When Mamta Raichura first applied for her Cultural Internship with Sampad, she didn’t know an awful lot about the organisation she was headed for. After two months working as part of the Sampad development team, this is no longer the case…
Over the last two months, I have come to learn that Sampad is a South Asian Arts organisation as well as a registered charity. Sampad sets up cultural events and shows for entertainment as well as supporting artists who run workshops for children and adults. Moreover, we also organise heritage projects such as the successful My Route Project that traced the heritage of the residents on Birmingham’s Stratford Road. Our mission is to connect people and communities with British Asian arts and heritage and to play a pro-active role in the creative economy.
My Route Project
So what is my role here at Sampad?
Well, I have been working on a number of projects really. As all arts organisations have to do (every 4 years now) I have helped to apply for a grant from the Arts Council England (ACE) through the NPO process. Having no prior experience with business plans and grant applications, I was excited (yet nervous) about this opportunity. However, my eagerness to contribute to the organisation’s development pushed me to become familiar with the guidelines of this process and as a result I was able to come up with a structure for our Business Plan. I had reached the other side of the mountain and I thought to myself – ‘phew, you did it!’ Little did I know, I had another 2/3 mountains to climb!
The next mountain involved what everyone on the arts scene, especially those that want ACE’s funding, is trying to achieve: DIVERSITY. One of the main drivers of ACE is diversity, meaning all organisations have to include a creative case for diversity in their applications. This was my next task: to research evidence for our case and come up with a draft creative case for diversity. This mountain was even more interesting than the first- I read blogs such as ‘Strawberry Words’ that really opened up my eyes to the issues of diversity present in Birmingham. I had never really given diversity much thought (I thought that Birmingham was very diverse anyway) but researching and drafting this creative case really gave me a new understanding of the issues surrounding diversity and I was able to include information on how Sampad aimed to combat these issues in our creative case for diversity.
Equality, Diversity & the Creative Case data report
After the second mountain, I thought ‘well now the next job shouldn’t be too hard!’ Happily, it wasn’t hard at all – but it was even more interesting. I was now involved in fundraising for the Partition Trail Project that Sampad is going to organise next year to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence. I was able to research Trusts to apply to for funding for the project. To help me draft the applications for the grants, I attended an amazing fundraising fair in London that had some spectacular master classes on ‘introductions to fundraising and the A-Z guide on proposal writing’. This was of great help as now I am going to start applying to the Trusts for grants to fund our Partition Project, which will trace the impact of the partition of India on communities in the West Midlands. I look forward to being part of this amazing heritage project!