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In Your Network - Amy Golding

Amy Golding FRSA wants to use the theatre to help young people explore their identity and passions. Find out what inspires her and what her new campaign Mamela is about:  

1) Please give a brief explanation of what it is you do and why?
I am Artistic Director and founder of Newcastle based theatre company Curious Monkey, whose cause is to bring to life stories that deserve to be told. My background is in participatory arts.  As well as telling and listening to stories my interest lies in promoting accessibility and diversity within theatre. I am currently a Clore Fellow in Cultural Leadership supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. I do what I do as I was lucky enough to be in a youth theatre when I was an energetic and slightly unusual child which changed my view of the world and allowed me to express myself in a way I never could at school. I believe in the power of theatre and the arts to educate, inspire, stimulate debate, raise awareness, makes us feel empathy, and ultimately bring about social change. 

2) Why did you join the RSA?
I heard about it through my Clore Fellowship. I was invited to an event at RSA House and given a tour. I thought at first it was full of airs and graces and wasn’t necessarily for me, but after my visit I realised it was for everyone who wants to make changes in the world however small. 

3) What are you passionate about?
The investment in our younger generation, to enable future generations of people to be happy, creative and well adjusted, so they are equipped to take on the roles and responsibilities of looking after this world with all its complexities.  Giving all young people an equal chance to succeed in life despite their background, wealth and upbringing matters to me. Also making and watching brilliant and inspiring theatre! 

4) What makes you angry?
I find it hard to get angry I’m generally a glass half full kind of person and don’t like to dwell on anger but if I do it is usually about some frustrating decision made by the government. Or something stupid like losing my keys! 

5) What would you change in society given the chance?
Where do I start: Inequality in education, treatment of vulnerable people in society, the value given to arts and culture currently, resources and appreciation of the NHS, gender inequality, poverty… I could go on…   

6) What is the most important lesson you’ve ever learnt? 
We mustn’t underestimate the power of listening… 

7) What recent bit of news have you heard which inspires you?
I followed closely the campaign started by Fahma Mohamed, a school girl from Bristol whose campaign around FGM (female genital mutilation) was a great success. She made it to the front page of The Guardian and after a huge petition she met with Michael Gove, who agreed to write to all head-teachers across the country ensuring they include awareness of FGM in sex education in schools.  A wonderful and inspiring example of how one girl can make a difference in the lives of many other girls and young women.  

8) What would you like to connect with Fellows about? Please tell us if there is anything you would like from other Fellows

I am about to launch two projects that I would like to connect with other Fellows about: 

  • An RSA Kickstarter campaign for “Mamela” a verbatim theatre production that tells the real life stories of young women from South Africa that Curious Monkey is bringing to the UK this autumn. I hope Fellows will support for this project and help to spread the word about this project that is very close to my heart. Please check out our project on the RSA crowdfunding page.
  • A digital project “Hopebook”, an online interactive story that looks at poverty through a child’s eyes made with young people from the North East. It launches in Westminster on 16th June, after which it will sit on the All Party Parliamentary Group for poverty. I would love to get feedback on this project and for it to become an online resource that people can use freely to raise awareness about the reality of life for a child living in poverty in the UK. 
Amy Golding

Amy Golding



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