16-year-old Kizzy was nominated for TrinityTalent 2020 for her achievements with spoken word for her Bronze Arts Award. She completed her Arts Award with Collective Encounters and focused on writing poetry and delivering poetry workshops.
Kizzy was nominated by Youth Theatre Director, Ben Mellor. Ben said: "Kizzy had only written her first poem a week prior to joining our online Arts Award project this summer. She had a thoughtful and intelligent response to every question asked during our sessions, and in our regular 'show and tell' spots at the start of every workshop she always had a new poem ready to share with the group. As well as being a highly creative young person Kizzy is also a passionate, highly informed, and caring social justice activist and advocate. It has been such a pleasure to get to know Kizzy this year and to watch, and to some extent enable, her progress as an emerging artist and activist."
The Trinity judges said: "Kizzy has clearly done exceptional work in poetry and shows intelligence and insight through her artwork. We are impressed that Kizzy had only written her first poem just before starting her Arts Award, and to go from that to writing really insightful poetry was very impressive. We can clearly see her progress in her art form development and personal progress."
How has your Trinity College London qualification influenced your progress with your art?
When I first started my Arts Award I was new to poetry and I would say that completing the course gave me the experience and confidence I really needed to progress. The time we were given to explore our own voices through writing and performing really helped me to develop as my own artist. On top of this, the positive feedback and encouragement I received from everyone I was working with along with the diverse range of influences we were introduced to (such as Benjamin Zephaniah and Joelle Taylor) made me believe I could take this as far as I wanted.
Has taking part in a Trinity qualification helped you to develop wider skills?
Completing my Arts Award gave me the skills to put across my opinions on important issues with clarity through my poetry. It helped me to transform my art from a fun hobby into a vehicle for social change. My poetry has since changed the attitudes and outlooks of many people when it comes to disability and mental health and I have created the Radical Curriculum Fellowship (RCF), an activist collective that strives to create a curriculum for young activists by young activists.
Would you like to tell us anything about the challenges you’ve faced this year, and how you’ve overcome them to achieve your qualification?
I have various disabilities and mental health issues but the two that affect me most are Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and OCD. These can often make accessing the arts more difficult; however, due to the remote nature of the course, I was able to participate from the comfort of my bedroom. This meant I was able to break through my physical limitations and create. The course also gave me a positive attitude to look past my speech impediment something I have struggled with for a while.
What are the next steps for you following your qualification?
I have already started working towards my Silver Arts Award in order to work on my poetry performance skills further. I would also like to compete in the SLAMbassadors Slam next year and possibly compete in the UK Championships just to see how I do and learn from the experience.
What are your career aims?
In the future, I would like to headline festivals such as the Edinburgh Fringe and eventually tour with my own show. Before then I would like to publish my own collection and increase the social media following for both RCF and my own poetry to try and make as much of a change as possible. I also enjoy collaborating with other poets and musicians so I want to continue doing that.
Have you got any advice for other young people working towards an Arts Award or Trinity qualification?
I would suggest just having fun with it and using the time to find your own inspirations and voice as an artist. This is the time you can take your art to the next level and transform it into something more than just the basic art form.
More from Kizzy
Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2020.