Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival has selected two new In House Artists for 2023 - spoken word artist and musician AFLO. the poet and writer and theatre-maker Erin Enfys. Following a successful pilot of the scheme in 2021-22, both artists will each undertake a one-year residency at the venue and receive a grant of £5,000 to support the creation of bold new work.
The In-House Artists scheme also offers mentoring opportunities with Brighton Dome’s programming team and previous In House Artists. Both AFLO. and Erin will have access to Anita’s Room, the new dedicated creative space in Brighton Dome’s refurbished Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre, supported by The Roddick Foundation, and be invited to help shape the programming, artistic direction and strategic focus of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival.
AFLO. the poet
AFLO. the poet embraces creative expression to disrupt the status quo and inspire social change. AFLO. uses poetry as a vehicle to address hard-hitting topics, particularly racism and mental health, and speaks primarily from her lived experiences. AFLO. has performed at various protests, festivals and events in Brighton and beyond and regularly offers workshops to encourage others to engage in creative expression as a means of personal, as well as societal, healing.
She said: 'I'm still struggling to find the words to describe the joy I'm feeling. Artistic expression has given me confidence, self-awareness, endless opportunities and, most importantly, community. Over the last three years I have projected my voice and message into many corners of this city in an effort to promote societal change. This residency offers me a base and an artistic home for the year ahead - I can't wait to see what this opportunity brings and I am excited to share space and opportunities with fellow creatives.'
Erin Enfys trained in Musical Theatre at the London College of Music and has had a diverse career in theatre, film and musicals. They create authentic, community-driven, compassionate work that is informed by their own lived experience as a disabled, neurodivergent and queer non-binary performer. They provide vital safe spaces for disabled and neurodivergent representation in musical theatre and they are currently writing a musical about an inter-abled, queer Welsh couple living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
They said: 'I'm beyond excited to be spending my residency at Brighton Dome creating a piece of inherently accessible, community-driven musical theatre for people like me. When I found out I was one of the new In House Artists for 23/24 I instantly burst into tears (happy tears!) and asked if it was real! I couldn't be more thrilled, and I'm so grateful that Brighton Dome believes in me and my practice'.
More than 25 applications were received from a diverse range of artists and creatives across the region. Alongside the Brighton Dome programming team, applications were assessed by Jenny Williams of Take The Space, an organisation that provides training in anti-racist and inclusive practice to the arts and heritage sector, and Helen Jewell, Creative Director of The Old Market.
Kyla Booth-Lucking, Director of Programming & Participation, said: 'We’re delighted to have chosen Erin Enfys and AFLO. the poet as our new In House Artists for 2023. Brighton has a thriving artist ecology and, as we look forward to reopening our Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre, our In House Artists will help develop new ideas for our audiences, with our support. I can’t wait to hear their ideas!'
Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is an arts charity made up of an historic venue, a music education service and the largest curated arts festival in England. As a hub for artists across the region, it commissions and supports both emerging and established artists and companies, enabling them to develop, take risks and deliver work of the highest quality across theatre, circus, dance, spoken word, music, digital/media and multi-art forms.