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Archive for June, 2021

Opportunity : Creativity and Care Mini Commissions

Knowle West Media Centre are excited to launch a new programme called ‘Creativity + Care’. The programme will explore themes of radical care and pleasure activism. It will provide opportunities for creatives to explore and experience nourishing spaces of care that can support, inspire and enable their creativity. 

Mini Commissions – Round 1 

We are looking to commission four artists/creatives, working in any medium, who want to explore the theme of creativity and care with us. The first round of the programme will explore Care Languages. This takes inspiration from the idea of Love Languages (words of affirmation, quality time, acts of services, gifts, physical touch) which describe different ways of expressing and receiving love. We want to expand this thinking into exploring how we express and receive care for ourselves and others through creative practice. 

The commissioned artists will collaborate with Knowle West Media Centre (either remotely or in person) between July – October. They will take part in a care-giving circle where we explore the theme of care languages by asking two key provocations. Artists could respond to one/both of these questions, in relation to their practice:

What is a creative care practice or experience that nourishes you that you could offer up to others? 

What is a creative care practice or experience that you like to offer others, that you would like time to develop? 

This could and should be an experience/practice that you do to ensure your own care and wellbeing, or that does the same for others, and should be rooted in your creative practice/s. We are really open to what your form of creativity + care looks and feels like.

For example, do you spend time doing your hair a certain way each week? Do you take a specific walk every now and then to bring yourself joy? Do you like to cook food or dinner to show care? Do you like to play music or create a playlist for others to listen to? Do you like to create engaging art activities? Hold discussion circles? 

Artists should also consider how others can publicly participate or learn. For example, can you cook for someone and invite others to a dinner? Can you create a listening party? 

We will be looking to commission ideas which could exist across physical and digital spaces. We think this looks like commissioning 2 artists/creatives to work on ideas which can be experienced as stand alone ‘gifts’ in domestic / remote settings – perhaps these are digital offerings, and 2 creatives who might want to bring their ‘gifts’ into a physical / public setting or space (this could be at KWMC but does not have to be). 

Fee: 

  • £750 per artist/idea inclusive of VAT (4 x mini commissions are available). The fee includes 3 days at £250 per day for Design (1.5 days), Sharing (1 day), Reflection (0.5 days).

Additional Support: 

  • £50 budget for materials per artist/idea if needed. 
  • Additional budget available for access (such as travel, BSL, translation etc) 
  • Programme curators/producers will offer support with participatory practice, connecting with audiences, opportunities for exchange between artists, and overseeing documentation. 
  • KWMC can offer physical space, marketing and event support 

Who do we want to work with? 

We are interested in collaborating with those most in need of these spaces and resources – creative people who are most impacted by oppressive systems, structures and cultures within the creative sector (people who have lived experience of finding the creative sector to be ableist, ageist, racist, classist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic) and who, as a result, are often underrepresented, under-resourced and underserved by the sector.

This opportunity is open to artists/creatives based anywhere in the UK. We are also very interested in working with creative people local to Bristol and in particular, South Bristol. We would love to connect with people who are new or not yet present in the creative industries and we have experience of working with emerging artists. 

Timeline 

  • This commission runs from July – October 2021
  • Monday 12th July at 9am: Deadline for applications 
  • By Friday 16th July : We will get back to you about whether you have been selected or not 
  • Late July: Group meet up 
  • August – September: Commission Development 
  • September and October – Sharings and reflection

To apply 

1.) Read the full Artist Brief 

2.) Submit a written audio or video response in this online form.

Application deadline: 9am, Monday 12th July 2021

Commission start date: July 2021

If you have any access needs that require you to submit your proposal in another format, please get in touch so we can help you find a suitable option. All applications will be assessed according to the same criteria and submitting in a different format will not affect your chances of being selected.

To find out more

If you would like any further information or have any questions, please contact Josephine on 0117 903 0444 or josephine@kwmc.org.uk

Creativity + Care : Research and Development

Co-curators Roseanna Dias and Josephine Gyasi have spent the first part of 2021 thinking about the links between creativity and care, in preparation for a new public programme at Knowle West Media Centre launching in July. This blog post shares some of their collaborative research and development journey so far. 

Who Are We?

Roseanna Dias is a Bristol based freelance producer, curator and facilitator interested in creativity and social change. Her work draws on co-creation and approaches which centre care, working with organisations like Rising Arts Agency and Gentle/Radical. 

Josephine Gyasi is a creative producer working at Knowle West Media Centre. Freelance project coordinator and inclusion officer working with projects such as Black Girl Convention and Sun Kissed Youth. Community is at the heart of her work, with a passion for race equality and social justice. josephine@kwmc.org.uk – @josephine.gyasi 

“I feel that the group is at the forefront of a paradigm shift.” Elsie Harp

illustration of two ladies torsos both wearing purple tops, one with headphones and twists in her hair, one with her hair in a high bun

Where is the care in the creative sector?

As creative producers, curators and facilitators, we see a sector that often exploits, extracts and tokenises creatives as part of a wider system of capitalism. A culture of hyper-productivity and burnout, and a lack of space for rest, is commonplace – affecting disproportionately those who are already most underrepresented, under-resourced and underserved by the sector.

