Our Artworks Trainee, Chloe Latchford shares her experience so far working with Magic Me.
“Magic Me has reminded me of the importance of human interaction. The vibrancy of the connections enables the creativity of the group to thrive”
I have lived in Bethnal Green for most of my life. Yet I only recently discovered another jewel in my local area. The Magic Me office, which is tucked away at the back of Pott Street. The longevity of the organisation is a credit to director, Susan Langford and the hardworking team. Magic Me continues to flourish and I feel privileged to be part of their traineeship, Artworks over the next few months.
Art has always been an integral aspect of my life, throughout my education and also my career so far. Over the past few years, I have been running a variety of art workshops across London. I have also worked in various hospitality roles in local coffee shops. The meaningful interactions and friendships developed through my work highlighted the importance of building a sociable community in London. Volunteering locally at several local charities made me realise I wanted to focus on community arts. I immediately knew that the traineeship at Magic Me would be the perfect progression within my career.
I, alongside two other trainees will be assisting the Magic Me staff and artists in the exciting new project which will take place at Pott Street, Bethnal Green. Over 5 sessions, we will be hosting a series of photography and drama workshops run by artists Sue Mayo and Anita McKenzie. Our project will connect adults aged 18-80+, exploring the theme Community through various art forms.
I quickly realised Magic Me is so much more than an arts organisation. It is a community. Intergenerational participatory practice drives Magic Me’s projects. Most of the older participants have worked with Magic Me for a number of years. The effortless conversations between staff, artists and participants showcase the established bonds built within the organisation. It is evident how much the older participants value and look forward to the Magic Me projects, it enriches their lives. Tackling ageism and loneliness is at the heart of Magic Me’s inspirational work. Integrating younger and older participants enables different generations to collaborate and connect. Within the introductory workshop session, one of the older participants described, ‘Magic Me is a family’ and I couldn’t have worded it more perfectly myself.
Magic Me has reminded me of the importance of human interaction. The workshops are tailored in a way that allows the participants to get to know one another first. Creative tasks are gradually introduced as the project develops. The vibrancy of the connections enables the creativity of the group to thrive.
The traineeship focuses on the planning of the workshops and the general operations of the organisation. It has been fascinating seeing the various roles and behind the scenes work which happens at Magic Me. Additionally, the workshops with external charities have also broadened my knowledge of the arts world.
I am thrilled to be working with such lovely staff, artists and participants in this current project. I have recognised that social interaction, group work and collaboration are fundamental to me within my work environment. I hope to continue working with inspirational and warm people throughout my career.