Back for its second year, Nick Field’s Pow! offers a series of free workshops tailored specifically to young LGBTQ+ creatives who want to write and perform their own work, develop their practice and explore the possibilities of live literature. Spread the Word’s Aliya Gulamani spoke to Nick to find out more…
Aliya: It’s brilliant to see that POW! is back again – why did you decide on running it for a second year?
Nick: Yes! I’m really excited Pow! is back again. I was so thrilled with how the project went last year, and it felt really necessary to bring it back. There was so much positive feedback around Pow! and the showcase. I was so proud of what the group achieved, and the showcase, playing to a packed Royal Vauxhall Tavern at Bar Wotever was amazing. So, doing it again felt really right. More than ever it’s important that young LGBTQ+ artists get to find, develop and magnify their voices, and support each other to get their work out there. That’s what Pow! is all about.
Aliya: What impact did you feel that Pow! had on last year’s cohort and their creative development?
Nick: Pow! artists from last year have gone on to develop their work into full shows, get funding to develop their work, raise their profiles and take their work out into the world in new ways. More than anything it proved an opportunity for the cohort to achieve things with their work they didn’t know they could. All of the group were ambitious and brave about what they wanted to do with their work and the pieces they created for the showcase, and I was delighted we could help them realise that.
Aliya: The line up of guest artists looks incredible: Keith Jarrett, Malik Nashad Sharpe and Olivia Klevron will be supporting Pow! What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s scheme?
Nick: I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas progress into realised pieces. I love workshopping new work and helping with dramaturgical support, and that was a big part of the scheme last year. It was so exciting to see ideas come to fruition, and I can’t wait to get that going again. I also loved the input of our amazing guest artists last year, and I’m excited about what they will bring this year.
Aliya: The scheme covers 10 workshops over 5 days – what are the benefits to running an intensive creative development scheme?
Nick: It really enabled the group to become cohesive, become familiar with each other’s work, and support each other to grow as artists, and create the work they wanted. It also means that the workshops inform the process, and I certainly saw participants applying the development opportunities from the workshops to their ideas as they started to realise them. It gives space to think, to experiment and try new approaches, to make mistakes and grow from them and to challenge our perceptions of what we can do to break through to amazing things.
Aliya: At the end of the scheme, writers will present a short performance at the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Can you tell me a bit more about the importance of creating a platform for young LGBTQ+ talent and how Pow! facilitates this please?
Nick: Oh the showcase, what an amazing night! It’s important to create platforms because they are so rare for young LGBTQ+ artists. And it’s vital that these platforms are safe and specific as the work is emerging, so that they can create work that is truly reflective of what they want to say. From there they can, and should go on to take over the world. But it’s important that the platform we offer, as well as the workshops, are nurturing. Bar Wotever provides an amazing way to offer this, one of the most nurturing and supportive places to share work I know.
Aliya: Do you have any top tips for aspiring applicants applying for this year?
Nick: Yes, be ambitious and own it. We don’t need a specific or fully realised idea to apply with, but we want to see that you’re willing to push yourself and build on your experience so far. If you show us you want to take risks and take your work to new places, we will absolutely support you in that.
Interested? Find out more and how to apply for Pow! here. D/L 5pm, 1 July.
Published 12 June