Young Producer, Voices Gloucester
“Dan, we want to appeal to young people, do you want to write a blog?”
Well first off, thank you. I’m touched I’m still considered ‘young people’, although I definitely don’t feel it. Secondly: You’re telling me…. I get to write about myself AND subtly push my moral agenda on the unsuspecting masses?
Yeah, that seems like something I could do.
(Btw the revolution is still on, we move at dawn)
When I first thought to move away from my parents, I wanted to move to a city with a strong connection to local artists, a place where creativity and collaboration is considered one of the core values and at the heart of any major decision. I, of course, wanted to move to Bristol but I couldn’t find anywhere for one person. That’s when a mutual friend, who I’d met online in the days of furlough and zoom meetings, told me he was looking for a place in Gloucester for work.
“Gloucester?” I said “sounds vaguely familiar…”
I was lying. I’d never heard of Gloucester up until 20 seconds ago when you mentioned it.
Regardless of my complete lack of geography skills, I did a quick search on *insert web browser* and saw all the beautiful pictures of the quays in the sunlight, the cathedral and all its stunning architecture. The rest was history, I agreed and moved to Gloucester.
It wasn’t long before I slid my way into Gloucester’s creative scene with the fantastic spaces at Jolt being a big part of that (big up Jolt). It was there that I met Jacqui, who shared about Voices Gloucester (then called City Voices), a bit more research and one nervous interview later and here I am!
The very next day I was invited to an information session day at Gloucestershire Archives heritage hub. The day was spent getting to know and introducing yourselves, standard networking stuff. Not my favourite thing in the world, as the idea of making a good impression in three sentences or less is terrifying. I’m more of a ‘lingering presence’ type. But what was made clear was how willing people were to listen to what I had to say which, was refreshing contrast to say the least.
It was clear from that day the lack of young people there. This is something Voices Gloucester wants to change and not by shying away from the conversation and quietly hiring the token young person. When I brought up the notion of tokenisation as a young person for this role to Jacqui we spoke about how to avoid it as best as we can. I came to the realisation, that we can’t really avoid it… but we can address it, by remaining transparent with other organisations and people who follow our work.
And some really exciting things are in the works, namely a documentary looking at queer nightlife in Gloucester during the 80-90s and the lack of these places now (for anyone wondering, it’s non-existent btw). I’m very fortunate to be in the position I am, and I realise my story, my voice, is one of many under-represented young peoples in Gloucester. We want to do things that matter. People should feel safe to express themselves and that needs to be celebrated.
Thanks to Voices Gloucester, I get to help bring important topics like the one this documentary covers, to the surface, and it is a true privilege to be a part of this pivotal moment in Gloucester’s history.
Yes, I know how that sounds. No, no one is forcing me to say anything.
I also have been helped and supported to submit my own grant application for a project surrounding the school snack: Gloucester Drip called ‘Flashback foods’ (please community panel, if you see this fund my project 😊).
And that’s my story with City Voices, so far… and if I’ve learnt anything about this process, that’s what this is about. Stories. You’ve just seen a small glimpse of mine. I hope in some small way, this has inspired you to do the same.
I can’t wait to hear what you have to say and I look forward to listening with open ears and open an heart.