Collaborating for Change: Project Co-ordinator for In Place of War and Agencia

Since mid October 2013, I have been entrusted with the exciting role of project coordinator for the In Place of War “Voices of the Revolution” project.

Laurie 1Launched in 2004, In Place of War’s mission has been about promoting the work of artists who have minimal access to international audiences, demonstrating the significance of the arts to wider society and demonstrating the value of arts research to public debates on key issues of the day. As part of the University of Manchester, In Place of War researches creativity in war struck and conflict zones around the world. Their online platform, inplaceofwar.net, showcases an extensive international network and features some of the world’s most ground breaking organizations and creative work from theatre, street art, music to spoken word.

My work placement supervisor, Ruth Daniel, is the co-leader of In Place of War. She is also the director of Agencia, a novel organization which has developed educational and creative industries development programmes in over 25 countries around the world. Agencia acts as a project partner for “Voices of the Revolution”.

The “Voices of the Revolution” collaboration project, which I have been fortunate enough to co-manage, gives international warzone artists a voice to share their stories to new audiences through the power of music. In August 2014, this project will deliver live collaborative music content at Shambala festival as well as at three large music showcases in major UK cities such as Manchester, London and Bristol. At the heart of this project is a truly unique opportunity to bring together diverse international and emerging and established UK artists through cross-cultural partnerships, and share those outcomes in a truly publicly engaging way via large music showcases.

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As part of the “Voices of the Revolution” project coordinator role, I have had the chance to write a high sum grant application for the Arts Council England. This was a new and particularly valuable experience for me but also a highly rewarding one since the application proved successful and allowed artists to be mobilized effectively for the purpose of the project. Since then, I have been acting as international artist liaison, representing the first point of call for all invited international artists and their booking managers. My role has required hands-on work in organizational and logistical elements. I have collated biographies and photos of all invited acts, prepared artist agreements and a set of letters of support for international visas. I am also in the process of booking international flights and drafting a programme schedule for the two weeks of the artists’ stay. Other day-to-day activities include liaising with international artists for individual requests or any enquiries regarding the project.

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Photos taken by Katie Dervin at Shambala festival in 2013

Since starting my placement, I have acquired an imaginable amount of experiences and I have also been inspired to write about the values of collaborative, international partnership working for my final Masters dissertation work.

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