I am sure that you have heard the term 'emerging artist', normally referring to young people, and the range of opportunities that are created in our sector to support new young voices to come through as artists and professionals. I am sure that you have probably not heard of the term 're-emerging artists', because I recently made it up.
I was an 'emerging artist' back in the day (like 2010-6), I accessed many different 'emerging artist' spaces and opportunities, in my work making theatre and was doing very well by the industry standards, I was 'in'. But I found the life of an artist too precarious as a working class, disabled young woman. Here I am with my theatre company in the Gay Pride Parade in 2015.
I made a beautiful show, it was well received and I was on the path to becoming a professional theatre maker. But it made me so unwell. Even though the sector supported me as a young artist/ producer/ maker, there was often no dialogue about adjustments/ what I might need. I gave up and thought that making art was something I couldn't do professionally. I was creatively exhausted after making my show, and for several years I stopped making work of any kind, and went back to business development and fundraising work.
And I am stepping back into that, I am re-emerging, from the pandemic, from my creative exhaustion, from my doubt, from my fear, from a sector that didn't know how to work with me ten years ago. I am no longer making theatre, I am making my first album. My voice is croaky but ready to be loud and again.
This is my invitation to Deaf/ disabled/ QPOC/ LGBTQ+/ Black/ Global Majority/ Immigrant/ working class/ neurodiverse artists.
Will you 're-emerge' with me, and take up your space in a sector that needs you?
Your voice is important, and so is mine.
And this is my invitation to all the organisations who come across this page. Will you make opportunities for 're-emerging' artists, who, had they been supported and resourced, might be what you would call a 'mid-career' or 'established artist' by now? I can help you do that. Let's do it together.