What are you up to in your creative work at the moment?
Balancing my job and my creative practise is hard work, but when I can, I like to use my fine art degree and my silversmithing skills to create jewellery and sculptural art work. www.emilykathrynward.com
I am the Arts Award and Artsmark Programme Manager for Norfolk and Norwich Festival, so I work as part of the Bridge team rather than the programming teams of the festival.
In this current role I promote and develop the Arts Award and Artsmark programmes for Norfolk Suffolk Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This means I try and see new possibilities for young people to do the Arts award whilst developing existing opportunities.
I also work with schools and education authroities to help develop arts education in schools, further education colleges and youth justice settings so that they are able to reach a high standard of arts education and achieve an Artsmark.
My passion lies with developing opportunities for young people to excel in arts careers and so in my career so far I have worked in jobs such as an education office and arts development assistant. I actually realised this passion through doing my Gold Arts Award and realising that delivering arts workshops and working with young people was where my passion lied. From there I just involved in events and projects that interested me and developed my experience of arts education particularly in the East region.
What are the highlights of your arts career to date?
One personal highlight was to receive a signed thank you note from international acclaimed artist Lisa Milroy saying how much I had helped her in an event I had asked her to come and talk at. As a hero of mine this was a big deal!
What do you hope to be doing in five years time?
In five years time I'd like to be working more directly with young people as I love hearing their ideas and helping them to realise them. I'd like to be exploring new arts education programmes and getting to experience new ways of working with young people. I hope to have completed my MA in Arts Education and for this to lead onto exciting new career prospects.
Which level(s) of Arts Award did you do, and how did you use it to develop your creativity or skills?
I did the Gold Arts Award. The Gold Arts Award helped me to ask the questions I was too afraid to ask before and have a justifiable reason to follow what I was interested in. It gave me a chance to experience things I enjoyed and also things I didn't want to do, helping me to decide what I wanted to do as a career. It gave me skills to question and challenge and also to appreciate high quality arts.
What advice would you give to young people doing Arts Award who want to follow in your footsteps?
Don't be afraid if you don't know what you want to do, follow what you are interested in and be open to new possibilities when they arise.
Be aware that even when you have a job, in order to move forward in the career you may need to still volunteer to gain more experience. Equally you may like to any way at events such as festivals.
Be adaptable- the art world is ever changing and you may need a skill you thought that you would never use in your art career. It may even be the reason you get a job, which is another reason to follow what you are interested in.
Don't be afraid to try something new, you'll never know until you try and it will make a stronger person for it!