Backstage at The Lowry: Francesca Hoare – Policy & Development Intern

As an English Literature graduate that has worked in several professions I felt like I had been running an uphill marathon. Armed simply with my relentless determination, unperturbed aspirations and unwavering sarcastic wit I often felt like I was fighting a losing battle. For the majority of my life I have been spoon fed the ‘how to guide’ on living – this is where to go to school, this is your uniform, these are your set books. Nobody ever mentioned what happens when the marathon ends. You reach the finishing line, family friends waving, congratulating you on your achievement – and the unknown awaits you. Who am I? What do I want to do?

I started working at The Lowry in February on a six month internship, and as the weeks ticked by I quickly began to see that the race had only just begun. I’m surrounded by passionate people that make the 9 till 5 an enjoyable and rewarding way to spend your time. I work in the Development department – otherwise known as ‘fundraising’. From day one I haven’t had a minute to spare, and I have enjoyed each moment. I have whittled down mounting emails, tackled troublesome guest lists and organised sporting events – of which I still don’t think I quite understand the rules of play.

The majority of my time has been spent updating all of the records within the Development department, asking for donations for our charitable causes and correspondence – there is a lot of post! Watching shows, meeting choreographers and artists oh and the odd actor has seemed too good to be true. On my daily commute I have worn my lanyard with pride, working for an arts venue that is as successful as The Lowry often attracts attention and I have enjoyed overhearing Metro commuters discussing The Lowry. ‘Is it a gallery?’ ‘Is it a theatre?’ ‘Is it a charity?’ The answer is it’s all three, and more. The commitment that The Lowry has to its surrounding community is exemplary, and nurturing young talent by helping those who are disadvantaged is at the forefront. Working in the development department has opened my eyes to the world around me and the possibilities it holds.

I will be sad to leave the place that has become a significant part of my life, but I look forward to the new possibilities that are next in line. I will take all of my experiences and use them to fuel the next leg of my sprint.