Tobi Kyrementang – Is a producer and culture maker from South London and is currently my mentor. She has created art and cultural spaces for black and brown people and founded the black ticket project. I chose her because she is well connected and understands how to navigate the cultural sector as a black woman making space for black people. She has a sharp focus on what her why is. – https://tobikyere.com/

Hollie Hartley is the youth engagement coordinator for PeerPower UK. She specifically works with young activators and co-produces work and training with them. I chose her because she can teach me how co-production works and how to engage with young people or people with adverse lived experiences. She is especially energetic and empathetic. – she has worked for the Lyric Hammersmith for almost six years and now works for http://www.peerpower.org.uk/Daniel Bailey is a director and former youth work at the bush theatre. I chose him because he created his own arts company when he was younger and has used his platform to build on work from other young practitioners. –https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/about-us/the-team/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw7Nj5BRCZARIsABwxDKJPDnSRy-f5T7MeYDfjEcztpr8lhYYwctREHoHm4hkl-FaVU-x4a4UaAmiEEALw_wcB

Tobi has agreed to mentor me and has given me feedback on funding and applications for my project. She has spoken with me on being succinct in my goals and aiming for the highest possible reach. I regularly have mentoring session.

I have joined the Peer Power Experts who are a small cohort of lived experience experts who co-produce training for professionals, and will begin training and creating training with them to learn more on co-producing.

I interviewed Daniel Bailey an associate artistic director of the Bush theatre and asked him about his youth work and creative journey, he then offered me a job as a facilitator at the Bush.

Tobi’s career path came from her making space for herself and others. She is supported by over 10 different cultural venues and organisations (including RichMix, Gal-dem , brain child, national theatre, battersea arts centre and more) on her own projects and projects she is commissioned for, because she understands a need and fills it. She looks for a gap and pushes for that gap to be filled.

She now mentors me

Daniel began his work because he got “into trouble a lot as a younger” he has a “turning point” and at that point turned to directing asking himself “how do I platform voices”

He “took part in the new directions acting scheme, did some coaching and broke down texts for actors/directors”

Daniel decided that he needed to change the script from the beginning and ask a lot of questions, his biggest obstacle being himself, and the time he had to do what he needed to do. 

I asked him how he sees trauma and he responded “as art, or a key to access oneself or someone else.”

Daniel inspires me because of how his experience is similar to mine. He is a champion for aspiring artists along with Lynette Lynton and they have given me a lot of information from just watching their journeys

Peer power is focused on building bridges between young people with lived experience in the care and criminal justice sectors, and the local authorities and organisations that communicate with them. They create training with the young people in their team and take that training to organisation to work with. These session are extensive and well debated and many times the senior staff come back to the experts with more questions, and eventually together they come to a consensus. I really enjoy how they co-create and co-produce work and learning more about it working with them as a Peer Power expert on my own lived experience is very empowering

This work is extensive and well thought out. You have to be specific and detailed about what you are looking for and how you will find it. You must work with people in a way that challenges them but doesn’t provoke them, and be honest about how you intend to use their research and their help.

A lot of work goes into co-producing and there are many ideas, so you have to be militant with timing and priorities conversations that are necessary to the cause and the ones which may be positive debate but unnecessary.

Campaigning is a lot like producing, and the similarities make it harder to distinguish the art from the point. With campaigning everything I do has to reach and achieve a higher purpose, where with producing I can try and fail time and time again

I am now more aware of how every aspect, drawing and word fits into making an audience see the bigger picture. I think my research has allowed me to dig deep into my why in order to get to my how. It’s easier to find all the answers to questions that might arise than it is to scamble for them later, so everything I do goes back to my main point.