Thursday 21st July 2016

Ambition Award Announcement

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Heart of Glass is delighted to announce new funding support for an ambitious partnership and large-scale collaborative arts project, to take place between 2017 and 2019 in St Helens.

Heart of Glass is to receive £487,500 of funding following a successful Ambition for Excellence application to Arts Council England. The award is part of a nationwide programme aimed at stimulating and supporting ambition, talent and excellence across the arts sector. The funding, which was awarded following a highly competitive application round, will see a new contemporary collaborative arts project produced with culturally diverse communities of women from across the borough of St Helens.

Working with partners ANU Productions and contemporary art organisation idle women, we will use genealogy, unconventional practices and historical research to explore the personal everyday histories of the women of St Helens as the basis for a new set of productions in 2018 – the year the borough celebrates its 150th birthday.

Through the project, Heart of Glass aims to establish St Helens as an excellence centre for collaborative arts practice and develop pioneering digital ways to involve people in the project. The project is also supported through our participation in the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP), a 9 organisation Creative Europe funded initiative.

More information will follow soon, as well as details of how to get involved.

Heart of Glass:

We are delighted to be working with our partners on this significant project over the coming years. What we are proposing will be a bombastic collaborative arts project, something that breaks new ground, and is a first nationally. Working with women across the borough of St Helens, and creating a new set of productions in the year that the town celebrates its 150th birthday will be a dramatic moment to present stories that have been untold, and realise St Helens as a fertile ground for ambitious collaborative arts projects that reflect the politics of our times.

Idle women:

It’s fantastic to receive this support at such a critical time for women. Aboard Selina Cooper we are navigating the daily devastating floods of austerity cuts to vital womens services and the shoreless gulf of women who are underrepresented in the arts.  idle women in creative partnership with Heart of Glass and Anu Productions are committed to celebrating the phenomenal creativity, adaptability and vision that women share.  Now more than ever women need creative place, voice and networks. This award gives us the opportunity to harness the turning tide, articulate a different way of working, a less celebrated value system of co-dependency and co-creation. Artists have never worked in isolation and its time to really celebrate the relationships we nurture and the process we share.

Marie Rimmer, MP for St Helens South and Whiston: The people of St Helens have always been proud of their heritage – something that is so entrenched in our town’s culture – and Heart of Glass has always been great at homing in on that pride. I think this project will really resonate with our residents, particularly the house transformation – seeing the layers of its history peel away – as the changing St Helens landscape is something we can all relate to.”

Councillor Jeanie Bell, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing: That this project is raising the aspirations of women and girls in St Helens through involvement in arts and culture is truly inspiring. From a public health perspective, aspiration is an issue we’re now focusing more upon, as it’s key to the differences we’re seeing in local women’s health and wellbeing. I can’t wait to see more women engage with Heart of Glass!

Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, said: It never fails to impress me just how engaged and invested residents can become in collaborative public art projects and culture – something that we’ve all seen before with previous Heart of Glass projects like ‘Your Name Here’. It’s fantastic to hear that local women have the chance to learn and develop new skills and to delve into the everyday histories of their ancestry.”