Intern Report by Danny Pedler

This is a final summary of my time during my internship from September 2016 to September 2017 for the Ridges & Furrows project, an NK Arts Partnership project. I would firstly like to thank everyone at artsNK, Terry O Toole Theatre and NCCD for their generosity and support throughout my placement. This team is a force for good in North Kesteven and has also ‘done good’ for me. One of the primary motives of artsNK is to make life better for people in a county which desperately needs the type of work they do, a target which they succeed to meet consistently. I am so grateful to the artsNK staff, as they always seek to include people and give people many different opportunities, despite the challenges often faced. Working as an intern for artsNK was a perfect start to my working life straight out of University, and I will never forget or take for granted the education and skills the job has given me.

Ridges & Furrows is an arts and heritage project that began in 2015 with initial artist residencies in the three locations – Welbourn, North Hykeham and Waddington. The project is still underway with communities providing creative heritage experiences for people of all ages in the locations. The project has commissioned artists and a historian to create temporary public artworks which have been influenced by the history of the locations. Many celebratory events have been held too, which aim to share both the commissioned and community-made artworks with the public. The main aim of the project is to create a walking route from Sleaford to Whisby Nature Reserve, this arts and heritage trail will mirror the very popular Spires and Steeples route which runs from Lincoln to Sleaford.

I was unsure of what my role would be as an intern for the project, and my actual tasks surpassed any expectations I had. I had a hugely varied amount of roles, ranging from delivery driver, to helping in arts and history workshops, to carrying out original archival research, to drawing up event plans and risk assessments. I was grateful of the trust placed upon me to contribute in an important way to the success of the project.

The most enjoyment I have gained however, was getting to know the county, working with members of the communities, and hearing stories of local history from conducting oral reminiscence interviews. After moving from my home county of Essex, I went to university in London to study History and History of Ideas; I love the countryside, and so greatly appreciated working for this project after feeling too enclosed in London. The project has meant so much to me as it got me out into the field (sometimes literally!) helping me learn the geography, society and the history of Lincolnshire.

After this project, I have got a history job conducting oral reminiscence interviews with people in the south Lincolnshire fens. I would not have been able to get this role without the experience I gained working for artsNK. I have adopted their inclusive, positive attitudes in my way of working and want to make a difference wherever I go.

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