• Team Furlonteer

Uniting remote audiences with technology - Furlonteer Imogen on working with IJAD Dance Company

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

Theatres and arts venues up and down the country have been forced to close their doors due to Covid-19. Furlonteer Imogen Shaw explores how technology can unite remote audiences.

Please could you introduce yourself to us and how you came to hear about Furlonteer?

I’m Imogen Shaw, 26 and a Senior Communications Manager at CSM Sports & Entertainment.

Although I’ve been furloughed for about six weeks now, CSM has a really supportive ‘Away Team’ group and a link to Furlonteer was shared amongst other furloughed colleagues. I was immediately interested as I love to be busy so signed up there and then.

What made you want to want to sign up as a Furlonteer?

I’m very much a do-er and I soon discovered there’s only so many baking / yoga / exercise classes you can do! This seemed like the perfect way to help a charity whilst keeping my brain occupied and learn about something new along the way.

Could you tell us a little about the charity you’ve been matched with and your role in helping them?

I am now volunteering with IJAD Dance Company, who explore how choreography and technology can combine. It’s an apt time for IJAD to highlight how technology can bring audiences closer to remote performances as they ask the public to co-create with artists live during rehearsals.

Since volunteering I’ve created a bespoke communications plan for a programme IJAD is looking to launch mid-summer – all very exciting!

Which new skills has this experience given you?

It has been a hugely refreshing opportunity to take my communications background and apply it to a completely new sector. I’m usually talking about sport, cars or motorsport but I’m now learning all about the dance industry and media landscape which is really stimulating.

First and foremost though, I’ve really enjoyed working with Artistic Director, Mourad Joumana, who has helped educate and introduce me to the dance industry.

What impact do you feel it’s had on your experience of being Furloughed, and are you likely to continue volunteering after it ends?

Undoubtedly positive. I’ve built new relationships, felt motivated and learnt about a sector I had previously little experience of. I would like to think that my relationship with IJAD will continue beyond furlough and it has certainly opened my eyes to how you can help charities for the future.

Could you give any advice or tips to other people considering signing up to Furlonteer?

Sign up. It might seem a bit daunting volunteering with new people and a new company, but it’s a positive experience and you will make new networks and grow your own knowledge too!

We all have skills to share with charities and good causes. If you want to make a difference helping arts organisations throughout the UK then sign up as a Furlonteer today!

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