

THE 2020-21 COHORT

We would like to recognise the wonderful work of Owen Jones and Alan Fletcher, whose music and photography really captured the day for everyone involved. We would like to thank the Office for Students for funding and making the programme possible, as well as the University of Nottingham and the host organisations for their support over the past two years.