Creatives Explore

Creatives Explore is a new international strand of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme in partnership with the British Council. It provides the Fellows a unique opportunity to start exploring how transnational connections might help increase their career sustainability, connect to peers in Europe and build a community of cultural workers and artists beyond the UK.

Athens Cohort at Victoria Square Project, Creatives Explore
Spain Cohort, Creatives Explore
Visual Journal, Athens Greece. Courtesy of artist, Grace Collins

Jerwood Arts and the British Council recognise how important international collaboration and access to networks is for the development of careers and creative practices. In the current climate of change to the UK’s global context and against a backdrop of Brexit, Covid 19 and climate emergency, building links with European counterparts has never felt more pressing. 

Based on conversations with the Fellows and partners, the 2022 programme has been designed to focus on connecting to European artistic networks linked to the following themes: 

  • Representation and accessibility 
  • Climate Crisis  
  • Cultural Heritage  
  • Queer art  
  • Art activism, socially engaged art and co-curation 

The Fellows were invited to take part in the programme through:  

  • Travel grants to Ireland, Greece, Spain or Italy 
  • A digital programme including country briefings and panel discussions 

Travel Grants 

All 51 Fellows were offered funding to undertake trips of about 4 days to travel in person to Spain, Greece, Italy and Ireland in June & July 2022.  40 Fellows have taken up the offer to create their own self-directed trips, coordinated with meetings and events being organised by British Council staff in the country to tie in with local festivals and events taking place at that time.   

Digital Programme 

In addition, a digital programme is taking place to connect Fellows with British Council staff and local arts and culture professionals in Poland and Romania. The countries have been chosen as the British Council Europe has strong links to local partners working innovatively within the themes as described above.

As part of the digital programme, we have been hosting Country Briefings with British Council Arts Managers, artists and arts practitioners in Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Poland and Romania. These briefings held a space for Fellows to gain some more understanding of the cultural and artistic context in each country before their trips. These conversations were rich with insights and we will be sharing recordings of the Country Briefings with our wider audience on our YouTube.

You can watch the Ireland Briefing below or link through to our YouTube Channel here.

Read more about Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries here

More about the British Council here

Athens Cohort at Victoria Square Project, Creatives Explore

Ireland Country Briefing

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The Ireland Briefing was hosted by Liz McBain and Aoife Ward, Ireland’s British Council Arts Managers who were joined by

Cian O’Brien, Artistic Director at Project Arts Centre. For over 50 years Project Arts Centre has been a home, hub and hive for adventurous artists and audiences. What began in 1966 as a small artist-led collective is now evolving into Ireland’s national centre for the contemporary arts. Influenced, inspired and shaped by their location in the heart of Dublin’s city and the people living here, Project is committed to putting audiences at the heart of its artistic planning by supporting diverse artists to make and present work that speaks to the complexities of contemporary life in Ireland.

Ola Majekodunmi, writer/broadcaster/producer. Majekodunmi started presenting radio shows in 2014 and has been nominated for National Student Media Awards in the Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge category and for the Student Achievement Awards Ireland in the feachtas bliain na Gaeilge category. In 2018, Majekodunmi directed the short film What does Irishness Look Like?, which examined the issues around prejudice and national identity in Ireland. She is a co-founder of Beyond Representation, which seeks to bring together and celebrate women of colour in Ireland. In 2022, she started presenting a new music show, ‘Unheard’ on RTÉ 2XM highlighting black and Gaelach artists.

Ruth McCarthy, Artistic Director of Outburst Queer Arts Festival. Ruth is co-founder and Artistic Director of Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Northern Ireland’s annual international queer arts event. A queer activist, programmer, and multimedia producer for over 25 years, she is passionate about the role of film, theatre and performance as a catalyst for social change.

Spain Country Briefing

In the Spain Country Briefing we are joined by Ludovic Assemat (Head of Arts Spain, British Council), Cristina Ward (Project Manager, Spain British Council) and Joao Guarantani (Prev. Director Arts Europe). This briefing focuses on the historical, political and social contexts that have made Spain’s artistic sector what it is today.