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Synapse Festival, March 2021

March is a time of growth and new beginnings. Synapse Festival is our programme of events to help students and staff to develop, deliver and share exciting new projects. Over four Wednesdays in March 2021, we ran six talks, one film screening and 16 one-to-one mentoring sessions.

SYNAPSE is a programme run by the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE). We give students across Goldsmiths the tools to apply entrepreneurial thinking to their degree courses, think about their wider future, and consider the impact they would like to make in the world.

How to change the world – Corrina Antrobus
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 3 March

So you want to change the world? In a time of inequality, environment crisis and political instability, many of us want to help make the world a better place. But how to do it?

In this talk Corinna Antrobus, founder of the Bechdel Test Fest, describes how she discovered her own way to tackle gender inequality in the arts, using her skills and experience as a writer and comms professional. She will also give you some tools to find your own path to changing the world and connecting with like-minded people.

Corrina is the founder of Bechdel Test Fest, London’s ongoing feminist film festival. She writes for Empire magazine and is Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch film presenter. As part of BBC’s Black History Season, Corrina wrote and voiced an Inside Cinema documentary on filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time). She was communications manager for Picturehouse Cinemas, and is now Arts & Culture Communications Officer for Hackney, delivering Hackney Carnival and The Windrush Generations Festival.

Social media strategy (that works!) – Chasity Johnson
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 10 March

Knowing how to get the most from social media can be the difference in making your project a success. But an effective strategy is about more than being active on social media platforms – it begins long before you ever publish your first post. In this workshop, social media strategist Chasity Johnson will show you how to create a social media strategy that works.

Chasity Johnson is an Emmy-award winning social media and content strategist with more than 10 years of industry experience. She has worked with the likes of the Chicago Tribune and NBC5 Chicago and the U.S. Army National Guard. Chasity currently works as a senior strategist at M&C Saatchi London, and is an associate lecturer at Goldsmiths’ Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Write a winning project proposal – Phoenix Fry
5.00-6.00pm Wednesday 10 March

So you want to convince others to support your project? Writing a funding application or project proposal is all about connecting with the person reading it. In this practical workshop based on the Arts Council’s application criteria, Phoenix Fry will guide you through six steps to communicating your vision and building trust.

Phoenix Fry is a lecturer at Goldsmiths, British Council and University of the Arts London. He runs his own creative practice as an events producer, film curator and trainer, and has worked with the BFI, Film Africa, Barbican, London Design Festival, Lewisham Arts, Stephen Lawrence Centre and Deptford X Arts Festival. He loves writing project proposals.

Crowdfund your project through Kickstarter – Heather Swift Hunt
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 17 March

Do you have a bright idea for a creative project? Join Heather Swift Hunt, Kickstarter’s Director of Design and Technology, to discover how Kickstarter can help you connect with an audience, grow a community of supporters around your practice, and gather the resources to bring your creative ideas to life. We’ll show examples, share tools and tips to get your project started, and answer your questions about Kickstarter and crowdfunding.

Heather Swift Hunt is Kickstarter’s Director of Design & Technology. She works closely with designers and makers of all kinds using Kickstarter to bring new products to life. Based in London, she has a particular focus on growing Kickstarter’s international communities in both Europe and Asia. Before that, she worked in the field of creative technology for over a decade, as a curator and cultural producer – most recently as Executive Director of Rhizome at the New Museum, New York.

Watch party: Supermen of Malegaon
ICCE Film Club watch party on Zoom
6pm-7.30pm Wednesday 17 March

How do you make things happen when you’re low on resources? For all aspiring entrepreneurs and creatives, here’s an irresistible documentary following a team of super-low-budget film makers in small town India.

Living 300km from Mumbai, the people of Malegaon work long hours and find delight in the fantasy and joy of Hindi and Hollywood films. But cinema isn’t just escaping reality – for some locals it’s the chance to re-interpret reality itself, remaking hits from around the world.

In this short and lively documentary, we meet the team making their own version of Superman. Creating special effects with just a green bedsheet and a wheelbarrow, the team’s passion, determination and ingenuity will inspire you to apply the ‘just do it’ spirit to your own dreams.

Telling Stories: An Entrepreneurial Guide to StorytellingAshley Evenson
12.30-1.30pm Wednesday 24 March

Getting our story right can be complicated or confusing. When we are asked about what we do, or what we are trying to achieve, often we get tongue-tied and become our own worst enemy. In this fast-paced session, expert storyteller Ashley Evenson reveals tips, tricks and exercises to help craft stories of upcoming projects, ideas, businesses – or even the story of ourselves. So the next time you need to craft a pitch, introduce yourself at a networking event or launch your product, you will have the tools to craft a story that means something to you, your team, and most importantly your audience.

Ashley Evenson founded Oval Productions in 2016 as a means to create more connection through communities. After a twenty-year career writing and producing live events in the theatre industry, Ashley looked to find different uses of storytelling to build confidence and self-esteem within her clients. She has worked with universities, social enterprises, youth centres and community groups to unveil the beauty and confidence in each individual.

Business Idea Bingo
A fast paced game of bingo to demystify business idea jargon Siân Prime
6:00 – 7:00pm Wednesday 24 March

Corners, rows or full house? Siân Prime hosts a fast paced game (or I can slow it down) while we sense-check the business idea jargon – and BINGO you’re off, with all you need for your idea to take flight! A prize or three may be made for the first people to complete their cards. No prior bingo experience is required, nor a dabber.

Siân Prime is deputy director of Goldsmiths’ Institute of Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship, and academic lead for Enterprise. She has over 20 years’ experience working with social, cultural and creative organisations. She has worked as an advisor to the UK’s Innovation Exchange & the Innovation Unit, and the British Council’s Creative Economy Unit. Prior to this, she was a dance manager and expert advisor to the Arts Council in England and Scotland. But before all of that, she was a bingo caller for Butlins, Bognor Regis.

SYNAPSE Festival is organised by Phoenix Fry and Adrian De La Court. They run SYNAPSE, a programme of workshops and business development support for students across Goldsmiths to explore entrepreneurial tools, think about their wider future, and consider the impact they would like to make in the world.

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