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The arts are a fundamental part of our cultural and social fabric. They help us understand who we are as human beings and influence how we relate to each other. They traverse politics and language and allow us to express ourselves and our ideas, even forming a part of our identities.

That's why supporting and nurturing the next generation of artists is so important. However, there is often a significant financial and time cost to producing work and getting it seen by a wider audience.

Enter The BRIT School, a one-of-a-kind, non-fee paying school located in the UK's Croydon, South London neighbourhood, which provides young artists from all backgrounds with specialised performing and creative arts training. Through the power of the arts, it helps transform the lives of young people who want creativity as part of their future.

Celebrating creative talent

In 2021, RBC launched the RBC Emerging Artists Prize as part of the partnership programme with The BRIT School. This prize recognises two final year students – one each from creative arts and performing arts – for their creative work.

The 2022 recipients, Elizabeth Dada (creative arts) and Shae-love Jackson (performing arts), each receive £2,000 for their inspiring works. This financial support will enable them to purchase much-needed kit and equipment for their future artistic journeys.

Photo of Elizabeth Dada on the left and photo of Shae-love Jackson on the right

Creative arts recipient Elizabeth Dada (left) and performing arts recipient Shae-love Jackson (right).

The winners of the RBC Emerging Artists Prize were selected by a panel of judges including Stuart Worden, principal of The BRIT School, Rosa Murdoch and Janay Marie, The BRIT School alumni, and Corrie Jackson, senior art curator at RBC. You can watch the winning entries here .

"I'm truly grateful and thankful for being picked by the judges, and this has reinforced my dedication to get better at illustrating and animating. I must thank my teachers, family and friends for their constant love and faith in me, and their support in my art. And I also must thank The BRIT School for presenting me with so many amazing opportunities to take," says Dada, a digital design student.

“Had I not gone to this school, I know my life would be very different and less exciting," she explains. "The money will definitely be going towards better drawing/animation software and a drawing tablet, as well as my living expenses at university. Thank you again to everyone involved. I hope this is the beginning of a very successful art and animation career."

Speaking about her win, Shae-love Jackson, an applied theatre student, explains, “I feel so privileged to be selected for this award and absolutely over the moon to actually win it. The BRIT School has been key in shaping the last few years for me, boosting my confidence, providing me with so many opportunities and giving me endless happy memories to treasure. It has given me an amazing starting point for my career, and I have developed a real passion and commitment for the community arts."

“I plan to use my prize to further develop so I can make more of an impact and reach more people through community arts. I am going to put this towards a British Sign Language course and get my vocal coaching qualification. I'm also planning to expand on the freelance work I've been doing over the last month and use the money to fund costumes and equipment for children's entertainment events," she adds.

Worden explains, “It has been such a pleasure to work alongside Corrie Jackson from RBC and two of our alumni to select this year's Emerging Artist Prize winners. RBC has become a key partner and friend of The BRIT School and it is exciting to see the impact the programme has across the school."

“This year's winners and nominees again demonstrate the breadth of talent and skill of our students. The school has always stayed ahead of the creative sector it serves and we aim to keep up with the evolving changes in both need and technology. Therefore I am particularly pleased the prize gives us the opportunity to shine a light on two very different courses we offer – Interactive Digital Design and Applied Theatre – both relatively new creative strands that continue to grow and develop. Well done to Dada and Shae-love Jackson in excelling in their subjects," he says.

“The arts have and continue to be an essential part of how we communicate, reflect and innovate as a society. They also play a key role in building vibrant communities and strong economies. Through RBC's cultural partnerships, we are privileged to be able to support artists and institutions – such as The Brit School – that are shaping our societies and culture whilst also being reflective of RBC's commitment to an innovative and inclusive culture," says Corrie Jackson.

Congratulations to all of the nominees for this year's hotly-contested prize, all of whom demonstrated exceptional talent across artistic genres, with special mention to the winners, Dada and Shae-love Jackson. RBC is delighted to play a part in supporting new talent, particularly during the early stage of their careers as we help them to bridge the gap from emerging to established artists."