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CARMEN YIH: My week at L2R!

(Photo: Nam Chops)

Hello, I’m Carmen (she/her) and I’m 20 years old! I got to join L2R for a week as a placement student. Here’s a recap of what went down this week!

(Day 1: Panda Squad with Em and Maya)

Day 1:

Grabbing breakfast on the way, I headed to L2R HQ based in Footscray, walking in a few nervous circles trying to find the entrance (luckily Kerstin found me and showed me the way :)). Starting with a Monday meeting, the agenda was chock-filled with only 6 working weeks of the year remaining for the organisation. I listened as the team covered updates with school engagement, creative developments, end-of-year gigs, marketing, and the Igniting Legends program. Kerstin briefed me on my tasks for the week, beginning with creating some social media content with Alec and Lowell (aka the blog post you’re reading now and leTiqToque on the L2R account… Can you spot it?). Then I quickly made a poster design for the L2R Christmas Party before Hena chatted to me about the gig coordination processes of L2R. I headed to Panda Squad (L2R’s free hip-hop program for 6-12 year olds) with Em and Maya and spent some time trying to get sturdy with everyone. The energy in dance class was infectious! As fast as it began, my first day with L2R ends…

Day 2:

Buzzing with excitement, I began day 2 by heading to Phoenix Youth Centre to check out L2R’s development with David and Jayden. Participating in their first day working with the 8 dancers was truly an amazing opportunity to understand how artists can balance structure and play in the creative process, as well as how dancers can bring their unique artistic and cultural identities to the creative space. The House grooves we explored sat unnaturally in my body, but I had so much fun exploring a different way of moving and processing music. I look forward to learning more about house music and dance! To end the day, I headed over to Next Gen (L2R’s free dance program for 12-25 years) with Em and learnt some AfroDance grooves with the students :)

(Day 3: L2R Creative Development @ Phoenix Youth Hub)

Day 3:

I headed to L2R HQ for a chill morning working on some of the blog posts and fuelling up with coffee. Taking note of my interest in event planning, Kerstin took me in amazing detail through the behind-the-scenes workings of L2R Block Party. My mind was blown at the level of detail and consideration that goes into planning a large community event - from earplugs to wet weather to human traffic coordination and reminder emails, every aspect has been considered and managed. Kerstin took me around Footscray Community Arts to show me where the L2R Block Party was this year and where they plan on shifting it in 2023 before taking me to lunch at a local café! After grabbing lunch, I went to Phoenix Youth Centre to return to the development again, reconnecting with the cast, recapping the house choreography and experimenting with voice, emotion, and gesture. Heading home after the development, I felt so warm and fulfilled with all the creative energy and passion I got to experience over the past few days :)

Day 4:

Day 4 marked the last day I’d be at L2R HQ, which came as a bit of a shock – the week zoomed past! I began at 10am with a talk about finding funding sources as an independent artist with Jacinda. We dove into the challenges and rewards of philanthropy and government funding as well as the nitty gritty of auspicing, application language and insurance as an artist. After a brief IKEA building side-quest (the office is getting decked out with new furniture!), I got to meet the Igniting Legends! The Igniting Legends are part of an internship program run by L2R – I got to learn about their journeys into dance as well as what they are curating and producing as part of the program. Be sure to support their event ‘Amplify: Bridge’ at Bluestone Church on December 4th 4-6PM!

(Day 5: L2R Creative Development @ Chunky Move)

Day 5:

IT’S THE LAST DAY BIG TEARS ARGH :,) I got the spend the whole of my last day at Chunky Move with L2R’s development cast. Everything is coming together, we heard some of the music for the work (which was a mystery up to this point as it was composed specifically for the development) – not to spoil but… respectfully, it’s a bop. I got to witness how the different sections connect, with the transitions beginning to be developed. Heading home at the end of the day was bittersweet as my placement week with L2R comes to an end.

I cannot put into words how valuable this week was. Thank you L2R for welcoming me with open arms and introducing me to all the facets of the organisation! Throughout this week I have learnt immensely about the workings of a community arts organisation - experiencing first-hand the planning behind flagship programs and events, and their direct impact on the wider youth community. I hope to return in the future - big thank you again!

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