Discover which UK arts bloggers have been awarded bursaries to travel to Lagos, Romania and New York
Audiences enjoying Lagos Theatre Festival 2017. Photo: British Council
We're thrilled to announce the winners of the first International Bursaries for Bloggers – a brand new opportunity for UK arts bloggers. See below for our line-up of winners, who are off this spring to travel internationally and produce new work.
Bloggers have a huge – and often under-appreciated – influence on the UK performing arts scene. But opportunities for career development and paid work are rare. To address this, the British Council is piloting a bursary scheme that allows bloggers to discover an international arts scene, make new contacts, develop their skills and get a piece of work published.
In response to our open call, we received over 100 applications from bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and writers – creating some tough decisions for our judging panel, led by Lyn Gardner. We discovered lots of talented voices – so keep an eye on our blog for some new bylines in the future! We were especially interested in bloggers who could help us provide a platform for people under-represented in UK arts and media.
"It's clear we're in no short supply of bloggers from diverse backgrounds"
"The International Bursaries for Bloggers scheme is a fantastic opportunity for writers of varying backgrounds and interests to gain international experience, whilst developing their creative skills and building a useful network abroad," says Arusa Qureshi, Editor of The List and one of our judges. "From the shortlisted candidates, it's clear that we're in no short supply of bloggers from diverse backgrounds, so this scheme is a great example of what the industry should be doing more of to encourage under-represented voices in the arts all over the UK."
The British Council supports the winners, helping them to design their itineraries and find new international arts contacts. The winners also receive a mentoring session with a member of the judging panel. The scheme is part of Anyone//Anywhere, our season to mark the 30th anniversary of the birth of the web.
If the bursary pilot is successful it may continue – so watch this space.
The winners of the International Bursaries for Bloggers 2019 are:
Discover a project: Lagos Theatre Festival
Ngaio is a writer, singer, DJ and model. She works as Inclusion Officer for Invisible Circus and Artspace Lifespace, and is a columnist for Bristol 24/7. As a journalism apprentice, she edited audio and video for BBC Bristol and she now has a radio show on SWU FM, Bristol’s leading station for young people. She feels that there’s a lack of discussion about the mixed race experience, despite its rapidly growing demographic in the UK.
Ngaio will visit Lagos Theatre Festival and interview artists to explore contemporary African culture. She’s especially interested in performance, music, fashion, tradition, politics, race and gender. She plans to produce a series of articles and investigate music, podcast and radio content. For Ngaio, this is a chance to discover herself personally and professionally through her two loves: writing and the arts.
Explore a country: Romania
Lily Levinson is a writer and theatremaker who blogs at malcolmmooney.wordpress.com and has written reviews for A Younger Theatre. She has an interest in personal, subjective and formally inventive criticism and describes her writing as being from a young, queer, feminist perspective.
For her bursary, Lily will visit Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca to explore the current, emerging generation of Romanian theatremakers working in independent theatres. She wants to find out about artists who have grown up in ‘the new Romania’: a country that has moved away from communism, has become a free market economy and has been part of the EU for over 10 years. She plans to write an article that draws comparisons with the UK scene. Lily sees this as an opportunity to complicate her own ideas about non-traditional, post-dramatic theatre in a changing UK context.
Follow your idea: Armory Arts Week, New York
Dylan is a multi-disciplinary Welsh writer working predominantly across visual arts, performance and film. He blogs at dylanhuw.wordpress.com and has published work in magazines and online platforms including Barn and O’r Pedwar. He sat on the International Jury of the Iris Prize Festival, a celebration of LGBT+ film. As a writer of fiction, he has two short stories due to be published in anthologies.
For his bursary, Dylan will attend the Armory Arts Week in New York, an annual series of events encompassing contemporary art and live performance. He will explore the relationship between visual arts, performance and the commercial art market. Dylan plans to write one article in Welsh and one in English, and to investigate creative approaches to writing about his experiences. He hopes the bursary will help him to widen his scope of work, seeing beyond his immediate parameters and producing some inspiring work.
With thanks to our judging panel: Lyn Gardner (The Stage), Thom Dibdin (The Stage, alledinburghtheatre.com), Colin Hambrook (Disability Arts Online), Sophia Jackson (Afridiziak Theatre News), Arusa Qureshi (The List), Gary Raymond (Wales Arts Review), Sanjoy Roy (freelance critic), Alice Saville (Exeunt) and Cathy Gomez (British Council).