A happy little announcement from our sister radio programme.
A love letter to one of my good radio friends, & the success of her podcast.
Warning: Gushingly positive opinions lie ahead.
Hello, Creatives! It’s not often I post about me on here, but today I feel compelled to. I’m honestly thankful for pretty much everything in life right now.
I’ll keep it brief.
So my name’s Jay, for those who don’t know me. I’m the guy who runs 99% Perspiration – the podcasts (both editing and hosting), the Facebook network, the Twitter, and this very blog. It’s a lot of work, and I love it. But it’s a third “job”, and it seldom gets the attention it deserves.
I was 14 when I told my parents I didn’t want to do the family route and study science. I finally admitted them I wanted to write and it freaked them a bit, because they didn’t know how to get me where I wanted to be, whereas in pharmacy/nursing they know people.
You can consider me the black sheep in the family if you will. Myself and my cousin both take media courses – herself journalism and me studying Broadcast Media Production.
I won’t lie, I was scared breaking out in the media industry. Taking an easy route into a job wasn’t what I wanted to do and I wanted a challenge. Since joining Spark Sunderland in 2013, I’ve clocked up a whole calendar of hours (I’ve stopped counting since 150) of radio, and working behind the scenes. I love doing it. I love choosing the songs for playlist for my Urban Show on a Monday, choosing what content I should put in my daytime show, being in control of all the specialist programming, I just love it.
But the one thing that bothers me? I’m one of the seven ethnic minority in the station. Media is not solely focused on BAME [Black and Ethnic Minority], and many just assume to put us in the Urban setting.
So, when given the chance to go down to London to attend a masterclass held by BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, I jumped at the chance. It was a masterclass hosted by creative access, a programme committed to providing the best advice, experience and internship for BAME industry beginners.
The first day in London, I panicked. Well, of course I did, I was in King’s Cross and was about to burst into tears because I didn’t have enough money to catch the tube home. Oh how stupid I was, thinking that I could be so comfortable down in London on my own.
Eventually, I got to my aunt’s house. And my cousin was so excited for this masterclass that she wasn’t even going to. “You’re going to make it, Steph, believe me.” I tried. I really did.
On the day, I wanted to look really good. I mean, I’m going to my future workplace, I wanted to stand out. Before making down in London I went to Newcastle and bought a whole new outfit, that screamed “I KNOW WHAT I WANT AND I’M GOING TO GET IT.” Continue reading “Meet Stephanie Chungu.”
Happy International Women’s Day, Creatives! Join us in celebrating this important campaign, which attempts year on year to help bring society ever closer to parity.
I spoke to female creatives across various industries to find out what International Women’s Day means to them, and what advice they have in store for emerging female creatives.
“In this day and age you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t consume some sort of media every day. That’s why I think we as an industry have to be incredibly hot on issues such as gender parity.
“Not only do we have to work on equality for those who work for us (for instance, only 36% of people in your typical newsroom are female), but we also need to improve how women are portrayed in our documentaries and dramas.
“No one should be confined to playing the swooning doctor’s assistant or the
damsel in distress. Of course, many of us will be able to think of women whose contributions to TV and film are far from tokenism, but there’s still a long way to go.”
It’s somewhat ironic that what followed the episode entitled “Never Stop” was an absence of podcasts for an entire month. Let me start with an apology. I’m one-man-band; making this podcast alongside everything else in my life. I’ve started a new semester at the University of Sunderland, where I’m now lecturing three radio/journalism classes, which has taken up a great deal of time & energy. I’m also working for the arts networking organisation ArtWorks-U, making occasional videos for the university, producing four weekly radio broadcasts, and sporadically working on a handful of other projects.
Life is chaotic, unpredictable and hectic… And I love it.
As such, I put 99% Perspiration on the back burner. To my own detriment, as much as yours. It’s not good practice, I know. But. The show must go on.
You can expect weekly episodes from 99% Perspiration once again.
Episode 19 is the very first live special of 99% Perspiration. It was broadcast during Freshers’ Week at the University of Sunderland, where I work as an Academic Tutor of radio. They invited us to create a special, live, one-off programme tailor-made to incoming students – “Making the Most of your Creative Degree”.
A big thanks is in order for Matthew Donnachie and Grant Lowery, who were our sound-designers on the project.
Our guests on Episode 19:
Jill Kirkham is the Programme Leader of Fashion Product & Promotion at the University of Sunderland, and there are tons of opportunities and tips available for fashion students which will be applicable to fashion-conscious listeners.
Lily Clifford is the Learning and Engagement Officer at the National Glass Centre, based in Sunderland. Lily began volunteering at the NGC whilst she studied at the University, and this volunteering experience led her straight into her current role.
