Photo by Tyler Austin

Re:Generation 2031

Isabel Jaques: my experience

By Isabel Jaques, Assistant Producer at SparkedEcho & Electric Medway

Hi, I’m Isabel Jaques, Assistant Producer at SparkedEcho & Electric Medway. My role is currently being funded by Re:Generation 2031, a Creative Estuary scheme supporting young people living in the Estuary region with starting their careers in the creative industries.

I’m also an occasional freelance composer and sound artist, and a ‘Music Production for Media’ graduate from Ravensbourne University, London. I have always wanted to work within the arts and creative industries, and dabble in many different mediums, and I feel I have had the opportunity to do that during my time at SparkedEcho & Electric Medway. I started my placement here initially as an Arts Administrator through the government kickstart scheme back in May 2021. My role was then changed to Assistant Producer through the amazing Re:Generation 2031 placement scheme.

SparkedEcho brings technology and the arts together to make Medway an innovative and exciting place to live, work, learn and visit. They are also the company behind Electric Medway festival, a 10-day digital arts programme in and around Medway showcasing digital works and giving a platform to local artists.

I wanted to work with SparkedEcho because of the broad range of work they offer, and how they work with local communities and young people to inspire and share creativity. As an Assistant Producer, my role is varied and no two days are the same, which is one of the reasons I love the role. A day in the life can include booking venues, liaising with artists, going on site recces, setting up tech, supporting marketing and social media, event management and assisting workshops. I get to network and meet lots of interesting creative people, which inspires me with my future career aspirations and what I could do next.

Working on Electric Medway Festival was a great experience. I got to see and contribute throughout the process of planning right through to delivery. It was brilliant to be involved in all aspects of the festival and I was able to try my hand at a variety of different roles such as event managing, volunteer coordination and even music composition for a light installation! I loved that my creativity was allowed to roam free, and equally I felt my opinions and ideas were valid and listened to throughout the whole planning stage – getting to see some of my ideas included in the festival and being able to take ownership of those elements was amazing!

I worked alongside many interesting people during the festival and got to meet lots of fellow creatives and artists, which was super inspiring for myself and my own creative practice. This also acted as a brilliant networking opportunity and helped me with introductions and meeting new creative people from my local area; this may even lead to future work opportunities! I worked alongside a core team of two directors Kevin Grist & Janet Moore, associate artists, arts assistants, partners and volunteers.

We are working on a number of potential future projects, including a light event, immersive tech programme in schools and a Medway Hack group, for local artists to come together to learn new artforms and skill share in the technological field. We are also starting the very early stages of development for the next Electric Medway festival. There’s exciting times ahead, and I’m very pleased to be on this journey with SparkedEcho.

About Re:Generation 2031

Re:Generation 2031 is a Creative Estuary initiative focused on innovative approaches to providing young people in North Kent and South Essex opportunities to gain skills and experience in the creative industries. Our work placement scheme provides the funding and recruitment support for entry-level roles with various cultural and creative organisations, businesses and freelancers based across the Thames Estuary region. These placements are tailored towards young people who have lacked opportunities, who are underrepresented in the sector and who want to explore career opportunities within the creative industries. It is also an opportunity for creative organisations or individuals to increase their capacity and grow their business or practise.

Photo by Tyler Austin
Photo by Tyler Austin
Photo by Tyler Austin