My work placement as a Manchester International Roots Orchestra (MIRO) Production Assistant at Community Arts Northwest (CAN) had me working alongside CAN’s Exodus Producer to help the orchestra set up as an independent entity. During my time there, I was primarily involved in creating a new website for MIRO, assisting with their social media capacity, identifying gig opportunities, as well as helping them raise funds through a crowdfunding campaign. I was also involved with some day-to-day activities which included attending meetings and events, liaising with key orchestra members, assisting with monitoring and evaluation, and supporting the orchestra’s performances.
The Manchester International Roots Orchestra (MIRO) is a unique ensemble of musicians with roots from across the world. It is a culturally diverse orchestra that aims to bring people from different ethnic backgrounds, beliefs and many musical styles together. Their music brings many different influences including African gospel, Persian classical, Kurdish traditional music, Eastern European classical and jazz, Sufi and Egyptian Coptic music as well as some hip-hop, jazz and classical music along the way.
MIRO was set up through a partnership with CAN and Royal Northern College of Music in 2012. With their continued partnership support, it is now setting up as an independent ensemble this year. The role I had was a great learning experience for me, especially because I managed to tackle a lot of new things which I’d not explored in the past like creating a (free!) website from scratch using WordPress.org and headlining a crowdfunding campaign on my own.
It also gave me exposure on what working with diverse communities is like and how the language used by a non-profit is different compared to my Creative Writing/Communications background. I would say the style of writing is more succinct and clean, yet requires a lot of attention to detail especially in the way the orchestra is positioned. This skill is especially crucial to have when applying for grants, given that the nature of grant funds are very competitive. Failing to position something the right way could potentially result in a lost opportunity lost in the long run thus I found that a lot of attention had to especially be given in the language that was used throughout my work placement, be it for the website or for the crowdfunding campaign.
Through the work placement, I not only managed to pick up a few new skills which I will definitely apply in future but it also helped open up other career options for me to consider once I graduate with my Creative Writing degree. I previously thought my options would be limited to the Communications/Creative field but my work placement showed me otherwise. Personally, I found it very fulfilling to work with different groups of people as it allowed me to understand them and their histories better and being a part of this felt very meaningful to me.
To check out MIRO’s new website which I helped to create, do go to www.mcrblogs.co.uk/miro where you will also be able to listen to their fantastic music and watch their videos.