Christelle (centre right) taking part in a weekly staff meeting over Zoom
As part of the MA Cultural Policy & Arts Management programme at UCD, we were required to complete a work placement with an organisation of our choosing. My interest in the performing arts led me to join the Fishamble team as Marketing and Development intern from March to June 2020. Although the MA prepared me for a lot, what it didn't prepare me for was a global pandemic. Needless to say, the placement didn't go as expected, but I did enjoy the ride!
Initially, I was supposed to assist Chandrika (Marketing and Development Manager) - amongst other things - with the marketing plan for Fishamble's Dublin Theatre Festival production as well as sponsorship applications. As a result of the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the nature of my work changed significantly; the workload becoming lighter - but arguably more varied - than expected. Luckily, I was able to support Fishamble in a number of ways. I assisted with their digital marketing, creating a twitter archive for both the last production before government restrictions came into place and to document the organisation’s response to the global pandemic on twitter. Secondly, I added subtitles to a recording of ‘Inside the GPO’ to make it more accessible for viewers, which Fishamble streamed on its YouTube channel over the Easter weekend. In addition, I was tasked with reading and helping to select short plays submitted as part of Fishamble's #TinyPlayChallenge and also created the marketing plan for Fishamble’s TINY PLAYS 24/7 (coming to a screen near you July 24th!). Other tasks included prospect research of potential partners and sponsors as well as research into diversity and equality policies in the wake of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Although the placement turned out to be very different from what I expected when I first interviewed for the position, I still feel like my work was relevant to the organisation; especially considering the importance of digital marketing and performances for arts organisations, which has become more apparent than ever during the current Covid-19 crisis. Additionally, the renewed interest in Black Lives Matter and equal opportunities for people of colour highlighted the need for an extensive diversity, equality, and inclusion policy, which Fishamble is currently in the process of drafting, and my research into such policies will hopefully contribute to making the organisation an even more inclusive space.
Unfortunately, government restrictions also meant that I didn't get to meet all the amazing team members in person, but I greatly enjoyed working with them, and I am hoping that our paths will cross again soon! Until then, so long, and thanks for all the fish!
Originally from Vienna, Christelle is a recent BA Media and Communication Studies graduate from the University of Hamburg, and is currently finishing her MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management at UCD.