Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice Funding (DYCP) gives Bobak a chance to level up his musical and creative writing skills while developing links with several culturally relevant organisations: Leeds & Cambridge Mosques, MENA ARTS UK and MEND.
DYCP offers awards to support development opportunities for individual cultural and creative practitioners based in England. This year was a highly competitive year. The award received over twice the typical number of applicants, leaving Bobak ‘humbled & honoured’ to receive this opportunity.
Bobak Champion is based in Chapeltown Leeds. He’s proud to be born to an Iranian mother and uses both his Bristolian & Yorkshire routes to influence his work. He’s on a mission to use his skills as a performer to tackle prejudices about the Middle East through art that ‘offers a different narrative to the norm’. His shows attempt to humanise a part of the world often negatively portrayed in the western media.
Bobak will use his DYCP funds to make links with:
*MENA ARTS UK – an organisation for professionals from the Middle East, North Africa and surrounding areas to shape, and thrive in, the UK Live & Recorded Arts.
*MEND UK – a company that helps to empower and encourage British Muslims within local communities to be more actively involved in media and politics.
He’ll also be:
*Taking on regular creative writing tasks, developing poetry, as well as writing for stage under the guidance of Lizi Patch – Playwright & Artistic Director of Young People’s Theatre at Leeds Heritage Theatres.
*Learning the Persian Ney (flute) – a unique, beautiful and technically challenging instrument, with help from Oliver Dover. Oliver has extensive knowledge and experience in Middle Eastern musical tradition.
‘I’m blessed to receive this funding which is vital to enable me to carry out my practice and ultimately be the change I want to see in the world. This development will put me in a strong position to deliver exciting new dance and theatre work in both professional and community settings, whilst staying true to the important mission I’m passionate about.’
Look out for ‘I’m Muslamic, don’t panik!’ and ‘Persian Paddle-boarder’ coming to Bradford later this year.
Photo Credit: Karol Wyszynski