The free-to-attend school, together with the support of RBC, is helping nurture the next generation of creatives.
When Shae-love Jackson was accepted onto The BRIT School’s performing arts course, little did she know where it would take her.
Committed to helping those less fortunate than herself, Shae-love put her creative skills to good use, helping develop the script for a series of short films for Depaul UK , a charity devoted to supporting youth experiencing homelessness. The films were shown to millions of students across the UK to help raise awareness about the options available to young people who feel they have nowhere to go.
Shae-love also successfully auditioned for one of the lead roles in the films. It’s this talent, compassion and drive that earned her the RBC Emerging Artists Prize.
“The RBC Emerging Artists Prize is just something else; it’s incredible,” says Stuart Worden, principal of The BRIT School. “Working with The BRIT School, each year RBC recognises two students as emerging artists and awards them £2,000 each to help them on their artistic journeys. The award celebrates their skill, their potential and their ambition to take their art into the next stage of their career.”
RBC’s support was the springboard Shae-love needed to further pursue her ambitions. She’s now studying at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama while also working with children who have medical and behavioural needs.
“The RBC Emerging Artists Prize enabled me to focus on myself both personally and professionally,” says Shae-love. “It not only allowed me to pursue courses in vocal health first aid and British Sign Language, but it also encouraged me to persevere in my art form and boosted my confidence in my abilities.”
The BRIT School is a free-to-attend performing and creative arts school; as such, corporate support is vital to keeping it at the forefront of the UK arts scene. “It’s a playground for young people, regardless of their background, to thrive in what they’re good at,” says Worden. “Making movies, making games, making theatre, making music – that’s what [the school] stands for, and that’s the talent pipeline we’re providing for this country and the world.”
RBC partnered with the school because of its legacy of nurturing young and diverse creative talent. “They’re one of our chosen partners because they share in our ethos of supporting young people on their artistic journeys,” says Jennifer Sofianou, director of Sponsorship, Events & Citizenship at RBC Wealth Management in the British Isles. “The BRIT School was established to have a positive impact on the local community in Selhurst, Greater London, and this aligns perfectly with our commitment to helping the communities in which we live and work thrive.”
A key feature of RBC’s partnership with The BRIT School is developing shared experiences. For example, Year 13 students created musical interpretations of some of the artwork featured in the RBC Art Collection.
From Rita Letendre’s beautiful Moon Glow and Scott McFarland’s naturalistic Sugar Shack, to Shannon Bool’s tapestry Defaced Muse and Jane Corrigan’s Warm and Dry, the students turned the static to the sonic with skill, energy and substance.
Shannon Bool’s Defaced Muse.
“It’s a great way to bring our partnership to life and engage our colleagues across the bank,” says Sofianou. “It’s important for our employees to get involved with The BRIT School, because it offers the opportunity to exchange perspectives with the students and witness their amazing creativity at play.”
The BRIT School students composed a song inspired by Scott McFarland’s Sugar Shack.
The BRIT School has no shortage of creative talent – Selorm Adonu, a recipient of the RBC Emerging Artists Prize, is making waves following his graduation from the theatre course.
Selorm is now an actor, writer and producer whose talent and drive have led him to work on a range of projects both on- and off-screen, including the Netflix dramedy Mask, and his own hard-hitting short film, Man to Man, which features legendary British actor David Harewood OBE.
“The BRIT School means everything to me – it gave me the space to express myself and grow as a creative,” says Selorm. “I always tell people that without The BRIT School I don’t know where I’d be. I certainly wouldn’t have the connections I do, or my production company. It’s enabled me to grow so much. Big love to The BRIT School!”
In addition to the RBC Emerging Artists Prize, RBC’s annual commitment of £100,000 helps the school offer lessons for young emerging artists of all backgrounds. “The RBC support for The BRIT School is profound,” says Worden. “It helps us buy key equipment and resources that keep us as the leading performing arts school in the UK, if not the world.”
The role of the arts in creating vibrant communities cannot be understated. “They’re a medium in which culture, identity and values can be expressed to form bonds between people, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sex or age,” says Sofianou. “That’s why supporting the next generation of emerging artists is so fundamental to a prosperous future.”
The BRIT School’s legacy is embodied in its students and the creative mark they leave on society. “[The school] really does help young people to realise their full potential and achieve more than they ever thought they could,” says Shae-love.