Tag Archives: arts council england

Kaite O’Reilly’s The Singapore ‘d’ Monologues: an Unlimited 2017 International commission

Unlimited, the largest supporter of disabled artists worldwide, unveils latest commissions with £945,000 to support ambitious artistic work

and I’m one of the fortunate.

What follows is the press release from Unlimited. I will write about my project tomorrow and my remarkable collaborators in the UK and Singapore – but this evening it is wonderful to celebrate all of the remarkable talent given this great opportunity….

From the Unlimited Press Release:

An adventurous range of projects giving voice to disabled artists producing standout work that is “must see” not “should see”

Announced this afternoon at the No Boundaries conferences in Manchester and Hull are the six new Main Commissions and seven Research and Development (R&D) awards, and forming the two new additional strands for this round of Unlimited are five Emerging Artists commissions and six International Collaboration R&Ds. These works, selected from a pool of 269 strong applications, of which 60 were shortlisted, span a wide range of disciplines, and have been created by talented disabled artists from across the UK.

Tuesday 28 March| Unlimited today announces 24 ambitious new commissions and awards spanning a range of disciplines spotlighting talented and diverse disabled artists working in the world today.

Funded by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012, and delivered by Shape Arts and Artsadmin, Unlimited has, since 2013, provided near to £1.8 million in commissions as well as mentoring support to 72 young and emerging disabled artists.

Jo Verrent, Senior Producer, Unlimited says “This year’s commissions have for the first time been divided into three strands – Main Commissions including several research & development awards, and new for this round, Emerging Artists, and International Collaborations, which see disabled UK artists working with disabled artists from across the globe. The response to Unlimited’s commissions call-out has been staggering and we are thrilled to announce the 2017 awardees from 269 applicants. The newly commissioned artists will be developing their works over the coming year and will be unveiled to the public across 2017 and 2018.”

The 2017 commissioned artists include:

Research & Development Awards are granted to:

Emerging Artists commissions go to:

Finally, International Collaborations (R&Ds) are given to:

Tony Heaton OBE, CEO, Shape Arts, says “One of my last but very pleasant tasks as the outgoing CEO of Shape is the announcement of the next round of recipients of Unlimited commissions and awards. The panels have selected a diverse and eclectic mix of work which will amaze and engage, with some surprises! I think the range of ideas we have funded will once again show disabled artists at their creative and ambitious best, so sit up and take notice!”

Manick Govinda, Head of Artists’ Advisory Services, Artsadmin, says “The third round of Unlimited commissions proves that so much exciting, provocative, political and beautiful work is being created by disabled artists. These ambitious commissions carry Artsadmin’s ethos to help develop and produce great work by artists.”

The judging panels comprised independent high profile disabled artists, curators, critics and senior staff members from organisations including Extant, Southbank Centre and Tramway.

Ruth Gould MBE, Chair, Main Commissions Panel & Artistic Director DaDaFest, says “Unlimited is without doubt one of the most significant developments in creating opportunities for disabled artists and companies to lead in the arts. By challenging and exposing artists to wider audiences and critical acclaim, as well as supporting venues and galleries to take risks, Unlimited provide a way for increased recognition and profile raising of the huge talent and creativity that the lived experience of disability presents. I am so proud to be part of this”

Sarah Pickthall, Chair, International Commissions Panel & Director, Cusp Inc., says “These are life- changing artistic collaborations for artists and their proposed projects which will impact local communities internationally and change the way disabled led innovation is experienced and understood.”

Aidan Moesby, Chair, Emerging Commissions panel & former Unlimited awardee says,”It’s essential to provide opportunities for the next generation of disabled artists to develop as professional artists and performers, and as someone who has benefitted from an Emerging Artists commission in the past I know the difference it can make to an artists practice. Not only the funded time and space to work on your ideas but the benefits of being associated with Unlimited are invaluable. My practice has developed beyond recognition over the last three years and it would be nice to think this is the beginning of any amazing trajectory for those commissioned from this panel.”


Audiences against cuts in theatres

From Nicola Merrifield of The Stage: 

Ruth Mackenzie has issued a rallying cry to theatre leaders to mobilise their audiences against imminent cuts to public funding for the arts, which are expected as part of the government’s comprehensive spending review taking place at the end of this month.

The director of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad said that theatres need to encourage their audiences, who are “more powerful” than venues, to lobby local and central government and prevent further falls in funding.

It is understood that Arts Council England is asking its funded organisations to model for 5%, 10% or 15% cuts following the CSR, and is briefing companies this week.

Mackenzie said: “The spending review is happening now, and it will be finished by the end of next week. We’ve got only days if we want to try and influence its path.”

She added: “Try to motivate particularly your super fans – those who are your absolute core. Maybe they’re your volunteers, maybe they’re parents of those that do learning and education work, because those are the ones who have a really good script of their own about why you matter.”

Mackenzie, who was speaking at the Theatres Trust conference on Tuesday, warned that one of the “great weaknesses” of past arts campaigns was that they were led by organisations rather than audiences.

“Our audiences can speak more powerfully than us,” she said. “So you’ve got, at most, a week – and in that week if you wished you could mobilise your audience to talk to your local MPs.

She said most ticket buyers for theatres in the UK were women aged between 35 and 60 – the same area of the electorate that chancellor George Osborne was “most concerned with”.

“Your greatest fans are the people he most wants to seduce,” she said.

Warning that the arts sector has been “slightly complacent” about its work being overlooked due to the prioritisation of other public services, such as health and education, by the government, Mackenzie said audiences should have been ready to act last year.

“Your audiences ought to have been ready, your audiences ought to have come out last year. We ought to have had ten million people who go to the theatre every year signing a campaign and going completely crazy just about the threat that the Department for Communities and Local Government could get a 10% cut,” she said.

Mackenzie added that arts venues should establish ways of using their community connections to create a “wonderful tapestry that shows theatre is at the heart of the community”.

“Each one of you needs to stop and reflect on what more you can do because we are running out of time,” she said.

Mackenzie has previously been artistic director of the Chichester and Manchester festivals, as well as being an adviser to government on cultural policy.

To sign up to the My Theatre Matters! campaign, run by The Stage, Equity and the Theatrical Management Association, visit www.mytheatrematters.com