Announcing Diverse Actions Leadership Bursaries recipients 2017/18

We are delighted to announce that Joon Lynn Goh and Season Butler have been awarded LADA’s 2017/18 Diverse Actions Leadership Bursaries.

The bursaries are part of Live Art UK’s Diverse Actions programme and are intended to support a new generation of ‘skilled-up’ leaders from culturally diverse backgrounds, and new models of leadership which will have an impact on the Live Art sector and across the arts.

Following an open call for proposals in April 2017, LADA received 33 proposals for the leadership bursaries. The bursaries were assessed by a selection panel made up of representatives from the Live Art Development Agency; Daniel Brine of Cambridge Junction (the lead organisation for Diverse Actions); the Diverse Actions Project Managers Afreena Islam and Salome Wagaine; and producers from the Diverse Actions Steering Group Manick Govinda (Artsadmin), Carolyn Forsyth (LIFT) and Pelin Basaran (Contact).

Between July 2017 and July 2018, and supported by awards of £10,000 each, Joon Lyn and Season will undertake self-determined, year-long programmes of artistic, professional and skills development with the aim of stimulating new ways of working, developing new contexts and discourses, and ultimately enhancing artistic practice and artistic leadership. 

Joon Lynn Goh is a Live Art producer and community organizer. Until recently, Joon Lynn acted as In Between Time’s Senior Producer and co-curated IBT Bristol International Festival for 5 years, establishing a commissioning programme for longer-term collaborations with Bristol’s neighbourhoods, and led structural changes to increase an equal playing field for artists and collaborators marginalized by the arts industry. In 2016, she acted as an Arts Council England Agent for Change for Arnolfini, Bristol facilitating a cross-departmental Think Tank around equality. Prior to IBT, Joon Lynn worked with Battersea Arts Centre, Punchdrunk, and co-founded a mobile festival DISTANCE, which presented at LIFT, Wunderbar and Homo Novus. Joon Lynn initiated and acts as a lead organizer for Citizens UK Bristol, a group of citizens working with a community organizing methodology to shape the city they live in. In 2015, they successfully lobbied and now partner with Bristol City Council to deliver a Syrian refugee family resettlement programme, which has welcomed 100 refugees to the city over the last year. Joon Lynn sits on Citizens UK's National Refugee Welcome Board and the New Citizens Leadership Team.

Joon Lynn says:

“The Diverse Actions Leadership Bursary is a very welcome opportunity to actively research and join the dots between my practice of Live Art producing and community organising. With the bursary’s support, I will explore the potential of experimental citizenship, inspired by migrant-led initiatives that are claiming and performing rights, relationships and resources that disavow victimhood and charity. If citizenship is not a status we receive, but something live that we create, how could we perform ourselves and our cities?”

Season Butler is a writer, performer, dramaturg and artist enabler, based in Bradford, working between West Yorkshire and London. Through the varied aspects of her practice she tries to understand the rules we don't know we're following, shining a light on 'normal' in an attempt to see through it. In 2014, Season won second place in the Soroptimist International Prize for novels by Black and Asian women, and continues to write literary and experimental fiction for the page, screen and performance. Along with the core members of the I'm With You collective, she uses performance to interrogate how we gesture toward an unruly future in an age of failed predictions. Lately she's been thinking about authority and authorship, and how we might be making copy-paste errors as we replicate our imperfect world in the soft white spaces of the digital. 

Season says:

“The Diverse Actions Leadership Bursary is at once a unique opportunity and a serious challenge. I hope to spend the next year exploring and generating new models of leadership, which recognise solidarity as a key element of durable change and sustainable progress, particularly among artists for whom survival is already a radical act. For me, diversity entails a collective and ongoing effort to destabilise and ultimately eliminate a subtle, cultural investment in white supremacy. Drawing from work by artists, theorists and other allies, I am excited to see what new aesthetic, emotional, political and intellectual priorities arise through a reorientation away from the primacy of whiteness.”

More information on Diverse Actions Leadership Bursaries 

More information on Live Art UK’s Diverse Actions programme 

The call for proposals for the 2018/19 Diverse Actions Leadership Bursaries will be announced in April 2018. 

Banner image credit:

Season Butler, credit Christa Holka

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