Unlimited, the arts commissioning programme delivered in partnership by Shape Arts and Artsadmin, which supports disabled artists to create and present exceptional work across all art forms, has announced the artists shortlisted for the third round of exceptional and ambitious arts commissions and Research and Development (R&D) awards.
Funded by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012, Unlimited currently has 3 separate strands of support for disabled artists and companies to create new disability-led work – Main, Emerging and International. Applicants have now been shortlisted in each category by selection panels made up of industry professionals.
Ryde-based The New Carnival Company has been shortlisted in the International Collaborative Commissions category for their work with Embaixadores da Alegria in Rio, Brazil.
Alegria (Portuguese for joy) will bring together the 2 international carnival organisations to collaboratively produce and showcase a fully integrated Brazilian style samba school. A samba school comprises of many inter-disciplinary carnival artforms including drum, dance, costume, theatre, song and float presentation and is rarely fully produced in the UK.
Different elements of the production will be undertaken in 3 hubs across the south of England – Ryde (for the Isle of Wight Mardi Gras), Oxford (Cowley Road Carnival) and Brighton (Kemptown Carnival) during the Spring 2018 and be presented as a whole at the respective events. The entire Escola de Samba will tour to Toulouse Carnival as guests of Pourquoi Pas Nous, March 2019.
Sarah Pickthall, Chair of the International panel, remarks:
“It has been an honour to read through so many exciting expressions of interest within this new strand and to consider what incredible art, imagined now, will be developed further with Unlimited’s support.”
Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA, one of the selection panellists, comments that:
“The selection process was enjoyable as it was tough! Several of the proposals were so well put together that I was buzzing with excitement as I went through the documents. I feel fortunate to have played a role in the selection process, and cannot wait to read the full proposals of the shortlisted work.”
Shortlisted artists and companies will now develop their applications, with guidance from members of the Unlimited team, before submitting full applications in February. Successful applicants chosen by the panels will be announced in March 2017.
Jo Verrent, Senior Producer of Unlimited explains:
“The range of applications we’ve received this time is staggering – barrier breaking, intriguing, thought provoking work across all artforms and combinations, including digital. We’ve had artists wanting to create work focusing on identity, politics, climate change, isolation, ethics from artists we know, and those coming to Unlimited for the first time.
“Those shortlisted have provoked the panels with ideas that are confident, ambitious and truly extraordinary. By supporting all the artists on the shortlists, we can be assured that there will be some incredible work coming from Unlimited over the next 18 months.”