The Place is blazing the trail for talented graduates

Recent graduate Reece McMahon is starting work at Knowledge Quarter partner The Place after landing a place on a prestigious nationwide programme promoting new talent in the arts.

Reece is one of just 40 recent graduates from around the country picked to receive a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursary. Reece will spend 12 months working as Assistant Producer at The Place as a paid placement in line with Living Wage Foundation guidelines.

Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre & Artist Development said: “We’re really excited to have Reece working with us and to be part of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme. We’re passionate about supporting the development of dance as an artform and to do this we are investing in the people behind the scenes who play an essential role in in the process. Making sure we have access to the widest pool of talent is absolutely vital to the success of individual organisations like ours and to the arts as a whole.”

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme was set up in 2010 to help arts organisations provide an alternative to the unpaid internships which favour graduates from more privileged backgrounds and act as a gateway into the sector for up to 88% of young people working in the arts today.

Now in its third edition, the programme has proved hugely successful on all fronts, with 60% of employers in the programme’s second edition extending contracts with placements, or making them permanent, once the actual bursary ended and 98% of hosts considering ways in which they can target future job opportunities towards low income graduates.

Graduates who have already completed their Weston Jerwood Creative Bursary placements have gone on to a range of senior jobs within the arts. They include: Executive Director of Chisenhale Dance Space in Tower Hamlets, London; Artistic Director of Birmingham’s Fierce Festival; Assistant Curator at the Hepworth, Wakefield; Curator at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester; Producer with the English Touring Theatre and Classical Music Programme Manager for the British Council.

Reece McMahon said: “I’m really proud to be selected and to get a chance like this, The Place is a great place to start my career and experience working life in the arts. To be given the opportunity to develop bold, new work with incredible artists in London’s busiest dance venue is an exciting prospect.”

Click here to read the full press release.