Liverpool’s Black Arts organisation, BlackFest, have launched a host of new and exciting projects and courses with the aim of supporting learning and encouraging dialogue between generations across the city and the wider Merseyside area, including a professional Artist Development Opportunity.
The projects include an accessible hip-hip dance programme; a research project exploring the Black contributions to House music; and a film project designed for young people that identify as Black, exploring concepts of self-love, identity, and heritage. Applicant criteria is open to the public supporting those that are economically inactive. This is part of the WEA learning programmes and BlackFest’s educational initiative.
“We want our participants to grow, enabling them to go into further education, training or employment; having a positive impact in their lives. The courses are very inclusive and there is something for everyone – for youth, people who identify as Disabled, and intergenerational groups and individuals, who would like to explore arts and learn new skills. All generations have a lot to both teach and learn from each other and contribute to lifelong learning” – Jubeda Khatun, Artistic Director, BlackFest.
Hip Hop for All – an accessible participatory arts project in partnership with DadaFest and supported by Rationale Arts – is aimed at making hip hop dance arts more accessible for those who identify as D/Deaf or Disabled. Participants will explore dance movement, music and sounds, with a final sharing of a group performance. The workshops will be delivered virtually or at a venue in Liverpool, dependant on the lockdown restrictions.
The intergenerational research project – Origins of House – is aimed at bringing together and creating dialogue between generations through exploring the roots and Black contributions to the house music genre. Participants will take part in a research project into the Black origins of EDM and gain hands-on experience in music writing and production.
The Self-Love Film: Youth Project is designed for young people that identify as Black and will see participants use creative writing and visual arts to enable freedom of expression, whilst growing in confidence and learning skills around filming and editing.
Finally, BlackFest are delighted to be introducing an artist development opportunity for playwrights. BlackFest Writers Room will invite new and aspiring writers for the theatre to work towards showcasing that play they have started, or one that they have always been meaning to write.
Jubeda continued, “We want to invite people to write the story they want to tell, rather than a story they’ve been told they should write. The programme has been designed to give new writers the time and space to develop their writing skills and bring these stories to life.”
The BlackFest New Writers Programme has the support of Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre and the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatre, with the final plays being staged as rehearsed readings at the Everyman, working with a professional Dramaturg, Artistic Director, and actors in June 2021.
A number of plays will also be chosen for further research and development for a full production, and will be shown at the ‘BlackFest Celebration of New Writers’ at the Liverpool’s Royal Court Studio.
For more information on all BlackFest’s Writers room and how to apply, please visit www.blackfest.co.uk/artist-opportunities/.