Student Makers Market Evaluation, Consultation and Exciting Next Steps
Following a successful two years of monthly markets we have been evaluating and analysing what has been the most valuable aspects of the Student Makers programme. We are also identifying support that we’ve not yet provided but that would be really beneficial to young makers.
We want to enable young makers to gain the skills, connections and raised profile that will enable them to attract creative commissions, opportunities and freelance work with cultural organisations. We also want to support those going into business with support on product development, business modelling etc to create a vibrant exciting – and importantly sustainable – creative community with all ages represented.
The aspects of the project listed as most valuable:
Ongoing support from the team
Having an outlet to sell work
An opportunity to earn money
The chance to showcase what you do in public
Other important benefits were:‘being part of something’, ‘interacting with the public’ and ‘getting to know lots of other makers’.
We’ve identified a number of areas of need but have not previously been in a position to do anything about it and it is this we are now fundraising for.
We know that many young creatives struggle to manage money and for some from financially struggling families their ability to fund the creation of artwork or stock impacts on any progress. We have looked into assisting with cashflow using short term loans, but there is a huge amount of fear around the idea of getting into debt, so we’ve identified that we need financial education and training to enable young people to become more confident in this area and able to make good decisions.
Access to Space and Equipment
We’ve identified that access to equipment can be a great barrier for some young people. After leaving school or university, access to IT equipment, printers, creative software and the internet can make it very difficult for a young person to make any progress at all.
The one thing all of us wants to do is revision the market place – to work with designers and architects to move away from the table and gazebo model and create an eye catching, contemporary, modular market place. A space that will work inside and out, can be erected to create a market or pop up shop in an hour.
We are undertaking a series of World Cafe and consultation events with our makers to move this project forward and to test the model in towns across Kent, creating a wide network of talented, ambitious, proactive and visible young makers.