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Arts industry students face uncertain futures amid coronavirus live events shutdown

PUBLISHED: 14:25 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 14:26 14 October 2020

Events management and production students Charlie Stelling, Lottie Middleton, and Alex Whall. Picture: City College Norwich

Events management and production students Charlie Stelling, Lottie Middleton, and Alex Whall. Picture: City College Norwich

City College Norwich

Students are to quiz arts festivals and experts as they bid to launch careers in the live event industries at a time when the sector is crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

City College Norwich offers a range of music and music production courses within its performing arts department - and tries to offer students lots of practical experience of the industry. Picture: City College NorwichCity College Norwich offers a range of music and music production courses within its performing arts department - and tries to offer students lots of practical experience of the industry. Picture: City College Norwich

Event management and production students at City College Norwich (CCN) will host two live broadcasts featuring interviews with a wide range of potential employers and leading universities.

Participants will share insights about how to make it in careers including stage management, events management, and sound and light engineering.

MORE: £3.2 million ‘lifeline’ boost for the arts in Norfolk and Waveney

City College Norwich runs courses in event management and arts production skills for those wanting to work in the live events industuries. Picture: City College NorwichCity College Norwich runs courses in event management and arts production skills for those wanting to work in the live events industuries. Picture: City College Norwich

Those taking part in the ‘Evolve’ event, organised by the students themselves, putting into practice skills developed through their course, range from the Norfolk and Norwich Festival to Guildford School of Acting and Maui Waui Festival of International Music.

It comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has forced creative industries to scale back their businesses and cut jobs, including many music venues and cultural organisations.

This week the government announced £257m funding to support arts organisations and struggling venues

Live Lounge sessions for its performing arts students, in which they are required to book acts and set up the stage. Picture: City College NorwichLive Lounge sessions for its performing arts students, in which they are required to book acts and set up the stage. Picture: City College Norwich

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However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week said that all workers needed to adapt to the changing environment, though a government-backed advert suggesting a ballet dancer should retrain in cyber security was later withdrawn as “not appropriate”.

Charlie Stelling, 17, from Norwich, is planning to go to Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and then into a career in set construction.

Those working in the live event industries face uncertain futures after the coronavirus shurdown. Picture: Denise BradleyThose working in the live event industries face uncertain futures after the coronavirus shurdown. Picture: Denise Bradley

He said: “I’m pretty certain of what I want to do, but want advice on how to get there, what’s the best thing to do, especially in the current climate of coronavirus.”

Alex Whall, 18, from Norwich, who would like to work for a production company, said: “I’m looking forward to talking to people, asking how they did it, seeing if they have any advice to give me.”

MORE: ‘Take action before it’s too late’ - Norfolk musician’s impassioned plea to save live music industry

Lottie Middleton, 19, from Southwold, is planning to go to drama school and her eventual goal is to work in stage management in West End theatre.

She said: “I’m looking forward to hearing how people in the industry have got there, because there’s not a lot of information on how to get from studying it to the actual job.”

Rich Hanke-Hill, CCN events management and production lecturer, said that the impact of the pandemic on the creative industries meant it is more important than ever that students leave college with a clear destination in mind.

He said: “It’s about opening their eyes to the opportunities which are available, which university or drama school they might go to, or progressing directly into work or an apprenticeship if that is right for them.”

• Anyone who is interested in careers in events management and production can watch the Evolve events live on October 16 and 23. To find out more, email richard.hanke-hill@ccn.ac.uk


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