Webinart -Arts and Mentoring programme
I've just this last week completed a course with Webinart, a professional development programme for creatives from Creative Leicestershire. Although based in Leicestershire, the course was open to other East Midlands areas including Derbyshire, so I decided to give it a go.
In addition to online workshops and seminars, there was a mentorship programme for the "Emerge" group (new starters) and I was very lucky to have Paul Steele, Managing Director of Junction Arts as my mentor.
I found the programme really useful, there was no obligation to attend every session on Zoom, which was great as you could pick and choose the content that most applied to the creative business you were in, but also if anything took your fancy! The sessions were then available to view in the library section of their website, so you could access and re-watch any you missed, and see previous years' sessions.
I found the mentoring the most valuable though. Even though there was no face to face meeting due to COVID, we had planned mentoring zoom sessions through the year long course, at times to suit. It was a real insight into the creative industry, and Paul was great in setting out goals for each meeting and presenting me with a wealth of information, useful links and an idea of how things worked in the community arts setting. For someone setting off in the art career, I found out useful things about pricing, invoicing, organisations that could help me in my career and how to organise myself effectively. It was all catered to what I wanted to know and really handy to have an expert to answer my questions and have a clear direction in the sessions. I've put all of what I've learned into practice and it has really given me confidence in my art career.
I also had group support from the other members on the course to share issues with and get advice, either via the group Facebook page, or through frequent meet-ups on Zoom. Having peer support from other early-career creatives helped me realise that we all had shared issues and questions, and it was reassuring as well as supportive.
Overall I would really recommend the programme and I'm really grateful to Webinar and Junction Arts for the support and advice.