ArtzCentre apprentice gets creative in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a seismic impact on the creative industries, with venues and events across the country closed and cancelled creating a huge amount of uncertainty amongst organisations and their staff teams, apprentices and freelancers.

One apprentice, Joe Howard, who recently commenced the Cultural Learning and Participation Officer (CLPO) apprenticeship at ArtzCentre in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, has been talking to us about the impact on his work and the ways in which his organisation is reaching out into the community to create new opportunities. 

Joe said, “At the moment, the Artz Centre team are doing everything they can to turn Artz into Artz Online, including zoom sessions, live streams and monitored chatrooms. In terms of retaining the projects we were previously running, but in a new form, we’ve just announced that one of the projects I am leading will be launching this week as a virtual singing competition inspired by contests like the Voice and X Factor.

“The 'Sing It Competition' will be running in place of the ‘Sing It’ showcase I had been directing for children and young people which took its inspiration from Glee and similar TV Shows. We want to encourage Artz Students to still use their voices, stay creative and put social media to good use during these challenging times!”

Joe continued, “There’s a whole host of extra projects we are also running, and the Sing It Competition is one of four projects that we will be running in a similar vein. As the CLPO for the organisation, there have been lots of extra jobs to pick up, including collating online videos from members of our community about ‘What Artz means to them’, so there’s plenty of things keeping me busy until we get back to normal.” 

To find out how your organisation could benefit from an apprentice Cultural Learning and Participation Officer, or how the National College Creative Industries can support you to grow your talent through apprenticeships, email