Here at Academy Mews Dance Studios, we meet a huge range of artistic creators in various sectors, and they all share a common aim regardless of discipline: a desire to develop a body of work, and the space to focus and develop on it.
It would be a bare faced lie to say we haven’t noticed how Covid has decimated the arts which we love and support so dearly. And rather than feeling impotent and helpless, we wanted to find a way to support and give back. As part of the Camden and London community, we want to support more artists in the development and advancement of their creative journeys. But how can we do that? By offering what we have: space.
In an ideal world we would give space to all worthy artists, but as an independent hire space we just don’t have the financial clout to do that. However, as optimists, a silver lining is that by creating a 2021 Artists Residency Programme and requiring detailed applications, we are helping younger and emerging artists understand that they will spend a lot of their time applying for things (!) and will help existing artists hone those application skills. Because let’s face it: being able to sell yourself is as vital as your creative skills.
We’re focusing on individual artists in the dance, music and theatre communities around Camden and North London because these fine folks have been the ones who have supported us – and they are the ones we’ve seen affected first hand.
Dance and music teachers have had regular classes cancelled, private lessons cancelled, and pivoting online hasn’t been a successful format for people without the space at home. Less income means they’re less likely to have money to have studio time for themselves, and with dancers on the AMDS admin team, we KNOW how vital that is for mental health and identity.
Our friends in the drama fields have had shows cancelled, auditions and workshops hamstrung, rehearsals cancelled indefinitely. How can artists rehearse and keep their musical skills sharp if they don’t have access to a piano? If only every home was like our building, with a piano in every room!
Successful applicants win a residency which grants them rehearsal space over the residency period, culminating in a final showing of their work in our Balcony studio. This will be an opportunity for showcasing their work, a professional space to invite producers/agents, hopefully find funding and future collaborators, and of course make new contacts.
We will also award them 3 months free AMDS membership which offers them rental and marketing benefits, particularly useful for those also in need of teaching space.
For consistency of age representation, 2 of the 2021 residencies are for artists aged 16-24 years, and two are for artists aged 25+. If you, or a friend you know, are an artist focused on dance, theatre or music, AND living in North London, you are eligible for application.