Fierce FWD is our artist development programme for local, emerging artists. Fierce FWD has supported some of the most exciting performing artists to have emerged from the region such as Demi Nandhra, Selina Thompson and Ginny Lemon.
Historically FWD has taken different approaches. At one time it was a small cohort of artists, selected through an open application process that were taken through an 18 month development programme. Artists were supported with seed funding, space, mentoring, free access to events in the festival programme and research visits. The programme was funded by Jerwood Arts.
In 2021 we relaunched FWD as an open-access year-round drop-in programme with quarterly activity comprising workshops by internationally renowned artists and a series of Salons. The Salons were informal dinners to which we invited emerging artists working across live art, performance art and experimental theatre, dance and performance to come and break bread and share knowledge together with some of the leading arts professionals in the city. Historically salons were places where art and ideas were shared equally and informally. We wanted FWD: Salon to democratise arts knowledge, build community and generate ideas.
FWD is no longer part of our core work funded by Arts Council England and we do not receive any additional funding to make it happen which means we are unable to programme regular events or support artists to the same level we did before. We continue to seek suitable funding opportunities to enable us to support emerging practice.
In the meantime, there are still ways for emerging artists to engage with Fierce; we host workshops with the international artists we bring to Birmingham and there are opportunities to get involved with our festival and other events such as Artists Behind Bars. All opportunities are posted on our website and in our newsletter, make sure you sign up so you don’t miss out!