The World of Arts: Regent’s Arts Festival 2015

Photo Credit: Fabio Venni
Regent’s University students will show their best at the Arts Festival 2015, to be from the 23rd to the 27th of March.

Talented youngsters will have the chance to display their works – such as dresses, paintings, or statues – and to perform in different arts, as music, theatre, cinema.
The event includes also seminars and other activities to touch first-hand what do these young people study.

“A world without creativity is just going to be a bit boring. We need to make that clear to everybody,” says Aileen Thomson - PA to Pro-Vice Chancellor Judith Ackroyd and Associate Dean Dr Lisa Doodson of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Regent’s University.
She organises the Regent’s Art Festival for this year.

Nevertheless, students will not be the only one to get involved in the event. These days, indeed, will be also an occasion for the learners to know that “their lecturers aren’t just there to sit behind the desk, and teach them. But they are creative in their own things, and they have contacts in a creative world, Miss Thomson says.

And here comes the second most important element for a future in arts, in addition to creativity: networking.
Opportunity like this, organised by the institutions or other organisations, let the meeting among learners and people from the industry happen. Students have the chance to know peers from other universities as well as experts and people involved in this field to receive feedbacks and increase their list of contacts.

Video Credit: Deeksha Sharma + Cristiana Ferrauti

Sideways to stand out

“It started off three years ago just because we wanted to promote within the university all the things that we are doing in our faculty,” Aileen Thomson told us.
Now, the Festival is a cross-faculty and cross-university event.
The offer and the days are smaller in comparison with the past, but this reduction will avoid people been overwhelmed by choices, which ends with no attending any event at all.

A similar situation is visible more in general for the whole city in London.
Arts and culture often overwhelm the visitors as well as the citizens.
Big names of galleries and museums come immediately in our mind when thinking about the capital.

However, new talents and keen learners may face difficulties in finding their own ways.
“It may be not necessary to have certain grades, but often what you need is a good network. It is not a matter of what you know about a particular subject, but what you do and how you show your artworks,” says Sacha Vinson, Mixed Media Fine Art (BA Hons) student at the University of Westminster.Sophie Watkins, Vinson’s colleague, adds “You have to go there and see people, and often they discover you by chance.”

What may appear a useless subject in terms of productivity – as you end up without a functional and operating item in this current must-be-productive world -, actually, seems nowadays find non-conventional ways to emerge.

Pop-up galleries or the transformation of offices and stores in more creative and interactive spaces are just some examples.
Arts go out in the streets and look for improving boring and dull places, that is a brave action, in Miss Thomson’s opinion, but it pays off.
Photo Credit: Chris Beckett

Encouraging data

“There are good sign-up numbers for our event this year”, adds Aileen Thomson, referring to the attendance at Regent’s Arts Festival.

Looking at the Key Findings in the Creative Industries Economic Estimates, it reads that 1 in 12 UK jobs was in the Creative Economy in 2013.
Between 1997 and 2013, the annual percentage for employment in this field was four times the equivalent increase per year for the whole UK Economy.
Similar trends are visible for the Creative Industries.

On the 4th of March, the Arts Council England has announced the investment of £1.87 millionto eight London organisations – among 18 in all Britain – in order to take their projects around the country.

Moreover, other funds seem to be on the way to encourage as many organisations as possible to bring on their portfolios and their activities.

Stay creative, stay smart

“I think creativity among university students should be much more widely promoted,” says Aileen Thomson.

Even if not financially supported, young people as well as trained artists try to be creative in their own way. Nevertheless, when the value of their works is recognised, there are even more reasons to bring on their passions.

Miss Thomson adds that such events are important for students as will let them know that “there is a world out where people are creative, there are people are successfully creative.”

“For society, arts is important as you can solve problems and face problems in a more dynamic way,” says Sacha Vinson.
Charles Billingham, Mixed Media Fine Arts (BA Hons) student, also comments: “Arts may appear quite pointless in terms of what you materially produce. But it really helps to understand how the world works”

“By attending an artistic course, you can think more outside the box, you can develop more, you can experiment more,” says Mamon Hawkins, Arts student at the University of Westminster.

Aileen Thomson tells us: “You are generally happier and more productive if you have something you can release creatively.”

Interview with Mixed Media Fine Arts (BA Hons) students at the University of Westminster.
From left to right: Sacha Vinson, Charles Billingham, Mamon Hawkins, Daisy Hull, Sophie Watkins.
Video Credit: Deeksha Sharma + Cristiana Ferrauti