Accessibility Tools

08 March 2024

Journey to a Thrill-Filled Week

Countless new skills and knowledge gained within one week off school in a new place.

Our work placement student David described his experience working with us and learning about our organisation in this blog post below:

I joined Art Reach as a student on work experience coming from Beaumont Leys School. I heard about Art Reach from my neighbour Liz who works with the Insecta Collective. They are an organisation that helps spread art as much as possible, not just in Leicester as well. I worked with Insecta Collective for two summers delivering a variety of workshops at different locations to different age groups.

The first time I worked with them was as a volunteer as I have a solid interest in art, then the other time I worked and got paid which made me excited. Furthermore, I got my work experience with Art Reach by talking to Liz concerning my work experience. I asked her if she had any connections or if she could help search for any art-related team that I could go to for my work experience. Then she told me about Art Reach, and I took the opportunity immediately because this is related to art, plus I can learn how to work in a charity which will help me in the future if I am trying to get a job.

I got the placement and was welcomed with open hands and warm smiles making me feel less nervous than I already was. Firstly, on a Monday morning, I was introduced to most of the members in the workplace and Elaine (Head of Programme and Engagement) gave me a general overview of the organisation and what they do in the company. There is always a team meeting every Monday morning in which the team progress and feedback are shared, its current stage is explored and what needs to be achieved by a certain time. After my lunch, I was given the task to complete and update the branding on the company’s policies by Lynn (Executive Director) and once that was done, I was free to go home.

The following day, Tuesday was another interesting day. I came in and once it was time to start work, I worked with Darcy (Creative Producer) about a young people’s working group. We talked about the art opportunities in Leicester currently and what art opportunities we need more of, like youth clubs and comedy clubs. Then I was assigned a task to create a visual representation of what art opportunities Leicester has and needs, so I did that until my lunch and after my lunch. After my lunch was the best part of my work experience which was with Lisa (Communications and Audience Development Officer), who talked about accessibilities and alt text of images and social media post scheduling. This was just the first half, but I must say that I really enjoyed this part of the work experience. Then I had a feedback session after this, then I went home.

On Wednesday, I carried on with the social media post schedule and newsletter research with Lisa, which was fun and educative as I got to learn a lot about the social media aspect of the company which is fascinating and really caught my attention, which is not easily done, especially as I was given the chance to do a social media post schedule on different social media like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook which was a fun task to do leading to my lunch. After my lunch, I continued with programming and producing tasks which I did on Monday afternoon before I went home.

On Thursday morning, I was greeted by Jo (Head of Consultancy). She oversees the consultancy aspect of the organisation. We went down to the café and there she explained what she does. She explained that she oversees funding; she helps organisations get funding as well as oversees the amount of help given to small organisations for them to grow. Helping small organisations is a big task however, they aim to render more help to small organisations to improve the quality and quantity of art in the world. Supporting small organisations might not yield a lot of increase but it’s worth it as art grows everywhere. And further on in the morning I carried on with the update of the company’s policies after the talk with Jo. Further on in the afternoon, I came back from lunch and Elaine, Darcy and I went out to the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. We walked there so had the time to look at the street art along the way which was delivered by Bring the Paint.

There was a lot of street art with a variety of uniqueness which fascinated me. We got to the museum and art gallery and went to the train street art exhibition and there was a lot of train art that was very mind-blowing plus we saw the different street artists that painted on trains. They had to wear masks to conceal their identity so they wouldn’t be viewed differently. Then we headed to The Golden Mile exhibition which is a photographic display exploring diversity. Then we went to the art galleries which really surprised me how the art looked so impeccable and perfect. We also visited the Egyptian exhibitions and saw real-life mummies which in my opinion was amazing how they can preserve the actual mummies to date without decaying. Overall, my experience in the museum was perspective-changing as I learnt new things and also learnt to look at some things from a different point of view, which was spectacular.

My final day at Art Reach came so soon I wished I had more time in the organisation. On Friday morning, I carried on with the work from Darcy and finished my visual representation of Leicester art opportunities and then she gave me another task to think of the art opportunities and when it should be on the art calendar and if the opportunities should be weekly or monthly or even annually. She said to give her three examples of this and input it on the paper calendar I was given. After my lunch, I explained what I’ve done to Elaine; how it works on the calendar, benefits the people, targets of the opportunity. And then I was able to send off my blog to publish it with Gary (Head of Communications and Audience Development).

Overall, my experience at Art Reach has been insightful, knowledgeable, perspective-changing, skills gaining and lots more. Art Reach is a lovely place and the people there are amazing and helpful. I want to say a big thank you to Darcy, Elaine, Paul, Lynn, Jo, Gary, Karin (Team Assistant) and Lisa for being welcoming and helpful. Any student thinking of working in the arts sector and gaining business-related experience should consider Art Reach because this is a good place I would absolutely recommend.

A young man is wearing earphones and looking at a picture in a gallery. The picture is hung on a yellow wall and looks like a painting of a person holding a pinting in front of their face.
A young person sitting at a desk in an office space, writing on a laptop.
A drawing of a tiger and important Leicester landmarks on a table next to pens and post-its.
This picture shows a young man sitting in front of an exhibition about Graffiti on trains at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery.
This picture shows a gallery of early days American street artist portraits, all of the people in the portraits are wearing balaclavas to protect their identity.
This image shows two young people standing in front of some pre-historic fossils at Leicester museum and Art Gallery.