Catalyser is a creative learning programme for people aged 18-25 years which takes place at Clod Ensemble Studios in North Greenwich. Co-designed with local young people, Catalyser aims to address identified gaps in available support and barriers being faced by those who wish to enter or progress in creative careers. The programme was piloted in 2022 and continues to evolve in response to ongoing learning with potential participants and programme alumni.
Catalyser involves a six-week intensive is followed by six months of continued mentoring and support, encouraging a new generation to make genre-defying work which is rooted in respectful collaboration. Through Catalyser, Clod Ensemble shares our expertise in interdisciplinary practice with young artists who are interested in dance, music, theatre and visual arts. Free to attend, participants are also given a bursary to participate so that they may have time to develop their creative skills, create new career pathways and be agents of positive social change.
Young artists benefit from bespoke training and mentoring from Artistic Directors Suzy Willson and Paul Clark, Clod Ensemble’s Associate Artists and guest facilitators. Creative workshops include movement, theatre, sound design, visual arts, and architecture. Participants gain access to industry networks, peer-to-peer learning and support, Clod Ensemble’s wider programme of professional development and the free use of our Ensemble Studios to develop their own work. Alongside creative skills development, Catalyser provides practical workshops on fundraising, networking, self-producing, and how to engage local communities.
The first Catalyser took place over 25 days in Autumn 2022, when Clod Ensemble invited twenty young artists to their studios in North Greenwich. Participant feedback on the project included the following statements:
“Catalyser was an outstanding experience, truly cherished moments of connection and exploration. I loved how much I got to explore and expand on my ways of thinking artistically and creatively. There was a lot of space to be myself which was warm and welcoming.”
“My Catalyser experience has felt like a bridge, helping me to bridge the infamous graduated to ‘career’ gap.”
Catalyser is part of Clod Ensemble’s growing programme of talent and workforce development. As of June 2023, a full social value impact report on the Catalyser programme is being prepared and will be available shortly.
Catalyser has been generously supported by D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, Garrick Trust, Portal Trust, Knight Dragon & L&Q.
Image credits: both Vipul Sangoi