How are artists creating social change?

What is co-creation? What does it mean? How do we do it?

Can the arts operate from a place of love?

How can art be made with, by and for the people?

Join us on 15 January 2021 for The Future Is Here Festival, a day-long online event exploring how we can use co-created art as a tool for social change.

Expect to hear from artists and practitioners from Wales and beyond who are working in incredible ways, making work with, by and for the people. The future is here!How do I book?

Tickets are free and can be booked via Eventbrite

Once you’ve booked, you’ll be sent a Zoom link nearer to the event.

We want to make this event as open to as many people as possible, and understand that sometimes taking part requires additional support. If you need any support to attend please email us at [email protected] . Things we can offer include live captioning, BSL or other language interpretation and financial support towards childcare or WiFi costs.

What can I expect?

The event will take place on Zoom. The day will look like this:

10am – 11am Opening Provocations, followed by a Q&A

Provocations for the day will be given by Sita Thomas (Co-Artistic Director, Maternity Cover, Common Wealth), and Kirtis Clarke (Artist and Producer).

11am – 11:15am Tea break

11:15am – 12:15pm Aurora Trinity Collective (Cardiff)

12:15pm-12:30pm Tea break

12:30pm – 1:30pm Darren Pritchard & Chantal Williams (Rent Party, Cardiff)

1:30pm-2pm Lunchbreak

2pm-3pm Fragments Theatre (Jenin, Palestine)

3pm – 3:15pm Tea break

3:15pm – 4:15pm Albany Park Theater Project (Chicago)

4:15pm – 5:15pm Tea break

5:15pm – 6:15pm Closing Provocation: Binta Ayofemi (California)

((Keep scrolling below for speaker and company biographies.))

Sita Thomas

Sita is the new Co-Artistic Director (Maternity Cover) for Common Wealth. She is a multi-disciplinary artist working across television, film and theatre, and has a keen interest in increasing representation of marginalised communities. Sita has expertise in audio, digital and site-specific work, and is dedicated to mentoring and skill-sharing with early-career artists.

Directing credits include Under The Mask, a binaural audio drama about the NHS for Tamasha and Oxford Playhouse, We Are Shadows: Brick Lane, a site-specific audio adventure for Tamasha, and The Rose and the Bulbul, an outdoor site-specific promenade production produced by Kadam. Sita leads Tamasha’s Directors Programme.

Sita holds a PhD from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Movement Direction from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is also a presenter on Channel 5’s milkshake! She is on the Boards of Emergency Exit Arts and Young Vic, and is part of Refugee Week Advisory Group.

Kirtis Clarke

Kirtis Clarke is an artist and producer with a visual arts background working across film, sculpture and design. Currently Kirtis is based in the Netherlands and sits as one of the Core members of the Co-Creating Change Network as a freelance artist. He is an advocate for new and existing co-created frameworks that work toward promoting alternative approaches to working with communities and individuals. He regularly engages in the exchange of knowledge around where and how co-creation might exist within the arts sector, and how individual artists might also embed co-creation as part of their working processes.

Aurora Trinity Collective

Aurora Trinity Collective is an artist led group committed to creating a culture of inclusivity and creativity who value the importance of kindness and care, sharing textile and art-based practice in a safe and positive space.

In this session, the collective will share their experience of working together to build an inclusive, positive and creative space, with some activities and actions around self-care.

Fragments Theatre

Fragments Theatre is a cultural organisation, founded in Jenin in Palestine by a group of actors, filmmakers, and technicians who were inspired by Juliano Mer-Khamis, a theatre director who was assassinated in Jenin 2011.

“Fragments represents our feelings of disconnectedness. We seek unity by connecting artists amongst each other, with the local community, with other scenes in Palestine and with the rest of the world by using media and art.”

Darren Pritchard & Chantal Williams (Rent Party)

A native Mancunian, Darren is a director, producer, choreographer, and vogue house mother. Darren has 20 years of experience in the fashion, theatre, television and performing arts industries. In addition to his leadership in the infamous House of Ghetto and pioneering efforts in Black Pride MCR, Darren is also the co-artistic director for the Manchester-based arts organisation Black Gold Arts.

Darren will be chatting to Chantal Williams from Common Wealth about Rent Party, a co-created show coming to Cardiff in spring 2021. The session will explore co-creation and how you can create a touring model whilst responding to a new city and new performers. How do you take a show made in Manchester, reimagine it to represent Wales in 2021?

Common Wealth are a site-specific theatre company based in Cardiff and Bradford. The work is political and contemporary – based in the present day – the here and now. Common Wealth make work that is relevant and addresses concerns of our times.

Chantal Williams is Common Wealth’s Community Producer. Acting as a connector between people and organisation, holding people, ensuring their needs are met and encouraging strong and supportive relationships between Common Wealth and the community.

Albany Park Theater Project

Founded in 1997 in one of the most culturally diverse immigrant neighbourhoods in the United States, Albany Park Theater Project creates transformative experiences that forge an inclusive community of youth artists, adult artists and audiences to envision and build a more just, equitable and joyful world. Their teen ensemble and adult artistic team collaborate to devise world-class original theatre that amplifies and illuminates the voices and experiences of our immigrant and first-generation community.

This workshop will be a whirlwind immersion in Albany Park Theater Project’s process for devising multidisciplinary performance inspired by real-life stories. Working with stories shared by workshop participants, it will explore a range of ways to combine text, movement and sound to devise performance that’s truthful, visceral, surprising, joyful and hopeful. Participants will learn some of the approaches that APTP uses to build ensemble and community and will summon the courage to play outside their comfort zones.

Binta Ayofemi

California-based visual artist Binta Ayofemi shapes new urban forms and urban materials. Ayofemi’s uses vacant sites, from an urban meadow to a reimagined corner shop, to suggest a state of transformation. Ayofemi’s first buildings as artwork, COMMONS, GUILD, and YARD open in Spring 2021.

Ayofemi’s closing provocation will address how her work shifts accepted narratives around urban voids, seemingly abandoned structures, and economic displacement, while exploring notions of fugitivity, freedom, duration, and Black radical imagination.

Graphic Designer/Dylunydd Graffeg: Khalil Dase