22nd March 2023

Five Things I’ve Learnt in My First Year At Sampad

By James Vegnuti

I’ve been working as the Projects and Programme Coordinator at Sampad for a year now, working on the planning and management of Sampad’s incredibly varied projects and events. This role works across all the teams here at Sampad including arts, heritage, and learning – making every day different! Here are five things I’ve learnt in my first year:

  1. Confidence in arts language and myself

The breadth of art styles Sampad works in is one of my favourite aspects of the company. Sampad offers everything from exhibitions to dance festivals, music performances to literature events. My comfort level in speaking about a wide range of arts-related topics has grown as a result of my interactions with the numerous artists and industry experts we work alongside. Also, I’ve had the chance to compere and improve my public speaking in front of sizable crowds, which is always a great skill to be able to practice.

  • Adapting to new situations

Sampad embodies the saying “no two days are alike,” and I’ve been lucky enough to work with them in a variety of locations, including Birmingham Town Hall, Victoria Square, New Street Train Station, Wildlife Eco Parks, and many more. Our work takes us to settings that are ready for arts events as well as those that require assistance in preparation, learning to adapt to these circumstances has proven extremely valuable.

  • Team debriefs and self-reflection

In a company as fast-paced as Sampad I have been taught the importance of debriefing with the team, valuable for both one off and regularly scheduled events. Debriefing has been a key tool, enabling us to consider what worked well and what we can continue to improve on. This has been an appreciated learning experience and encourages me to consider how I might develop myself with each event we offer.

  • Artist development

Having been founded 30 years ago, Sampad has a well established reputation among both audiences and artists. A new area of work for me at Sampad was working on artist’s development. I really enjoy how the organisation maintains clear open lines of communication, offers interesting and diverse training possibilities, and keeps the wellbeing of the artists at the forefront of their minds.

  • The beauty and depth of South Asian arts

Now a year in to my role here at Sampad I have been fortunate enough to have seen South Asian arts in so many of its forms. Working with Swati Natekar who features on one my favourite tracks ‘American Dream’ by Jakatta, seeing Asameese culture on display at our annual dance showcase, and working with 5 different organisation across the West Midlands to celebrate Diwali! I really have been singing, dancing, and eating my way through the diversity of South Asia.

I’ve had a fantastic year and can’t wait to see what my future holds at Sampad!