Supported by The Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund, Backstage Trust, Margaret Killbery Foundation and The Allan Trust, New Creatives is our project aimed to provide creative skills and learning in the arts and creative sectors with mentoring, personal development, and work experience. Through this programme, we encourage young people in Tower Hamlets and East London to gain employment in the arts and creative sector, whilst ​​increasing their self-esteem and confidence.

Last year we worked with 30 New Creatives from May to December, providing over 150 hours of workshops as well as one-to-one sessions and free rehearsal spaces. Watch the video above to see how our young people got on in that time, developing skills in event management, marketing and promotion, team building and communication, planning and budgeting and other production roles, as well as attending work placements across the creative and arts industries. They also heard from over 50 experts from the creative industries who shared their insights and experience, and produced events at Rich Mix attended by over 300 audience members.

Module One: Personal Growth, Artistic Inspiration

Beginning in May, our group of New Creatives explored who they are and what inspires them, connecting with their peer-group of like-minded people. For many of the participants this was their first time interacting as a group after national and local lockdowns due to coronavirus, meaning these sessions provided vital socialising and engaging discussions for young people. One of our New Creatives, Milli-Rose, wrote a blog for us on what it was like to come out of lockdown and into the programme, and into a space where they could connect via their creativity.

This module focused on building life skills and confidence, with one-to-one mentoring sessions from New Creative Directors Chia and Alex, as well as group sessions with Lead Artist Mr Gee. At the end of the module, the group invited guests to an informal work sharing session, where they could reflect on the work they’d created across the first weeks of the programme.

Module Two: Access the Creative Industries 

In the summer months it was all about networking and gaining experience in the fields our New Creatives are passionate about. Our participants heard from experienced professionals in the world of arts and culture with our Creative Conversations series (open also to young people outside the programme), before embarking on training workshops and paid work placements.

This module also offered the opportunity for our young people to take part in work experience days with an array of inspiring creative organisations, and we’re so thankful that they shared their time and expertise with our New Creatives, including: This Place, a digital design agency, See Saw Films, a film and TV production company, radio at Flex FM, music studios at Strongroom Studio, events company We Are Family, theatre company Complicite, music venue Village Underground and UROK, a music management company. 

Module Three: New Creatives Takeover

In our final module, it was time for our New Creatives to put their newly acquired skills into practice, by programming, producing and performing a two day festival, taking over our building.

Rich Mix Reset, with the tagline ‘Refresh, Renew, Revive’ included a schools workshop day, a Poetry & Paint session, and a live event featuring the freshest spoken word, music and dance. 

What next?

At the end of this nine month programme, all of our New Creatives said they felt empowered to make a change in their lives and the world around them and that they feel they deal better with stressful situations. 85% said they feel better prepared for professional work and feel more confident about themselves, and 84% said they felt more resilient after the programme.

Many of our New Creatives are already using their skills and experience to move on to their next opportunity. From gaining employment, including at places like Half Moon Theatre Company, the Roundhouse and here at Rich Mix, to continuing on to training developing programmes with Spotlight, the Good Growth Hub and employment mentorship programme ITEC.

We’re also really proud that six participants will also be undertaking leadership training, in order to facilitate sessions and provide peer mentor support for members of 2022’s New Creatives.

‘I have gained confidence, hope, power and control in myself. I’ve learnt many different skills that will take me through in the future. I’ve enjoyed learning things and seeing different creative talents’ 

‘I liked networking with new people from different creative backgrounds and finding possible ways to collaborate. Also I liked the relaxed and supportive vibe that everyone had for each other.’

‘I feel my confidence has grown since the start. I’m more willing to talk about myself and enjoy networking. I have learnt that I can push myself further than I think.’

‘I’ve learnt how to organise an event and run a workshop. I learnt to be confident, hardworking, and how to work in a team.’

‘I learnt how to work in a team but also how to put myself first. I discovered that.’

‘I tend to let my emotions take control of me but New Creatives has helped me grow out of that slowly.’

‘I feel like I have grown as a person, working with people from different cultural backgrounds and abilities.’

Are you 16-24 and interested in learning creative skills? Start your journey by becoming a Rich Mix New Creative. This year our 14-week project will start in April, focusing on 90s & Now, looking at the contrasts between the 1990s and the current day, through documentary making, focusing on the themes of music, fashion, culture, and trends ending in a public exhibition and sharing here at Rich Mix.  

 If you’re interested in learning creative skills, gaining work experience, and learning skills in digital media, design, fashion, dance, music, and drama, head to our Rich Mix New Creatives 90s & Now page to find out more.