Fogo Island Arts (FIA) is pleased to announce a residency program that will send 19-year old musician Mike Penton from Fogo Island to Europe. Penton is a self-taught singer, song-writer and guitar-player. He will spend time in Berlin, Brussels, and Vienna over the course of two months for professional voice training and several live performances.
“I believe it’s part of our mandate and mission to provide exchange opportunities for artists, such as Mike Penton, to develop their exceptional talent in urban centres renowned for their musical heritage and culture, and offer their own expertise to others,” said Nicolaus Schafhausen, Strategic Director at Fogo Island Arts. “Whereas we typically welcome artists from across the globe to take part in residencies on Fogo Island, with this initiative, artists are given the chance to travel from Fogo Island out into the world.”
Mike Penton added, “this residency will give me access to teachers, mentors and tools to further develop my skills as a musician and performer, and also to experience life in exciting and contrasting environments.”
This new residency initiative builds on Fogo Island Arts’ deep-rooted ambition to foster powerful connections between people and places. FIA’s residency program on the island and now elsewhere strives to facilitate exchange between diverse perspectives in order to strengthen the cultural and economic resilience of Fogo Island.
Mike Penton, born on Fogo Island, is a musician who grew up in the community of Joe Batt’s Arm. Penton’s love of music started early—his mother and two sisters are both musicians themselves. There was always a guitar in the house. Penton has played several concerts locally, and performs regularly at the Fogo Island Inn. In May 2017, Penton first travelled abroad to Vienna and performed with great success for the opening of Kunsthalle Wien’s large-scale group exhibition How To Live Together. The international crowd of musicians and artists he met during this time are looking forward to welcoming him back to Europe for his residency, and continue to build collaborations together.
Image credit: Mike Penton performing in Vienna, May 2017. Photo courtesy Kunsthalle Wien.