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PROJEKT ELEVATE will identify and support 3 migrant artists to develop ideas for co-created work for their own communities, focusing on artists who consider the Mercury Theatre to be their local theatre.

The Mercury Theatre is one of 3 theatres, also including the Rose Theatre and Royal & Derngate, working in collaboration with PROJEKT EUROPA to support a total of 9 migrant artists across the UK.

Following an open call-out, PROJEKT EUROPA will commission the artists and provide artistic and dramaturgical support as they develop their project concepts. These commissions will broker new relationships between local migrant artists, the theatres and their communities, with a view to create co-production opportunities of participatory work between PROJEKT EUROPA and theatres across the country.

Artistic Director of PROJEKT EUROPA, Maria Aberg, says:

“I am thrilled to be working with the Mercury Theatre to amplify international voices. We want to elevate migrant-led co-creation projects, to encourage artists to make bold, ambitious work for and with their communities, in collaboration with theatres they may not have had a relationship with before.

By working with migrant artists and communities we will support, inspire and empower them to ensure the future strength and resilience of our theatre sector.”

Creative Director of the Mercury Theatre, Ryan McBryde, says:

“We’re overjoyed to be collaborating with PROJEKT EUROPA on this venture, which will be a brilliant addition to our established talent development programme. By investing in authentic new voices today, we build the cultural mainstream of tomorrow. I can’t wait to meet the artists that apply for this programme – I have no doubt they will be exciting, diverse and challenging in all the ways that great theatre storytellers should be.”

PROJEKT ELEVATE is part of PROJEKT EUROPA’s new ambitious programme supporting and promoting the working of over 40 migrant artists across the UK. The programme also includes:

PROJEKT EMPOWER – a mentorship scheme which will pair 10 emerging first generation migrant theatre makers with 10 of the country’s most successful migrant artists in a 5-month programme designed to build a community of support and inspiration across the country. The mentees will be discovered through an open callout and will be partnered with one of the following mentors: Mehmet Ergen, Anna Fleischle, Kaisa Hammarlund, Thusitha Jayasundera, Arinzé Kene, Ingrid Mackinnon, Lucian Msamati, Hyemi Shin and Caroline Steinbeis.

PROJEKT ENCOUNTER – a 20-week community engagement programme for first generation migrants in Kent who have little to no previous engagement with the arts. Building on PROJEKT EUROPA’s previous work in Canterbury, they will collaborate with a leading artist to develop and deliver an ambitious programme of workshops, with the aim of building an informal community ensemble at The Marlowe Theatre. PROJEKT ENCOUNTER will reach and connect with historically underserved communities, specifically those with no existing relationship with theatre.

The call-out for applications to PROJEKT ELEVATE opens on Mon 7 Feb, more information coming soon.

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