ACCELERATE aims to help mid-career creatives step into more senior leadership roles and past participants have said that the program is tough but invaluable.
Producer and 2015 ACCELERATE participant Angela Flynn stated, “It was an incredibly intense programme but in the best possible way. I was able to confront issues that had been troubling me about my career, in a positive proactive manner, with excellent resolutions or at least with progress. But I also realised that I don’t need to have all the answers now as long as I remain focused on my purpose.”
2014 participant Jacob Boehme says the programme gave him a clearer sense of direction. “The ACCELERATE experience offered me time to really listen to myself and determine exactly what my truth is,” he says. “It provided me with an opportunity to review and identify my goals, accessing steps and strategies to achieve them. I was guided to honestly examine limiting behaviours that were sometimes preventing me from standing in my truth."
On Tuesday's announcement of the new 2016 participants, Jacob offered advice about what to expect.
Be open to and embrace the change that is about to come. ACCELERATE, for me, was not just about gaining tools to identify and realize your goals, but time for deep listening: to yourself and to your truth.
Jacob entered the 2014 program as an independent artist and has made invaluable connections and premiered his own original work. "One of the goals I did set for myself was to premiere my new work Blood on the Dance Floor, by 2016. And I did. I partnered with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company to deliver a premiere season of the work at Arts House North Melbourne, in June this year." he told NITV
Jacob has also just picked up a new role, the inaugural Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI (formerly Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival) which he describes as his 'dream job'.
I get to sit and dream everyday with amazing artists, both here and overseas, and then work with an incredible team at City of Melbourne to showcase our voices throughout the city and around the world.
Making a strong connection with National Theatre Wales was a highlight for Jacob who has since been back to undertake a residency with the company and is booked to visit once again next month. "I’m about to return to Wales (with the continued support of the British Council) to visit the NTW family and immerse myself in The City of the Unexpected: a weekend long celebration of everything Roald Dahl, as artists take over the city of Cardiff."
Writer and playwright Jane Harrison, who took part in ACCELERATE in 2012 says, “ACCELERATE gave me a wider perspective of my artistic practice. As Aboriginal artists we are driven to contribute back to our local communities but the doors that ACCELERATE opened in the UK, the interest in and curiosity about our stories and perspectives, meant that a penny dropped for me; we have something unique and special that the wider world values and wants. We can also contribute to our communities by playing on a world stage."
To find out more about the program and this year's participants head to http://www.britishcouncil.org.au/programmes/arts/accelerate