For our 2019 festival, Fierce secured funding from Diverse Actions to enable a group of Artists of Colour to attend the festival as part of our Fierce LAB cohort. Fierce LAB artists receive free tickets to all festival events they wish to attend, free access to workshops, as well as having travel, accommodation and daily per diems covered.
In consultation with the Diverse Actions team, and in response to many conversations with artists recently around the labour of application processes and direct competition with peers, we are piloting a different approach. We asked eight Artists of Colour whom we have deep working relationships with, and who have a strong understanding of Fierce, to personally nominate artists for the LAB programme. We asked them to consider the following things when they decided their nominations:
- Artists who have not previously heavily engaged with Fierce (i.e. never been through our commissioning programme, artist development programme, or attended more than 3 editions of the festival)
- Artists who are at a stage in their career which means this opportunity has the potential to deeply impact their practice and growth as an artist.
- Working in one of the following art forms; live art, experimental theatre, experimental dance, contemporary performance, performance art, experimental cabaret, art activism, social engaged practice, club performance, performance installation.
The LAB cohort will be hosted throughout the week by LAB Host Suriya Aisha. Suriya was part of our artist development programme Fierce FWD in 2017, during that edition of the festival show host POC and disability meet-ups. We are really pleased to continue our relationship with Suriya this year as LAB Host.
LAB artists are not required to deliver any outputs, and are asked to engage with the festival on their own terms, designing their own schedule of activity. We will be delighted to welcome our LAB cohort to the festival next week, and we hope they have an inspiring and useful time