MENU

Blog

MINDSET ERROR #ADA

Madeleine Wilson, Programme Co-ordinator for Artist Development at South East Dance and an Audience Diversity Academy Fellow is making no apologies for delivering her experiments.

I would like to mention an error I made.

As part of the Audience Diversity Academy, I undertook three new ‘quick and dirty’ experiments for South East Dance: two artist development opportunities and a public project. My aim was to significantly raise the number of applications of those from a diverse background within 6-weeks. The challenge felt huge.

Unexpectedly I succeeded with them all! Not only reaching organisation targets – but exceeding them: diverse applications raised to 24%, then 32% and finally 35% respectively. What’s more it was a thoroughly enjoyable, fascinating process.
My error was this. Mindset. I imagined there being many obstacles between myself and reaching diverse communities. I thought it would be impossibly difficult, that defeat would set in before I had begun. I thought I would be hung-up on. I thought people wouldn’t be responsive and that it would be an up-hill struggle.  Surely I, just me, couldn’t make any real impact?

I was wrong.

In fact, it was alarmingly easy. Not in terms of time: which there was never enough of, or rivalling workloads: which were many. But, I was amazed how much you could do with a phone, pen, paper and a dash of optimism. No large-scale strategy just simplicity. There were so many people willing to help connect me to other communities – if I only took the time to explain and ask.

The public project is one close to my heart – titled ‘Audience Ambassadors’ we offer a free dinner, show, artist meet and behind-the-scenes rehearsal to those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity. This scheme is aimed at audiences with no previous experience of seeing dance. I rang 35 local charities of which two thirds were able to help me spread the word and suddenly I was inundated with applications. I asked everyone who responded, for recommendations of other people I could contact and gradually built up a database of interested parties. And to attract a broader range of artists applying to our development opportunities, I visited the Hip Hop conference in South Woodford, discovering gatekeepers to more diverse groups.

My brilliant mentor, Mel Larsen, taught me to get on with it, listen carefully and to re-assess all communication – was it inviting to the audiences I wanted to reach? Actually no. It was erring on academic rather than clear. 4 versions later we had an exciting, punchy public project e-flyer opened by 1327 people! Our live event attracted 33% new-to-dance audience members and the project had an overall known diversity reach of 37%. Our artist development e-flyer travelled so far that we had our first application from the Ivory coast… which has opened up further conversations about how we work with international artists/audiences! I acknowledge this is the tip of the iceberg, but I wonder if more of us realised how easy it really was to begin connecting with new audiences whether organisations/venues would be better at it.

Note to self: no more excuses.


Back to view all


Latest

23/02/17 Read our latest newsletter - The Spring Issue

Featuring Interviews, updates, news, reflections and more. Read the Newsletter here.

15/02/17 Garfield Weston Foundation backs The Dance Space

Garfield Weston Foundation has contributed to our capital appeal as a ‘Founding Funder’ of The Dance Space moving us a step closer to reaching our £3.5 million target. Read More

12/12/16 New job opportunities at South East Dance

South East Dance is recruiting two exciting new posts: Communications and Development Manager and Creative Communities Manager. More information and how to apply

07/11/16 Centre for Advanced Training (CAT): Brighton Satellite 2017

We are delighted to be working in collaboration with The Place to deliver the CAT Brighton Satellite 2017. Apply now!

03/11/16 U.Dance 2017 Applications Now Open

Is your Youth Dance group looking for opportunities to perform to regional and national audiences? Then look no further than U.Dance 2017

Twitter

South East Dance @southeastdance
The programmes have arrived! Join us on Sunday for #Hosted2017. TICKETS: bit.ly/2nAST54 #Brightontwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

South East Dance @southeastdance
Don't miss Ogutu Muyara Fractured Memory @SICKfestival this Sat. Text video and storytelling @AttenboroughCtrtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

South East Dance @southeastdance
DO NOT MISS: @southeastdance's Former Fellow - @dandawcp's #WildCard evening 30/31Mar @Sadlers_Wells: youtu.be/g7lmqRuiYsw

The Point @PointEastleigh
Suppporting @southeastdance to develop a south east hub for independent dance networks ow.ly/z95r30a8UHY #challengealwayspossible
Retweeted by South East Dance

Charlotte Spencer @C_S_Projects
2 days of enquiry & deepening w @roolittle in prep for rehearsals of #ITAWL Thanks to @southeastdance dramaturg in residence prog @JerwoodF
Retweeted by South East Dance

South East Dance @southeastdance
Only 4 days until #Hosted2017, a celebration of the work of local #YouthDance groups. BOOK NOW:… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…

always possible @always_possible
Tune into @radioreverb now to find out about #challengealwayspossible - 9 days left to send a video challenge to us… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Retweeted by South East Dance

KATIE DALE-EVERETT @katiefay100
1 month until our premier! Tickets available here: brownpapertickets.com/event/2881324 @southeastdance @BTNDanceNetworktwitter.com/i/web/status/8…
Retweeted by South East Dance

JOIN THE SOUTH EAST DANCE MAILING LIST

Join our mailing list here

Tick here if you DO NOT give us permission to share your personal data with our carefully selected partners (artists, companies, promoters, venues and funders with whom we work). Click here to read our full Privacy Policy.

FOLLOW SOUTH EAST DANCE
ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Follow us on your favourite
Social Media channels...

Identity and website design by de Ville | Website build by TOR Creative