Cultural Intern Philippa Walusimbi on audience development at THSH


Here we are at the end of February and therefore month five of the internship. It has been a blast and I have had a really good time. There are only a few weeks left but there are still some bits for me to do.

The last time I wrote I was still finding my feet and learning a bit more about the ins and outs of working for a big organisation. This half of the internship I got into a flow and it was full of learning!

Holiday craft activity

I kicked off the year with a craft workshop for families. The children made their own instruments on the first day and on the second they got to make some lovely music too. We sold out on both days and a lot of fun was had by all. We had children up at the front conducting and the group following along; it was really lovely to watch. 


Socials for Under 30s

In an effort to make younger audiences feel more welcome I organised two pre-show socials where they can mix and mingle.  The first was at the Choir of Kings College Cambridge.

The next one I organised was for The Alehouse Sessions which I really loved. For the first time ever, we turned Town Hall into a pub! It was folky and fun with plenty of ales-a-flowing. 

By the way if you’re under 30 you can get tickets for £5 to all of the Birmingham Classical season, click here to find out more!


Chinese Heritage Exhibition 

Last year I produced the TAG exhibition by Ming de Nasty on our foyer. This time round it was The Chinese Heritage Exhibition which tells the stories of Chinese people in and from Birmingham, their contribution to the city and the experience of it. It was on our foyers for three weeks before and after the Chinese New Year festivities.

The Chinese Heritage Exhibition enabled us to shine a spotlight on Chinese pianist Di Xiao, described as “a pianist of awesome gifts” performing as part of the Birmingham Classical 2018/2019 season, and the Wan Cheuk Community Choir which takes place at the Chinese Community Centre every Thursday. 

Live at Five

The most recent event that I helped out with was our Live at Five event. This is a showcase of the local talent in and from our region. It’s part performance and part interview. I got to interview a folk and blues musician called Sunjay. It was a really fun experience and I got to challenge my capability to think on my feet.   The next one will be  Odmansbox and you will no doubt be in for a treat.

Next up on my agenda is Mendi Singh and Eleanor Turner an awesome fusion duo who will be gracing our foyers and you have the chance to come and see them for free! Or you may have missed it and they were wonderful.

During my time here I’ve learnt that audience development takes time and energy. I’ve also learnt that it’s important to get involved with events that I love or at least enjoy – it makes a difference.  

The rest of my projects are still in the fine tuning process but hopefully will be enjoyed by the audiences that they are for.


Looking back I can see that I have learnt a lot during my time here at THSH and it has all been incredibly invaluable. I’ve been a part of some cool projects and met some really great people, some of whom are pictured above. Thank you UoB for this opportunity and THSH for having me, best wishes to the next interns!