Since shutting its doors on 17th March 2020, Camden People’s Theatre has been working non-stop behind the scenes, refocusing its efforts to provide urgent financial support for artists and its local community, two groups disproportionately affected by the Covid crisis.
Now, thanks to funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, CPT is announcing its biggest ever round of commissions to offer much-needed support to artists, with particular focus on marginalised voices. The commissions include: four Outside the Box commissions, bespoke to the Covid era, to develop larger-scale projects, nine Seed Commissions specifically for marginalised artists to develop new ideas, and six Starting Blocks artist development places for early-career freelance artists.
Welcoming submissions from artists across the UK, four brand new Outside the Box commissions are open for work which is either live, virtual, or both and which explores what ‘live performance’ can be at a time of closed theatres. CPT also welcome projects that communicate meaningfully – and promise exciting cultural encounters – with their local communities, themselves isolated in many cases by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Outside the Box commission will support R&D towards a digital or live sharing in autumn 2020 or spring 2021.
CPT commits to offering minimum two of the four commissions to artists/companies from marginalised backgrounds, many of whom have been particularly adversely affected by Covid-19 and the lockdown, including artists of colour, d/Deaf and disabled artists and artists from working-class backgrounds. The judging panel will comprise members of CPT’s local community and artists from marginalised backgrounds alongside members of the CPT team.
Additionally, nine Seed Commissions will be offered exclusively to artists from marginalised backgrounds for projects for digital presentation or working towards live performance when the sector starts to reopen. Applications will launch in August 2020 with projects delivered within 12 months. Finally, CPT will offer six places on their ten-week residency and peer network for early-career artists, Starting Blocks, which has been funded for the first time. At least three of the places will be offered to voices from marginalised groups.
To apply, artists can find out more here.
Executive Director Kaya Stanley-Money said; “We are beyond grateful to our funders and supporters who have made it possible for us to announce such an extraordinary series of commissions and community projects to support those most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. After months of crisis management we cannot wait to get creative again. Whilst we continue to fight for the survival of our organisation and the sector, these initiatives offer much needed work and professional development for a raft of independent artists and freelancers.”