building careers in creative art industries – national consultant

Sky1 presenter Joe Forrester, Tony Award-winning theatre director David Grindley and Sherlock writer Steven Moffat are among the leading figures from TV, theatre, art, music and literature talking through their fascinating careers over the course of two evenings.

David Grindley: Award winner will share his secrets

The free festival is aimed at young people considering careers in the arts but is open to all, and will no doubt offer a captivating insight into the career paths of some of the most revered figures in their respective genres.

Grindley, who directed the 25th anniversary production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party, says the most important thing about the arts is to get young people to use their imagination, which is becoming a dwindling resource.

He says: “When I grew up in the 1970s, there were only three TV channels with limited programming and basic computers or other electronic devices. It was boring but that boredom prompted myself and my friends to create our own entertainment. In the 21st century, there’s not the same need to use the imagination.

“Also most art forms are grappling with the complicated reality of what it is to be human. The more people who benefit from that the better.”

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Grindley says the biggest obstacles he faced at the beginning of his career was trying to persuade producers to take a punt on him as a director.

He says: “It’s a chicken and egg situation because how can you be given a show if they haven’t seen your work, but how do you get your work seen if you haven’t got a show?”

Grindley’s own career took off when he produced and directed a production of Othello at the Edinburgh Festival which was an unexpected hit.

The first evening will feature David Grindley, Steven Moffat, Lawrence Norfolk and Andrew Matthews-Owens.

Joe Forrester, a former-Hampton School pupil and presenter on Sky1’s What’s Up, will be joined by Andrea Tarsia, Dr David Bellingham, David Anthony Hall, Leo Wyatt and musicians JJ and Oscar on the second evening.

Forrester says embarking on a career in the media can be daunting but young people shouldn’t be scared of diving right in. He says: “A big part of the media industry and working in TV is very mysterious and it seems like there is a whole world of technology and barriers out there to confuse you and keep it as a members’ club but actually the more you learn about it you realise how many opportunities there can be.

“Studying is great but you need to get out there and get your hands dirty.”

Sutton Guardian:

How did he do it? Find out at Hampton School next week

Public Arts Festival 2015; Hampton School, Hanworth Road, Hampton; June 10 & 12, 7pm; Entry free but tickets required; call 020 8979 5526 or visit


Building freelance portfolio careers in the creative industries – live chat

Looking for portfolio career in journalism, art or photography? Ask our experts how to get ahead on Wednesday 10 June from 1–3pm BST

If the idea of working for the same company nine-to-five everyday is sending you to sleep, have you ever considered taking on a few freelance roles? Portfolio careers are currently on the rise – and most popular with graduates in the creative arts such as artists, journalists and photographers.

“Only 20% of those with multi-strand careers do so because they needed to take more than one job to make a living,” says Charlie Ball, deputy director of research at Prospects. Instead, most freelancers in the creative industries opt for the freedom and flexibility a portfolio career brings.

However, juggling several jobs and always having to pitch for work isn’t easy. “You need to be resilient, confident and optimistic,” says Jan Moore, assistant head of the careers and employability service at Manchester Metropolitan University. “Great people skills will help to get your name out there, but there is always uncertainty in portfolio careers.”

Because of this uncertainty it is essential to build a client base and gather a strong body of work to present to potential clients when looking for creative work.

“It’s also important to be highly organised and flexible, as you’ll be doing several things at once and facing tough deadlines,” adds Moore. “Organising your finances is part of this, and if you’re going to set up a company – whether an entrepreneurial venture or a theatre group – it’s worth getting business advice.”

So, if you’re looking to start a portfolio career in the creative industries, and want advice on where to begin – join us on Wednesday 10 June from 1–3pm BST for a live chat with the experts. We’ll be discussing:

  • How to build and present a portfolio of work
  • Using part-time roles to fit in around creative work
  • How to find and pitch for freelance roles
  • Where to begin when setting up a portfolio career

The Q&A takes place in the comments section below this article. Taking part is easier than ever: create a free Guardian account, or log in using your Twitter or Facebook profiles to comment. Alternatively, you can tweet us@GuardianCareers or email your questions to charlotte.seager@theguardian.comwho can post them for you.

Looking for a job? Browse Guardian Jobs or sign up to Guardian Careers for the latest job vacancies and career advice


SoCCA teams up with nationally recognized art consultant

SOUTHINGTON — Margaret Bodell, a nationally recognized leader in the arts, will serve as Southington Community Cultural Arts’ first administrator.

Bodell, who was named last year as one of the top 20 Executive Arts Leaders by Americans for the Arts, will serve as SoCCA’s access coordinator and will work closely with both the Board of Directors and Executive Director Mary DeCroce on operations and sustainability. SoCCA is gearing up for a Fall 2015 opening of an arts center in the historical Gura Building.

“I am honored and thrilled to be working on this project, especially because I truly see this state-of-the-art facility as becoming a regional center for all types of programming and activities,” said Bodell, who has 31 years of experience building arts centers and consulting in the industry.

Bodell is the current director of Uarts Chapel Haven in North Haven, a creative vocational program for disabled adults. The program enables trained artists to work with underserved populations to help them tap into art for both creative and practical purposes.

SoCCA’s art center at the Gura Building will also serve as a Uarts facility and will function as the statewide training location for Connecticut artists who will eventually work first-hand with the disabled persons.

“We will be the quintessential center for access to programs and access to learning the arts,” said Bodell. “The central setting of the Gura Building is a great location for this facility.”

Bodell has also served as co-director in the Office of the Arts for the state of Connecticut, launching and directing the statewide creative place making initiative CreateHereNow. The program fosters artists, community and municipal engagement as well as creative space activation — such as the renovation of the Gura Building into a community arts center.


Bodell also previously served as the project manager for City Canvases, the state’s multisite public art project that brought mural-based art into downtown spaces throughout Connecticut. She has also worked for the city of New Haven in the Office of Cultural Affairs and is the co-owner of Umbrella arts in New York City, a gallery now in its 10th year.

Bodell is currently structuring leasing and rental materials for those visual and performing professional artisans who will occupy studio space at SoCCA’s art center in the Gura Building.

“We are so fortunate to have connected with Margaret as she has dedicated her entire career to the arts world, and, more specifically, to developing programs that bring awareness of the benefits of the arts to communities,” said SoCCA Executive Director Mary DeCroce. “Providing access to the arts for all who want to engage has been our mission at SoCCA, and Margaret is yet another facilitator who can help us reach that goal.”

For more information about SoCCA and its mission, including information on leasing space in the Gura Building, contact Mary DeCroce at (860) 621-6143 or Dawn Miceli at (860) 681-8006.