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Chapter & Hear We Are Announce Deaf Creative Bursaries

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Hear We Are and Chapter are delighted to announce that five Deaf creatives have been awarded bursaries to develop their professional practice in Wales.

Selected from an open call for applications, each artist will be given £500, a £100 well-being budget plus the support of a Deaf creative mentor who’ll work with them to explore how they can develop their unique creative ideas. 

The five artists who’ve been selected are: Kate Evans, Maggie Hampton, Lloyd Miller, Clara Newman and Levi Slade.

Project lead Jonny Cotsen said: “Following the success of our Deaf Together festival in May this year, some of the big questions were “How can I be an artist?” and “How can I be supported?”. So, it made sense to offer support to early-career Deaf creatives to take them to the next phase of their career development with the hopes that they can showcase their brilliant talents on a bigger platform. It’s a really exciting time to be a Deaf creative in Wales!” 

Chapter’s Artistic Director Hannah Firth added: “We’re delighted to announce the shortlisted artists who all bring exciting and ambitious ideas to the programme. We’re looking forward to working closely with them over the coming months to support them to take the next important steps in their professional careers.”

About the creatives

Kate Evans is a Swansea-based photographer who hopes to link Deaf people across Wales through researching Deaf role models. Kate will work in depth with communities, collecting their stories, with the resulting multi-media images and words mapping their individual and unique journeys across the nation. 

Maggie Hampton is a writer of poetry and prose who’s based in Pontypridd. Her work covers a myriad of personal experiences including deafness, having a cochlear implant, living and working with a Hearing Dog, being a grandmother, gardening, walking in the South Wales countryside, love, family, death, Covid and more.

Lloyd Miller is a photographer based in Newport. Lloyd recently exhibited a new collage of 90 close-up ‘kitchen sink’ images and is also experimenting with pinhole photography. The bursary will enable him to invest in new camera equipment and to develop a professional website.

Based in Bangor, Clara Newman is a visual artist whose work is inspired by nature and informed by the climate crisis. Most recently she’s been exploring three-dimensional forms to articulate the Deaf experience and raise awareness around barriers to communication. 

Levi Slade is a dancer and boxer based in Newport whose work explores identity, belonging and denial. She’s keen to support and empower other young, D/deaf women, bringing them together to articulate their experiences through performance and a short documentary.

About Hear We Are

'Hear We Are' is a Deaf-led project exploring the perspectives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, particularly those working in or excluded from the creative sector. Examining how participants' perspectives and experiences can come together to make positive change, the team is working to improve access to the sector for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people by opening dialogue and creating much-needed structures of support and presentation.

Since the project began in 2021 the team, led by Deaf performance artist and creative consultant Jonny Cotsen, has worked with Chapter to establish a network of safe spaces for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people across Wales to meet, share experiences and test out creative ideas. Building regional groups, led by Deaf creative mentors, the team has helped to nurture and develop talent, encouraging a more accessible arts sector for all, with participants invited to share their lived experiences to inform and shape events.

During Deaf Awareness Week in May, the team organised a three-day event, ‘Deaf Together’, which was the first Deaf-led festival in Wales and showcased the incredible creative talent of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. It’s hoped that the festival will become an annual event with the next one planned for September 2024.

The project is made possible through Connect + Flourish funding from Arts Council Wales, and with the support of a range of partners and collaborators across Wales.

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