2020 Fierce events have been cancelled due to COVID19, but we’ll be back soon!

Fierce one of 50 arts organisations to be funded to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellow

  • The role at Fierce will be for an Assistant Curator (Performing Arts) who will work alongside the Artistic Director in researching and planning the next edition of Fierce Festival as well as contributing to other public programmes and projects. The role will open for applications in January.
  • The programme is targeted at applicants from low socio-economic groups, who are under-represented in the arts and cultural sector

Fierce is to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellow as part of a programme to get more people from low socio-economic backgrounds into cultural careers. Across the UK there will be 50 exciting opportunities to develop a career in the arts, with each role playing an important part in the host organisation. Fierce is welcoming applications for the role of Assistant Curator (Performing Arts), which will involve researching, planning and producing the next edition of Fierce Festival with specific responsibilities for curating our programme of talks and workshops at the festival. Independence will be encouraged in shaping this programme, with the Artistic Director, Aaron Wright, acting as a mentor for this process.

Even before the pandemic wreaked havoc on career prospects in the arts, those from middle-class backgrounds were 2.5 times more likely to end up in creative occupations than their working-class peers. This is a situation which has not improved since records began in 2014. Social mobility is a greater issue in the cultural sector and wider creative industries than across the economy as a whole. The wider creative industries have created over 300,000 jobs over the past five years, yet the number of creative workers from working-class backgrounds has increased by just 33,000. Just as with the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, it is expected that those who are already finding it difficult to make their way in the arts will be the worst hit by the impact of covid-19.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries aim to redress the balance by funding 50 paid, year-long artistic and creative Fellowships as well as an organisational development programme run by people make it work to embed inclusive practices for the host organisation, with three members of the host team taking part, including a board member and a senior executive.

This is the fourth edition of the programme, which has been running for over 10 years and has 125 alumni to date, many of whom have forged successful careers. This edition of WJCB is the largest yet, with support from Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, and PRS Foundation.

Lilli Geissendorfer, director of Jerwood Arts, comments,

‘I’m delighted that Fierce has been selected to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellow. Fierce applied to be part of the programme before COVID-19 had been identified, so it is heartening that making their organisation more diverse and inclusive is still high on their agenda despite the additional challenges they are facing. It speaks to the resilience I have been inspired by from all corners of the arts and cultural sector in recent months to find the silver linings in the bleakest of times and commit to creating a stronger sector that everyone will benefit from.’

Aaron Wright, director of Fierce comments,

‘We’re delighted to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursary at an exciting time for Fierce as we approach the next edition of our festival. I am particularly excited to draw on my own experience as alumni of the very first creative bursary programme that ran in 2010 and hope i can create the very best opportunity for the new candidate. I’ve seen first hand the seismic impact it can have on someone’s career. We are particularly pleased that in this round eligibility criteria has been relaxed so that applicants don’t need to have been through higher education to apply’.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-2022 programme is designed and produced by Jerwood Arts. It is funded and supported by Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, British Council, Jerwood Arts and PRS Foundation

For further information please contact Aaron Wright at Fierce on aaron@wearefierce.org

Notes to editors

Jerwood Arts

Jerwood Arts is the leading independent funder dedicated to supporting outstanding UK artists, curators and producers to develop and thrive. We collaborate with organisations across art forms to imagine a more sustainable sector. Our programmes provide transformative opportunities for early-career individuals through awards, fellowships and commissions, and we present exhibitions in our gallery in London and on tour nationally.