Sarah Heseltine is currently a Graduate Intern within the Student Recruitment team at the University of Sunderland. She joined us to give us insight into extra-curricular opportunities at the University; in particular the Student Ambassador scheme which she was involved in.
Sinèad Livingston is a graduate from BA Community Music, in partnership with the Sage Gateshead. She’s currently setting up a musicians’ creative network, and working alongside me on a radio programme called ArtyParti on Spark FM (Wednesdays at 3pm) – and you can hear more from Sinèad on episode 4 of 99% Perspiration.
And Rute Correia, who you can hear more from in Episode 18 of 99% Perspiration, is an incoming student of MA Radio (Production and Management). She previously studied at Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal, worked with Nintendo of Europe, and now creates the weekly White Market Podcast and runs creative company Rute’s Loot.
Sometimes, I really wonder just how much is going on that I don’t know about. I feel like one of the human characters in a 21st century Borrowers adaptation. Why?
The Pride of Place Project is a collaborative exhibition between the Caravan Gallery and the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, and has been open for anyone to walk in Sunderland since the 3rd of April. For three weeks, it has been sat opposite independent record store Pop Recs, and I had no idea it was there. For three weeks, it has been accumulating work from its bare beginnings when they moved in, and now all the walls are covered in photography, stories and artwork – any artist can send in work and get it on display for anyone who walks in. And in just over a week, it’ll be gone again, as the group head to Bradford to begin the whole process for another few months in a new location.
But this Tuesday (April 22nd), they held an open event which a few artistic types in my networks invited me to. Throughout the three hours of mingling, free wine and snacks, were presentations by several artists, photographers and poets:
Theresa Easton from the Sunderland Book Project – “The point of the Sunderland book project is so people have the freedom to pick up a handmade book and read all about Sunderland, without feeling like you can’t in a stuffy environment”, like a museum for instance. Theresa and her collection of handmade books by various artists travel around Sunderland so as many different people can experience the books as possible. If you’re interested in creating a book, Theresa believes it’s a project anyone can get involved in; “People who contribute books aren’t necessarily book-makers, or even artists.” I’d better not put one in then.
Alex Godchild, possibly the youngest member of the entire room, who warmed the crowd with hilarious limericks between poems. I’d quote one but, you know, intellectual property and all that. – “I don’t know why I started writing poetry, but I did.”
Jill Gibson, talking about her contribution to a recent Australian art and feminism event, Taking Up Space – “I then had the challenge of transporting this 60 metre long tube to Australia… In the end I had this piece which was overtaking the building, and had a life of its own.”
Bob Lawson, who got rather invigorated and opinionated, and was very interesting to watch. – “My painting is not about letting the intellectual get in the way,” he says, shrugging away his artistic MA. And then he uses the word visceral. “You can listen to music or opera and it affects you – it’s visceral. Sometimes it can be the same, just with a bit of paint.”
Helen Schell, who showcased her recent project that involved lighting and livening up Victorian statues across the country – “I think Sunderland needs a big art project that everyone can get their hands on and enjoy”.
Sunderland-based photographer Mark Luck, who is “interested in the juxtaposition between the natural & the man-made, the industrial and the wild.”
And a group of arts students from the 80 Metres Above Sea Level project at the University of Sunderland, an awesome project with a couple dozensof students presenting their work in various locations across the city. Including one that received a few seconds of good laughter from the room – “If anyone wants to see my work, it’s in the toilets in the Bridges!” *
* Sunderland’s Shopping Centre
It’s because of nights like this at the Caravan Gallery that these artists can get their workout. Not only can artists showcase their work, but they’re for enabling artists and creative types to network, get together, discuss projects, and potentially even collaborate.
Once you begin going to events like this, you get used to the faces. That’s the power of networking at local events in action. And if you’ve got a keen interest in pursuing the arts, showing your face and meeting people at gatherings like this are so essential. Projects like this exist. Often, quite surprisingly. I was lucky enough to be invited, to know the right people. Once you’re in, you’re more securely in. If you think there’s nothing in your city, chances are you’re probably mistaken. If you’re interested in art, photography, creative writing; do some research, see what’s on in your nearest city/town/tiny little village hall… And let us know if you find anything that inspires you!
You can (literally) hear more from the Caravan Gallery’s organiser on next week’s 99%Podcast (Mon 2pm on Spark FM, Thu 6:30pm on Hive Radio. I’ll be interviewing them in a few hours, and squeezing out some juicy advice for artistic types who want to get themselves noticed in the arts world!
Until next time…
Stay productive, and stay awesome!