My first year at China Plate

Written by Kristina
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7th November 2023

A year on since joining China Plate as our Training & Development Producer, Kristina reflects on the last 12 months.

At China Plate, we seek to work as part of creative communities outside and within the arts. As part of our Training & Development programme this year, we piloted People-Focused Producing; a series of workshops set out to support and resource creatives/producers at different career stages alongside those without a creative background who are actively creating and producing work in and with their communities.

Over 7 months, 115 people have attended our in-person and online workshops, where we deep-dived into topics such as getting started with funding; an introduction to arts marketing; writing funding applications; demystifying access provision and working with disabled artists. A core theme of this series was centring the producer – looking deeper at the producer’s role – exploring burnout, authenticity and leading with a value-led approach. With each session, it was important to activate safe spaces for learning, development, and connection.

“I’m super grateful for all the support that is being provided by China Plate in helping me grow and discover my passion.”

“It was a really good session, thank you to the hosts and organisers, and to everyone who attended for their participation and sharing their experiences! You made it a very open and friendly atmosphere, and I would definitely like to attend more People-Focused Producing sessions in the future.”

Click here to read a blog by guest facilitator Amy Dalton-Hardy about embracing values-led approaches to producing and the insights which came out of that session.

Click here to access resources from Unlimited, including how to create your own access rider and the social model of disability.

Further sessions are now scheduled to take place in the new year – if you would be interested in keeping up to date with these and other upcoming China Plate Training & Development opportunities, sign up here.

People Focused Producing was piloted in partnership with Warwick Arts Centre and supported by Legacy Centre of Excellence.

Four people sat along a table smiling. One of them is holding a mug in their hand.

© Paul Stringer

People-Focused Producing was created to sit alongside The Optimists, our producer training course, which has been running for the past 15 years. Our 2023 cohort welcomed 21 individuals from a variety of diverse and creative backgrounds – you can find out more about them by visiting The Optimists page here.

Over 10 weeks, we covered topics such as new ideas and how to articulate them, expenditure, income and fundraising, project administration, and how to reach audiences, as well as exploring how to work inclusively. Our next Optimists course will open for applications in Spring 2024 – bursaries will be available alongside opportunities to nominate people. Stay tuned for more details!

We currently deliver The Optimists course once a year as an open-call opportunity, but did you know we can deliver bespoke versions with partner organisations and in educational settings?

I can work collaboratively with you to ensure the course is catered to the experience level of the cohort, as well as cover/expand upon areas of producing that are of particular interest. If this is something you’d be interested in exploring, I would love to discuss curating the course for your organisation, please contact me on [email protected] or download the document below for more information.

Reflecting on the last year, I am keen to continue working with facilitators, guest speakers and organisations committed to providing support and opportunities for producers, to gain insight and knowledge and develop a skill set to aid them in developing a sustainable practice, which enables them to feel confident in having inclusive and co-creative conversations.

I’m looking forward to meeting more creatives and producers and engaging in conversations around producer support whilst building sustainable connections and continuing to nurture people, relationships, and ideas.

Neither programme would have been possible without the support of a brilliant group of people – thank you to The Optimists guest speakers: Jade Samuels, Rose Sergent, Magdalen Gorringe, Cordelia Milward, Elin Morgan, Lyn Gardner, Adam Walsh, Pippa Frith, Laura Holmes, Robert Awosusi, Emma Martin, Josie Dale-Jones, Vikesh Godhwani, Hannah Barker and Doreen Foster.

Thank you to our People-Focused Producing guest facilitators: Rosie Kelly, Marissa McCallam, Ryan Dre Sinclair, Emma Martin, Amy Dalton-Hardy and Ellie Liddell-Crewe from Unlimited. To connect and find out more information about them, please visit our programme page here.

Here are some useful links and tips from me to end:

  • If you are looking to apply for National Lottery Project Grants funding, Arts Council England have recently updated their application process to make it more accessible. Make sure you take the time to read up on the changes here:
  • If you are looking to focus on your creative development, you can apply for a DYCP (Developing Your Creative Practice) funding to support you – the next round of applications opens on 16th November 2023, with a deadline of 12pm (midday) on 14th December 2023. Find out more here:
  • If you are based in the Midlands, you may want to sign up to the Culture Central newsletter – packed with news, jobs, open calls and commissions – it’s a great way to stay up to date with what’s happening around the region:
  • If you aren’t already, sign up to China Plate’s monthly newsletter to get the latest news, shows and opportunities straight to your inbox. You can subscribe here.

Please feel free to get in touch, should you have any questions or would like to discuss our Training & Development programmes, by emailing [email protected]