What it's like being a Council member with Sharon Walker

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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.

Q. How have you found being on the Isle of Man Arts Council so far?

It’s been really insightful getting to know more about the broad spectrum of Arts and Creativity that is happening across the Island.

Q. How vital a role do you feel the Arts Council plays in the wider artistic community?

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. 

Q. What kind of commitment is involved as a Council member?

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.

Q. You are a well-known figure on the island due to your involvement with the Performing Arts scene, how do you feel this unique perspective contributes to your role as Council member?

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.

Q. What sort of challenges have you faced in your role and how did you overcome them?

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.

Q. What kind of advice do you have for those wishing to apply to the Council?

Do it - if you’re passionate about the Arts and have benefited from them it’s a great way of giving something back.

A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government