The Mo Siewcharran Fund has announced the latest four grant awards; to charity The Poetry Society, Worcester-based Vamos Theatre, inclusive children’s fiction studio Storymix, and independent publishers, Oneworld. In its fourth year, the Mo Siewcharran Fund continues to support a unique breadth of organisations within the creative industries in its mission to enable young people from Black, Asian and ethnically-diverse backgrounds to break into publishing, theatre and music.
The Fund was set up in memory of Nielsen Books’ former Director of Marketing and Communications, Mo Siewcharran by her husband, John Seaton and is administered by Creative Access – a leading social enterprise specialising in diversity and inclusion. The grants contribute to the salary of an intern for a six-month traineeship and a full programme of support from Creative Access to ensure the trainee thrives in their new role.
Since the Mo Siewcharran Fund started in 2018, it has supported 27 ethnically-diverse trainees in publishing, theatre and music across the UK. A recent report into the impact of the Fund by Creative Access found that two-thirds (63%) of interns supported by the Fund stayed on at their host organisation at the end of their traineeship and 9 out of 10 (89%) trainees continued to work in the same sector where they did their traineeship.
Speaking on the Fund’s impact and the latest round of recipients, John Seaton said:
“In its fourth year the Mo Siewcharran Fund continues to do its bit to make workforces in the arts more ethnically diverse, representative and fairer. It is thrilling to be associated with four such vibrant and en rapport companies as these. I am sure the interns will all have a wonderful and beneficial experience and will be supported via Creative Access to thrive in their careers”.
The Poetry Society is a charitable organisation which champions poetry for all ages. It is looking for a publishing & participation trainee to join the team. On receiving the Fund, Judith Palmer, Director at The Poetry Society says: “With the support of the Mo Siewcharran Fund, The Poetry Society is delighted to be able to work with Creative Access to offer a new dedicated publishing and participation trainee. The Poetry Society has a long history of working with young poets to transform their confidence and creative skills, and of widening access to poetry. We’re excited by the new opportunity this presents to make positive change to strength and diversify the arts sector workforce.”
The second recipient, Vamos Theatre is the UK’s leading full-mask theatre company. Vamos is seeking a learning and participation trainee to learn about the power and connection of mask theatre based on real life stories. Executive Producer at Vamos, Claire Morton comments: “We are thrilled to have been awarded funding from the Mo Siewcharran Fund. The grant will enable us to offer an internship within our Learning & Participation department to a young person from an under-represented community and we are delighted by the prospect of positive change this will bring to us as a company and to the young person’s future career. Support from Creative Access will help us take important steps in developing Vamos Theatre as a more representative arts organisation, impacting on our planning, our processes and working towards a more diverse future workforce. We look forward to offering our intern the best possible experience and a valuable stepping stone to the next stage of their career”
Storymix Studio – a fiction production company focusing on Black, Asian and ethnically-diverse voices in children’s fiction – have also been awarded the Fund. Jasmine Richards, Founder of Storymix states: “Finding and supporting BME talent is fundamental to Storymix’s mission of improving representation in the children’s book industry – both on the page and behind the scenes. We are a relatively new venture. The Mo Siewcharran grant from Creative Access will give us a much-needed intern to support our ever-growing book list and an opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise with a BME professional at the start of what we hope will be a long career in publishing.”
Finally, this is the second time that London-based independent publishers, Oneworld Publications, have received a grant from the Mo Siewcharran Fund. On receiving funding again Publisher and founder Juliet Mabey says: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Creative Access once again. They have made, and are continuing to make, such an important contribution to the campaign to increase diversity and inclusivity in the creative industries. We are especially grateful to the Mo Siewcharran Fund for their financial support in this work, which is facilitating publishers in their efforts to transform our industry so that it more truly represents the readers we serve.”