In September 2019, Absolutely Cultured and the British Council launched an international mobility bursary for Hull-based emerging cultural leaders. These small bursaries were available to enable an international opportunity that would support professional development for emerging cultural leaders working in arts, education and civil society (including third sector, charities and community-based organisations).
Supporting the growth and development of local talent, the aim of these bursaries are to enable successful applicants to expand and diversify their knowledge, experience and breadth of practice through learning from others operating in different environments or cultures. They also provide a platform for building networks and relationships, helping to further strengthen Hull’s international connections.
Our successful applicants have now been confirmed and they would like to share how they’ll benefiting from this opportunity.
I am really excited to use this Emerging Cultural Leaders bursary to attend the Athens Digital Art Festival in 2020, a festival that celebrates digital culture and aims to promote and stimulate digital creativity. As a theatre maker and director with a specific interest in integrating digital technologies into my work, this is a very valuable opportunity to immerse myself in a wide range of innovative performances, workshops and talks that are relevant to my interests, using what I learn to develop my own practice as a theatre maker. I can’t wait to share these new experiences with audiences and artists in Hull!
I am travelling to Amsterdam as an artist to visit various cultural centres to benchmark the work of other experienced cultural leaders who are leading diversified communities. I’m doing this, especially at a time when our Hull Afro Caribbean Association (HACA) is in a transition from the “Windrush” generation to our next generation of cultural leaders. This experience, on my return, will also be shared with other “Emerging Cultural Leaders” in Hull.
I will be using my grant towards a trip to the Berlin Film Festival market, as part of a programme for film producers called Market Trader. I’ll spend three days at the festival, building relationships and securing finance for my feature film projects. This bursary has allowed me to cover the full cost of the programme and will ensure I can cover most of my expenses whilst at the festival. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to attend, so this bursary has made a huge difference in my future career as a film producer.
I’m absolutely thrilled to be using the bursary to attend the Arts and Cultural Management Conference being held at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. As well as engaging with their programme on ‘Curating Europe’, I’m excited to be presenting my own research on innovation in the UK theatre industry completed as part of my MSc earlier this year.
I am really looking forward to attending the Winternachten Literature Festival for four days in The Hague in January 2020, an exciting programme of contemporary work including poetry, spoken word and storytelling and debate that will feature writers from 10 different countries. I can’t wait to extend my knowledge of contemporary literature and gain knowledge from other literature sector professionals then bring and share what I learn back to Hull to the benefit of the city’s literature events and others involved in this work in our own literature-packed poetry city.
I am delighted to have been allocated this bursary which enables me to participate in some of New Zealand’s foremost artistic forums; e.g. travelling from Christchurch to Wellington for the ‘NZ Fringe’ – ‘Wellington’s cutting edge festival of art, from the edges’.
I will return to the UK with new knowledge and experience of a major international arts market and the capital cities’ main fringe festival; having gained knowledge, experience and yet more connections. As I intend to live, work and produce my art from Hull for the foreseeable once I return to England, this experience will be priceless as I continue to make and produce new work in our city.
I will be using the Emerging Cultural Leaders Bursary as part of my ongoing development at Freedom Festival Arts Trust to visit Amsterdam Light Festival in January 2020; this edition of the festival is focused around the theme of ‘disrupt’ and 21 artists have created new work in response.
I am interested in how to combine artist development with presentation platforms such as festivals, how to further the depth of work being presented in public spaces and in building strategic partnerships with international arts organisations and artists.
I aim to learn from artists and festivals overseas how they present this kind of digital installation work in public spaces and how they embed artist development in their work.
In February 2020 I have been invited back to Akumal Mexico to take up a residency in the towns Tortuga Escondida Residency Centre. I will be working with the local agencies to plan workshops and celebration events with the intention to bring together the community to create an intergenerational art project. During the residency I will be mentored by organisers of Akumal Arts Festival, Mexico, on how to organise an international arts festival, giving me transferable skills and knowledge that I can bring back to the UK and use in my practise as a community artist/pr.
I’m delighted to be a recipient of the Emerging Cultural Leaders Bursary. I’ll be using the grant to attend Panoptikum Theatre Festival, in Nuremberg Germany. This is a brilliant international festival of performance for young audiences, which programmes great contemporary theatre from across Europe. I’ll get to watch 22 shows, as well as attend industry seminars about making work for young audiences. The bursary will allow me to travel outside of the UK to see theatre for the first time, and marks a milestone in my professional development. I’m hoping the trip pushes my expectations of what theatre for children can be, and helps me make surprising and exciting new work with my Hull-based company The Herd Theatre.
The Emerging Cultural Leaders bursary will offer me the opportunity of a lifetime to visit Hull’s Twin town Freetown in Sierra Leone. Witnessing and taking part in the outdoor arts and carnival celebrations and events that occur around Sierra Leone’s Independence day on 27th April. I will be watching performances and connecting with other Carnival makers, musicians and street performers, in particular; producers of the Freetown lantern parade, masquerade makers and performers from the secret societies and “Poro” (via links with the National Dance Troupe of Sierra Leone). Musically I also plan to meet and learn form traditional Bubu street and processional musicians, as well as connecting with brass band musicians who work on the streets as well as via schools and education settings. My visit will inspire my work with Hull Carnival Arts in 2020 and beyond, investigating the links between Hull, Freetown, William Wilberforce, emancipation, freedom of artistic expression, and continuing to enable people of Hull to celebrate who they are through carnival arts.