Creative Critics: Get Started in Creativity, Community & Radio

Case Study from
Creative Critics: Get Started in Creativity, Community & Radio

From our project running in January 2021, here is a case study featuring one participant, ‘T’.

T is from Norfolk. Her dream is to be a film actor. Her focus is on acting, but she describes herself as “a ‘Jack of all trades’ when it comes to creativity”, including being a musician and an artist.

Having already taken part in The Princes Trust Team programme last September, T decided to take part in the Creative Critics: Get Started in Creativity, Culture and Radio programme because she felt that a lot of her creative skills were not being put to use in lockdown.

At the start, T was worried about critiquing the Arts: “I had always been the artist, not the reviewer.”  However, she was “really glad” that she overcame her initial anxieties, as she found it “really enjoyable” and got a lot from it.

T feels that the programme built her confidence in creative criticism and enabled her to learn something new:

“It was really enlightening…it was really interesting to get that perspective that I had never really had… I kind of saw critics in a negative light… whereas now I realise it can be a really positive thing as well and it can really boost an artist’s outlook. I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to learn about it.”

Learning something new is a big step for T, who faces several mental health challenges.

These challenges led to her feeling unable to finish college, where she had a scholarship to pursue academic studies in A-Levels. Her negative experience of college initially left T rejecting the opportunity to learn anything new. This was frustrating for her, as she “used to love learning so much.” T found that the programme encouraged her to take real and positive steps towards learning and writing again:

“[It] warmed me up so I can start learning again… and it was really helpful to ease my way into a little bit of writing again.”

Although initially nervous about taking on a qualification that included a written element, T found the Bronze Arts Award embedded into the programme to be a good opportunity to build her CV with qualifications “without the stress of academic work.” She found it to be a “relaxed award, which was really good.”

T describes the deliverers on the programme as “lovely” and “so supportive,” particularly when it came to helping her overcome initial anxieties.

The highlight of the two-week programme for T was the production of a full-length radio show, which aired on BBC Radio Suffolk. The content was created entirely online over Teams:

“It’s amazing how quickly we were able to bash out two hours of content in about 3 days… what we produced was amazing and I’m really proud of it and the team.”

T contributed a review and discussion of a live stream performance. She also talked about a local artist. Additionally, T volunteered herself to compose the jingle for the show, which taught her new skills about online composition and virtual performances.

Initially, T found taking part in a two-week course online “draining”, but she “started to get into the routine of it.” She valued this as a chance to interact with other people during the pandemic lockdown: “It was nice to be able to see faces.” The online format still enabled the group to form strong bonds and even friendships as a result of the programme:

“We were such a great group – we just bounced off each other so well.”

In fact, the group got on so well that they have stayed in contact with each other, with many forming a creative network of their very own:

“…we’re all really good friends now and we can all help each other out with different projects we’ve got. So it’s really great to have that network of people who know each other through this course but who are also really talented people…”

For T, this was another highlight of taking part.

Summing up her experience of the programme, T said:

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity… it’s been amazing and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

T has already taken next steps on her development journey, taking on new training opportunities with her local theatre.