Exchange is a new pilot company based in Leeds, made up of Independent Producers Melanie Purdie and Anna Turzynski who met through the Compass Festival Young Producers Scheme in 2014.
Exchange began in 2015 when, through a pilot event in association with the BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship, we studied the ecology and artistic landscape of early career creatives living and working in the city of Leeds. Exchange is interested in creating a mechanism to improve access into the arts in Leeds, focussing on making more meaningful connections between early career creatives and the city, encouraging more artists to make work and live in the city, and through that, building a sustainable support network for young creatives.
Exchange aims to support artists in the early stages of their careers, we want to be the first port of call for recent graduates of higher education and college students. As recent graduates ourselves, we can offer a brand and product that is peer-friendly. The advice and support we can offer will aid individuals with a pointing in the right direction, to create a clearer entry route for the beginning of their arts careers.
Melanie and Anna now want to develop Exchange into an arts development program for young creatives living and working in Leeds. Exchange will curate a year of programming in Leeds to animate their research. This programme will facilitate and embolden the creation and retention of new artists in the city. We will pilot the project for a year, testing ideas for artist development projects, events and honing our professional development as Independent Producers and as a company.
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