Manchester Museum has been selected as one of 50 arts organisations to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellow.  The fellowship will be part of their programme to get more people from low socio-economic backgrounds into cultural careers.

The role at Manchester Museum will be for an Early Career Creative Programme in the South Asia Gallery Performing Arts.  The position will open for applications later this year.

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The role will involve co-developing and delivering a pilot South Asia-inspired performance and live art programme, in advance of the 2022 opening of Manchester’s Museum’s new South Asia Gallery.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries aim to redress the balance in arts career prospects amongst middle-class to working-class backgrounds.  Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, those from middle-class backgrounds were 2.5 times more likely to end up in creative occupations than their working-class peers. This is a situation which has not improved since records began in 2014. Social mobility is a greater issue in the cultural sector and wider creative industries than across the economy as a whole. The wider creative industries have created over 300,000 jobs over the past five years, yet the number of creative workers from working-class backgrounds has increased by just 33,000.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries fund 50 paid, year-long artistic and creative Fellowships as well as an organisational development programme run by people make it work to embed inclusive practices for the host organisation, with three members of the host team taking part, including a board member and a senior executive.

This is the fourth edition of the programme, which has been running for over 10 years and has 125 alumni to date, many of whom have forged successful careers. This edition of WJCB is the largest yet, with support from Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, and PRS Foundation.