How Do You Shake Off The Emerging Label?

The conversation of emerging/ established/ submerging has been one I have been in and one I have avoided for the last 10 years.

Whether you label yourself emerging, established, submerging, none of the above, someone, somewhere, has put these labels on you.


It is generally easier, from a producing side, to know who has a ‘following’, who has been doing this for a long time & just gets it and who will need more support. But how do you shake off the emerging label? This is a question I’ve not only been asked multiple times but have been asking during the last five years of my work. So in January this year, Free Radical asked people to send in questions they had about the arts industry - as artists, what questions are you asking?

Some questions are deeply rooted in other sectors, for example, there was a question that kept coming up around education valuing art as a valid career option, as much as this is important to be talking about, the education sector has to desire the change before we turn up as artists and reek havoc. Don’t get me wrong, I love to most of the time, but I also think to pick and choose my battles with organisations, people and places that have already expressed interest in change.

Some of the questions that I have picked up and ran with as a producer including the idea of emerging artists and established, when does someone move from one to another? Does art endanger your mental health? Online activism - is it an accessible, effective platform or a substitute for action? And even questioning one of the core strands of Arts Council England: Should art be for everyone?

Artists are always seeking out solutions, or answers to questions.


Sometimes, there isn’t just one answer, and this question is one of those - but that’s where our brand new discussion event series ‘BLAB’ comes in to help. What the event does is put artists and people who unlock doors in a room to discuss the topic with you. However, I am so blimmin’ sick of panel discussions, ugh. So this event will always be set up with a different format, think ‘panelists’ hanging from ceilings, mockery TV shows to petition races. It won’t be a panel discussion.

So on Monday 30th July from 7-9pm we will launch BLAB (BackLash Against the Bland) with our first provocation “How Do You Shake Off The Emerging Label?


Slight twist, the venue is a secret location, and only those who have signed up to the eventbrite will get a notification of the venue 48 hours before.

If you’ve asked this question, been asked this question, are bored of this question, only care about learning what the format is, like a mystery, then book on and come along.

A surprise or two is in hand as it is the first one!

See ya deya,

Amerah x


Written by Amerah Saleh, Producer at Free Radical.

For more information about BLAB visit beatfreeks.com/blab. Book your tickets to BLAB: How Do You Shake Off The Emerging Label?.

Amerah Saleh

Spoken word artist. Head of Creative Learning at Beatfreeks. Loves bowties and creating change (not in that order).