Guest Blog: Working as an emerging producer on Medway Light Nights 2022 – Ashleigh Burr

In her second blog,  Ashleigh Burr writes about working on the Medway Light Night’s festival that took place in and around Rochester on 11 & 12 February 2022.

Ashleigh worked with us as part of Creative Estuary’s Estuary Emerging Producer Placements programme

Some of the additional photos in this blog were taken by Raven, part of our Make Waves programme.


(From left) Tracy Brunt – Ideas Test Deputy Director; Gurvinder Sandher – Cohesion Plus Artistic Director; Lucy Medhurst – Ideas Test Director; Sonia Nayyar – Cohesion Plus; Ashleigh Burr – Ideas Test Producer for Medway Light Nights Photo: Cohesion Plus

My name is Ashleigh and I worked with Ideas Test, as an emerging producer on placement through
Creative Estuary, to produce “We Are Medway” at Medway Light Nights 2022.

As a recent graduate this was my first professional job as a freelance producer, which was both
exciting and daunting.

I greatly enjoyed working on a community focussed project, in particular getting to meet so many
interesting people during our filming period. I was lucky to be able to visit lots of places that were
new to me, including Jamia Gillingham Mosque, the Brook Theatre and MESS ROOM.

 

Josh from Cybersaur Arts and Gurvinder from Cohesion Plus on filming on location for We Are Medway Photo: Ashleigh Burr

One of the challenges I faced along the way was working within a tight time frame, especially as we
wanted to include as many people, communities and groups as possible. To include everyone, we did
have to go slightly past our filming deadline, but it was the right decision, and the project was still
completed in time for the event.

 

The view from Rochester Memorial Gardens on Saturday of Medway Light Nights 2022. Photo: Raven, Make Waves programme

On the event nights everything finally came together. On Friday night we also held the Lantern
Parade which was a total joy. Local schools travelled along Rochester High Street holding their
handmade lanterns while local live bands played.

My highlight of the whole event was seeing lots of the people we had worked with proudly bring
their families and friends along to enjoy the event.

 

People in Rochester watching & walking past the Medway Light Night’s film ‘We Are Medway’, created by Josh Garner from Cybersaur Arts. Photo by Raven, Make Waves programme.

I have really enjoyed this placement and have had the unique opportunity to learn and hone my
skills alongside Ideas Test, Cohesion Plus and Cybersaur Arts. I’m very hopeful for more events like
this in Medway in the future.

I am currently completing my MA in Collaborative Theatre Making at Rose Bruford, and my plan
from then is to gain more experience as a freelance producer, particularly in outdoor and
community arts events.