Wildfire Rising

Wildfire Rising is an associate artist programme that aims to remove barriers of inequality by investing in and supporting dance artists from African, South Asian, East Asian and South East Asian diasporas to make way for the rising of their artistry, representation and development. 

The programme has now recruited three North West based dance artists, who will each take part in paid, bespoke professional development and reflection as well as receiving a £1.5k commission with support to develop their own dance work. 

Each Wildfire Rising Associate Artist will receive a total fee of £3.5k.

Who is the programme for?

The three spaces are allocated as follows;

Place one:A female artist from the African diaspora
Place two:An artist from African, South Asian, East Asian or South East Asian diasporas
Place three:An artist from African, South Asian, East Asian or South East Asian diaspora with an existing or desired specialism in traditional dances from world cultures.

Where?

This programme will take place in Cheshire, in Liverpool and online.

When?

Programme commences: Tuesday 6th July 2021

Programme finishes: End of December 2021

Aims

Through ‘Wildfire Rising’ Cheshire Dance and Movema and are committed to: 
  • Investing in and supporting dance artists from African, South, East and South East Asian diasporas to make way for the rising of their artistry, representation and development.
  • Increasing representation of artists from African, South, East and South East Asian diasporas in both of our organisations at all levels. 
  • Learning about what the barriers are to African, South, East and South East Asian diaspora artists engaging with our organisations (as participants and artists) and subsequently using the learning to develop the diversity of our organisations.
  • Reducing inequalities in dance.
  • Learning about the needs of artists from African, South, East and South East Asian diasporas and using our voices and platforms to feed this understanding into wider strategic conversations with ACE and Dance Consortia North West to ensure development of relevant support systems for artists.
  • Generating and developing trust and shifting perceptions of our organisations as places where people of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds are welcome, valued and feel ‘at home’.

About the programme

Wildfire Rising is made up of three elements:

1.£1k Bespoke Artist Development support:

Cheshire Dance and Movema will work with each individual artist to devise a package of bespoke support to nurture and develop their practice. This will be facilitated mostly by trainers and professionals from African, South Asian, East Asian and South East Asian diasporas.

Within the professional development element (£1k), we will expect Associate Artists to engage in:

-5 half days of Wildfire Rising group workshops facilitated by Movema, Cheshire Dance and other artists from the African, East Asian, South Asian and South East Asian disaporas.

-5 half days of self-directed learning,which will be supported by Movema and Cheshire Dance

-2 coaching sessions with a professional coach

-2 mentoring sessions with an industry professional from the African, East Asian, South Asian and South East Asian disaporas. (We will work with the Associate Artists to match you with a suitable mentor).

This support package will be designed in direct response to the artists’ needs/ambitions and may include activities such as:

-Personal development & confidence building -Business/organisational development -Artistic development
-Fundraising

-Networking
-Free access to studio space
-Training in world dance (particularly for place three artist)

Cheshire Dance and Movema are Executive Members of Dance Consortia North West and both can use this network to advocate and generate further support for the selected artists.

2. £1.5k commission

Cheshire Dance and Movema will award each Artist a £1.5k commission towards the realisation of their own individual artistic project.

This £1.5k is intended to be used as match funding (alongside the in-kind development support) to lever additional financial support from other sources, including potentially ACE Project Grants.

The project can be in any area of practice (performance, professional development, participation) but must have a connection to one of our communities of interest as participants, audience or beneficiaries.

Cheshire Dance currently works with older adults, people with learning disabilities, children and young people, dance and dementia, dance in health and care settings, and outdoor dance (Now Northwich International Dance and Street Arts Festival).

Movema works with young people, families, people seeking asylum, refugees and vulnerable migrants, people experiencing mental health issues and at outdoor events.

Linking the project to our programmes and one of our communities of interest enables us to best support the artists and develop practice and thus the experience for the people and communities with whom we work.

We are interested in supporting new ideas, new models of engagement, innovative and alternative practices and approaches. In supporting new ways of working we in turn develop our own knowledge and understanding whilst deepening and broadening the dance experiences available for communities.

3. £1k Reflection phase:

Cheshire Dance and Movema are committed to learning from and with the Wildfire Rising Associate Artists throughout the process. This learning is important for us to better understand the needs of artists and to develop our artist development programmes and wider offer.

£1k is available for the artist to take part in 5 days of reflective activities with Cheshire Dance and Movema that focus on our organisations, programmes and the support and development the Associate Artists have received and what is needed moving forwards.