Adviser's view: Luna Russell, Chichester Festival Theatre

Luna has a degree in Theatre and Arts Management, her experience in the Arts sector includes project and event management, arts funding and strategic planning. She has worked for Theatre Royal Plymouth, small scale theatre companies and led on Arts and Drama programmes for local authorities.

Adviser's view: Luna Russell, Chichester Festival Theatre

Luna is currently Education and Partnerships Manager at Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT). Responsible for planning a range of high quality Education projects with and for the formal education sector.

When did you first become a Gold Arts Award adviser?

I've been a Bronze and Silver Arts Award Adviser for about twelve years but last year attended training sessions for both Discover/Explore and Gold.

What do you enjoy most about being an adviser?

I really like the structure of Arts Award, it offers young people the opportunity to think and plan creatively within a strong framework that supports the areas that they want to explore on their arts journey. Being an Adviser means that I get to listen to a wide range of young people's ideas, interests and plans. It's great to support young people and see how they develop their skills and confidence during their time taking the Award, it opens up new avenues to them from the research and contacts that they make on the way.

How do you think young people benefit from taking their Gold Arts Award?

Having the opportunity to really think about what arts activities they would like to get engaged in and exploring how to turn their ideas into reality that may not have come up with without the framework of Arts Award. The guide books and Arts Award Voice share case studies about what other young people are doing which stimulates new ideas and ways of thinking for other young people. It's a great opportunity to be part of a bigger network that can really help to support longer term career plans and offers young people more opportunities than if they were just carrying on with their regular arts activities.

How many young people do you have taking their Gold at the moment?

At the moment we have three, two of them are CFT's Apprentices, who as part of their one year apprenticeship take Gold Arts Award and the third person was an Apprentice last year who focused on an NVQ qualification but is currently taking his Gold Arts Award during his year out.

Would you change or add anything to the Gold Units? What would you change/add?

I think the units are well formed, there is enough in them to guide young people, highlighting aspects that they need to think about when planning events and developing their own practice. It's great that the Award has UCAS points attached to it and can be used to support University applications.

However, the experience and portfolio gives any young people, regardless of whether they go to University or not, new skills and real experiences that they can talk to potential employees and course leaders about. It gives young people the opportunity to talk in depth about ideas that they have explored, projects that they have planned and delivered rather than something that they have been told to do as part of a school or college course. It gives young people the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. To be able to talk about their arts knowledge and leadership skills in an interview situation really demonstrates their commitment to the Arts and that's a huge benefit when there are so many young people trying to get into the sector.

How do you promote Arts Award at Chichester Festival Theatre?

We're an Arts Award Supporter and Centre so we have a link on our website to tell people that. We also offer our youth theatre members the opportunity to take part in Arts Award and run 1-1 surgeries to support young people at all levels. We run Arts Award during our holiday activity programme, within our school programmes and for young people taking part in work experience.

Find out more about Gold Arts Award


Shannon  Hay

Shannon Hay

I am an aspiring actor who is currently taking a year apprenticeship at Chichester Festival Theatre whilst auditioning for Drama school. I am one of the new Arts Award Activists, which I am very much enjoying and I am currently doing my Gold Arts Award.

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