By British Council

26 October 2020 - 09:59

These questions were answered by a participant of the Creative Spark program, Zhamilya Jumadilova, Head of Teaching and Methodology at the Zhurgenev Kazakh National Academy of Arts.
According to her, the reason is trivial – graduates face the reality and are not ready for it. Traditional jobs in cultural and art organisations are limited, fixed salaries are not competitive and do not suit young professionals. Few of those who just recently left the walls of alma mater can feed themselves with art.
At the same time, she notes that creative entrepreneurship might be a good solution to the age-old dilemma of serving the art and "daily bread". Moreover, today the country has created good organizational and legislative conditions for entrepreneurs and freelancers, however, the lack of knowledge and skills in this area is still great.
“We see this in our students and graduates. Some quite or work ineffectively, because they do not know how to manage their work and take advantage of all the opportunities provided by the state today for the development of entrepreneurship".
Zhamilya Jumadilova knows about practicing musicians’ issues very well. She herself used to work in musical groups for many years.
“Yes, my 1st degree was a musician, I play violin and viola, I worked in musical groups - orchestras, ensembles. I facilitated musical projects - festivals, tours of musical groups. Since 2011 I was invited to teach at the Zhurgenev Kazakh National Academy of Arts. I develop art management curriculum, and also, I am a teacher and education manager. I headed the methodological department, the institute for advanced training, educational and methodological management, conducted seminars and trainings for teachers and workers of cultural organisations".
Since 2018, Zhamilya Jumadilova has been leading the Creative Spark program at the academy in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London and Impact Hub Pilot Almaty.
This project gives chances to create workplaces for students and graduates, to learn entrepreneurial skills and thinking, but also, to help stay in profession, do what they love, while earning decent salaries and bringing more benefits to the state and society. And this is the most important thing in my opinion”.
She noted that being a part of the Creative Spark programme she realised that creative minds require a special approach in learning entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is not exactly what the majority of young artists aspire to at the beginning of their journey. It is quite difficult for them to structure their thoughts, but not figuratively, and to build schedules, and make financial plans. Teaching entrepreneurship at an art university differs from teaching it at a business school. But creative entrepreneurship classes at Goldsmiths University showed me that it is possible. Goldsmiths teachers introduced us with a unique methodology and a philosophy of teaching. We understood and felt what it means “to be in the flow” and that only staged and very thorough work can lead to good results. It seems to me that this is purely English thoroughness in work, the habit of thinking and “building for centuries”. Such a delightful trait! We should definitely learn this!”.
For notice, 15 academy teachers were trained in creative entrepreneurship and 3 of them went to the Goldsmiths University. Also, over 2 years, 30 students took part in trainings on creative entrepreneurship with UK and Kazakhstani trainers, including some trained teachers.
During these trainings, attendants developed entrepreneurial ideas. Two of them later applied for the Atameken Scientific and Production Enterprise competition. Their startups received 500 thousand tenge as a grant. Now they are busy with their own entrepreneurial projects - a felt shop and a photo studio. We are proud of our enterprising creators! Then, over 70 students took our creative entrepreneurship trainings within the walls of the Academy in October 2019. Those training were conducted by the Academy teachers. It is especially pleasing that 2 participants of the Big Idea Challenge competition of entrepreneurial projects have become finalists from Kazakhstan”.
At the same time, Zhamilya Jumadilova believes that professional associations play an important role in the development of any economy branch, including the creative one.
Professional associations are developing a regulatory framework, examining curriculums, and coordinating NPP Atameken. It is this kind of association that acts as a locomotive and operates on a permanent basis, which is necessary for the development of the creative economy. However, we should pay attention to the association members. It should not duplicate the existing creative associations of cinematographers, theatrical figures, artists, etc., which are engaged with primarily creative issues. But it should include trained managers and lawyers who improve the regulatory framework in the industry and coordinate the actions of government agencies, education and the real sector in the modern economic system".
It was also important that Creative Spark has created an environment and an understanding of the need to develop entrepreneurial skills among creative people at the Academy of Arts. The program receives support and attention from the Academy management, in particular, "Creative Entrepreneurship" discipline is included in the master's curriculum for 2021-2022. This means that it will be studied in-line in all educational programs.
To recall, Creative Spark is a five year initiative to support international university and institutional partnerships to develop enterprise skills and creative economy across seven countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) and Ukraine through UK support.