BlackFest PILOT showcased an eclectic mix of work from a variety of Black creatives. The festival ran for a week covering music, spoken word poetry and theatre. The events will be the start of fresh active conversations and collaborations with the city’s arts institutions, community spaces to bridge the gap of Black representation and visibility. Providing a platform to grow new work, relationships and artists – Using arts as a tool for social inclusion to empower, educate and create a fairer and equal inclusive city.
The festival opened up with the Rhythms night, artists featured were Breezy Ideoyge, Dorcas Seb, and Blue Saint. Music that was showcased was a fusion of Rnb, Rap, Afro and electronic beats.
Dorcas sang soulfully works from her debut album Vice Versa covering political themes around the systems of society and dreaming for a better tomorrow. Blue Saint engaged the audience, allowing us to enter a journey of his identity, migration, culture, split personas with his album EnterMynd. Breezy an Irish born Liverpool based rapper created sound exploring spirituality in his music.
Spoken Word and – exploring themes of identity and British Black experiences, dual heritage and interactive spoken word engagement with audience. Pieces of monologues, poetry and spoken word were performed. The night featured artists such as Dom John, Paris Richards, Stephanie Robinson, Mike Egbe, Manoka, Joe Taylor.
The panel discussion highlighted lack of opportunities, systems of arts institutions that need reform to reflect people of colour at every level of organisations. Positive social change is being made through collective voices and through collaborations between artists of colour, creating long-term inclusion and diversity.
Emerging playwrights Marjorie Morgan and Addae G were given the opportunity to showcase their plays. This was a development opportunity providing the artists with rehearsal space, ticketing, marketing, technician and post show discussion.
Marjorie H Morgan wrote a verbatim play following 3 lives of Asylum seekers and refugees.
Addae G wrote a play on mental health and vandalism.