Early Career Team
freelance artists
with barriers to employment

Meet the Team

ExploreTheArch’s mentee scheme for early career artists with barriers to employment in St Leonards-on-Sea/Hastings provides supported roles across its output for freelancers entering the creative industries to action a change up of the cultural offer with exciting inter-disciplinary innovations.

Three ways in which ExploreTheArch nourishes the creative ecosystem:

• Bold community arts projects enabling under-represented voices to action social change through fresh, inspiring engagement
• Unconventional, lyrical experiential theatre performances at ExploreTheArch’s HQ
• International collaborations creating vivid site-specific installations

Musicians and sound artists, visual artists, videographers, graphic designers and performers comprise the team, supported in 1:1 mentor artist partnerships. The team acquire the multiple skills needed to support a freelance career.

Members of the early career team are recruited to the director team.

The scheme is long term, recognising that the mentees who come to the programme have experienced a lack of support elsewhere, either falling between agencies or finding agencies have not supported them appropriately. When mentees take up employment opportunities elsewhere, they can remain on the team and become active again when their schedule suits, supporting the authentic experience of a freelance career.

To qualify, mentees must have selected a freelance career in the cultural sector as the best fit to their challenges and career aspirations.

History of the Scheme

The scheme was set up in pilot form in 2019 with SECCADS funding, two years after ExploreTheArch originated the annual A Town Explores A Book festival; work offered was geared to festival output. The mentees are now fully integrated into ExploreTheArch, working across all projects.

What the Scheme offers the Industry

In supporting early career artists who would otherwise struggle to forge a career in the cultural sector, ExploreTheArch is generating a diverse future workforce of cultural sector practitioners with currently under-represented perspectives. Thus the scheme supports the long term health of the UK’s arts industry. The outlook is international, encouraging the early career cohort to engage with the world and navigate the UK’s emerging identity post-Brexit.

We welcome donations to the scheme.