Somerset House Announces New Young Producers Programme

Somerset House has launched a new Young Producers programme, offering training, development and London Living Wage paid opportunities to nurture the next generation of emerging cultural producers. The arts organisation has selected six people, aged 18-30, from over 250 applicants that represents the diversity of London, to join the programme, which invites them to produce new work to be presented at Somerset House and across its digital channels.

The programme has been made possible with support from Art Fund, with additional funding from Pinterest for the first project. Somerset House will provide the public platform for their work, facilitate introductions to collaborators and mentors, and meet regularly with the group to support and advise on all areas of successfully launching new cultural events. The programme intends to expand to incorporate a further six members in the coming year to work on future collaborative projects. Young Producers will stay with Somerset House for a maximum of two years, with the organisation hoping to recruit 12 each year.

The Young Producers’ first brief is a project inspired by Black history, heritage and culture, to be revealed in December 2020. The group will create a digital experience and on-site event, taking a fresh perspective on Somerset House’s history, specifically its role in Britain’s colonial past. They will collaborate with Somerset House Studios residents and design studio Comuzi, who typically work with a variety of clients to imagine and invent radical products, services and experiences, promoting new ways of thinking. Comuzi will guide the group to explore Black heritage and Somerset House’s history and co-create the digital content with them. This forms part of Somerset House’s recent Anti-Racism Pledge, which commits to updating what historical information is currently understood and making it widely available. All future projects will also enhance existing programming led by the Somerset House team, offering additional output to audiences.

Dhikshana Turakhia Pering, Head of Engagement and Skills, said: “The Somerset House Young Producers programme has been developed as part of our Participation and Outreach work to specifically address young people and under-represented groups in the creative sector and London workforce as a whole, which is severely lacking. 

“The programme offers real – and renumerated – experience in the industry, which will hopefully help to open doors for them in the future within the arts.  Our initial six Young Producers will be taking on this first brief to explore Somerset House’s history and collaborating with us to shape the direction of the Young Producers programme.  It is very much for them, and by them. We’ll be introducing each individual and their journey on our website soon, but in the meantime we are very excited to have them as part of Somerset House and on this path ahead.

“We are extremely thankful for the support of Art Fund and Pinterest. The Young Producers’ first project connects to Pinterest’s long-term commitment to building inclusive representation across its platform and its celebration of Black heritage and culture this month, including the exhibition Black Gold exploring Black British creative expression.  Our group will create boards to chart their creative journey during the course of this first project, from which others can hopefully draw inspiration.”