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21 June 2021

Wiltshire Creative announce today the winners of the SHIFT development fund, Mich Sanderson and Ryan Wilce. The SHIFT Development Fund was set up to offer an emerging youth theatre company or artist £5000 to develop a new piece of work aimed at young people and centred around the issues they face. The South West duo Sanderson and Wilce will be creating a project drawing on experiences of the region’s queer youth and rich heritage of folk music to create a new canon of songs and ultimately a musical relevant to the narratives of young people today.

Mich Sanderson and Ryan Wilce said today, “It means everything to us to have received the SHIFT fund! As early career artists, to be offered this support and have such an amazing organisation behind us is unreal. We will make the most of this learning opportunity and be enriched by the process – the skills we hone over the next year, and connections we make, will enhance our practice immeasurably.”

Dave Orme, Wiltshire Creative Associate Director, said today, “We're very excited to be working with such talented emerging artists who are embarking on such a profound and meaningful journey towards creating what is sure to be an amazing piece of work. Wiltshire Creative and the wider South-West artistic sector is enriched by these new and exciting voices”

The SHIFT Development Fund comes as part of the wider SHIFT initiative, an ambitious cross organisation project by Wiltshire Creative which has paved the way in young arts engagement in the South-West, implementing strategies and structures which have, and will continue to, enable thousands of young people to engage with arts and culture.

Created and led by SHIFT Associate Artists Harrison Brodie and Kate Potter and supported by Wiltshire Creative’s Young Ambassadors, SHIFT has programmed pan-arts events, participated in strategic planning about the future of Wiltshire Creative culminating in a Youth Manifesto, and showcased youth arts. SHIFT has given young people a platform to inspire change at a time when they have been hugely impacted by the pandemic, and this model of working will lead the way for new innovative ways of engaging young creatives.

Harrison and Kate said today, “We are incredibly grateful to be working on this exciting project which is amplifying young voices through the arts. We have been overwhelmed by the response about the project and amazed by the incredible thoughts of younger community members in the region. Our conversations with the hundreds of young people we have met has been so honest and genuine, we feel there is a certain amount of responsibility there to capture that and give it the best platform we can. If there is one thing we have all learnt from this project, it is that, every young person has a voice, and we all should listen.”


Additional highlights of SHIFT include:

The SHIFT Manifesto
Developed by the SHIFT Associate Artists and Young Ambassadors, the SHIFT Manifesto has made pledges and recommendations from Wiltshire Creative to young people in the community outlining their vision for enriching their cultural offering. The SHIFT manifesto will be used as a reference point for engaging with Wiltshire young people and is facilitated by Talawa Theatre Company.

Youth Arts Network
Wiltshire Creative have partnered with youth arts organisations across the South-West to create a film that represents youth voice. Each group has created new work in their specialised artform that expresses their beliefs and opinions on the struggles that young people face. The Youth Arts Network seeks to offer an opportunity for youth leaders to come together and share expertise and experiences, in order to enrich the opportunities provided to young people in the South West region.

SHIFT NOW is a free digital event which showcased Wiltshire’s Young Talent live from the main stage of Salisbury Playhouse on in May. The evening was hosted by the SHIFT Associate Artists and included Q&As, guest appearances, and music from local bands and Wiltshire College.

Off Your Chest
A project designed to give young people the ability to share things that are on their mind, and provide a platform for their ideas and voices to be heard. The project combines virtual, digital and physical elements, including live workshops, performances and an exhibition. The young peoples’ responses are currently exhibited at the SHIFT Hub in Salisbury Arts Centre until 3 July.

Alternate Perceptions
As part of her exhibition Alternate Perceptions at Salisbury Arts Centre, artist Mahlia Amatina presented an art installation in collaboration with Wiltshire Creative’s group of young artists: #80WashingLines – A Wiltshire Takeover.  After being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2015, Amatina was inspired to share the unique sensory experiences of life on the autistic spectrum through her art. Her mission includes creating communities through the combination of art and advocacy around the globe and presenting art to the widest possible audiences.    

The Dawn Sturgess Bursary
In addition to the SHIFT Development fund, as part of their ongoing commitment to artist support SHIFT also announces the Dawn Sturgess Bursary, which will fund one young person who has faced adversity or barriers through drama school training. The Dawn Sturgess Bursary is supported by Dancing Ledge Productions and Wiltshire Creative.

For more information visit the SHIFT page here




Wiltshire Creative

Wiltshire Creative brings together Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Salisbury Playhouse. Salisbury Playhouse is one of Britain’s leading producing theatres, with a national reputation for home-grown work of the highest quality that attracts audiences from across Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and beyond. Recent theatre productions include the world premieres of Blood Wedding by Barney Norris and The Mirror Crack’d by Rachel Wagstaff. Recent audio and digital productions include the world première of Making Massinger by Simon Butteriss, the British première of Call Cutta at Home by Rimini Protokoll and SHIFT a significant youth led project amplifying young voices.

Twitter: @wiltscreative
Instagram: @wiltscreative @youngwiltscreative

Harrison Brodie is a SHIFT Associate Artist. He has been working in the commercial theatre sector for the past few years on large scale touring musicals and in the West End, primarily as a Stage Manager. Most recently, he’s worked on the UK and Ireland tour of Dirty Dancing and in the West End on Curtains The Musical. He aims to move into a producing role in the future to champion new and upcoming artists.  

Kate Potter is a SHIFT Associate Artist. Potter is currently Youth Co-ordinator at Mast Mayflower Studios in Southampton. She has spent the last couple of years working for Theatre for Life on two different community theatre projects partnered with the NHS, with the aim to raise awareness of important subject matters such as mental health and hidden disabilities. She has also recently completed her Young Practitioners training with Chichester Festival Theatre and has continued facilitating youth theatre workshops.

For further information, please contact:
Kate Morley: / 07970 465 648 
Hannah Margerison: / 07375 660 957