The BRIT School Obie Bursary Scheme 2023

The BRIT School Obie Bursary Scheme 2023

Date published: 08/08/2023

We are very grateful to The BRIT Trust (Obie Bursary) for their generosity in supporting the careers of graduates by giving a helping hand in the form of a non-repayable financial bursary. 

The Obie Bursary fund of £15,000 supports students who are facing financial barriers. With a commitment to Equality, Diversity Inclusion (EDI) students will be able to continue their training and education when they leave The BRIT School- providing the vital springboard into careers. It could help with any education-related costs that may arise during their pursuits, including essentials such as meals, equipment, specialist materials/clothing or transport to their training provider. 

  • This year 37 Year 13/14 and alumni who left up to two years ago applied. 
  • The panel were Stuart Worden, Angela Ferreira (Television Executive and BRIT School Trustee) and Jo Evans (Careers Manager)
  • We were able to award 16 students/alumni by distributing £15,000 of Obie Bursary. It was competitive especially as the need was so great and the creative pathways so diverse and wide ranging. 

Among the recipients described below you will see the diverse range of needs and how the bursary will impact them. Here are some selected testimonials. 

•    Sharifa Olateju (Black Caribbean, Music Tech 2023 graduate) has self funded through BRIT, shown dedication and wants to use the bursary on producing music and funding a music campaign for their music to reach more people through social media/digital marketing strategies. 

•    Heidi Blackstock (White British, Dance 2023 graduate) has an ambition to run her own Dance School and the funding was awarded towards a DDE Qualification so she can offer examinations and an ISTD syllabus.

•    Carmen Bird (White British, Visual Arts & Design 2023 graduate) applied for  the bursary to help purchase hardware and software to create, promote and elevate the level of women’s football in London, the UK and eventually worldwide through photography and design. 

•    Taylor Hylton (Mixed background, Music Tech 2023 graduate) is an inspiring music photographer and multimedia artist, attending numerous gigs and capturing photos. The bursary will support a gap year dedicated to studying photography exploring topics such as homelessness or housing campaigners fighting against gentrification.

•    Shekinah Victor (Shine) (Asian, Interactive Digital Design student) is graphic/visual designer who needs the technology based equipment and software to continue to produce quality work when they leave. 

“ I would appreciate this bursary because being a young girl from south London, we don’t get opportunities like this, so I just want to make my name be known in the design industry and actually create pieces that will move people and hopefully when I get the resources and equipment I will be able to create freely without any limits.”

•    Helina Atsbaha (Other mixed background, Musical Theatre 2023 graduate) will be studying a joint honours degree in Popular Music Performance and Music Production next year and the money will go towards building my own studio set up at home as well as general maintenance for university.

•    Emma Grelet (Black Caribbean, Musical Theatre 2023 graduate) has been offered a place on the BA (Hons) Professional Acting course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Emma comes from a household with a low annual income combined and currently a waitress on the weekends to financially support her family. 

•    Avina Shah (Indian, Musical Theatre 2023 graduate) has been accepted at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she will be studying the BA Musical Theatre course. 

“Surviving the cost of living on my own threatens my education and I find myself facing considerable financial challenges in covering the cost of living expenses. I believe that investing in education is a brilliant way to better society and as I am committed to making the most of this educational opportunity and will work diligently to excel in my studies, I think I would make excellent use of this financial aid.” 

•    Sara Hajizadeh-Estabraghy  (Other Asian background, Musical Theatre 2023 graduate)  has been offered a place for my dream school, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where I will be studying for a BA in Musical Theatre. Her family are unfortunately struggling with debt and cannot pay for this course so this will help travel and accommodation costs. 

•    Eithne Cox- (other mixed background, Musical Theatre 2023 graduate) has been recently diagnosed with ADHD and accepted on The Foundation Musical Theatre course at Mountview. In a smaller classroom setting Eithne’s learning needs are more likely to be met tol help them to flourish and become the performer they want to be.  

Full list of Bursary Recipients 2023

Sharifa Olateju - Music Tech
Miracle Ohanenye  IDD
Ruby Abigail McGinty- Dance
T'shanti Atkinson- FMP
Daniel James Sutton- Dance alumni
Freya Hiles- MT alumni
Heidi Jane Gravestock- Dance
Jazzy ZAPATA Matas- Applied Theatre
Carmen Bird- VAD
Taylor Hylton Music Tech
Helina Atsbaha - Musical Theatre 
Emma -Musical Theatre 
Avina Shah -Musical Theatre 
Eithne Cox -Musical Theatre 
Sara Hajizadeh-Estabraghy-Musical Theatre 
Matthew Fraser Thomas- Musical Theatre