Call Out for Black Artists Development Co-Creation Programme and £10,000 Commission

EMBAA (East Midlands Black Arts Associated) in partnership with Derby CAN (Creative Arts Network) is calling you to sign up for this new exciting Black Artists Development Co-creation Programme. 

Performance Makers – read about how you can apply below.

How, when, what and who?

6 participants will be selected for:

- A development programme designed for individual black artists to interrogate your practice, strengthen skills and consider how co-creation can sit at the heart of your work with an attendance bursary of £225 for each participant.

- On completion of the development programme all participants will be in receipt of a £10,000 commission each to work on a co-creation project with the community of their choice in Derby to be completed by Sept 2022.

Application deadline: Thursday 20 January 2022 by 12pm.

About EMBAA & Derby CAN

EMBAA was founded by Donna Briscoe-Greene in 2018 to provoke and support the decolonisation of the Arts scene locally through consultancy, performance and audience development, as well as Artist training and mentoring.

Derby CAN is an Arts Council, Paul Hamlyn and University of Derby-funded, multi-partner three-year programme that is looking to invest in artists who are interested in making work with communities and enabling community voice at the heart of arts and culture in the city of Derby.  

Black Artists Development Co-Creation Programme partner logos

About The Programme

This exciting programme aims to provide training, networking and continuing professional development to Global Majority Artists new, emerging or experienced freelancers to address the systemic imbalance regarding opportunities for work and development within the sector, whilst demystifying the process of how to have a successful career in the arts.

We seek theatre & performance makers who will interrogate the process of 'co-creation' working closely with local community groups. 

We invite you to try some things you’ve never tried before, work with some people you’ve never met, explore how this extends your practice and how together we can work with communities to create lasting impact and experiences. 

This will be addressed by the diverse range of highly skilled, experienced professionals working in the industry leading each session. 

BSL Intro

Workshops & Dates

These 6 sessions will be hosted by Artists from the Global Majority and will be held on Zoom from 31st January – 23rd February on Monday’s and Wednesday’s from 11am – 1pm.

All sessions must be attended to be eligible for the commission.

Wellbeing Toolkit with Buckso Dhillon-Woolley

Monday 31 January 11am – 1pm

Buckso is an Actor, writer and life coach “speaking to actors and performers to embrace their TRUE essence, find their voice and ALWAYS live and speak THEIR truth!

Buckso has collaborated as an author on 3 self empowerment books and has been in the creative industry for over 10 years.  Buckso qualified in coaching in 2017 and has assisted many in overcoming personal challenges and achieving individual and life goals through motivating, inspiring and encouraging with support, tools, skills, advising of pitfalls and looking after mental health especially when navigating through uncertain times.

Buckso's Online Academy for The Conscious Performer also specialises in the need for a more supportive, safe space that tackles areas of the industry that are not spoken about with the desire to bridge the gap especially in education and arts training institutions.

Funding Pathways & Producing with Ameena Hamid

Wednesday 2 February 11am – 1pm

Ameena Hamid has been heralded as “a true role model to the future generations” by Official London Theatre and is the youngest producer currently working and youngest ever female producer on the West End.

Ameena is passionate about championing stories and people from diverse and different backgrounds in the industry and the work she producers aims to 'bring people of colour, LGBTQ+ and those who identify as disabled or differently-abled, working-class people, regional artists, women and genderqueer theatre-makers to the forefront both on and off the stage.'

Ameena is a creative producer, festival curator and facilitator who has recently been working on two productions as Producer with her company Ameena Hamid Productions: The WIZ (currently playing at HopeMill Theatre, Manchester) and as Co-Producer with Tuckshop on Dick Whittington (all-drag panto for adults, Charing Cross Road, London.)

Ameena Hamid Productions also implements a research and development policy and is currently supporting several new plays and musicals.

Principles of Co-creation in Digital Work with Halima Malek

Monday 7 February 11am-1pm

Halima Malek is a Gloucester-based poet and long-time friend of Strike A Light where she makes exciting projects happen in the community. During lockdown, she worked with her local community, encouraging people to write and record their experiences.

Halima recently presented at the Battersea Arts Centre for the Co-Creating Change Festival as creator of 'She Spoke' poetry and how to co-create and deliver online during the Covid-19 lockdown.

This poetry project Halima co-created with the community online has now developed a legacy of both in person and online continual development as a safe space for women from different faiths, backgrounds and cultural communities to come together and take ownership of their own creativity and space.

Performance Work & Co-creation with Darren Pritchard

Wednesday 9 February 11am-1pm

Darren Pritchard is an acclaimed dancer, choreographer and director (Mother of the House of Flava, House of Ghetto, Black Gold Arts, Black Pride MCR) who has recently been working as director and writer for ‘Rent Party’ as part of the moving roots creative touring network by Battersea Arts Centre.  

This is a piece of co-created theatre that also explores a co-creation   national touring model for stage and live performance across the UK and empowerment of co-creation for artists, creatives and local people to channel creativity and impact the way they see their communities and the community hears their voice.

