Jessica McGlinchey, Gold Arts Award achiever

Jessica's Gold Arts Award helped her pursue creativity and discover new art forms. From spoken word to scriptwriting, explore her Arts Award story...

Jessica McGlinchey, Gold Arts Award achiever

What levels of Arts Award have you completed?

I have completed Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

What art forms did you take part in?

Spoken Word, Poetry

What events did you go to?

Spoken Word Poetry Slam Night in my local town helped give me inspiration for my art form. I also took part in the monthly event to perform my own work. I attended a one woman show called Draught in Hebden Bridge which was about empowering women through the art of spoken word as well as poetry to music.

72523653bcbdbaa60ce0b1242bd98353f59d9dd4.jpegHow did you share your art skills and lead a project? 

The monthly open mic Poetry Slam Night was the best stage for my work and I felt I was in a safe space to share my pieces. I got to know some more local performers and invited them to my leadership project which was putting together a show of the wonderful creatives we have in my town.

What kind of portfolio did you create?

I created a huge scrapbook that documented my journey from start to finish. For me it was the best way to express my strengths and weaknesses as well as show my evidence throughout the award, as there is so much within the Gold Award.

What was most valuable to you personally? 

I personally wanted to show my local town Burnley what the arts can do for people. My leadership project involved gaining contacts for musicians, drag artists and poetry writers to show that a small town has a lot going on. I called my show Platform 2K19 to literally give the artists, including myself, a platform to showcase what they can do. 

Knowing that this show has contributed greatly and opened more opportunities for some of the acts in the show means so much to me and I’m very humbled to be a part of their story.

What did you find inspiring? 

Opening my mind and pushing my boundaries! Spoken word has never been my forte. I’m a musical theatre performer and singing is my main strength, however songwriting and spoken word have ever come easily to me. I discovered that putting time into the research and surrounding yourself with creatives can push you and you can find a new artist in yourself.

What was challenging? 

Putting together the show was challenging because I wanted it to be a smooth process, especially on the day. I had to deal with people letting me down, technical difficulties in the soundcheck, and we almost ran behind schedule. However I overcame all these issues and loved every minute of the challenge!

What are you going to do next – and has Arts Award helped you? 

Doing this specific Arts Award helped me find the motivation to audition for drama school, where I have just completed my first term! This time last year, I was at a university that I hated, and dropped out in the Christmas holidays. 

Luckily my Arts Award advisor knew about this and invited me along to complete my Gold as I had previously completed Bronze and Silver with her years before. Dropping out of my first university was not an easy decision to make, and I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to have the opportunity to complete Gold. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to keep being a creative and earn a place at The Hammond School in Chester.

How did you get involved with Arts Award?

I first came across Arts Award when I was 13, and I decided to take part in the award during the summer holidays. I was challenged in this group to create a dance flashmob which was a huge success! I loved every minute of Arts Award and decided to complete the Silver award when I was 15. Here a friend and I challenged ourselves to scriptwriting for film. Although this was a very time-consuming process, it has helped me write plays and musicals for other local societies.

Who gave you the most help and inspiration? 

Rachel Hawthorn. my Arts Award advisor, was a huge help along the way and I would have really struggled without her. She made sure I was ticking all the boxes and gave me the right contacts so I could fulfill my challenge.


If you have completed an Arts Award and would like to be profiled too, join our Arts Award Alumni and let us know about your experience.

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