Walking a mile in new shoes

The youth programmer for Nottingham Contemporary attends a Tate Lab workshop and realises she needs to always think like a young person

On the 5th July, I attended a Tate Lab workshop with Artist Ed Hall. I attended the workshop in a alternative guise as a young person, not as a youth programmer, and took along my friend Sophie.

Before the workshop, Sophie and I (both of us work in the arts), discussed how nervous we were to attend a workshop,

‘Who do you think will be there? Do you think they will be nice?’

What if we have to contribute? Will we have to come up with really poignant ideas?

This got me thinking, if two 25 year olds who have experience of working with a range of people, and who are used to the arts and creative sectors, are thinking twice about what they will be expected to say or whether they should have bought lunch with them – then all 15 – 25 year olds who attend our Circuit events, and especially those who aren’t regular engagers in the arts, must be thinking the same, and probably a lot more intensely.

I had this realisation because I tried it for myself, and put myself in the shoes of an audience member. Everything that we offer to young adults must be clear and it must have a sense of easiness about it. We must remember that there is always a lot more going on in people’s heads when they attend events and workshops than we realise, and we must take this into consideration when we write marketing copy or ask young adults to attend our activities.

The workshop day was fabulous, my friend and I had a fantastic time with the artist and the other attendees, and we would definitely recommend Tate Labs to other young people – we just had to take that first anxious step in our trendy new audience shoes to find it out.

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