Artistic Resources for Working Class Creatives
Artistic Resources for Working Class Creatives
Working class creatives have been constantly alienated from the arts scene. From the discouragement due to the lack of financial security to the common misconceptions of those from a working class background, there is a huge disconnect and a lot of misunderstanding. As a working class creative myself, I have put together some podcasts, communities, and resources I have found both insightful and helpful in my own development.
Podcasts are a great way to take in information and support creatives while going about your day. What is great about this resource is how you can start anywhere in the series and not have to worry about missing previous episodes (although we highly recommend listening to them all).
What’s your working class? By Aiden Teplitzky https://open.spotify.com/show/59X3QnWPVHZgdaHcAz4lFP?si=01d0caa7d4644e42&nd=1
What Is Your Working Class? is a podcast exploring the rich variety that exists in working-classness today by talking to a range of artists, sociologists, and organisations that deal with class within their work. Each episode features a different guest talking about their work and covering subjects such as working-class representation, the complexity of meritocracy, class shame and pride, and how class intersects with gender, race, and sexuality. I recommend starting with the episode Bethan Jayne (but I may be slightly biased).
Women Working Class Podcast https://womenworkingclass.com/podcasts/
Supported by the Arts Council and Heart of Glass, these podcasts form the third phase of the Women Working Class project, which focuses on the lived experience of female working-class artists in the UK, and investigates how art, space, and class interact to reinforce or subvert dominant values.
The Proper Class Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-proper-class-podcast/id1585947086
Working class and queer actor Laura Checkley (King Gary, Screw) and working class theatre director Hannah Chissick (Little Wars) discuss and celebrate all things working class. Each week they are joined by a different guest who grew up working class. They talk about their journey and rise to where they are now, celebrating their success and hopefully inspiring a few along the way.
Begin the world over again https://walktheplank.co.uk/project/begintheworldoveragain/
Conceived during CV-19 lockdown, this podcast to use the radical thoughts and actions of the past – as documented within the Library’s collection – to prompt new thinking and share it through a suite of six podcasts. The podcasts covers a range of themes from what the welfare state should look like in the 21st century to challenging institutionalised racism within the context of Black Lives Matter.
Have you heard George’s podcast? https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/have-you-heard-georges-podcast/id1436036246?ign-itscg=30200&ign-itsct=podcastreview_podcasts
The award-winning and critically-acclaimed podcast from George the Poet delivers a fresh take on inner city life through a mix of storytelling, music and fiction.
Being a working class creative can be quite isolating, as the arts can sometimes be viewed as inaccessible. This selection of organisations and communities put a strong focus on the working class creative but not only providing opportunities, but a sense of belonging.
Working Class Creatives Database https://www.workingclasscreativesdatabase.co.uk/
The Working Class Creatives Database aims to facilitate a space that puts working-class creatives at the forefront; A space for conversation, connections, and sharing of opportunities, skills, and knowledge. This database is about creating a community amongst working-class artists and encouraging greater representation of the working-class experience within the arts.
Stage Sight https://www.stagesight.org/
Stage Sight’s vision is to create an off stage workforce that is more reflective of our society today, inclusive of ethnicity, class and disability. These roles can be anything from stage management to theatre technicians to members of the creative team. Stage Sight showcases good practice and success in this area. They are a collaborative network that is open to everyone and free to join.
All Change https://www.allchangearts.org/
For over 35 years, All Change has been bringing artists and communities together, producing original and authentic arts projects and experiences, which develop understanding and make connections between people.
They work with people of all ages and backgrounds, especially those who may not usually have the opportunity to participate in the arts. All their projects are cross art form and interdisciplinary, co-created with exceptional artists and communities. They are committed to using the arts for social change and believe that creativity is a valuable life skill and that involvement in the arts can make difference to individuals and communities.
Black Gold Arts http://blackgoldarts.co.uk/about/
Black Gold Arts is a Manchester-based arts organisation working predominantly with working-class people of colour, the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. They aim to get often overlooked voices, stories and hidden histories seen and heard. This is done through film, dance, song, visual art, theatre or any other artist’s medium.
Finding resources when you are a working class creative can sometimes be quite difficult. With lots of fees, not everything becomes accessible. The resources below focus on inclusivity.
Women Working Class https://womenworkingclass.com/about/
This web resource considers ways that we ‘drag up’ to navigate art spaces, and operational ways to make art spaces more accessible to lower class people. The group will also look to break down the language of the often inaccessible art world and instead give space for women of these classes to be heard in the arena.
ACAVA provides useful information for artists and creative practitioners about funding, grants, residencies, fellowships, open calls, work opportunities and wellbeing.
Creative Lives In Progress https://www.creativelivesinprogress.com/articles/directory
Creative Lives in Progress (formerly Lecture in Progress) is an inclusive creative careers resource, on a mission to transform the way emerging talent access, understand and connect with the industry. They have put together helpful information, tools and recommendations, from inspiring podcasts and documentaries to the latest funding schemes to apply to.
Ella Baker School of Organising https://www.ellabakerorganising.org.uk/resources
Ella Baker School of Organising offers imaginative new training materials based on concrete examples of social struggles in the UK. It aims to re-establish and re-politicise a culture of activist education and training to encourage transformative union and community organising for a more democratic, more equal and more sustainable world. All of their training materials are available here for you to view, download and deliver
Smashing it – working class artists on life, art and making it happen https://freelancersmaketheatrework.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Smashing-It_A-Guide-to-Applying-for-Funding.pdf
Filling out forms is not fun for any creative, especially when it comes to applying for funding. Sabrina Mahfouz breaks down the process along with examples to make the whole process a lot simpler.
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