Since 2015 we’ve been on a mission to make the music landscape more gender equal. 24 projects later (and counting!) this International Women’s Day we’re celebrating some of the incredible and inspiring women we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past 5 years…
How it started
Our first all-female residency with Beth Orton back in 2015 was set up in response to the low number of women (just 1 in 4) applying to take part in our residency programme. We knew we were onto something when over 350 female musicians applied to take part, eclipsing the total number of applicants for the previous three residencies combined!
We soon realised these statistics were indicative of a wider issue across the industry, and that more needed to be done. Following this, we produced Here Come The Grrrls which featured award-winning artists like Jennifer Batten, Tanya Tagaq and Anna Meredith leading projects to celebrate, profile and inspire female musicians.
Both Sides Now
In 2017 we launched Both Sides Now – a three-year programme made up of creative residencies, training opportunities, digital resources for schools and more. Our aim was to support more women to take up roles across the industry but also to challenge stereotypes more broadly. Working collaboratively across the North with a wide range of organisations, venues and festivals we’re affecting change at all levels – from the classroom to the boardroom, onstage and backstage. As part of Both Sides Now we’ve worked with exciting artists such as Stealing Sheep, Shiva Feshareki and Nadine Shah (to name a few!)
As part of the programme, in summer 2018 we also produced The Hexagon Experiment – six ‘Friday night experiments’ bringing together women at the forefront of music, art and science for a celebration of creative discovery.
With a brand new leadership programme to develop women working in music on the horizon, we’re very much looking forward to continuing our work to close the gender gap. The first opportunity as part of this new programme will be announced very soon.
A huge shout out to all of the amazing women we’ve worked with over the years, and here’s to a more gender equal future!
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