This month sees the official launch of We Are Here, a new creative platform supporting and amplifying the voices of BIPOC artists across Scotland.
Founded by Aberdeen-based creative practitioner Ica Headlam, the Community Interest Company is a vital new addition to the Scottish arts landscape and has already been praised widely for highlighting a number of notable BIPOC artists and creatives across its social media platforms.
The platform will also be used to show the importance of representation and equal treatment within the arts including conversations about racism within the UK.
Headlam explains: “We Are Here Scotland came about through my sheer frustration of seeing the constant a lack of consistent BIPOC representation within Scotland’s creative industries whilst also
recognising that there needs to be a platform in which we are given the chance to showcase ourselves, connect and seek funding and grant opportunities.
For me, it’s been a number of things being located in Aberdeen that can often mean that the work I’ve done over the years doesn’t come under the radar of interest from other cities in Scotland.
I’ve also struggled to get any press within Aberdeen even though I have hosted a podcast for two and a half years promoting North East artists and creatives. I’ve had a lot of conversations with BIPOC artists and creatives and we have all noted that we face constant barriers in terms of funding and employment opportunities within Scotland. There are also hurdles when it comes to the recognition of our work and people not valuing our time.”
We Are Here is making moves to create a fund with a recurring monthly application in which two BIPOC artists/creatives can apply for a one-off £500 grant each towards their practice and professional development. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to work towards this. The We Are Here Creators Fund provides applicants with funding opportunities that will help them progress in their professional development whether that be funding for:
– New equipment
– Individual projects
– Collaborative projects
There is also an aim to make sure that as many parts of Scotland are reached as possible and it’s not just Scotland’s central belt (which can become saturated) that is the focus.
There are further plans to create online events to provide people with knowledge, skills, and networking opportunities for the community and to pay its panellists fairly.
People are encouraged to contribute or get involved if they have skills and time they feel would be beneficial for the organisation.
The GoFundMe for We Are Here Scotland’s Creators Fund is now live. To donate, please visit: bit.ly/WeAreHereFund