Creative Industries come together in a twilight event to inspire young people

Creative businesses around East Anglia came together at The StartUp Lounge at City College Norwich to spotlight a future in the arts for young people.

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The event, Creative Futures Twilight had an impressive array of Norwich University of the Arts alumni guest speaker artists including textile artist Nikkita Morgan, illustrator Charli Vince and Robin Milton, Games Design Lecturer at Access Creative College and Sarah Steed from Norwich University of the Arts.

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Students looking at their next steps after sixth form or college, came along to the twilight event with their families to get information on college, university and apprenticeships particularly in the creative industries. The event was organized by Take Your Place – a programme focusing on improving progression of young people in the area to higher education.

John, a student from City College Norwich, said, “Tonight I’ve spoken to various organisations relating to acting and performance about what they can provide. It’s been a useful evening in helping me decide how to best use my time after I finish my current course.”

Cara from Wymondham High School said, “I talked to someone who studied Interior Design at NUA. It was really interesting to see how she’s gone on to build her own business and really encouraging to know that this is something that can be done. Tonight’s event has widened my mind and shown me that it’s possible to combine the different interests I have, such as photography and architecture – knowing that I can keep my options quite broad and don’t have to be pushed into one area has been very helpful.”

While Cara’s mother Nina said, “I’ve been impressed with how positive and encouraging people here have been with regards to careers in the creative industry. It’s been a very interesting and helpful event.”

Among exhibitors from universities, art organisations and creative industries were the Universities of East Anglia, Suffolk, Falmouth and University for the Creative Arts and Norwich University of the Arts. Alternative arts providers included Access Creative College and The Garage exhibited as well as creative industries featuring FoolProof and Hudson Architects.

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Break Charity were also an exhibitor – Take Your Place are GoGo Ambassadors and have funded the GoGo Create project in 30 schools and colleges we support to higher education.

Paul Johnson, International Development Manager from Falmouth University said, “I’ve really enjoyed the conversations we’ve been having tonight, it’s been great to see the students with their parents and to have these conversations with them both at the same time. Students are often asking about employment opportunities and whether they can get a reliable income when they graduate and also they’re asking which area of subjects they can go into because there are so many different options now for them to navigate their way through. It’s also been nice to meet a few teachers and I’ve been able to learn more about this area of the country and some of the creative things happening here, which will help us understand more about what we can do to support local students.”

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Nikkita Morgan, guest speaker for the evening, is a successful textile media artist and NUA alumni. She has been been touring neaco schools in Norfolk as a guest speaker to support Take Your Place activity and said “It’s been an amazing response from the schools I’ve been going into and many have said that they want me to come back. The kids have been getting loads of ideas but also teachers have said they’ve been really inspired too. One student even told me she’d changed her mind from nursing and now wants to go onto a creative degree.”

For Take Your Place, the evening is all about bringing the industry together with young people to talk about their careers. Annabel Osborn, Higher Education Champion – Arts, Media and Design from Take Your Place said “We are delighted to have so much interest in the event, it was great to be able to provide advice and direction to young people looking for a career in the arts. Some schools are having to cut their budget in art for GCSEs or A Level, which is a great shame!  This is having a knock-on effect for universities, so getting such a diverse range from the creative industry to come and inspire students in underrepresented areas is a very inspirational step.”