Nasima Begum, Jack Sheen, Yusra Warsama, Remi Adefeyisan, Naqqash Khalid, and Caroline Ward (Photo credit: MIF).
Nasima Begum, Jack Sheen, Yusra Warsama, Remi Adefeyisan, Naqqash Khalid, and Caroline Ward (Photo credit: MIF).
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Manchester International Festival selects six artists to receive world class training, funding, and support

Six Greater Manchester-based artists have been selected for an opportunity to learn from some of the best artists and practitioners in the world in a scheme launched by Manchester International Festival.

The chosen artists, who are within the first ten years of their creative practice, reflect the rich diversity of the festival programme with work spanning poetry, film, music, theatre, technology and visual art.

The Jerwood Creative Fellowship programme will offer each of these Manchester-based creatives a £3,000 bursary and the chance to gain a unique insight into the international artistic processes and networks behind MIF commissions and productions.

Each artist has been identified as being at a pivotal stage in their career to develop new knowledge, experience, skills and networks. Whilst on the programme, the chosen artists will support and encourage each other to share their practice, knowledge and learning as they progress.

The artists to receive the Jerwood Creative Fellowship bursary are:

  • Jack Sheen is a conductor, composer and pioneer of contemporary music. He has worked already with many of the world’s leading composers and in 2017 became the RNCM’s youngest ever Junior Fellow.
  • Remi Adefeysian is a rapper, producer and founder of Truth Be Told theatre company, a collective keen to platform the narratives of black, minority and working-class communities.
  • Poet and producer Nasima Begum, member of the MIF Youth Forum and past participant of MIF’s dance and spoken word project Breathe, explores her own personal stories of intersectionality.
  • Theatre maker, actor and writer, Yusra Warsama, explores expression and experience through challenging the relationship between audience and performer.
  • Moving from the stage to the screen, Naqqash Khalid also pushes the limits of the form and genre of medium.
  • Caroline Ward crosses the boundaries of medium altogether working across moving image, science, design and sound.

Speaking of her feelings about being selected for the scheme, Caroline Ward said: “The fellowship offers a unique opportunity to immerse in cutting edge original work, I know of no other opportunity quite like it.”

Over a six-month period, the artists will be matched to one of the commissions for MIF19, which takes place 4-21 July and features new work by artists, including Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah and Skepta. They will have unique access to the creation process, including the chance to attend international rehearsals. There will also be opportunities to share their learning through peer to peer interaction and develop a series of events with colleagues and friends.

Jack Sheen said of the programme: “This Fellowship is going to be a huge learning curve for me, taking my work as an artist and a curator into much more expansive territory alongside some really brilliant young artists.”

Naqqash Khalid also expressed his excitement at the opportunity: “The Festival curates and produces such bold, interdisciplinary work – it is a privilege to be involved, and to have the opportunity to experience it from the inside.”

The Fellowship scheme is a key part of MIF’s journey towards The Factory, the major new arts space being developed in the heart of the city that will be operated by MIF.

As well as being a world-class cultural destination for visitors from across the globe, The Factory will play a significant role in the life of the city and the people living here, through its pioneering programme of skills, training and engagement, developing the next generation of creative talent.

For more details, visit: mif.co.uk/my-festival/creative-development/jerwoodfellows

Written by QWEERIST editor

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