Genesis Foundation gives £400K+ in project grants to arts and creative freelancers
13 May 2021
Images: Burum, Lewis Doherty c. Pamela Raith Photography, ENB (Ivana Bueno performing Talisman) c. Laurent Liotardo, Good Chance Theatre (The Walk – Little Amal) c. Nick Wall
41 projects announced in the first phase of funding
Projects span multiple genres and reach all the nations of the UK
The Genesis Foundation has announced 41 grants for arts projects run by creative freelancers throughout the UK. The grants have been allocated from the £1m Genesis Kickstart Fund, rolled out on the Foundation’s 20th anniversary with the aim of enabling outstanding freelance talent to produce future-facing arts projects.
The majority of the first batch of Kickstart recipients will receive £10,000, along with mentoring to support them as creative freelancers in an environment transformed by Covid-19. In total, the projects will involve 500 freelance professionals, and 90% of the projects will target new audiences for the art form or genre.
- Of the 41 projects:
- 15 projects are in theatre and the spoken word.
- 15 projects are in music and opera.
- 11 projects cover dance, digital arts, film and TV, visual arts, gaming and photography.
- 68% of the projects have an online component (28 projects).
- The projects cover England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freelancers in the arts have suffered particularly during the Covid period. It is estimated that, pre-Covid, freelancers formed 50% of the UK’s theatre workforce.
Among the projects to be supported by the Genesis Kickstart Fund are:
Theatre & Spoken word
Pathway for Puppeteers | Good Chance Theatre: professional development project which supports three UK freelance puppeteers to take part in WALK, an outdoor theatre piece in support of refugees. At its heart is Little Amal, a 3.5m high 9-year-old refugee girl, which will travel 8,000km from Gaziantep to Manchester with an urgent message: “Don’t forget about us.”
AMPLIFY | Tangle: an innovative training scheme run by Tangle Theatre Company for African and Caribbean technicians, sound/lighting designers, stage managers and technical producers. Participants will be supported to develop their skills in incremental steps, supported by expert mentors.
Amma | Tara Arts: Meaning ‘Mum’ in Bengali, Amma will commemorate the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the Bangladeshi War of Independence of 1971. The project involves collecting and archiving the untold stories and experiences of women in Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham who lived through the war, before developing and presenting a VR exhibition inspired by these women.
LAMDA MishMash Festival | LAMDA: In partnership with Emily Carewe, this festival is a 3-day celebration of self-created work which platforms newly commissioned pieces from a diverse range of artists at every level.
Best Seat in Your House | Young Vic: an immersive, multi-camera broadcast, designed to revolutionise the ‘at home’ viewing experience. With the support of freelancers, Best Seat in Your House will be piloting in July. Audiences will be given two streaming options, Director’s Chair or Director’s Cut, and they will be able to switch between views to control their experience.
(Both LAMDA and the Young Vic are existing programme partners of the Genesis Foundation.)
Music & Opera
Burum R & D Welsh jazz/folk | Burum: collaborative composing project by Welsh jazz-folk sextet Burum. The group will create new music that celebrates the artistic contribution of 20th Century immigrants into Wales, in particular the arrival of Jewish families to South Wales during the Second World War.
Resistance | SANSARA: multi-faceted choral music recording project, based on the story of the White Rose circle: five students and a professor who confronted Nazism and paid with their lives. Resistance is a collaboration between the award-winning vocal collective SANSARA and the University of Oxford’s White Rose Project, bringing their timely and inspiring story to English-speaking audiences around the world.
Our Future In Your Hands | The Multi-Story Orchestra: brand-new choral and orchestral commission about the global youth protest against climate change by composer Kate Whitley and writer Laura Attridge. The project brings together 38 freelance musicians who make up its orchestra, 3 world-renowned opera soloists and over 100 singers.
JUNGLE BOOK REIMAGINED | Akram Khan Company: research and development for new production, JUNGLE BOOK REIMAGINED, conceived by artistic director and choreographer Akram Khan. Utilizing animation and technology, this will be a hybrid production of the digital and physical worlds, touring nationally and internationally from spring 2022.
Troubles Generation | Seen Fifteen: a photography exhibition at Seen Fifteen, examining the legacy of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The Troubles Generation will present new perspectives on the legacy of The Troubles from photographic artists who grew up during the conflict.
