Arriving at the Bluecoat bright and early, the FLUX Ambassadors convened around a table in the café to have a chit-chat before the meeting. We were instructed to grab a hot drink and spread out across the tables so that we could mingle with the CEOs (and show off about how amazing we are). Mary from the Bluecoat kindly opened the meeting and introduced our wonderful Creative Producer Alex, who had prepared a comprehensive presentation to update everyone on what we’ve been up to.
There had been talk of toast, and we were getting twitchy, but thankfully it did make its appearance by the end of the presentation. The CEOs moved in for the kill instantaneously… I blinked and almost missed it!
Alex lead an informative and stimulating presentation, creating a palpable sense of excitement in the room (which is a tough feat when working with PowerPoint.) Ambassadors Amy and Emma chipped in to discuss the iDat App meeting and the initial intensive weekend for the festival. The presentation included our impressive social capital of 19,444 – the sum of our collective social media reach, this is clearly a number that can go a long way!
Charlotte and Christina from Open Culture next gave us a quick run-through of the marketing strategy so far, and what is to come. The website has been created and flyers are on their way. They then facilitated a discussion about ensuring Flux has a future – what can we do to make this happen? This was an opportunity for anyone and everyone to chip in and share ideas. The first point that was made in this discussion was the importance of establishing Flux’s KEY MESSAGES. We discussed Flux as not just a festival but as a concept, a catalyst for change. This is its unique selling point.
It is about GROWTH, SUSTAINABILITY and VISION.
The CEOs felt the need to develop a structure and system for progress which will allow Flux to become self-sustaining. One idea we loved was having a cyclical influx of young people to tick over as Festival Ambassadors/ Producers.
It was even suggested that the current ambassadors would be running the festival in the future – we like the sound of that!
The discussion progressed on to the importance of Flux being a game-changing concept , so that beyond the 2014 festival there will be a focus on an expansion of learning and knowledge sharing in the industry, with the hope of developing a model of excellence in youth-led practise and co-production.
We got a wealth of thought-provoking and exciting ideas from this discussion, but being pushed for time we had to move on to the next talking point: Flux skills. Being mindful of the fact that these sorts of events can often be fairly dry, the focus was for it to be a new take on how to break in to a creative career.
A stand-out suggestion that was made was for the mentoring to be reciprocal instead of the age-old dynamic of mentor-mentee relationships. The artist (or whoever it might be) should have things to learn in reverse.
Another amazing suggestion came from Gemma, CEO of Everyman and Playhouse theatres. She impressed the limitations that can come behind the words ‘creative arts’. It can be an instant turn-off for people who do not consider themselves creative. She introduced the idea of artisan skills being a part of Flux skills; this involves expanding the definition of what it means to have creative skill. We don’t want to forget the skilled people who might be interested in construction or makeup – there are roles for them in theatre. In this sense we can engage a broader range of people in the arts.
We were so deep in discussion by this point that it was a shock to hear that the meeting was over. Success! WE HAVE SO MUCH TO DO but we are so excited.