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ACVO News May 2024

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May 7, 2024

Empowering Black and POC Creatives: We Are Here Scotland Launches Impressive Creators’ Fund+ with £2,000 Grants and Mentorship

We Are Here Scotland, a Community Interest Company operating dedicated to amplifying the voices of Black People and People of Colour (BPOC) artists and creatives in Scotland, is proud to announce the launch of Creators’ Fund+.

This one-year pilot programme, supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, aims to provide significant support to BPOC creative and cultural professionals across various disciplines.

Creators’ Fund+ offers eight BPOC creative and cultural professionals based in Scotland a practical funding opportunity via a £2,000 grant each, along with 20 hours of mentoring from industry professionals with 5+ years of experience. The fund is a small but significant step towards moving things forward and maintaining a presence in Scotland that inspires future generations of creative and cultural professionals. It also aims to ignite a much-needed discussion regarding representation in Scotland’s creative industries.

Ica Headlam, founder and director of We Are Here Scotland, expressed his excitement about the launch of Creators’ Fund+:

“The Creators’ Fund began as a GoFundMe campaign in November 2020, dedicated to supporting the professional development of Black and People of Colour creatives throughout Scotland. To date we’ve successfully completed three rounds of The Creators’ Fund, benefiting 21 artists and creatives from a diverse array of disciplines.”

Ica Headlam, founder and director of We Are Here Scotland

“Each participant received individual support from experienced mentors within the creative industry, guiding them through their Creators’ Fund journey. For us the Creators’ Fund has been a significant part of the We Are Here Scotland journey and established an ethos of working that we hold dear rooted in representation and fair treatment for those in our community.”

The Creators’ Fund+ marks the next phase of growth for We Are Here Scotland, signalling not only our evolution as a Black and POC-led organisation but also our commitment to enhancing support for our community. The Creators’ Fund+ targets creative and cultural professionals and those embarking on careers within the creative industries, encompassing roles such as designers, makers, production and technical positions, event production, curation, and more. Our mission is to empower individuals in creative fields, helping them cultivate their talents, actualise their business visions, overcome obstacles, and elevate their current projects and enterprises.

With a new expanded fund and increased mentoring hours, along with an upcoming showcase this year, we’re eager to witness the enduring impact of the Creators’ Fund+ on the practitioners and creatives within our community. We extend our gratitude to Creative Scotland for recognising the significance of the Creators’ Fund and for their support in making this pilot initiative possible, and we again look forward to working with various creatives and industry mentors throughout this project.”

Creative Industries Officer at Creative Scotland, Jackie Stewart said: “The track record of We Are Here Scotland’s tailored support for Black and POC creatives speaks volumes, as their program continuously grows, providing expanding opportunities for cultural and creative professionals.

“With generous support from The National Lottery, the latest Creators’ Fund+ promises to bolster Scotland’s creative landscape even further, joining the impressive list of alumni of past Creators’ Fund beneficiaries. Through curated mentorship and funding, this initiative empowers Black and POC artists and creatives to advance in their careers. We urge those poised for this next step to seize this opportunity and submit their applications.”

The Creators’ Fund+ is open to Black and People of Colour creative and cultural professionals who have reached a pivotal point in their careers and demonstrate creative excellence and commitment to their field. Applications will open on May 7, 2024, and close on June 3, 2024. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by July 4, 2024, and will receive their funding by July 22, 2024.

A Creators’ Showcase will be held in November 2024 to highlight the work of the Creators’ Fund+ participants. This one-day event will celebrate the diverse range of creativity supported by the programme and will feature performances, food, and live music.

For more information about the Creators’ Fund+ and how to apply, please visit: https://www.weareherescotland.com/creators-fund-plus

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