During this R&D project we’ve been focussing on ways of working that centre people and their care in order to create the conditions for co-creation and creativity to flourish on artists’ / creatives’ (not industry’s) terms. Along with our collaborators so far, we’ve been dreaming up a blueprint for the future: one where care is recognised as universal, reciprocal and central to sustainable and authentic creative practice. Through experimentation, workshops, reflection sessions, and getting creative ourselves, we’ve developed a programme called Creativity + Care that will launch in July 2021.

This June, we’re excited to launch a call out for artists / creatives to create work around our first strand of the programme which will explore Care Languages. This theme takes inspiration from the idea of Love Languages (words of affirmation, quality time, acts of services, gifts, physical touch) which describe different ways of expressing and receiving love. We want to expand this thinking into exploring how we express and receive care for ourselves and others through creative practice.

“Care’ is also a social capacity and activity involving the nurturing of all that is necessary for the welfare and flourishing of life. Above all, to put care centre stage means recognising and embracing our interdependencies.”
― The Care Collective, The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence

Our Journey So Far

It feels important to share with the world how we’ve arrived at this point and share how our research has tested out and embodied our blueprint for change. We’ve documented our process so far in our Creativity + Care Zine designed by Grace Kress from Shelby X Studios.

We’ve learnt that creating in step with artists / creatives and their needs means slowing down and practising active listening – creating opportunities for reflection and shared learning in advance of putting opportunities out into the world. Back in April we held an initial co-creation session with five artists / creatives to explore what the programme could look like, to help us design the aims and design principles for the project, and to feed into our first artist commission brief. The following creatives joined us for an afternoon of exploration:

Daniel EdmundSpeaker and presenter who advocates and speaks on topics such as; wellbeing, the issues of men’s mental health, gender inequality and race inequality. 

Elsie Harp AKA Divina Botanica – Florist and trainee flower farmer and passionate mental health practitioner, and the creator of a herbal medicine and radical self care zine – created for and to benefit the Black community. 

Grace KressCreative campaigner, illustrator and curator bringing together communities, exploring arts and activism, radical self-care and other areas addressing political and societal issues through their zine Shelby x Studios. 

Raquel Meseguer Founder of Unchartered Collective who creates theatrical encounters that explore the lived experience of chronic illness and invisible disability. 

Jae TallawahMusic maker, illustrator, visual note-taker and space curator working freelance and as MAIA’s Creative Legacy & Inclusion Lead. They curate experiences that make people feel seen and provide opportunities to heal.

During our group co-creation session we thought about:

What could we explore in this programme to do with Creativity + Care? 

What would we want to see from a commissioning brief that centres care? 

What principles do we want to see the programme uphold? 

We invited different people to hold space during the session and share their creativity and care practices – from breath work to imagining sanctuary together – the afternoon we spent together online felt nourishing and inspiring.

illsutration of woman meditating on a green background with curved graphics and thoughts in speech bubbles surrounding her

Our co-creation session also felt productive and dynamic – it enabled us to develop key words and key questions, and three main areas of work emerged, which will form three pilots for this programme. They were Care Languages, Contracts of Care and exploring the role of a Care Coordinator.

“If collective access is revolutionary love without charity, how do we learn to love each other? How do we learn to do this love work of collective care that lifts us instead of abandons us, that grapples with all the deep ways in which care is complicated?”Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

The way we work is deeply rooted in dialogue with creatives and communities – this means we are aware of (and constantly learning about) the power dynamics inherent within co-production and co-design processes. It was our desire to be transparent with collaborators about where they had power to shape the programme as we moved through the R&D process. We also wanted to ensure each part of our co-creation process was adequately resourced and supported so we paid artists to spend time reflecting on prompts before and after the session and to comment on our first draft of the programme plan and documents, which had been shaped by our discussions. 

 

illsutration of woman wearing protective clothing and hard hat, holding a clipboard and pointing in a direction

Whilst we’ve been working on this, it has sometimes felt overwhelming – like there is so much need for this work, and also the conversations and concepts that were emerging were so rich – that we needed to ensure we could give it the time, and care, required. We’ve been grateful to KWMC for enabling us to slow down the pace of our curation and production processes so that we could resist the urge to define everything too quickly. As we were revisiting and rewriting the programme aims and principles, we began to sense a poem emerging, and Love In Action, was born (which you can read in the ‘Creativity + Care‘ zine)

We are interested in both what the programme looks and feels like, as well as how we create a caring community around it. We believe that when we create these spaces in community, to feel seen, heard and in which to heal, we create something greater than the sum of its parts. 

What next?

The Creativity + Care programme launches with our Mini Commissions Artists Call Out in June where four artists / creatives will be invited to explore the theme of Care Languages with us. They will also take part in a pilot Care Giving Circle and ways of sharing their own creativity and care practices with others. Through this research we are also developing a Blueprint for Care in the Creative Industries – an evolving set of recommendations and ways of working that put care, access and community at its heart. 

“Pleasure activists believe that by tapping into the potential goodness in each of us we can generate justice and liberation, growing a healing abundance where we have been socialized to believe only scarcity exists.”Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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