Victoria Edwards, Arts Award Gold achiever

We catch up with Victoria Edwardswho has recently participated in Gold Arts Award with a project that involved creating a symposium around inclusion in the arts, called Meeting in the Middle.

Victoria Edwards, Arts Award Gold achiever

Hi Victoria, great to hear that you've recently taken part in your Gold Arts Award! We hear you've also received your Bronze and Silver Arts Award, which is great! 

Why don't you start by telling us a bit about your project around inclusion in the arts, Meeting in the Middle? 

My final project for my Gold Arts Award was creating a symposium around inclusion in the arts, which I called Meeting in the Middle, held at the Guildhall Portsmouth. You can view my reflections and review of the event and the Arts Award process on The Urban Vocal Groups page, or check it out below: 

When the event took place around 25 people turned up including the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth(!), the Director of Making Space and the Director of Aspex Gallery. 

We discussed the perceived barriers to allowing young people to participate with guest speakers opening up the wider discussion on access for the group conversation on finding a way to solve these problems. I hoped it would start others talking about inclusion in the arts and each person made a pledge to themselves of their own choice on what they could do for including all. 

It could have been something small like changing the colour of paper they used to ensure that there is a quiet place for people to go and so on. 

Sounds great! How did you find an audience for your event?

I was able to advertise my event through social media, Eventbrite, as well as sending many emails and asking other organization’s such as Arts Award to share the post which provided all the information.  

Can you tell us a bit about what events you attended in preparation for your Gold Arts Award?

I was able to go to a symposium for my investigation on inclusion in the arts. It was all about labels on disabled people and finding out what to label people in funding bids, on websites and in general. 

It was interesting how everyone has a different label they prefer and it again opened up a new debate on what people should be called. 

Can you tell us about any artists you worked with or cultural organisations you visited as part of your Arts Award journey? 

During my work experience, I was able to go to Artswork and work with the communications team. This opportunity allowed me to find out how there team were where they are now, which has inspired me to travel down the marketing path! It was great fun learning about market research and helping with one of their up and coming projects.  

Read more about my work experience here.

Great! It's exciting that you got to do some work experience too. As part of your Arts Award you had to create a portfolio. Can you tell us a bit about how you made your portfolio? 

For my portfolio, I created a mixture of video and written evidence. I’m not able to pass this over just yet but will share soon!

So, that's the practical stuff out the way. Now, how do you feel about your Arts Award journey? What did you find the most valuable? 

The idea that you yourself are able to create a successful event that people can be interested in. 

What did you find inspiring?

The people who were around me telling me about how they got where they were and showing me what it is like to work in marketing.

What did you find the most challenging?

The most challenging part of the Arts Award for me was the event itself. I never knew how much work had to be put into making an event!

Yes, events are certainly challenging! Sounds like you had a successful audience.How did you get involved with Arts Award in the first place? 

I started the journey of my Arts Award by the Director of Urban Vocal Groups asking me if I wanted to try out this new awards scheme that he had found out about. From that point on I got the bug and wanted to learn more, and I ended up completing my Gold Arts Award.

Who gave you the most help and inspiration? Who is your #AdviserInspirations?

Each step of the way I was guided by both Charlie Fletcher, the Director of UVG and Judith Carrie, my Arts Award Advisor, who gave me advise on the next step of my journey.

What is next for you? 

I hope to gain an apprenticeship or employment in marketing or events, as I never stopped smiling through this whole journey of my award!

Get Involved with Arts Award

Arts Award (What is Arts Award?)  helps you to grow your talents, explore the arts, be a creative leader and get a qualification. If you’re already participating, go you! Head over to our Bronze and Gold hubs for more inspiration and support. 

Join our Arts Award alumni network 

We’re on the lookout for Arts Award alumni everywhere! We’re here to help support you in your next career steps and offer some useful and interesting benefits! Find out more and sign up

Write for us 

Help others like you get through their Arts Award qualification by writing about your tips and experiences. Become a Voice Contributor today


Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, anything creative, and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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