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Signkid part of The January Challenge

Posted in News

Press release

“This is a unique opportunity to join in with some of the creative world’s biggest talents. The January Challenge from arts organisation 64 Million Artists, now in its eighth year, is 31 days of fun, quick and free creative challenges for everyone to enjoy.

Previous challenges have included creating a self-portrait from household items, collaging a view from your window and writing poems inspired by a single word. And today, people from across the UK are being asked to submit their ideas for unique, creative challenges for the public to participate in throughout January 2022.

In 2021, more than 50,000 people took part, including adults, children, workplaces, community groups and schools. Challenges were set by a huge variety of people, from six-year-olds to 86-year-olds across the country – as well as author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay, journalist Yomi Adegoke, theatre-maker and comedian Jess Thom, poet Inua Ellams and more.

This year, 64 Million Artists will also have challenges designed by a range of creative collaborators, including chef Zoe Adjonyoh, signsong rapper SignKid, writer and performer Travis Alabanza, Derek Owusu, also a writer, and music collective Steam Down.

Jo Hunter, founder of 64 Million Artists said: “The January Challenge is so exciting because it’s built by the people taking part.

“All of the challenges come from people and organisations around the UK, sometimes even around the world! People don’t just ‘do’ the challenges; they dream them up too.

“This year, the challenge is full of brilliant ideas designed by musicians, chefs, sports stars, writers, makers, activists – and you! Get involved.”

The January Challenge 2022 will feature three new programmes for the public to choose from:

    • We are Human – explore the senses, the natural world and what makes us human.
    • We are Culture – explore our identities, cultures and communities
    • We are Connected – explore what happens when we create together

“Challenges should be accessible to everybody taking part,” advises Jo. “We have more than 50,000 people participating, so think about time space, money and mobility. Challenges should take around 5-10 minutes to complete and, if people need materials, then they should be readily available in most homes.”

People joining in this coming January will receive an email each morning with a new creative prompt to try out during the day. Challenge responses can then be shared with the supportive online community using the hashtag #TheJanuaryChallenge.

As well as the general public, challenge ideas will come from creative people around the country, with new names being announced over the coming weeks. Even Rotherham United Football Club is signed up to set a challenge!

The January Challenge by 64 Million Artists runs from 1 – 31 January 2022, and more information can be found at: https://bit.ly/DesignAChallenge

Some background information:

64 Million Artists is an organisation committed to unlocking the creative potential of every single person in the UK to make positive change in our lives and the world around us. Since the launch of The January Challenge in 2014, more than 125,000 people have participated in daily creative activities and 96% say it improves their mental wellbeing.

Signkid is the UK’s first and only deaf music producer, writer, and performer to have pioneered and developed a unique aesthetic by integrating and adapting British Sign Language (BSL) signing into a visually-based language suited specifically for live hip-hop, rap, and music performance. He has subsequently evolved this approach into music video production by simultaneously overlaying a hearing rapper onto his distinctive BSL performance.

SignKid has performed at festivals including Deaf Rave, Wireless, Fabric, Boomtown and Latitude, and has had BBC Breakfast, Liberty BBC News, and BBC radio coverage. He featured in a LadBible x Smirnoff advert. He was recently nominated twice for a ‘Best Artistic Short Film’ award at Wolverhampton Deaffest. Dumbass was nominated for Deaf Shorts Award at Encounters Film Festival in September 2019. Dumbass is also being nominated at Glasgow Short Film Festival 2020. The short film “SILENT WORLD’ was released on BBC player on 2 September as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine.

Zoe Adjonyoh is a chef, writer, entrepreneur and founder of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen.

Coral Wylie is a wildlife communicator and theatre-maker from London. Their work focuses mainly on the wonderful world of bugs, teaching people about the fantastic and so often ignored realm of the crawlies all around us – often portrayed as something to fear or hate.

Travis Alabanza is a writer, performer and theatre-maker from Bristol. Their writing, performance and public discourse centres of trans and Black identities.

Derek Owusu is an award-winning writer and poet from North London. In 2019, he collated, edited and contribute to SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, an anthology exploring the experiences of Black men in Britain.