Glen from the team interviewed our new Arts Award officer Teresa East, who joined Curious Minds recently, about all things Arts Award, arts and culture and her likes and inspirations.
Name: Teresa East
Job Role: Arts Award Officer
Glen: You’ve recently started work with Curious Minds as our Arts Award Officer. How are you finding it and what attracted you to come and work with Curious Minds (apart from working with me!!!)
Teresa: I have only been here since the beginning of June but already I feel part of the Curious Minds family! Everyone is really friendly and welcoming. I have known Curious Minds for many years now in a variety of ways so when I heard about this great job I jumped at the opportunity to work directly with the team. I have been working for Arts Award as an adviser and trainer for the last 4 years so it was the perfect job (and time) for me! Working for a great organisation which encompasses Arts Award is perfect!
Glen: Like me you’ve worked in and around the world of Arts Award for over four years. What do you think the best thing about Arts Award is for both advisers and young people working their way through the qualifications?
Teresa: I think the best thing about Arts Award is how flexible it is both for young people and the adviser. What I also think is hugely important is that it not only let’s you develop and explore the arts as a artist but also a practitioner giving you two very different but very important set of skills needed to develop your practice and career.
Glen: Arts and culture is all about being inspired. Especially when one is young. What inspired you about the arts when you were young and what would you recommend a young person to see/ visit/ take part in to be inspired today?
Teresa: What inspired me the most when I was younger was having a drama teacher who recognised the importance arts can have in peoples lives. Usually in many different ways – as a social activity, learning new skills, gaining confidence and connecting us to the world around us. I grew up in an area where there was little or no arts activity so the majority of my arts activity took place in school. I was lucky enough to have a teacher who offered additional activity such as drama clubs, theatre trips and residential trips away. I would recommend everyone to experience a variety of art forms in many different ways. See as much as possible even if at first you don’t think it will be your cup of tea. Festivals are great for this! I think it also really important to know what you don’t like which in turn informs what you do like. There is so much arts activity that is free at the moment from museums to galleries to street theatre it is almost impossible not to see something! And if you are stuck for things to go and see have a look at what our Arts Award supporters are up to! (http://www.artsaward.org.uk/site/?id=1763)
I would recommend everyone to experience a variety of art forms in many different ways. See as much as possible even if at first you don’t think it will be your cup of tea
Glen: Just a few quick fire questions now about your likes and dislikes –
First record you bought?
Teresa: The first proper record I bought with my own money was Ride on Time by Black Box!
Glen: First play you saw?
Teresa: I was fortunate to have a drama teacher that took us on quite a few theatre trips. I can’t remember now specifically what we saw other than I was always blown away by it. That was the start of my love of theatre. I did of course go to pantomimes when I was little and have a vivid memory of everything going wrong and thinking it was hilarious. I even now sometimes go and see the odd pantomime. I guess I really love site specific work and at an early age was interested in telling stories in a new/different way.
Glen: First band you saw play live?
Teresa: My brother took me to see Suede who I am again going to see later this year.
Glen: Favourite book?
Teresa: This is a hard one that changes daily! I love stories that are true. One book I have read that has stayed with me is If This Is a Man by the Italian Jewish writer Primo Levi. It describes his arrest as a member of the Italian anti-fascist resistance during the Second World War, and his incarceration in the Auschwitz concentration camp . Another book I absolutely loved and have to mention is The Woman in Black. The stage show is great but of course the book is better! It scares the life out of me. The copy I have has the most amazing wood carving prints!
Glen: Favourite Film?
Teresa: Again another one that changes daily! And again I may mention more than 1. I think the first one is It’s A Wonderful Life. I love Black and White films and it really gets me in the crimbo mood! Another one is UP which is delightful and engages not only children but adults alike. Finally I can’t not mention the Don McCullin documentary which I caught again recently on tv. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful his images are. It was great to hear him talk about his experience as a photographer.
Glen: To finish off if you could change one thing about our worlds or education and/or arts and culture what would it be?
Teresa: That more people recognise the huge impact arts have on our lives and how we are surrounded by different artforms every minute of our daily lives!
Thanks for your time Teresa.