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Meet who makes us, MADE: Isah

Meet MADE's Administrator, Isah

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Ok so what’s your name?

Hi Isah. What’s your role at MADE?
I’m the MADE Administrator

When did you start working with MADE?
I started in September 2022, but I was part of the youth voice task group from November 2019–2021. I think I went to the most of the online sessions during that time, and definitely four in-person ones.

Tell us a bit about your journey into arts and culture?
From a young age I was really energetic, and my mum needed to find a creative way for me to express that, so I wasn’t running round the house screaming and shouting! She signed me up to the Theatre Train which ran out of Chorlton High School, I did 5 shows with them. One a year between ages 6–11, two of which were at the Palace Theatre called License to thrill and Rhythm and Blues (which as like a Blues brothers remake).

My first ever show was at the Blue box theatre! Then I finished theatre train, and when I went to high school didn't really enjoy GCSE drama, it wasn’t the same as what I had experienced, but then I found enjoyment in other things going on outside of school. In 2014 Joined the library theatre company . After that I joined the Royal Exchange Theatre young company while studying acting at Pendleton college, (level 3 B-tech). I did 2 shows with the young company, Mix Tape and a site specific version of the tempest set at Abraham Moss. After that I got involved in freelancing, then it kind of snowballed!

I got a job producing the REX young company, then I moved to London to be Race equality officer at LAMDA which was a big step away from my artist work I’ve done. Then I got a job here!

Do you consider yourself and artistic person? If so in what ways?
I'm an actor, a writer and a producer (but that’s not the most artistic role) and a facilitator!

How does your artistry connect to your role at MADE?
Understanding the artistic wants and needs of young people, most of my work has been with young people, I've always benefited from the opportunities I had so I always wanted to give back more as more and more opportunities are falling off the face of the earth.

As I was part of one of the task groups that really aligned with my personal beliefs, I wanted to continue to get involved, and my producing experience lands me in good stead in terms of co-ordinating, administrating, organisation and there is a lot of experience that I draw on from there. And just a general love for the arts and passion for the arts. My mum was always taking me to arts events, music events and festivals . I’ve always strived to stay within the realms as much as possible!

Why did you choose to work within an arts and culture organisation?
I’ve just been surrounded by it and couldn’t imagine not being around it!

What do you enjoy most in your role?
The communication! Meeting and speaking to new people quite regularly, as I'm at the start of it I'm meeting loads of new people which is great, the opportunity to network with schools and stuff. Speaking to young people too.

What’s the most interesting project or work you’ve done so far?
The Music and migration: Diasporas project that I’ve helped coordinate. I don't have a massively musical background, I've always wanted to create my own music. I always love any opportunity when music and theatre cross over and this project just sounds so interesting. American and British musical output is the biggest and most heard of, so I always love speaking to artists that perform music that’s slightly different or lesser heard

What’s the most challenging project or work you’ve done so far?
Getting used to specific protocols and how we do things here.

MADE is a cultural education partnership? What’s one the most important things about a ‘cultural education partnership’ from your perspective / in your opinion?
Truly understanding the wants and needs of schools, as they don't get funding for creative projects all the time and understanding this so we best serve them and their students and supporting creativity! You have government saying to get rid of courses that are arts and creativity.

People often think MADE stands for something or is another arts and culture acronym — it isn’t, but if it was an acronym what do you think it could stand for?

Manchester Artistic Development of Education

Proudest moment so far if you have one
Just getting the role after having had 5 hours sleep and a move from London before the interview and just contributing to getting work done. Sending one email that kick starts a project!

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