About us

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Our History

BlackFest is a grassroots Black Arts festival piloted and founded in 2018 by Co-Founder, Artistic Director Jubeda Khatun. The annual combined arts festival platforms, empowers and develops work by Black artists across community spaces and established venues running at the end of September. The programme includes music, theatre, film, visual arts spoken word and poetry across community spaces and established venues. The Festival answers a crucial need in the city’s cultural offering, celebrating Black arts and bridging the gap between institutions and the marginalised communities they represent. BlackFest encompasses active conversations and collaborations breaking status quo with artists, communities and venues.

Our Mission

To cultivate and nurture work from Black Artists and communities. Reflecting the dual identities, multiple experiences and narratives not seen and heard. Putting the lens to stories that are political, social, economically and emotionally charged that simultaneously intertwine to bring together our identities of what it means to being Black and British in the UK today.

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Vision

BlackFest is committed to Black Arts, programming and education, collaborating with artists, organisations and the community to encourage the creation, appreciation and access to the arts. We seek to nurture a vibrant arts community, foster artistic excellence, and bring people together for powerful shared experiences that inspire a social change in the ecology of in arts in Liverpool.

Beliefs and Values

BlackFest aim to educate, empower and improve equality in the arts. Ensuring we do this with integrity, resilience and become a collective voice for change.

Equality – Use arts as a tool enhancing wellbeing, equality, diversity and inclusion in the city’s arts institutions and community spaces through representation and visibility.

Empower – Celebrate Black arts and experiences from authentic lenses through creativity and community participation. Reflecting the city’s growing multicultural communities and artists providing an inclusive platform showcasing their talents.

Educate – Fostering artistic development of emerging and aspiring regional artists. Developing communities and providing quality, diverse opportunities, shared artistic experiences for all, inspiring participation in the creation, understanding, and access to the arts.

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Our Board Members

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Jubeda Khatun
Executive Artistic Director

Jubeda is a theatre maker and workshop facilitator. She is dubbed a future leader of tomorrow and alumni of the Artistic Director leadership programme delivered by a cohort of theatres Talawa, Tiata Fahodzhi, Freedom studios https://www.adleadership.co.uk/leaders. She has worked at the Everyman Playhouse theatres in Outreach in 2013, her most recent work was delivering workshops in schools and youth organisations for 20 Stories High and been part of The Big Theatre Youth project. She’s curated an exhibition at Liverpool independents Biennial in heritage arts and leading poetry workshops for The Lowry Salford in schools and CAMHS organisation, Royal Exchange Manchester and International Slavery Museum.

She is the Co -Founder, Executive Artistic Director of BlackFest a grassroots Black Arts festival in founded in 2018 in Liverpool. She has worked in partnership with and delivered the festival at Liverpool’s prominent arts venues and community spaces such as Everyman theatres, Unity Theatre, Philharmonic Hall, Bluecoat, FACT, International Slavery Museum and Blackburn House and directed 3 shows in house. She has been featured in Liverpool’s Echo newspaper as the woman determined to make Liverpool’s arts institutions more inclusive https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/many-institutions-not-reflect-city-16853176 and now on the Power List: Of the 100 most influential people in Liverpool. https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/power-list-100-most-influential-17891840

 Insta and FB: @blackfestcreatives Twitter: @fest_black, Insta: jk_credo_ , Twitter: @JK_Credo www.blackfest.co.uk

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Pari Richardson
Co-Artistic Director

Pari Richards is a multidisciplinary artist based in Liverpool. Graduating with a degree in drama from Liverpool Hope University in 2016 and undertaking further training at Rose Bruford Drama school in 2017. Pari has been acting, writing and performing across a number of projects and platforms. Pari has been involved in BlackFest across numerous projects such as the BLM Soundscape and is now a proud member of our wonderful board of directors. Credits include: “Son from Sudan” – Afterthought, Various projects with Altru drama & “The Elasticated sound system” – 20 stories high. Alongside his theatrical work, Pari has a passion for drama- influenced education and has worked with various theatre companies including Altru arts, facilitating workshops and performing in Theatre In Education projects for young people. Pari also writes and performs his own spoken word poetry independently, credits include: Afro hub poetry slam, “A lovely word” – Liverpool Everyman and playhouse, & “Spoken word London”.

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Manoka Mbolokele
Director

Manoka is the Dave Chapelle of the arts in Liverpool he’s a poet, performer, singer and BA Business Management student at The University of Liverpool. Manoka has been in many theatre productions with Award-winning 20 Stories Theatre Company which include Promises (2015), The Elasticated Sound System (2016), In Time (2017), and Indebted (2018). He has worked with organisations such as Off the ground and Tmesis theatre to take part in theatre productions like Suits (2016), Daydream Believers (2017), The Drunks (2017) and Hamlet (2018). He is one of the first to receive a Golds Arts Award and he has been awarded the young achievers award by the Steve Biko Foundation. Manoka was part of the BlackFest ‘Hear Me Now,’ Production held at the Everyman Theatres. Performing from the ‘Hear Me Now,’ book of audition Monologues for Black and Brown actors where he played the ‘First Black Prime,’ which he fit right into! Followed by his performance of ‘The Mbolokeles,’ generational piece at BlackFest Spoken Word night at the Bluecoat. He is proud to take on a key leadership position with the organisation to become the youngest Board of Directors in BlackFest history. To Manoka this role symbolises his progression with the company from actor to Board of Directors. Finally, Manoka is ready to use this role and platform to champion the progression of black individuals within the arts sector.

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