INTERVIEW: Create/Disrupt | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Create/Disrupt is a programme from The NewBridge Project designed to bring outsider creatives to the forefront and provide opportunities for working-class artists to thrive. Led by Izzy Finch, they spoke about how this initiative is necessary in our current climate.

I believe that access to the arts is a right and not a privilege. We know that arts work, for most of us, is extremely financially precarious. We constantly have this balance between that of a starving artist and that of someone who’s trying to keep their head above water, someone who shines bright under high pressure situations and has several irons in the fire all the time. It’s awful, but that’s the place that we’ve been led. I feel we must continue to challenge working conditions and protect civil and cultural rights for the growing number of people that occupy this new class of the precariat.

Those who are privileged or financially independent, are able to seek out opportunities of working in the arts, they can afford to undertake low paid internships and roles.” Izzy goes on to say. “The balance is off, and what we see as the arts and who can have access to it is a privilege. We can’t accept or perpetuate the ideology that the arts are a privilege. A career can’t be sustained on gratitude and passion alone.”

Create/Disrupt offers work space, community interaction and other varied creative opportunities for arts workers who have not come through traditional routes, such as University. “University is valuable for some people, but I don’t think it’s the be all and end all for creative industries.” Izzy comments. “We have to really examine who’s formed that and where that school of thought came from…When I was a young person, I was too busy just surviving. That’s probably common for a lot of people.”

We can’t accept or perpetuate the ideology that the arts are a privilege. A career can’t be sustained on gratitude and passion alone

Programmes like Create/Disrupt provide the chance for creatives to engage with each other and continue to learn in community-based ways as well as through practice. Izzy feels that engagement and alternative education is important for new creatives, at any age.

If you find yourself hungry for knowledge, and if you find yourself seeking out opportunities where you can learn more about anything, whether it’s creative or not, you have to seize that feeling and seize that moment. If you have that burning desire to create knowledge yourself, if you’re finding yourself in conversations, then we have to make the most of that feeling and seek out people and organisations, and ask them for things. To see organisations and individuals as useful resources of knowledge or experiences that you can go to.”

Izzy not only challenges social inequality through their own work, but invites creative workers to connect and do the same, building a more accessible space for the North East creative community.

With Create/Disrupt I’m really looking for a diverse cohort, and if people aren’t sure if it’s for them, get in touch. If any working class artists who have felt the burden of precarity want to link, I’m always keen to build a network of solidarity in the North East.”

NewBridge Project is based at The Shieldfield Centre, Newcastle. The deadline for applying to be part of the next cohort of artists for Create/Disrupt, which is supported by North of Tyne Combined Authority, is Monday 10th October.

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