Bursary Producers share their experiences

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As part of our Bridge project, Imagineer is supporting a group of seven early career Bursary Producers. They will work alongside our Creative team for the life of Bridge, designing and curating their own art projects that fit within the creative vision of Bridge.

We checked in with Grace, Martina and Diandra to see how they’ve been getting on:


Grace Smith says, “I have absolutely adored the programme so far! Every training day has taught me so much, helped me to re-organise my life so that I am more productive, and has given me tons of new ideas. I am also finding new ways to challenge myself and have met so many wonderful producers who continue to inspire me every time I see them. My favourite part of the process so far has been meeting the amazing community group I am going to work with, the Coventry Youth Activists (CYA) group from Grapevine. The group’s values completely align with my own and their ideas and passion for the Bridge project have excited me so much. I can’t wait to start putting their ideas into action!”

Grace (back right) with members of CYA.


Martina Bussi reports: It has been an exciting and intense few months: full of learning, meetings and new ideas. Our training sessions are a fundamental part of this journey and I have really enjoyed taking the time to learn new things with such an incredible team of lecturers. Sharing all this with my fellow bursary producers has also been a superb part of the programme. I am really new to producing while most of the others have quite a bit of experience already, so I am always learning and discovering new techniques and ways of working.

I am really excited to be collaborating with Melissa Smith, a wonderful Coventry-based artist, to develop my own project in partnership with the students of Frederik Bird Primary School. We are planning a cross-cultural and cross-generational artistic project that will last a week and will arise from a day of mathematical bridge-building activities.

We will kick-start the project with a picnic and bridge-building play day, where we invite children and their families to share food, play, discuss and participate together in a fun and playful mathematical bridge-building workshop. The children will then continue working during the week, reflecting on the themes of bringing divides and what bridge- building really means for them in their communities. These will culminate is several artistic outputs that will be able to be shared with other children in the school and further afield to create a legacy for the project.”


Finally, Diandra McCalla says: “So far in the Bridge Project I learned a lot about the practical aspects about being an outdoor arts producer from funding applications to project management tools. I particularly have valued the advice of being more reflective of the experiences and thoughts I have, which has definitely helped me develop my practice. At the moment I have been focusing on developing relationships with different faith groups in the Foleshill area of the city. My project aims to incorporate contributions from community groups while staying true to the ‘connecting-across-divides’ ethos of Bridge. I’ve been busy having discussions with a talented artist about how we can create a piece of visual art that weaves together the diverse cultures, faiths and stories within a multi-faith context. I’m looking forward to seeing the next phase of the plan take shape!”

Textiles may be an inspiration for Diandra’s project