Now that Cooperate Islington is in full swing, we are going to start publishing guest blogs from our coop participants. We are kicking things off with Empowered Talent – a workers co-operative talent and training agency based in North London.
Empowered Talent is a workers co-operative talent and training agency, with the ethos of enabling disabled performers to achieve their goal of working as professionals in a notoriously difficult and image-oriented industry. We aim to smash the barriers of disablism, ageism, sexism, and any other ism you can think of. We want to eradicate “isms” from entertainment completely!
We are a small co-op of three professional artists based in North London with a potential client focus on singers, songwriters, poets, drag artists, dancers, comedians and variety performers, who identify as disabled (visibly or not).
George Parker – an award-winning poet, writer, and drag artist
Rona Topaz – a jazz/soul singer with a strong political flavour (think Nina Simone meets Joan Baez… for all of you mature folks out there!)
Mireia Carbonell – a world/jazz music-influenced bass guitarist and band leader
The co-op was started by Rona, who, as a committed socialist, anti-capitalist, and hater of all things corporate (you get the drift…) had a long-standing ambition to be part of one, but never found the right fit. So when she came across Outlandish and their funding and training options (special thanks must go to the MP for North Islington for bringing Outlandish to Rona’s attention in the first place!), one thing led to another, and Empowered Talent was formed.
Cooperate Islington has been monumentally helpful in providing a comprehensive training programme, funding, free office space, and opportunities to liaise with other local co-ops, and we could not be more grateful for this opportunity. As the agency expands we are hoping to set up a training programme to nurture the next generation of disabled performers in North London who are equally committed to smashing a few barriers and changing the course of the entertainment industry!