The £1m Genesis Kickstart Fund was announced last October by the Genesis Foundation, in advance of its 20th anniversary this year. The project has a prestigious Advisory Council of 30 leading figures from the arts, which includes Barbara Broccoli, Benedict Cumberbatch and Grayson Perry. Members of the Advisory Council were invited to nominate artists and organisations to apply, and subsequently reviewed grant applications in accordance with specific objectives and criteria.
John Studzinski CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, said:
“I am overwhelmed but not surprised by the ambition, creative spark and energy of the Genesis Kickstart fund proposals and projects. The original logic of Kickstart in ensuring freelancers remain engaged and active is very visible in these important, wide-ranging and innovative initiatives. We want to help freelancers get back on their feet, and we are delighted that the projects are so diverse in art form, region and ethnicity. After 20 years of the Genesis Foundation, our original nurturing and mentoring framework is now more relevant than ever before.”
Actor Samuel Barnett, Genesis Kickstart Fund Advisory Council Member and 2001 Genesis LAMDA Scholar, said:
“I was fortunate several years ago, that as a young actor, my career was kick-started by the Genesis Foundation. I know that they have helped thousands of others over 20 years. This Kickstart Fund will support and encourage freelancers, who have had such a difficult time during the pandemic. It was a real privilege and a pleasure to be on the Advisory Council for this. What a brilliant and deserving list of recipients. Such an exciting mix.”
Genesis Kickstart Fund Recipients
|Organisation/Lead Artist||Main Art Form||Regions|
|Akram Khan Company (AKC)||Dance||England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, London, Touring|
|Dickson Mbi Company||Dance||Online, England, London, Touring|
|English National Ballet||Dance||Online, London|
|Sandrine Monin||Dance||Online, England, London, Regionally: Leeds|
|Jess and Morgs||Digital Art||Online, England, London, Regionally: Ipswich.|
|Blueprint Theatre and Film Company||Film/TV||Online, England, London|
|The Culture Collective||Film/TV||Online, England, London|
|Alisdair Kitchen||Music & Opera||Online|
|Burum||Music & Opera||Wales|
|Creative Juices CIC||Music & Opera||Online, England, Regionally: Manchester|
|DEBUT||Music & Opera||Online, England, London|
|Echo Vocal Ensemble||Music & Opera||England, London, Touring: Winchester, Manchester, Birmingham|
|Fieri Consort||Music & Opera||Online, England, London, Touring|
|JAM – John Armitage Memorial Trust||Music & Opera||Online, Regionally: Kent|
|John Pfumojena||Music & Opera||Online, England|
|Oliver Zeffman||Music & Opera||Online|
|Robert Green||Music & Opera||England|
|SANSARA||Music & Opera||Online,|
|Sophie Winter||Music & Opera||UK|
|Stef O’Driscoll||Music & Opera||Online, England, Regionally: Manchester|
|The Cumnock Tryst||Music & Opera||Scotland|
|The Multi-Story Orchestra||Music & Opera||England, London, Regionally: Gloucester|
|Seen Fifteen||Photography||Online, England, Northern Ireland, London, Touring|
|August 012 Limited||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, Wales|
|Birds of Paradise Theatre Company||Theatre/Spoken Word||Scotland|
|Box of Tricks Theatre Company||Theatre/Spoken Word||England, Regionally: Northern England|
|Bristol Old Vic||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, England, Regionally: Bristol and the South West|
|Caitriona Shoobridge||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, England, London|
|Good Chance||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, England, London, Regionally, Touring:|
Internationally: Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom
In the UK: Folkestone, Dover, Canterbury, Lewisham, Central London, Oxford, Coventry, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester
|Lewis Doherty||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, Regionally: The Midlands & Oxford|
|London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art||Theatre/Spoken Word||England, London|
|Sacha Wares||Theatre/Spoken Word||England, London, Touring|
|Sita Thomas||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, Wales|
|Sunita Hinduja||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, Scotland, London, Touring|
|Tangle||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, London, Touring|
|Tara Arts||Theatre/Spoken Word||England, Wales, London, Regionally: Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff|
|Young Vic Theatre||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, England, London|
|Young Identity (Wordsmith Awards)||Theatre/Spoken Word||Online, Manchester|
|_inventory platform||Visual Arts||Online|
|Valleys Kids||Visual Arts||Online, Wales|
|Whitechapel Gallery||Visual Arts||Online, England, London|