Black arts festival ‘to bring generations together’ with hip-hop

An intergenerational House project and accessible hip-hop is among an array of projects launched by Liverpool’s Black Arts Organisation Blackfest this year.

The organisation, which celebrates and promotes Black arts and artists across the city, has announced its schedule for the year with four new projects reaching across the generations, with an accessible arts programme that includes opportunities for new creative projects in arts and writing.

The programme includes an intergenerational House music research project, a virtually based accessible hip-hop dance project as well as writing workshops and a project aimed at young people, who will be producing and editing their own films over the year.

Origins of House is an intergenerational research project aimed at exploring the roots and Black contributions to House music.

Participants will also gain hands-on experience in music writing and production and the project is being carried out in conjunction with the Workers Education Association as part of their learning programme.

An accessible arts project exploring hip-hop dance will also take place in partnership with deaf and disability arts organisation DadaFest and with support from Rationale Arts.

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The project will explore dance movement, music and sounds, with a final group performance, which will occur virtually or at a venue, depending on lockdown restrictions.

A youth project Self-Love: Film, will give city youngsters the opportunity to explore identity through film making, while a Blackfest New Writers project, with the support of Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre and the Everyman and Playhouse Theatre, will bring professional productions to the Everyman theatre later in 2021.

Blackfest artistic director Jubeda Khartun told the ECHO: “We’re really excited at the events coming through this year. It’s the first time that we’ve worked with DaDafest, which is just a really exciting collaboration.

“The courses are very inclusive and there is something for everyone – for youth, people who identify as Disabled, and intergenerational groups and individuals, who would like to explore arts and learn new skills.

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“We’re also really excited at the Writers Room, we wanted to invite people to write the story they want to tell, rather than a story they’ve been told they should write.

“The programme has been designed to give new writers the time and space to develop their writing skills and bring these stories to life.

“With the pressure the pandemic has placed on the arts industry, it’s great to be able to offer these opportunities for professional collaboration.

“Despite a tough 12 months there’s a busy time ahead for Blackfest.”

More information about the projects and how to apply is available on the Blackfest website.

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