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Sky Academy today announces the recipients of their 2016 Arts Scholarships. Four emerging artists from the UK and one from Ireland have been selected from over 1,100 applicants, with the winners being chosen by a judging panel including writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg, Iwona Blazwick, Director of Whitechapel Gallery, Farooq Chaudhry, Creative Producer at the English National Ballet and music producer Cam Blackwood, whose credits include George Ezra and London Grammar.

•Now in their fifth year, the Sky Academy Arts Scholarships support emerging artistic talent between the ages of 18 and 30 to take their creative careers to the next level.
•Four artists living in the UK and one artist living in Ireland will each receive funding of £30k/€40k and high level mentoring from Sky and the arts industry
•Sky Academy works with young people using Sky’s expertise in TV, creativity and sport to build skills and unlock potential.

This year’s winners represent a broad range of skills and industries including music, theatre and creative producing. Each winner will receive £30k/€40 funding, in addition to high level mentoring from Sky and the arts industry to ensure they’re equipped with the skills to deliver their creative projects and unlock their potential.

The winners will be featured in tonight’s broadcast of the South Bank Sky Arts Awards at 8pm on Sky Arts, presented by Sky Academy Ambassador Melvyn Bragg from the Savoy Hotel in London.

Having worked closely with Sky Academy, Melvyn Bragg commented: “There’s nothing more important in this country at the moment than giving professional mentoring and opportunities to young people. The more skilful and confident they are then the better our future and theirs. Sky Academy is tackling this head-on, giving bursaries of £30,000 per person which has proved to be career-changing for the talented young people who have received them”

At the South Bank Sky Arts Awards ceremony on Sunday 5 June, previous Sky Academy Arts Scholar Mark Simpson won the South Bank Sky Arts Award in Classical Music for his Sky Academy supported project ‘The Immortal’, demonstrating the powerful impact of the Scholarship funding and mentoring on the careers of the winning artists.

Sky Academy Arts Scholarships – 2016 Winners

Jasdeep Singh Degun – Classical Indian Sitarist and Composer from Leeds – Debut Album
A classically trained sitarist from Leeds, Jasdeep will be using his funding and mentoring to compose record and release his debut album fusing Indian and British influences. Previously Jasdeep has worked as a session musician and performed live as part of ensembles at Buckingham Palace and the Royal Albert Hall.

Caitlin McLeod – Theatre Director from London – The Coterie
Caitlin will use her funding and mentoring to set up ‘The Coterie,’ a theatre company that will aim to help female writers explore daring ideas. Caitlin brings a wealth of experience working in theatre, having previously assisted on productions at National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and The Royal Court.

Yinka Ayinde – Creative Producer from London – Stage adaptation of “Kenan & Kel”
Yinka’s project will reimagine the cult classic TV show in a south London setting, adapting the setting for 21st century Britain. The play will exist across multiple media channels, with an integrated app and digital trailer. Yinka’s previous debut theatre project, afro-beats musical ‘Oliver Tweest’ had an audience of 67% first time theatre-goers.

Sarah Grant – Filmmaker from Glasgow – The Magic Word
Animator and filmmaker Sarah will be producing an animation fusing stop-motion and hand-drawn images depicting the story of a girl Even and her lifelong relationship with books.

Gearoid O’Dea – Visual Artist from Dublin – The Had, The Have and the Should
Gearoid’s scholarship will fund his first solo exhibition. This series of eight large scale pieces is supplemented with a central sculpture in a street installation, inspired by Gearoid’s personal experiences with mental health.

Other previous winners include poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz whose Sky Academy funded play Chef won a Fringe First Award in Edinburgh 2014, animator Drew Roper who has since opened Yamination Studios in Birmingham and had his Sky Academy funded film ‘At-Issue’ aired on Sky Arts and visual artist Sarah Maple who will explore “Freedom of Expression” in her Sky Academy funded solo exhibition, due to be shown later in 2016 and has recently been commissioned by Tate Britain.