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Joanna, Hartlepool Young Producer

I moved up to the North East around 4 years ago and have loved living in Newcastle ever since – I’m slowly becoming an honorary Geordie! I gained 1st class honours in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University back in 2020 and successfully completed my PGCE with Northumbria University in 2022. I am currently working as a Art and Photography teacher at Ashbrooke School, a special needs school in Sunderland.

In my free time, I enjoy painting still life and find fun in exploring a range of different art mediums and techniques. I enjoy watching films and have developed an interest in Formula 1.

What have you taken part in so far in Young Producers?

Since joining the Young Producers team in 2023, I have had the chance to get involved with many fantastic opportunities. Through regular fortnightly meetings, I have had the ability to influence the way that Tees Valley works with young people and collaborate with like minded individuals to get our ideas heard. As a team we have planned and organised events for young people in venues across the Tees Valley, such as the Silent Disco night we ran at Hartlepool Art Gallery in December.

Within the Young Producers, I have gained invaluable insights, particularly through interactions with industry professionals such as Curator, Angela Thomas who gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sir William Gray House Art storage. The Young Producers have organised various off-site visits to a range of cultural venues across the North East, such as trips to York Art Gallery, MIMA and Beamish (the Living Museum of the North) where we had the pleasure of meeting Simon Wooley, the Head of Learning, who delivered an insightful presentation on the inner workings of the museum.

What have you enjoyed the most?

I really enjoyed attending the Museum Association Conference at the Glasshouse back in November where I learnt more about the ‘Power of Museums’ through various interesting talks.

Presently, we are in the process of planning an exhibition in collaboration with the British Museum. I have really enjoyed the process of planning this exhibition – from looking at the restoration of artwork, to having a say in which artworks will be presented in the show. It has been really exciting and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

What are your ambitions for the future?

In the future, I would really like to work within a gallery or museum setting. I hope to be able to utilise my skills in arts education to explore Learning Officer roles. I have really enjoyed planning events and exhibitions with the Young Producers, so I would also like to look into other positions such as curation in the future.