Purdie is New Creative Producer

by aprilskipp on November 9, 2015

Soon after graduating from Leeds Beckett University in 2014 with BA Art, Event, Performance, I applied to a call-out to become a BBC Performing Arts Fund (PAF) Fellowship Trainee Creative Producer.

Yorkshire Dance and West Yorkshire Playhouse worked together to create a unique opportunity for an emerging arts producer to gain hands-on experience in the dance and theatre industries supported by the BBC PAF.

I worked between both companies for up to ten months. During this time, I gained administrative and coordination experience in a creative office environment, producing and practical hands-on experience in delivering events and performances, as well as the opportunity to travel and see exciting new work.

I committed to working at both organisations through events and assisting with ad hoc work that came long; from visiting companies to one-off events. I attended festivals and training courses that benefitted my professional development and received support, advice and guidance from mentors and other staff.

Now I have completed the BBC PAF, I have supported the creative teams in the coordination of various events and schemes within the sphere of artist and new work development at both West Yorkshire Playhouse and Yorkshire Dance, working alongside theatre and dance makers who create innovative performance.

I have conceived and coordinated Exchange, which brings together both theatre and dance in a creative and meaningful way ā€“ producing a cross-over project between Yorkshire Dance and West Yorkshire Playhouse. I hope to carry on this project and build my own events company in January 2016 that hosts networking in unusual ways.

Mel Purdie - Exchange (c) Mark WestReflecting back to the beginning of the BBC PAF, I didn’t quite understand how to put an event together efficiently and effectively, how to even start putting together a budget or the first thing about being a good producer.

Now I feel as if I have a really good handle on my skills, knowledge of where my strengths and weaknesses lie and I feel ready and comfortable to take the next big leap into freelance work.

Iā€™m aiming to come back to Leeds January 2016 and become a freelance producer, working in large-scale events, festivals and working with individual artists that excite and provoke me.

I just want to say a massive thank you to the Yorkshire Dance and West Yorkshire Playhouse for offering me this amazing opportunity and providing me with invaluable experience over the past 10 months!

All the best,
Melanie Purdie

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