Don't Panic! - my experience

8 December 2015

Shahira Ahmed was one of 26 young people who took part in an Arts Award accredited course and the Panic! programme. Here she tells of her experience...

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Over the last three months, I was lucky to be a part of a group of 26 young people who took part in an Arts Award accredited course which ultimately led to the delivery of the Panic! programme.

The ten day programme aimed to tackle and discuss issues within the arts industry, as well as exploring themes in Pop, London, Grit, Debt, Film and Music.

To do this A New Direction and Create teamed up with The Guardian, Goldsmiths University, The Barbican and British Art Show 8 to deliver the exciting events.

With massive turnouts and positive reviews, the programme was a huge success and one that we hope to deliver again in the future.

Some of our key findings from the surveys conducted, show:

  • 88% of our respondents working in the cultural industries have worked for free at some point in their careers.
  • 38% of our respondents working in the cultural industries do not have a contract.
  • 30% of BAME people think ethnicity is very important to getting ahead, whilst only 10% of white people believe ethnicity is very important to their chances of getting ahead.
  • 32% of women are likely to have done unpaid internships as opposed to 23% of men.

In preparation for Panic! the 26 participants all worked towards an arts challenge to present at the events. These included vlogs, blogs, podcasts and zines. Some of which can be found here.

The topics and themes covered within these differ vastly and give an insight into the arts industry, through the eyes of a young person with an arts background.

The chance to express ourselves freely and creatively is something that we all thoroughly enjoyed. Recognition is something every artist would love, and rightly deserves, and this was a great platform for that. Panic! gave us all the chance to connect with established artists as well as other young artists who were in the same situation as us. It also paved the way for an endless pool of collaboration and discussion.

Watch this space…

Rebecca also participated in the programme - read about experience here - and you can also read a full round up here.