The Mo Siewcharran Fund has awarded its latest round of grants to five outstanding, creative organisations across theatre, music, dance and the arts: BoyBlue, MAYK, Platform, Good Chance Theatre, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Fund was set up six 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, publishing and the arts were accessible to all and the grant funds internships for talent from Black, Asian and other ethnically diverse backgrounds to improve accessibility and representation in the creative industries.
This round includes the awarding of funds to train an individual from a refugee and migrant background who will gain paid experience in the arts, via Good Chance Theatre.
Impact of the Fund
Since the Fund started in 2018, it has supported 40 Black, Asian and ethnically-diverse trainees in publishing, theatre and music across the UK.
On this latest round of recipients, founder of the Fund, John Seaton said:
“From two different theatres, to an arts centre, from classical music to hip-hop, the range of companies the Mo Siewcharran Fund is assisting in the latest round is exhilarating. It could hardly be more diverse. And yet these companies, located in Bristol, Glasgow and London, are united in one crucial aim: to make the workplace in the creative industries fairer and more accessible to the under-represented. My thanks to these brilliant companies for their pursuit of that challenge and to Creative Access for the vital role they play in the process.”
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.
This year’s list of recipients includes the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. With a mission to enrich lives through orchestral experiences that are uncompromising in their excellence and inclusive in their appeal, James Williams, Managing director said:
“Having an intern in the RPO has proved to be a hugely beneficial relationship for both us and the successful candidate. Interns are catalysts for innovation, bringing vitality and diverse insights. Their contributions extend beyond the present, shaping the very fabric of our organisation. This invaluable experience not only enriches their skills but also serves as a pivotal stepping stone for their future careers in the dynamic realm of music. We are immensely grateful to the Mo Siewcharran Memorial Fund and to Creative Access for their support and we look forward to working with them over the course of 2024 and beyond”
Platform, an arts centre in Glasgow’s east end, offers a year-round programme of performance, music, visual arts and participation, and brings together communities and artists. The trainee at Platform will gain hands-on experience as Performing arts and communities producer. Upon receiving the grant, Creative director Matt Addicott said:
“We are delighted that our application for a Mo Siewcharran grant to support an intern from an under-represented community has been successful. We are committed to increasing opportunities for people who are under-represented in the arts and look forward to working with Creative Access to recruit and support the role here at Platform as part of our programme team.”
Another recipient whose work embraces different creative disciplines to reach communities, is London-based theatre and arts charity Good Chance Theatre. The trainee at Good Chance will enter its Stage Door programme as Admin and production assistant. Hannah Harding, Development and communications manager, said:
“The continued support of the Mo Siewcharran Fund has been transformative, allowing us to reach further in our efforts to radically improve accessibility and opportunities in the industry for people seeking sanctuary in the UK – a mission deeply aligned with that of Creative Access – and challenge harmful narratives about refugees. Thank you to both Creative Access and the Mo Siewcharran fund for their unfaltering belief in the programme and efforts to help us make the industry more reflective of our wonderfully diverse country.”
The Fund is proud to support organisations across the UK, including Bristol-based live performance organisation, MAYK, which makes space for a holistic, long-term approach to creating memorable experiences that are accessible to lots of people. The trainee at MAYK will learn how to produce live events, as Assistant producer. Co-director Matthew Austin said:
“We are so thrilled to receive support from the Mo Siewcharran Fund and Creative Access. We care deeply about opening up new routes into the cultural sector for young people who are often excluded from opportunities, and this funding will help us offer a supportive, creative context in which new talent can thrive.”
Also receiving the Fund is hip-hop dance theatre company, BoyBlue. Shaped by a multi-generational, multicultural community, this east London based company will host a trainee administrator. The trainee at BoyBlue will learn the ins and outs of operating an arts charity. BoyBlue’s Executive director, Jo Stendall said:
“We are pleased to partner with Creative Access to provide a trainee position within Boy Blue and are very grateful to the Mo Siewcharran Fund for supporting this appointment. The training and support programme that is provided by Creative Access was a key factor in our decision to apply to this fund and we look forward to the process of meeting our new colleague.”
Announcement: Creative Access and John Seaton welcome applications for the next round of the Mo Siewcharran Fund, which is open to 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 Friday 28th June 2024.