Outside In artist Eva Marschan-Hayes reveals her ’empowering’ journey with the charity, including how taking part in ambassador training and a chance bus conversation allowed her to put new skills into action.
I started my journey with Outside In one year ago and have been amazed what opportunities it offers for artists to grow personally and professionally. My first proper engagement with the organisation has been last September at a Share Art event in Brighton. I enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere created by the facilitators and being part of a diverse and interesting group of artists who presented their work with integrity and authenticity, showing vulnerability openly. It felt empowering presenting my art work and engaging with the audience. Afterwards I experienced a sense of achievement and a boost in confidence.
When the opportunity to become ambassadors for Outside In was announced I did not hesitate and signed up for the training day. I especially welcomed that the ambassador role is flexible, allowing artists to choose how to get involved. Initially we were asked to fill in an online form indicating our choices. I am particularly keen to get verbally involved. I hope to offer a voice for Outside In at symposiums, conventions, induction days and other relevant events. I wish to gain confidence in talking to individuals about Outside In at exhibition openings and interviews and to create links with artists and organisations who could benefit.
I found the training day very helpful. We were taught knowledge and skills, particularly useful for the verbal part of the ambassador role. I learned about the background of Outside In, how it has evolved, about its missions and values and it’s code of conduct. Through talks by the trainer and group exercises I learned how to apply the knowledge about Outside In as ambassadors in different scenarios. We also covered ‘what if ‘ situations, in which the ambassador might get to feel uncomfortable in the middle of a presentation or in a chat and is unable to carry out their role. Together with the trainer we came up with solutions on how to deal with different scenarios. In a short period of time I learned a lot about Outside In and some of the skills needed as an ambassador.
I did not know that I would be able to practice some of my newly learned skills so soon. On the bus back home I bumped into a woman I recently met at a Highly Sensitive People group. She told me that she had been shopping for art materials and as we talked it became clear to me that she would be someone who could benefit from Outside In. So, I talked to her about the organisation, as I had learned at the training and asked her whether she was interested. The answer was positive and I send her a link. My journey as an ambassador had begun. I started spreading the word.
For more on ambassador training email firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would like to find out details of joining as an artist email Hannah.Whitlock@outsidein.org.uk
More information on ambassador training can be found here – http://outsidein.org.uk/Opportunities-new or to read other artists’ experiences click here – https://outsideinpallant.wordpress.com/tag/ambassador/
Eva’s Outside In gallery can be seen here: Eva’s online gallery