Rise Up! returns to celebrate Black and People of Colour creatives

Rise Up!, a festival celebrating Black and People of Colour creatives, returns to Aberdeen on 5th-6th May at the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree, featuring a keynote by Yahya Barry.

Rise Up! returns to celebrate Black and People of Colour creatives

Rise Up!, a two-day festival celebrating Black and People of Colour creatives in Aberdeen and Scotland, will return next month. The festival takes place on 5th – 6th May. It’ll be hosted at the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree and is curated by We Are Here Scotland, commissioned by Aberdeen Performing Arts.

Rise Up! is a celebration of unity, creativity, and expression. It promises to be a bit of a feast for the senses with an exciting program of events. The festival will showcase the talents of Black and People of Colour creatives from Scotland and beyond. The festival’s events will begin with a keynote speech from Yahya Barry, a leader and consultant in culture, heritage and the creative and screen industries.

Rise Up! features diverse performances

One of the festival’s highlights is a cabaret kicking off the weekend’s performances on Friday, 5th May. The event features diverse performances. These include poetry from acclaimed Scottish writer and performer Courtney Stoddart, a comedy set by the hilarious Safeena Rashid, and a dance piece by international talent Dorine Mugisha.

Rise Under debuts on Saturday, 6th May. It’s a new strand of the festival aimed at 12-17-year-olds. It will include workshops exploring filmmaking, music, and screenprinting, hosted by rising Aberdeen musician Chef the Rapper, film practitioner Sara Stroud, and visual artists Caitlin Dick and Phoebe McBride. There will also be an Open Mic showcasing new talent in music, spoken word, poetry, and creative expression, hosted by Aberdeen poet and spoken word artist Mae Diansangu.

Workshops and panels

Rise Up! also offers workshops with decolonisation and pro-liberation coach Ravideep Kaur, and widely published writer Andrés N. Ordorica, who will explore the power of friendship in ‘An Ode to Friendship’. The festival will host a series of panels exploring important and thought-provoking themes. This will include discussions on mental health and well-being, generational experiences, and uncomfortable conversations in safe spaces.

The festival will conclude with a night of music at The Lemon Tree, featuring pop/R&B girl group 4TUNE, singer-songwriter Rue Cooper, musician and singer Djana Gabrielle, and Aberdeen-based Iranian DJ Pooyan Saadati.

Loved Seeds

Finally, in a new initiative to support Black and People of Colour artists in Scotland, We Are Here Scotland has collaborated with Look Again to celebrate the launch of their upcoming exhibition ‘Loved Seeds’. Poet Noon Eldin and artist Helen Love will host a performance combining clay, poetry, and projection to create a three-dimensional family tree of the nine children of an enslaved woman from 1832 Jamaica.

We Are Here Scotland founder and director Ica Headlam said: “I’m pleased that for another year We Are Here Scotland is working in partnership with our friends at Aberdeen Performing Arts to produce our second Rise Up Festival. Last year we were able to provide a platform for a multitude of artists and creatives from our community. And this year’s festival is a continuation of everything we developed last year, whilst also highlighting the importance of providing a platform for Black and PoC artists and creatives from the North East of Scotland and further afield.”

Overall, Rise Up! sounds like it’ll be even bigger and better than last year, with an exciting program of events that celebrates the creativity and diversity of Black and People of Colour creatives in Scotland and beyond.