The Mo Siewcharran Fund has awarded its latest round of grants to four dynamic, creative organisations across publishing, theatre and music: Good Chance Theatre, Mark Rubinstein Ltd, Sound and Music and Edinburgh International Book Festival.
The Fund was set up five years ago in memory of Nielsen Books’ former director of marketing and communications, Mo Siewcharran, by her husband, John Seaton and is administered by leading diversity and inclusion social enterprise, Creative Access.
Mo Siewcharran was passionate about ensuring theatre and publishing were accessible to all and the grants fund internships for talent from Black, Asian and other ethnically diverse backgrounds to improve accessibility and representation in the creative industries.
Since the Fund started in 2018, it has supported 32 Black, Asian and ethnically-diverse trainees in publishing, theatre and music across the UK. Its impact can be clearly seen across each sector: last year 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, whilst 9 out of 10 (89%) trainees continued to work in the same sector.
On this latest round of recipients, founder of the Fund, John Seaton said:
“The Mo Siewcharran Fund, now in its fifth year and having already supported over thirty interns in the creative industries, is delighted to welcome these four companies who share the same urgency in wanting to improve diversity. It is pleased, also, to extend its reach to include young people from refugee backgrounds. The quest for greater fairness continues.”
The grants contribute to the salary of an intern for a six-month traineeship, and trainees benefit from a full programme of support from Creative Access to ensure that they thrive in their new role.
London-based theatre Good Chance is an arts charity, bringing diverse people and communities together through theatre and art. Good Chance is seeking a production and communications assistant trainee from a refugee background to help the company get its international theatre and art projects out into the world through marketing, events production and social media content creation.
On being awarded the Fund, Good Chance said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Creative Access on our Stage Door programme, an opportunity for young people from refugee backgrounds to gain paid work experience in the arts industry. With the support of the Mo Siewcharran Fund, we will not only be able to reach further in our efforts to change the negative narrative around people seeking sanctuary in the UK, but we can also embed deeper the employment practices championed by Creative Access to create an industry more reflective of our beautifully diverse country. Thank you so much to Creative Access and the Mo Siewcharran fund, we can’t wait for all that’s to come!”
Mark Rubinstein Ltd, a theatrical production management company, providing general management services in London’s West End is another recipient of the grant. It will be hiring a production assistant trainee to work on the opening of Alice’s Adventures Underground, as well as the recast of TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, and overall, understand the role of a general manager.
Dave McNeilly, head of production, explained:
“This grant will enable us to offer a production assistant internship to a young person from an under-represented community and introduce them to the commercial theatre management sector. It is key that we open a door to a wider range of individuals to ensure that theatre, and the stories told on our stages, represents our society as a whole. We are excited by this opportunity to continue making positive change in diversifying and strengthening the industry.”
The national organisation for new music – Sound and Music – supports a diverse range of composers and aims to help audiences discover new music, as well as enable young people to explore their musical creativity. It will also be hiring an education and communications trainee through the Fund to help with the delivery of its programmes and learn about communications and music participation.
Its head of education, Beatrice Hubble said:
“Sound and Music are so delighted to receive a Mo Siewcharran Grant and are excited to meet our intern! We are committed to improving access and representation within the arts and look forward to learning from our engagement on this scheme to further develop our own skills as diverse recruiters across our team and the artists we support.”
The final grant has been awarded to the largest public celebration of the written word in the world, the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It will be recruiting a festival intern to support for the festival’s programming team with planning and delivering events.
On receiving the grant, the festival’s creative learning manager Catherine Jones stated:
“At the Edinburgh International Book Festival, we seek to be an open and inclusive festival that aims to showcase a diverse range of voices, from all backgrounds and ethnicities in our events. In 2023, thanks to the generous support of the Mo Siewcharran Fund, we are excited to welcome an intern into our team. We are looking forward to sharing with them our knowledge of events in the literary sector and look forward to supporting them in their career.”
The Fund is once again open for other theatre, publishing or music organisations wishing to support internships for those from under-represented communities.
Those interested in applying should contact email@example.com. The deadline for the next round of applications is 30th June 2023.