Local artist and The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre’s Associate Artist, Connor Allen, has successfully received a £20,000 award from the Live Work Fund from Jerwood Arts.
The fund received over 1,200 applicants and Connor is one of just 33 artists across the UK to have been successful.
Connor will be using the funding to set up a collective of professional black artists working across various artistic disciplines, of all ages and based in Wales. The collective will support the development of artists during the challenges faced due to the current pandemic including mentoring, sharing and supporting each other’s practice as well as providing increased representation and professional opportunities for more black artists to grow and progress. Members will work together to learn and develop as well as to give back to the arts community and inspire the younger generation of black artists in the making.
The Live Work Fund has been created in direct response to the impact the Covid pandemic has had on self-employed artists across the UK and is the result of four major arts funders (Jerwood Arts, Wolfson Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Linbury Trust) coming together to award a total of over £660,000 to successful applicants.
About the bursary and project Connor said “My growth as an artist and the development of this project and my collective idea wouldn’t have been possible without the Jerwood bursary and the support of many organisations such as The Riverfront who have been instrumental in my success since me becoming Associate Artist.
“I believe that the impact of my collective idea can be exciting and influential on the landscape because it will allow artists of colour in Wales the opportunity to develop themselves and explore their craft alongside my own exploration throughout 2021. This has the potential to nurture the next wave of exciting Welsh artists of colour which in my opinion is awesome and so much needed.”
Since graduating from Trinity Saint David as an Actor, Newport-born Connor Allen has worked with companies such as The Torch Theatre, Sherman Theatre, Tin Shed Theatre and National Theatre Wales. He joined The Riverfront Theatre & Arts Centre as Associate Artist in 2020.
During the past 12 months, despite the difficult circumstance the pandemic has created for artists, Connor has written and performed multiple pieces across South Wales including Dom’s Drug Prayer as part of Sherman Theatre’s Ten and The Making of a Monster at Le Public Space’s Right Now Online Theatre Fest. He was also commissioned by Literature Wales to create an online album of creative mediums, 27, a collection of thoughts from his life, the journey he has been on and the lessons he has learnt.
Olivia Harris, Creative Producer for The Riverfront said “We’ve been working with Connor for some time now and are delighted his talent has been recognised with this bursary. He truly deserves it and we can’t wait to see where it takes him and go on this journey with him.”
To find out more about Connor Allen and to keep up to date with his upcoming work, visit https://www.connorallen.co.uk/