The Optimists offers an introduction to the craft of producing in a professional context and building professional networks by de-mystifying the financial, administrative, and organisational aspects of producing.

This year's Optimist Summer 2024 course is suitable for emerging producers, artists, and creative practitioners, based in the West Midlands, who are hoping to develop their skills as professional producers, or as a producer of their own work, in the subsidised arts sector.

Drawing on China Plate’s extensive experience and real examples in theatre producing, the Optimists provides knowledge and insight on the practicalities of making, funding, touring, and promoting your work. The Optimists course is led by China Plate, with the support of guest industry experts and speakers.

The course is open to those working across different art forms (e.g., dance, live art, spoken word, etc) but has a particular focus on producing and touring live work in the theatre industry.

Participants should have at least 12 months of professional/industry experience in the arts sector – it is not aimed at those who have recently graduated or who are completely new to working in the arts sector. This course is not appropriate for those with more than 3 years of professional experience working as a producer.

Sessions: 10 in-person sessions taking place over 7 weeks
Dates: Between Saturday 15th June and Saturday 3rd August 2024
Location: Venues across the West Midlands
Spaces: For up to 20 participants

Costs:
For freelancers/individuals: £480 per person (inclusive of VAT)
For organisations:  £660 per person (inclusive of VAT)

Bursaries covering the full cost of the course will be available to those who have faced racism, discrimination and/or cultural barriers due to their ethnicity, disability, D/deafness, gender identity or socio-economic background – please refer to the application guidelines for more information.

We are hosting two online information sessions on Wednesday 8th May and Wednesday 15th May - these will provide an opportunity to find out more about the course and ask any additional questions that you may have. If this is something you feel you would find useful, please sign up to attend: https://bit.ly/OP24Info

DEADLINE EXTENDED: New deadline for applications will be 12pm (midday) on Wednesday 29th May.

Please visit our website for more information about the course, including application guidelines and details on how to apply. Accessible formats are available, including BSL & captioned and audio introductions about the course, alongside large print formats.

If you have any questions, please contact our Training & Development Producer Kristina through the email address below.

A package of financial and industry support to welcome talented UK undergraduates from Black, Asian, Gypsy, Traveller and ethnically diverse backgrounds to our creative community. This support comprises a bursary of £1,200 per year for three years of the programme, plus targeted mentoring.

The creative industries have stories at their core. We're passionate about supporting ethnically diverse stories to be given a chance to thrive at York. This scholarship was set up to encourage people from a range of cultural backgrounds who wouldn't normally think of York as a place for them.

The awards are designed to ease the financial burden of study. The funds can be used in any way that will assist you practically on the course – including travel, accommodation and living expenses.

The awards also provide mentoring support to help increase opportunities, preparing you for a successful career in the creative industries. Your mentor will meet you regularly, help shape your development and offer advice throughout your degree. We'll also have ‘Future Voices Scholarship’ events where recipients can meet and network with each other.

Read me aloud