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FUZE Bristol is made up of nearly 50 University of Bristol student creatives focussed on raising money through performances.
This year, the organisation’s end of year show saw a cast and crew of 250 put on a ‘theatrical fashion musical’ to an enraptured audience at Lakota Gardens in Stokes Croft.
“This year’s theme was ‘utopia’,” explained Pippa Adamthwaite-Cook, FUZE Bristol’s Managing Director. “Coming out of the pandemic we wanted to show what a perfect new normal could look like: a utopia based on diversity, inclusion and sustainability.
“We wanted to put on a show and do something really creative, while also creating an event that had a meaning behind it. We also wanted something that was built on community, something the last year has lacked because of the pandemic.
“It was meant to be very avant garde, a real celebration of the past year – and I think we achieved that with something that was spectacular and immersive.”
The show on June 3rd and 4th featured a series of fashion and dance performances. Most of those who took part were students with the University of Bristol, with some involvement from the local community.
Over the 2020-21 academic year FUZE Bristol has raised £23,500 for their two designated charities: Black South West Network, a Bristol-based social justice charity, and Art Refuge, which uses art and art therapy to support displaced people.
A spokesperson for Black South West Network said they were “so grateful” for the donations, which they would put toward their new site to “to make it accessible to local black-led business, organisations and communities for cultural and business purposes”
Art Refuge said the donations would be “reinvested directly into delivering frontline projects with displaced people and those who support them”.
FUZE Bristol has been running since 2003, with a focus on its set-piece fashion show at the end of the academic year.
“This year we turned the organisation on its head, grounding it in core values of diversity and inclusion and making it about much more than just the end of year show,” said Pippa, who has just finished a degree in Theatre and Performance Studies.
“We created lots of partnerships and tripled our social following in a year.”
FUZE Bristol is now recruiting a team for next year. You can find more information on their website.
Meanwhile Pippa has plans to grow FUZE into an even bigger organisation while she works in Bristol as a freelance radio producer.
“Watch this space,” she said.
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