The Importance of an Epic Support Network (for life in general and for working in the Arts)

Sun 12 May 2024





4pm - 5pm

The Importance of an Epic Support Network (for life in general and for working in the Arts)

Isobel has always dreamt of mainstream performance success, but as a Learning Disabled young woman has found it hard sometimes to convince people of her dedication and ambition. Phil, on the other hand, is a self-made theatre maker who transitioned into the arts from working as a teacher, and lacked prior professional theatre experience. He has also found himself confronted by naysayers, and by people who doubted him because of his lack of credentials.

Hardly surprising therefore that neither Isobel nor Phil see things in terms of “traditional” career paths. They’ve learnt the necessity of ignoring the naysayers, even and especially the well-meaning ones, and instead prioritise the assembly of teams of people who are positive-minded, sympathetic and sensitive to our needs, skills and disadvantages. It’s about having groups around us to help us, to champion us, but also to hold us to account.

This session is about sharing anecdotes and experiences in an effort to nail down exactly the kinds of people and their qualities who make an effective and crucially “epic” support network. The session will also lay the potential groundwork for a brand new epic support team here and now by playing ice-breaker and “getting to know you” games, sharing people’s needs and areas of expertise and wondering whether we can match anyone up to go on to greater collaborative success!

Isobel Jeffery & Phil from Four of Swords.

Isobel is a Learning Disabled artist and actor. Phil is co-founder of Four of Swords, an immersive theatre, education and film company from Exeter. They met in 2017 and have been working together ever since, more notably setting up a semi-regular open mic night for performers from neurodiverse and under-represented backgrounds, called Madame Thespia’s Deliciously Diverse Open Mic Cabaret.

This event is part of Bloom Festival
Bloom Festival is a day of free activities to promote good mental health and wellbeing. Bloom is here to encourage and enable discussion, raise awareness of local support services and to utilise creativity as a tool for self-expression.

Full Programme

With thanks to our sponsors

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