As part of the wider activity around Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival last month, we organised a series of industry focused events. Festival lead Isabella Tulloch Gallego talks us through some of these events.
A key element of the Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival is the networking and wider dialogue which happens within the creative sector about disability arts and artists. As the festival usually has physical events to help facilitate this, we wanted to recreate some of this in our new online setting. COVID-19 had made being in a room together unfeasible, so we had to have a re-think and created a series of online industry-style events to open people up and answer those burning questions.
We started off the Industry programme on the morning of the Wednesday 13 January 2021 with a Brunch event, hosted by our Senior Producer Jo Verrent, which was an introduction to Unlimited. It gave attendees a chance to understand the context of Southbank Centre’s Unlimited festival within the wider work of the commissioning programme. The session was designed for new allies or people who wanted to know why and how Unlimited works. It was a chance to meet all the current Unlimited team, as well as the current remote International placements from Berlin and Tel Aviv, and meet Anna Starkey, our new Chair of the Board, who talked to us about what’s next as a Unlimited transitions into a new organisation.
Next on the Industry programme we had Unlimited Festival – Any Questions? which was hosted by myself, and was joined by Ruth Hardie and Sarah Tarry, Southbank Centre, Neil Webb, British Council, and Jo Verrent, where we discussed the programme, the curatorial process, and the relationships between Unlimited, Southbank Centre and British Council. We chatted about the changes for 2021 due to COVID–19 and the legacy of the Festival and the International relationships with our commissioned artists.
The Industry programme also held a space for people to introduce themselves and virtually exchange business cards and contact details at a Meet and Greet event, as well as three Allies focused events for our Allies network giving attendees a chance to ask questions and join an open discussion. The sessions were designed for new or existing allies within a specific field of the sector, looking closely at Music, Visual Arts, and Theatre and Dance. These were widely attended and captured for posterity by our visual notetaker.
We were joined by Ada Jusic of Creative Connections to illustrate some of these sessions.