I am 25 and have just returned to my home town of Manchester to pursue an MA in Arts Management and be immersed in the arts and culture that lives throughout this beautiful city. I have an BA Hons in Drama and have always been interested in breaking the mould of traditional theatre. I believe every day is an art form in itself and was overjoyed to discover I had been awarded a placement with my first-choice host organisation, Quarantine, who share in this artistic ethos.

Everything Quarantine does is abstract and seeks to facilitate a conversation between strangers. Their work takes all the tools of theatre making and presents them through a variety of art forms which are beautifully far away from the conventions of traditional theatre. Quarantine bring theatre to those who need it most in ways no other organisation would dare to pursue. From participating in ‘No Such Thing’, an opportunity to engage in conversation with a stranger over a curry to taking part in artistic planning meetings across the dinner table at a new build house on the River Irwell in Salford – no two days have been the same.

My role within this placement ranged from drafting funding applications, researching venues for a symposium, artist liaison and planning conversations – lots of which took place over regular dinners and exchanges. I have been given hours of professional mentorship from November – May and have been introduced to various professionals in the sector through many projects, artist liaison roles and attending development meetings across the North West.

A massive part of this placement has been the opportunity to work on a large-scale project called ‘Tenancy’ which is part of a wider project ‘Meet the Neighbours’ which spans across five neighbourhoods in Europe and Africa. The chance to work with Quarantine, who are the host organisation for the entire project, has been invaluable and being part of delivering an international project in collaboration with Creative Europe is priceless experience in the sector.

I gained new skills in arts administration, fundraising, audience development, talent development and pretty much every area of arts management imaginable. I chose this course as a stepping stone into professional practice after working for many years managing entertainment programmes for various entertainment companies. I could not have wished for a more diverse, varied and informative placement that allowed me to take on responsibilities and leave with a sense of accomplishment from each session.

Quarantine have just moved into an ensemble way of working which has been a pleasure to watch unfold. A placement with Quarantine doesn’t feel like an ordinary day at the office, but a day out with the family and I will be genuinely sad when the time has come to an end.

Following the completion of my placement, I hope to continuously develop my new skills and look forward to taking part in ‘No Such Thing’ again in the middle of June. This is an organisation I will 100% be staying in contact with and following their extraordinary work as it emerges, as well as popping in for lunch time conversation.  Thank you Quarantine!

Tenancy, Quarantine (Photo Credit: Joshua Partington)