IGNITE Bus 2021

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Plymouth’s IGNITE Festival of Creativity returns

Award-winning festival and digital platform for city’s creative graduates returns with a new employment programme

The award-winning IGNITE Festival of Creativity will return for a fourth year to transform the city centre into a multi-venue showcase for the work of graduates from more than 30 degree programmes at Arts University Plymouth (formerly known as Plymouth College of Art) and the University of Plymouth.

Galleries, studios, pop-up shops, waterfront locations, and even a bank are set to play host to an array of inspirational artwork from the city of Plymouth's creative graduates.

Arts University Plymouth s Masters Summer Show Open 2021 at Studio 11 part of IGNITE

Arts University Plymouth's Masters Summer Show Open 2021 at Studio 11, part of IGNITE

This year sees the addition of IGNITE Future Careers, a seven-week programme of recruitment and careers activities, live and online, presented for creative graduates and students by local, regional and national businesses. IGNITE Future Careers, which will also be open to the public and run from Monday 6 June to Friday 15 July, acts as an immersive way for audiences to connect directly with employers.

Leading industry portrait photographer and Arts University Plymouth alumni Tom Oldham said: “IGNITE is an especially energised, and much needed, initiative. Connecting emerging creative talent with industry, developing employability skills, and promoting job opportunities as you leave education is paramount. I am excited to be contributing to this forward-thinking festival and enjoying some fresh and important graduate work."

University of Plymouth Illustration graduate Tatum Croft added: “Without IGNITE I wouldn’t have the job I do now. I have just released a children's picture book which all started by the author finding me on the IGNITE website.”

IGNITE Top Shop 2021

IGNITE Festival of Creativity - TopShop 2021

Local businesses and organisations have already lined up more than ten employment, training and internships for graduates, which will commence both ahead of and during the festival. They include opportunities with one of the country’s leading television production companies Twofour; award winning video and streaming experts Silverstream TV; digital media consultancy firm Eddystone Media; audio visual production company JHAV; and visual design company Nick Jevons Designs. They also span into more design-focused roles within construction and the built environment, thanks to partners from Building Plymouth, the Plymouth City Council-led partnership which connects local people with opportunities in this thriving sector.

IGNITE Bus 2021

IGNITE Festival of Creativity 2021

Dozens more regional and national businesses including A Pickled Thought, Cox London, Avant Arte, Live Recruitment, theatre practitioner Kevin Johnson, and key industry figures including BAFTA-winning immersive media specialist Catherine Allen and leading production designer and long-term Ridley Scott collaborator Sonja Klaus are also arranging inspiring talks, workshops, and paid work opportunities to launch to students across the IGNITE Festival of Creativity.

Sue Kenderdine, Head of Talent at Twofour said: "Twofour is delighted to be part of the IGNITE Festival of Creativity 2022. Twofour is a proud regional company and is passionate about welcoming, and keeping, up-and-coming talent in the South West. Our offices in Devon and London are bursting with talent, and support initiatives that help future generations find pathways into creative businesses."

Arts University Plymouth s BA Hons Interior Design Styling Summer Show at Ocean Studios part of IGNITE 2021

Art University Plymouth's BA (Hons) Interior Design & Styling Summer Show at Ocean Studios, part of IGNITE 2021

Kate Mailing, Production Manager at Silverstream TV, added: "With IGNITE’s help, we are already reaping the benefits of finding great candidates from both the University of Plymouth and Arts University Plymouth. It is a fantastic opportunity to connect with local soon-to-be graduates."

Representatives from Barclays, Plymouth Citybus, Millfields Trust, Just Enough Brave, Altitude, The Samphire Club, Outset, Real Ideas and many more businesses and organisations have already met with graduating students from both universities thanks to a networking event held last month at The Box and featuring guest speakers including Hannah Harris, CEO of Plymouth Culture.

Peter Barker, Head of the School of Design + Communication at Arts University Plymouth, said: “The IGNITE Festival, which has been running since 2019, has been a boost to graduate profile building and employability. Arts University Plymouth students have benefitted from the Ignite Futures talent promotion website, from exhibition and promotional opportunities around the city of Plymouth and from participation in business-facing seminars and training sessions. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the value of our creative graduates to the city and the incredible businesses across the region who employ them."

AUP Textile Design Summer Show 2021 at Royal William Yard part of IGNITE

Arts University Plymouth's BA (Hons) Textile Design Summer Show 2021 at Royal William Yard, part of IGNITE

Professor Chris Bennewith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at the University of Plymouth, added: “The IGNITE Festival of Creativity is an important moment to celebrate, and be inspired by, graduates from both institutions. It shows the strength of Plymouth as a creative hub and is the very heart of the iMayflower programme. This pipeline of creative talent has the possibility to not only fuel our creative industries locally, but to connect with other parts of our regional economy and drive innovation in business, tourism. healthcare and our marine sector. IGNITE provides an excellent opportunity for graduates to engage with business leaders and secure employment opportunities.”

The IGNITE Festival of Creativity, which comprises the IGNITE Futures digital platform, runs alongside Arts University Plymouth’s 2022 Summer Shows and the University of Plymouth’s Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Show. Together, they support the region’s ambition to grow its creative industries. On a national level, this sector is growing at four times the rate of the UK economyas a whole, and in 2019, contributed £115.9bn in Gross Value Added, which is greater than aerospace, automotive, life sciences and oil and gas sectors combined.

IGNITE is supported by Plymouth City Council as part of the iMayflower project, and by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund (administered by Arts Council England).

For festival and ticketing information go to www.ignitefutures.co.uk