Exhale Creative Grant

Announcing the artists selected for the new Exhale Creative Grants in Brighton & Hove.

Three artists have been awarded funding to lead exciting new arts projects in Brighton & Hove, responding to the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade in the city and working with the themes of courage, knowledge and humanity.

The Exhale Creative Grant is the first of its kind in the city, aimed at supporting and showcasing local black and racially-minoritised artists and creatives. The Brighton & Hove Culture Alliance has awarded three Brighton-based artists a combined total of £46,000, thanks to funding and partnership support from Brighton & Hove City Council.

The artists and organisations selected are Ebou Touray and African Night Fever, Judith Ricketts and the Centre of Memory, Narrative and Histories at the University of Brighton, and Yemisi Mokuolu and Hatch Ideas.

Ebou Touray and African Night Fever will lead on The Seeds of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, working with local black history and music historians to research the journey of ancestors and how music has been a source of strength of survival. Through discussions with West African and Caribbean communities in Brighton & Hove, the project will also involve black spoken word artists and musicians to interpret the research in spoken word, songs and rhythms. These will be shared through school workshops and public music events in November 2023.

Yemisi Mokuolu and Hatch Ideas will present I Sing My Song to the Sea, gathering local stories from African and Caribbean communities in the city and, drawing on the traditions of those stolen from the Western shores of Africa, singing them to the sea to help the community heal and reflect. They will be working with eight young artists and producing a mural, spoken word piece, video works and final showcase.

Judith Ricketts, working in partnership with the Centre of Memory, Narrative and Histories at the University of Brighton, will be building on her innovative app project Xr-h, which maps histories of the transatlantic slave trade in greater Brighton. She will be working with local young people to engage with historical material and producing artworks using augmented reality to be shared on a new website and at a public launch.

The Exhale Creative Grants scheme for Brighton & Hove is aimed at supporting anti-racist practice in the arts and providing opportunities for black and racially-minoritised artists. These awards form a key part of the Culture Alliance’s work to create more equitable opportunities across the creative and cultural sector in the city.

Rose Kigwana, Co-Chair of the Anti-Racism Group for the Culture Alliance, said:

“Connecting and collaborating with an esteemed group of black cultural leaders on the Exhale Creative Grant programme has been a rewarding experience. I hope there will be more long-term and sustained support and opportunities for Global Majority-led creative programmes to develop within Brighton and Hove and beyond. It is an exciting time as there are some fantastic examples of this in the city.  This programme has highlighted to me the urgent need for Global Majority individuals, creatives and communities to have the space they deserve to grow and nurture their ideas and vision.”

Councillor Alan Robins, chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Economic Committee said:

“We are proud to be supporting this innovative new programme and the opportunities it brings for black and racially-minoritised artists to showcase their work in the city.”

Brighton & Hove Culture Alliance – Culture in Our City

Contact Culture Alliance project manager Ella Burns for more information, eb716@sussex.ac.uk.