Business Insight

The Know How Project - Opportunities for post-graduate work experience.

We talk to Paul Hough about this unique scheme.

What’s the Know How project?
Know How looks to work with and support through a structured workshop programme and by placing graduate designers, developers and creative thinkers from Derby University, Lincoln University, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University to work on challenges and projects in development by leading arts organisations in the East Midlands

What do you do?
I’m the Creative Work Placement Manager for the Know How scheme.

Where is the scheme based?
The scheme operates from Broadway, Nottingham and is currently aimed at leading arts organisations in the East Midlands.

How did this project come about?
Arts organisations don’t engage with new technology as much as we think they might, they are in areas such as digital photography, moving image or web based media But by doing so the presumption is that these technologies are used in other areas too, but there was a growing awareness these organisations were lacking important digital skills. Know How was created within the Broadway’s Near Now digital arts project run by Mathew Trivett Producer and John Tobin the Development Director.

How do Graduates get on the project?
They must have graduated from a degree course at one of the participating universities. There’s no age limit and must have graduated within the last 3 years at any level, however this must be at degree or above. They don’t have to have come with an arts or technology background. They can come from a cross-over course or other disciplines, for example One graduate came from psychology degree

Can you describe some of your successful projects?
Dance4 was the first place to take an intern. Dance4 had an archive of media in a cupboard and wanted to create something that was accessible not just a database but something between an art work and an archive. The intern who worked on this Vika, had seen an interactive installation at the Southbank Centre that consisted of small floating coloured circles which when touched opens up as a video, piece of text or a photograph She did research around others archives but wanted to take a newer approach. She didn’t have the skills herself so we collaborated with the Horizon project at the University of Nottinghamand with the help of a researcher from the a mixed reality lab, they consulted and recommended a way to use off the shelf technology to create the piece for Dance4.

After completing the project Vika was kept on to work on byDance4 for thier Notts Dance Festival and still has close ties with them working on a freelance basis when required. Rachel Emmett, General Manager of Dance4, had this to say about Know How “Having a Know How intern enabled us to focus on an area of work we never normally have time for. Our fantastic intern had the time to research, reflect, report back to us and develop a working model that we can now take forward.”

Another example of one of our intern’s projects is the Arch-Bishop’s Palace at Southwell Minster. This was a scheme to renovate a ruin and turn it in to tourist attraction with £1.3m from the Heritage lottery fund. The palace was the last residence of Cardinal Wolsey so has great historical significance. Originally they bought 10 iPods and created a walking tour but this was not engaging for young people so our graduate intern Dimitri came in. He works around the ideas of technology and computer gaming. He created a multi-player iPod game for children consisting of a number of challenges that guide you around the different palace spaces. It challenges groups of students asking different questions about different places in each location with interactive tasks for the group such as who is best actor or best artist. The programming can be changed dependent upon the weather so in good weather the game will feature tasks taking in the historical gardens outside.

We’ve found some great people, all could be our future employees and we’re building a new network of people who have the right kind of skills. This was evident after our recent workshops that end with a three day build event where we bring in a bunch of graduates to work alongside our Designers and Technologists. The workshops are very hands-on using lots of cardboard & tape and basic tech to create working prototype ideas. The knock-on of these events is some of these organisations who take part in these workshops ask to keep on the graduate who work with them. I arrange access to the funding and sign up the organisation to the graduate placement programme.

What’s the future of Know How?
Know How is unique nationally so we’re hoping to continue the programme to take it to a wider audience. The market is huge so I don’t think funding would be an issue once we can show the show evidence of the value the scheme brings to the participants.

NB: Know How, delivered by Broadway’s Near Now programme in partnership with Snook, is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2007 to 2013 and supported using public funding by Arts Council England, with additional finance contributed by regional universities.

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