Without Walls Associate Programme
Promoting new talent within the outdoor arts sector
The Without Walls Associate Programme strives to widen the range of voices and talent across the outdoor arts sector.
The Without Walls Associate Programme is a hands-on learning experience. It benefits both new entrants into the outdoor arts sector, as well as more established practitioners who are looking to move beyond their current role and advance their career to the next level.
The programme launched in 2019 and is delivered as a collaboration between Without Walls and network partners. This allows participants to access a number of development opportunities while working to deliver some of the best outdoor arts events in the country. A key aim is to increase the representation in the sector of practitioners from communities currently under-represented in the outdoor arts sector, particularly from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds, as well as those identifying as Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent.
The Without Walls Associate Programme is designed to create professional pathways into and through the sector, while at the same time ensuring that new insights and perspectives are embedded in the host organisations and the network.
‘At Without Walls gatherings, my contribution was always valued as much as anyone else in the room. This really helps you engage and boosts your confidence whilst accelerating awareness of the sector….I’m still questioning what that very far future career goal looks like, but the path there is full of inspiration and ideas.’
Tara Williams, Without Walls Industry Placement 2019
Meet our current Associates
Without Walls is currently supporting the following Associate roles:
Fee Hudson Francis, Project Manager, Hat Fair
My role at Hat Fair & Playmakers is Project Manager and it’s an all encompassing role with elements of producing, event management, community engagement and artist liaison. The Hat Fair team is small so we work very closely together with the support of the wider Play To The Crowd team. I’m really excited to be doing this role as part of the Without Walls Associate programme as it provides additional support from the Without Walls team and opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to. I’m really enjoying learning more about the outdoor arts sector, making new networks and being able to travel to other festivals to see outdoor art. This role provides a great opportunity to learn about different aspects of the industry that I might not otherwise be exposed to, in a safe environment where I’m able to ask questions, learn from others and see best practice in action. I think programmes like this are important to promote more diversity in the sector and give people from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to succeed in leadership roles.
I come from an events management background and did my undergraduate degree in Drama and Event Management at the University of Winchester and I’m actually heading back in September 2022 to start an MA in Arts and Cultural Management. I’m really passionate about personal development and continued learning so I’m excited to undertake this next step of education alongside attending regular training events from Without Walls.
In the future, I would love to continue my career in festivals and outdoor arts with a focus on access and inclusion.
Joanna Dong, Associate Producer, Certain Blacks
My role at Certain Blacks is as Associate Producer and currently I am working on audience development initiatives as well as supporting the 2023 Without Walls programme and the Heroes Festival artists commissions.
I work closely with the artistic director of Certain Blacks, artists and the festival team having met them while I worked on the 2022 Ensemble Festival. The Without Walls Associate programme has made it possible for me to learn more about festival organising and producing through practice, especially in the areas of developing community audiences and outdoor arts projects in public spaces. It also creates precious opportunities to ask questions, learn from industry experts, and be guided to achieve goals.
I have worked in marketing for both the Beijing and London Olympics. I established Performance Infinity in 2012 after finishing my MA in Theatre Studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama and have been working as a creative producer mainly in the areas of international touring and co-producing.
At the moment, I am producing FeastFest, a community-led arts festival about food. In the future I hope to develop this into a leading festival, with national and international partners, to create high-quality, free and low-cost cultural and arts experiences.
‘Taking part in this programme has solidified my pursuit of my future career path as an Outdoor Arts producer, and helped me to make some meaningful professional connections.’
Abbie Reeve, Without Walls Associate 2021
In 2021/22 Without Walls supported the following Associate roles:
- Tinisha Williams, Festival Producer, Birmingham Hippodrome
- Nicole May, Associate Producer, Certain Blacks
In 2020/21, Without Walls supported the following Associate roles:
- Abbie Reeves, Production & Programme Assistant, Norfolk & Norwich Festival
- Anna McGrath, Events Assistant, First Art
- Jasmine Thompson, Mair Morel, Sophie Shepherd (job share) Assistant Outdoor Arts Producer, Theatre Orchard
In 2019/20, Without Walls supported two Associate roles:
- Tara Williams, Programme and Residency Assistant at 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space
- Angelica Urfano, Operations and Administration Officer at Seachange Arts
‘I have met so many role models and inspirational individuals who I would love to learn from and follow one day. I really hope there will be more people to take this opportunity to get involved and participate in all activities that come with this, as this is one of the best ways to really understand the outdoor arts and immerse oneself in everything it involves. It’s a great way to also understand the different roles and jobs because you get introduced to some of the best in their field.’
Angelica Urfano, Without Walls Associate 2019
Image credits: Black Victorians by Jeanefer Jean-Charles at Hat Fair 2021 © Adrienne Photography
The Rascally Diner by LAStheatre at NNF 2021 © Mary Doggett
The Lost Opera by Ashley Peevor and Nikki Watson at Timber 2021 © Andrew Allcock