Group of young people filming.

Work experience students at Rife Magazine, Watershed 2018

The Future is Collective

Posted on Fri 27 Aug 2021

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England to launch The Future is Collective.

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England to launch The Future is Collective, a programme of work propelling community and climate activism by offering support and development to eleven freelance creatives.

Resident editors and young creatives will be supported through Rife, and producers and audience development associates will receive support and work within the Pervasive Media Studio and BFI Film Hub South West communities. The programme will also include a series of public events that aim to upskill, energise and connect the South West creative sector.

“Inside the word "emergency" is "emerge"; from an emergency new things come forth. The old certainties are crumbling fast, but danger and possibility are sisters.” Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

The Future is Collective explores the possibility that lies in two interwoven emergencies - the global economic crisis and climate breakdown. Things are changing fast, and we need to act. Yet as a result of the Pandemic, the UK’s cultural ecology is in shock. To “emerge” calls for immediate and collective intervention including changes in approach, imagination, action and connection. The Future is Collective aims to propel community and climate activism by offering bespoke and targeted support to a cohort of freelance individuals, whilst connecting the wider sector and sharing new work with audiences. The first of these opportunities are now open and you can read more about the Rife Resident Editors here.

We are excited to deliver the programme in partnership with Bristol + Bath Creative R+D, the University of Bristol through MyWorld , and Bath Spa University through the Immersive Promotion Design consultancy.

Victoria Tillotson, Talent Development Lead at Watershed says:

“The Future is Collective is part of Watershed’s response to the current context we all find ourselves in - the climate crisis is worsening each year, we are in the grips of a global pandemic and our societies are economically shaken. Watershed along with our partners Bristol + Bath Creative R+D, the University of Bristol and Bath Spa University, looked to what we could do at a local level to help stabilise the creative community, propel important ideas and create a more sustainable future. We are delighted to now launch this timely and necessary programme, and look forward to driving a host of opportunities and events over the coming year.”

Professor Jonathan Dovey, Director of Bristol + Bath Creative R+D says:

“The Bristol + Bath Creative R+D programme supports the development of the region’s creative industries, with a focus on inclusive talent development. The need for this work in the next year is going to be acute as the full consequences of the pandemic roll through the economy. Opportunities particularly for young people are likely to be severely impacted, so we are delighted to leverage connections and resource to support The Future is Collective cohort to thrive as freelancers within the creative and cultural industries.”

Dr Matthew Freeman, Director of Immersive Promotion Design says:

“From new forms of online theatre to remote immersive experiences, the past year has shown us that economic and social hardship can yield all kinds of creative innovation. And yet with the creative industries now facing an uncertain future post-pandemic, more work is needed if new forms of creative work are going to find an audience. Immersive Promotion Design supports creatives to connect their immersive and creative tech work to a larger, more diverse audience, and we're thrilled to be able to support The Future is Collective cohort."

The Future is Collective will run between September 2021 and August 2022. Follow Watershed on Twitter for news and ongoing opportunities that will be advertised soon.

The Future is Collective is made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.