Darren was also appointed to a new National Task force in 2020 by HOME Manchester to strengthen the influence of the self-employed theatre and performance community

Inspiration with Matthew Xia

Wednesday 16 February 11am – 1pm

Matthew Xia is a theatre director, composer, broadcaster, journalist and DJ. His latest project has been directing The WIZ by Charlie Smalls & William F Brown (Ameena Hamid Productions showing at Hope Mill Manchester / Chuchu Nwagu)

Matthew has also been working at Fringe and large scale theatres across the country and has also appeared in numerous national and international publications.

Matthew has an extensive CV working as an independent director and for major UK theatres like The Royal Exchange Manchester, Young Vic and Theatre Royal Stratford East. 

During his time at The Royal Exchange he established the Open Exchange, an artist development scheme with over 400 next generation theatre-makers funded by the Esmee Fairburn Foundation.

Matthew is currently the Artistic Director of ATC (Actors Touring Company) and is an Associate Artist at the Nottingham Playhouse. He is a founding member of Act For Change, a trustee for Cardboard Citizens and Artistic Directors of the Future.

Outdoor Performance with Jeanefer Jean–Charles

Wednesday 23 February 11am-1pm

Jeanefer is a creative director and producer of large scale performances, opening ceremonies, stadium events, outdoor spectacles, carnivals and parades. 

Jeanefer has over 20 years' experience and is globally respected.  Her company Jeanefer Jean-Charles & Associates are industry leaders and her unique creative approach 'to large scale multiple artform events draw together and bring to life, talents, strengths and shared stories of individuals, organisations and cultures, in inspiring and unforgettable ways.' 

Jeanefer has worked extensively across community engagement, education and professional training settings and on bespoke projects. Some examples of Jeanefer's learning and participation work have incorporated the national curriculum, been co-created for multi-generational groups, gender based relationships and address disengagement from society.

Jeanefers recent work which was touring in 2021 was titled 'Black Victorians.' A dance performance inspired by nineteenth-centurary photographs of black men, women and children 'exploring a complex, but often forgotten black presence in pre-windrush Britain...' 

Step 1: The Development Programme Criteria

As we continue to grow an ecology of artists who are passionate about Derby, who view it as a place to see work, make work and engage with new ideas - we invite you to become a part of it.

Where From?

You do not need to currently live in, or have lived in Derby, but we are looking for artists and performance makers who have an understanding and knowledge of the city, the communities it serves and its heritage.

The projects you devise will be made with communities in Derby so you'll need to be able to be accessible to those people physically in Derby when you make your commission. 


This training is specifically for Global Majority artists; meaning all people who identify as black or global majority and is inclusive of those who also identify as Global majority deaf/disabled, neurodiverse and all genders including anyone who identifies as Global majority trans and/or gender diverse.

More Information & Access

All who meet the above criteria are welcome to apply and if you would like any more information, please feel free to contact who can connect you with one of the team or representatives from the CAN network for an informal chat.

We will provide suitable access provisions, in consultation with the people we work with, so please do let us know in your application if you would need any provisions put in place to help you access this online course and to take part in the commission.

You must ensure, before starting your application, that you are able to commit to all the workshop dates posted above.

Please note there is no additional travel budget available.

Step 2 - The Application

To apply, please provide either two sides of A4, a video or a voice note of 4 minutes which answers the following questions:

1) Tell us your thoughts on co-creation and how it might impact on your practice. (300 words/1 minute)

2) Tell us about an example of your work. It doesn’t have to be about how you’ve used co-creation before, but it should explain who you are as an artist. (300 words/1 minute)

3) How will you benefit from the development programme and the opportunity of a 10k commission? (300 words/1 minute)

4) Give us a brief description of what idea you would bring to life with a 10k commission and a community group in Derby? (300 words/1 minute)

5) Please also complete the Equality and Diversity monitoring form, downloadable below, and submit this with your application.

We welcome you to include any pronouns you wish to be referred by in your covering email.

Download Equality and Diversity Form as PDF

Download Equality and Diversity Form as Word Doc

If you aren’t successful – don’t worry, there will be more opportunities to take part in the future.

How To Submit

Please send your completed application and Equality and Diversity monitoring form to Stephanie Andrews, Derby CAN Training & Projects Co-Ordinator at: with EMBAA Artists Development’ in the subject line.


The deadline for applications is 12pm Thursday 20th January 2022. PLEASE NOTE: we cannot accept submissions after this time.

Following your application a short list of successful candidates will then be invited for a zoom interview on 26th January 2022. 

All applications will be considered and you will be contacted regardless of if you are invited for a zoom interview or not. We are able to accept 6 participants.  

If you have any questions about the development programme or your application please email Stephanie Andrews, Derby CAN Training & Projects Co-Ordinator at: with ‘Enquiry EMBAA Artists Development’ in the subject line.

We are excited to hear from you!