Job Title – Mr Wilson’s Project Producer
Company – Mr Wilson’s
Job aim– To lead and deliver Opal’s Comet and increase the capacity and skill set of Mr Wilson’s management team.
Reporting to- Company directors
Closing date for applications: 5pm, 13th May 2022.
Interview dates: wk comm 16th May.
Timeline for post– immediate start til end of Nov 2022
Freelance fee – £6000 (approx 25 days)
Flexible working options, working independently with face to face meetings in the NW and West Yorkshire, temporary role with possibility of extension and development.
How to apply– Please provide a cover letter with full contact details including address, out-lining your suitability, along with a CV of previous work and 1 professional reference. We are happy to accept any part of this application in video format, but please send this as a URL link rather than a large attached file.
Send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm, 13th May 2022.
Please note we are an equal opportunities employer and are keen to promote this role across sectors and communities. We encourage applications from people from protected characteristic groups defined in the Equality Act 2010. We also recognise the barriers that arise from class and socio-economic status and will seek to go beyond our legal duty to ensure that our management team reflects the diversity of contemporary England.
Company history and background for the role
Mr Wilson’s was established as a creative company in 2015, in response to the high demand and success of our flagship project, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.
Creative directors, Will Lenton and Sonya Moorhead are driven by a desire to share beautiful, original, high-value experiences with audiences, in the public realm. We believe we can change the course of people’s days for the better with really good music, stories and lots of colour. We really love what we make and we all have a lot of fun doing it.
We have toured extensively, both across the UK and internationally; working across the public arts and commercial sectors, developing a business model that is both financially sustainable and creative. We have collaborated with programmers and other arts practitioners to create new and exciting live and digital events and also deliver educational experiences.
This model has served us well and kept us afloat and match-fit during a few really difficult years. We have been able to look after our people and take stock during the pandemic, with support from Arts Council England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As a team, we prioritised holding kith and kin together, and made conscious plans for the future.
These plans include increasing the variety of our creative output (see our Dream Up, Play Out trailer), establishing a healthier work/life balance for everyone, reducing our environmental footprint, and increasing the capacity, skills set and diversity of the managing team.
The first project to integrate these renewed values is Opal’s Comet.
Opal’s Comet is a new outdoor performance project, conceived and written by Sonya Moorhead and produced by Mr Wilson’s. In November 2021, a maverick crew of musicians and artists took to the high seas of the Leeds/Liverpool canal in Burnley where several motifs from Sonya’s original short story were brought to life as part of the project’s R&D process.
Artists Steve Gumbley and Andy Plant created a sculptural response to the Summer Prince’s Golden Barge. This was accompanied by live performances of a newly composed song cycle to celebrate The Harbinger Fayre – a fictional calendar event that celebrates the changing seasons.
The activity of the extended crew- whether navigating the boat, setting up dinner or playing music- was witnessed and enjoyed by passing public; creating a durational performative spectacle.
Opal’s Comet is a total delight to perform and encounter but it also offers audiences time to reflect; a beautiful and serene image where our collective grief is vouchsafed as we move forward.
An exhibition of the work in progress took place at IOU studios in January 2022 and documented the tone and content of project so far. You can find out more about the project here: www.mrwilsons.org.uk/project/opals-comet/.
We have since successfully secured 6 programming partners and Arts Council Project Grant funding to support the delivery of a live tour between August – November 2022. This tour will visit canals in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester Wigan/Leigh, Rochdale and Burnley. We want to offer this live work to audiences who live within the communities immediate to the canals in Lancashire and Yorkshire. The post-industrial communities who were disproportionately effected by the pandemic. The tour also includes the digital offerings of a short podcast series and a downloadable carol book of the original song cycle, arranged for community choirs.
We would like to begin working with a freelance producer as soon as possible, in order to deliver this project successfully. As most of the creative content for the show is already made, the producer will help us with the logistics of planning the tour along side our programming partners, the C&RT, community choirs and artists, so that the live event days are amazing, run smoothly and on schedule. The producer is welcome onboard the canal boats journeys at those events, but it’s not essential to be available for all performance dates. They wont be required to drive a canal boat. The producer will also make sure that the digital elements of the project function well and are shared widely across platforms. We really hope to meet someone who is energetic, who shares the vision of the project and who relishes the challenge of taking live performances into unlikely places.
As part of the projects evaluation we’d like to work with the producer to identify ways to extend this role and to ultimately increase our capacity for creative delivery into the future.
Responsibilities of the role include:
- Developing working relationships and clear lines of communication with artists/creative team, programming partners, community music groups and other external partners to develop the project.
- To develop schedules and manage the logistics of the project’s delivery.
- Work with our company manager to draft and issue contracts and fees.
- Provide regular updates to the Artistic Director on project progress.
- Booking team travel arrangements required, sourcing appropriate production options within the budget available and ensuring everyone has the information they need.
- Attending team meetings and other meetings as required.
- Develop the project budget in consultation with the directors.
- Manage the project budgets, including developing forecasts and resolving any variations.
- Ensure that budgets are always up to date.
- Regularly update the Company manager in an agreed, suitable format to enable the efficient processing of payments etc.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting
- Ensure that each element of the project is properly evaluated and that the necessary information is available for grant monitoring and evaluation. This includes environmental impact reporting with task time dedicated to monitoring and making suggested changes to reduce the companies environmental impact.
- (Desirable) As a company with a large on-line reach, we would also like to meet a producer who can help us gain greater understanding of digital data collection to inform the future development of our business model.
- As a company, we are also in a period of change relating to company governance. Depending on capacity, experience and insight, we might additionally request that the producer feed into this process.
- During this period we will be working to resolve and identify funding avenues to grow our team more permanently and further extend company capacity. We might ask the producer to reflect on their experience of working with us and feed into this process.
Essential skills and experience required:
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Strong administrative skills
- Keen organisational skills
- Full driving licence
- A positive, can-do, enthusiastic attitude towards outdoor, community facing work.
- Ability to work on own initiative to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines.
- Confidence to drive a creative team in order to get the best results for a project.
- A desire to understand and promote our company’s work, ambitions, ethos and culture.
- Experience of developing and producing projects of scale to completion.
- Experience of project management softwares and IT systems.
- Experience managing budgets and demonstrable financial literacy.
- An understanding of both technical, logistical and creative processes involved in outdoor project management.
- Experience of analysing data for marketing/research/audience patterns/ evaluation
- Understanding of the wider arts sector in the UK and internationally.
- An understanding and lived experience of the local communities we will be working along side during this project.
- An ambition to work with Mr Wilson’s on future projects, developing our role within the local and national cultural ecology.
- Experience delivering and promoting digital projects.
- Experience of liaising with wider press and PR professionals on campaigns.
- Experience of developing governance within small organisations.
We are open to emerging producers, or applicants moving into the arts sector for the first time, in order to give more experience to the right individual. We really value enthusiasm. We are a family team and company care is a priority for us. We understand that people have caring responsibilities and we’ll be flexible to meet those needs. Please do get in touch with Artistic Director, Sonya Moorhead, via the email address above, if you have any queries about the role or project.