Natalie Chan


Natalie Chan blog

I have thoroughly enjoyed developing my project with mentors Sascha, Kath and Louise. I worked with Louise before, she was my former line manager when I was General Manager for Creative Youth and she knew me, professionally and personally to an extent, well. I’ve never worked with the others. I thought having multiple mentors, with different experiences, some we have a relationship with already and some don’t, was an excellent combination.   

It was invaluable for me to seek multiple perspectives on challenges, and for me to then independently digest, consolidate.   

Louise challenged me during our sessions for me to take on feedback, independently work for 10-20 mins and then I’d practise my pitch to her on video call again. At the time of undertaking the Innovator programme with Artistic Directors of the Future, I am working full-time as Producer for In Good Company, so time-management is an ongoing challenge, and her methods encouraged accountability, and I have to action on things in the limited time I have and move my project forward, for which I’m very grateful for!  

I’ve taken some of my working methods with my mentor to other aspects of my working life. I now avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings to make time to complete my actions from meetings, usually quick things like sharing documents/resources or email introducing people. It has helped me build my professional integrity as someone who always takes action on her words. 

Obviously this doesn’t work for bigger, deeper and strategic tasks, that’s my next challenge. 

My project is all about supporting mid-career global majority individuals working in the arts to progress, dreaming with my fellow innovators has enabled me to think from more perspectives beyond my own lived experiences, I was able to consolidate different elements of the proposed programme – peer to peer, mentoring, and recognising we need all of them. 

I’m excited to be working with New Art Exchange in Nottingham to explore this project further, and I’m finding creative ways to draw parallels within my belief on this project and my role at In Good Company (which I’m leading and delivering the Midlands’ artist development programme), to see how I can better consolidate different strands of my professional working life, and advocate for a more equitable sector.   

I’ve learnt a lot during the Innovator programme, my biggest take-away was how to positively and creatively mitigate risks on projects, which I’m sure will continue to benefit me in many ways.  


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