ICP student writes about her placement with Creative Manchester

Student Uxutvi Kapdee spent 20 weeks with the Creative Manchester team as part of her work placement for the Master’s ’Creative and Cultural Industries’. In this blog she writes about her experience of her time with Creative Manchester.

Hi, my name is Uxutvi Kapdee and I have just completed my work placement at Creative Manchester , working on the 200-year commemoration festival for the university, Universally Manchester Festival.

I am a Master’s student in Creative and Cultural Industries at The University of Manchester’s Institute for Cultural Practices. My keen interest in creative production and event management is what led me to choosing Creative Manchester for my placement module.

The placement option stated that the placement student would have the opportunity to support the curation, planning and delivery of the University’s Bicentenary Festival, as well as supporting Creative Manchester’s activity and engagement events.

Since I was looking for specific project management experience, I knew that Creative Manchester was the best place to be, especially as they were so well-connected with the wider cultural and creative community of Manchester.

My placement began in January and would last until the end of May, every Wednesday for 20 weeks (with a short break over Easter). After completing the health and safety induction, I was asked to familiarise myself with the projects I would be assisting on.

This included our Bicentenary festival programme for Friday, 7 June, the Diagrams collection (a collection of diagrams relating to the university), and a cross-platform art installation. With this information, I had to research what type of structure we could use for the art installation, producing a document with price, material, size, sustainability, and other relevant information.

Then, in the afternoon, I helped install a new art installation in the glass corridor in the Samuel Alexander building. This mix of activity represents my days at the placement quite well; I would work on the main projects, as well as the organisations many other engagement events such as research cafés, talks, panels, and installations.

This allowed me to grow my understanding of Creative Manchester as a research platform, but even more generally of what a creative and cultural organisation may look like. Every week was a different experience and I never felt idle in my time.

One such event was the International Women’s Day event for Creative Health , focusing on women of colour, partnering with Muslim Arts and Culture Festival (MACFest). It was an afternoon event held in the Whitworth Gallery, Grand Hall, with performances, food, and a panel discussion on inequalities in women’s health. I helped to set up the event, assisting MACFest, and offering event support throughout the event.

This was such a highlight of my placement as I got to meet such a variety of people, and really enjoyed the performances and the panel talk. I understood first-hand how Creative Manchester connects with other creative organisations in Manchester and supports researchers, in both networking and their projects.

My main work with the Universally Manchester Festival involved planning, programming, and marketing. Over weeks, the event day was built up through meetings, emails, and communications with relevant partners to perfect tech, timings, and other specifics for each event. I learnt how to plan and execute a marketing and event communications campaign and design the graphics for social media.

Getting down to the minute details was so important for this process and I learnt that planning each step carefully would lead to a more efficient and low-risk event day. It was a privilege to be able to help organise Creative Manchester’s events at the Universally Manchester Festival, and I am looking forward to seeing them become reality!

I would like to thank the convenor of the placement course, Andy Hardman , as well as Anne-Marie Nugnes and the rest of the Creative Manchester team, and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, for making this placement possible. It has been the highlight of my Master’s course and I look forward to taking the skills I have gained into my future career.