Sharon Walker is Chairman of MADF and member of the Isle of Man Arts Council. Sharon has been involved in amateur theatre, both on and off the Island, for over 30 years. A passionate advocate for local drama, she has appeared in numerous productions with Service Players, Parker & Snell Productions and Hog The Limelight. She has also been involved in shows with both the Manx Operatic Society and Douglas Choral Union. Sharon joined the Arts Council in January 2019.
It’s been really insightful getting to know more about the broad spectrum of Arts and Creativity that is happening across the Island.
It’s absolutely critical. Particularly in the current economic climate - there are many projects that just simply wouldn’t happen without the support from the Arts Council. It isn’t just about funding - it can be promotion or networking and people in touch with the right people to make their project happen.
Time wise it’s not too onerous in respect of meetings but like everything you get out of it what you put in. Very worthwhile time can be spent going to performances and exhibitions to support the applicants who’ve received Arts Council funding.
It’s really important to ensure a broad spectrum of Arts are represented on Council. My involvement in drama means I can empathise with other performers/directors/producers who are looking to stage work for the benefit of the Island.
The hardest part is not being able to help everyone. In a time where funding and sponsorship has been cut from a lot of corporate donors the Arts Council is the only place for people to turn to. When reviewing applications I really try to look at how the funding will benefit not just a one time event but longevity the funding may have. Being able to support creatives who are struggling in the current COVID-19 situation has been particularly rewarding.
Do it - if you’re passionate about the Arts and have benefited from them it’s a great way of giving something back.