Northern Pride announces local artists commissioned for Pride in the City

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Following a call out in partnership with Creative Central NCL and Curious Arts, Northern Pride has announced Azula Bandit and Chris Fleming (IDa4) as the two artists selected to receive full creative commissions for this year’s Pride in the City. 

The call-out challenged artists to respond to the theme Unapologetically Visible, highlighting what this means to them and how it is expressed and explored through their creativity. The two selected artists will receive £2500 worth of funding to develop and elevate their artistry, which will be showcased during this year’s Pride in the City festival, presented in partnership with NE1.  

Commissioned Artists

Multi-talented dancer and DJ Azula Bandit aims to encourage and inspire through cultural representation and self-expression, honouring their heritage through art and providing a different perspective to individuals from a similar background, encouraging people to take ownership in telling their own stories. 

Stencil artist Chris Fleming, artist name IDa4, produces bodies of work that remind people that the LGBTQIA+ community has always been, is now and will always be a key part of the wider community, contributing to all sectors of life. 

A further four local artists have also been awarded a ‘Get Ready Grant’, spanning dance, writing, physical art, and music. Jenny Chrisp, Emory Southwick, Alison Carr, and The Girls, Theys and Slays Choir led by Maya Torres and Rosie Bowden will receive £750 of funding to enhance their art and explore new ideas. 

Vix Leaney, Creative Central NCL Project Manager added: “We’re really proud to be supporting Northern Pride this year to give these artists the chance to showcase their work and celebrate Pride. In total Creative Central NCL have been able to fund six opportunities for LGBTQIA+ artists and creatives to not just create new work, but test ideas, get some mentoring, develop their career and work with the experienced producers at Curious Arts. I’m looking forward to seeing everything come together at this year’s Pride in the City festival in July.” 

Being entirely yourself

When asked about what the theme, Unapologetically Visible, meant to them, all artists agreed that this year it’s all about being entirely yourself, in whatever way that manifests itself for you, standing with sheer pride and without any shame or dilution. 

Jenny Chrisp will explore themes of motherhood and the loss of queer identity through dance, in a way that is true, personal and raw, inspiring those who feel their sexuality may be forgotten, hidden or lost to become unapologetically visible. 

Emory Southwick will produce artwork that celebrates queer bodies, highlighting the beautifully diverse community and showcasing, in particular, how trans bodies are often overlooked in the media. 

Alison Carr hopes to develop the beginnings of a character, story and a way of telling it. Creating a space to work collaboratively with other local artists to explore a new idea. 

The Girls, Theys and Slays Choir led by Maya Torres and Rosie Bowden also hope to explore a new strand of work by writing an original song. Creating a larger sense of identity as a group and promoting growth by creating a community that encourages local people to get involved. 

Dates for Pride in the City

The events to celebrate the commissioned art and performances will be announced soon and will feature as part of a wider programme of satellite events celebrating Pride in the City 2024, which will kick off from 5 July and end in the Festival weekend, 19-21 July. 

Find out more here: https://www.northern-pride.com/  

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