The opportunity to present at the International Journal of Arts and Design Education (iJADE) conference was introduced to Tate Liverpool Circulate team by Circuit critical friend, Dr Roz Hall, at one of our meetings in Liverpool. It didn’t take us long to realise that this would be a really good opportunity for us to share our learning experience of producing the Blueprint Festival in July 2014.
The prospect of presenting a paper that we wrote, to an international audience was very exciting indeed. As young evaluators for Circuit, we felt it was important for us to take part in iJADE as a voice for young people. To our surprise, Tate Collective Liverpool is the first group of young people to ever present at this annual conference. It was definitely a milestone event that we are very grateful for.
We presented our paper to a wide and receptive audience from different institutions who also share our vision of working with young people. The conference allowed us to give Blueprint Festival a global exposure. It was also a great chance for us to showcase the hard work by Tate Collective Liverpool that made it happen. Feedback after and during the conference expressed how our presence made a real difference in the presentation of young people’s programmes and how other participating organisations benefited from listening to us.
Taking the conference as a challenge, we used it as an opportunity for us to build our confidence in public speaking – which really did give us a real boost afterwards. Upon reflection, the iJADE gave us access to a lot of resources which we plan to use for Tate Collective Liverpool’s future work in addition to our personal ventures. We feel incredibly privileged for being able to get a broad insight into other young people’s programmes outside of Circuit as well as the international network that we managed to form with the other arts organisations.