The ‘Access All Areas’ Project is aimed at introducing young women and young people to both performing and career opportunities in the music industry, not just as a musician but in behind the scenes roles involved with live music. I hope to break down the stigmas surrounding perceived gender roles such as male stage managers, sound engineers etc. and demonstrate that women can participate in bands without just being the singer/front woman.
The motive for this project was realised through my work in the industry as I became very aware that programming a gender equal line up could be extremely difficult and having a gender neutral backstage team was equally unheard of. I chose to address this at an educational level, and hopefully catch and extinguish any perceived stereotypes before they lead to an unbalanced industry.
To launch the project, I am holding a ‘Battle of the Jazz Bands’ at Z-Arts, Hulme, in July 2018 where we will welcome bands under the age of 18 to compete for the opportunity to play at manchester jazz festival 2018. In keeping with project’s motives, each band must be at least 50% female, with some of these members being instrumentalists. There will be a small entry fee although we are lucky enough to be supported by Help Musicians UK as part of their initiative to promote gender equality in jazz. It will also feature a guest performance from Helena Summerfield’s Youth Jazz Band.
This provides a gateway to the wider project, which will enable around 20 individuals to take part in the Silver Arts Award after school programme, where they will have the opportunity to learn the skills to develop their own event, shadowing industry professionals. They will each choose a role to focus on e.g. stage manager, sound engineer etc. and between them create a microcosm of an events team, working towards organising the event while reviewing existing events, learning leadership skills and undertaking arts research. Subject to satisfactory completion of various aspects of the course, the children will be awarded the Silver Arts Award (level 2 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework).
For more details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the Access All Areas – Battle of the Jazz Bands Entry form.