Arts Emergency

Eleanor Ward

Festival Coordinator - Field Day

My name is El. I’m 32 and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m not sure I ever will…

I studied music at university because I enjoyed it and loved to learn and perform. The one good piece of advice my mum gave me was ‘Don’t study something you’re good at. Study something you enjoy, because you’ll end up being good at it’. I always felt a bit sad that friends were studying something like ‘Business Studies’ because it would get them a good job at the end of it – learning should be fun!

My career path in music has been meandering at best, taking opportunities and ruing missed chances. I’m now working for Field Day Festival – the job wasn’t advertised, but my contacts within the music industry meant that I was approached to see if I’d be interested. I was – and they were too!

I’ve chosen to volunteer for Arts Emergency because I still have a slight chip on my shoulder about people who had the money and opportunities that I didn’t, which allowed them to leapfrog other people in their arts careers. I’m not un-priveleged. I come from a middle-class family, I went to a normal comprehensive school. But I didn’t live in London and couldn’t afford to undertake any of the internships or work placements in the capital which seem to be the norm in the arts these days. I want to pass on my experience and knowledge, and show that studying the arts is ultimately worth it.