Re-Staging of “Human” by Extraordinary Bodies Was Made Possible by the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

Circus News

Re-Staging of “Human” by Extraordinary Bodies Was Made Possible by the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

On behalf of their integrated circus company Extraordinary Bodies, Diverse City is to receive £69,940 from the third round of the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF). With this grant,Diverse City is among 925 recipients to benefit from the Recovery Fund. This award secures the 2022 extension of a digital and live tour of “Human” from Extraordinary Bodies, the company’s partnership with Cirque Bijou. This restaging of “Human” allows Extraordinary Bodies to reach more people in more places nationally and support the livelihoods of freelance and diverse performers.

In the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, more than £100 million has been awarded to hundreds of cultural organizations across the UK, including Extraordinary Bodies, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Extraordinary Bodies, a national organization led by the partnership of Diverse City and Cirque Bijou, has been awarded a grant of £69,940 by Arts Council England. Cirque Bijou was previously awarded £201,261 in the 2nd round of CRF funding to support Extraordinary Bodies.

The award will be used to develop the digital and live tour of Human, an integrated circus show, into 2022. Without the CRF award, Human would not be able to reach a diversity of audiences, especially those that are clinically vulnerable, all of whom are critical to England’s cultural recovery. 

The restaging of Human supports the livelihoods of freelance disabled and diverse performers through things such as access support, understudies, and the technical team. Without this additional support, the visibility of disabled artists on our national stages would be compromised.

The CRF award also supports the next generation of disabled artists in times of uncertainty. Young artists need support to set and meet career goals and qualified support workers to make job applications, apply for grants, and put services in place to enter work and training.

The third round of funding will also support many other organizations from all corners of the sector as they deal with ongoing reopening challenges, ensuring they can thrive in better times ahead.

“Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from,” explains Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries. “Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organizations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.”

The fund has so far awarded over £1.2 billion to around 5000 individual organizations and sites across the country, ranging from local museums to West End theaters, grassroots music venues to festivals, and organizations in the cultural and heritage supply chains.

“I am thrilled that we have been awarded the Cultural Recovery Fund. Human has been massively successful, and now we have the opportunity to get this show out to more audiences next spring. We are working with venues to create safe spaces for audience members, with socially distanced options and masks. It is important that companies like ours where disabled and non-disabled people work together are visible in the recovery. We can’t wait to share this work with even more people throughout the UK next year,” says Claire Hodgson, Artistic Director of Diverse City and Extraordinary Bodies.

Jamie Beddard, a lead artist for Extraordinary Bodies, adds that “D/deaf and disabled people and artists have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic, and this fund is critical to their being part of the recovery, celebrating new ways of making and presenting shows. This funding decision is a critical step towards a new now.”

The Chief Executive of Arts Council England, Darren Henley, reassures that “this continued investment from the government on an unprecedented scale means our theaters, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centers can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organizations play in helping us all to lead happier lives.”


Main Image: @Ali Wright

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