Tuesday 27th June 2017

National Portfolio Organisation announcement

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Heart of Glass is delighted to announce that we have been offered National Portfolio Organisation regular funding from the Arts Council England.

Building on our work to date since our inception in 2014, our proposal will see us establish Heart of Glass as a national collaborative arts commissioning agency from our base here in St Helens, Merseyside.

Founded in 2014 by an initial investment of £1.5 million from Arts Council England through the Creative People and People scheme, we established as an independent entity in 2016 and continue to be an active member of the Creative People and Places network.

This new funding support will see us build from this base and expand our role as a nationally significant organisation brokering the reciprocal relationship between contemporary arts and modern society, a champion for interdisciplinary, cross art-form and cross-sector collaborative practice, and a powerful and provocative conduit for new ideas.

Our Director Patrick Fox said: “Our on-going mission is to support artists and communities (of place / interest) to collaborate and realise ambitious contemporary artwork that reflects and responds to the politics of our times. We work across context and across art form and through our projects and initiatives we wish to create a space for dialogue, research and experimentation, placing art in direction interaction all areas of life that form society – this work is vital, more so now than ever. People both individually and within communities of place or interest are central to both our thinking and our practice and this funding opportunity and support will allow us to go deeper and wider – we look forward to collaborating.”

Joanna Rowlands, Chair of Heart of Glass, said: “We’re delighted to hear that Heart of Glass has received NPO funding from the Arts Council. It will enable us to become the national agency for collaborative and social arts practice. Proud to be rooted in St Helens, we’ll create ambitious cultural projects where the community are at the heart of the idea and the process.”

The Heart of Glass ethos is rooted in collaborative and social practice and embodies the principle of partnership. Our core value, philosophy and approach is founded on co-production with the community and the active participation of the collaborator, non-artist, audience and viewer, in the creation of meaning. Over the coming years we will continue to produce specialised projects and resources for those who make, watch, research, study, teach, produce, present, write about and archive collaborative and social arts practice.

Eamonn McManus, Chair of St Helens RFC and Chair of the St Helens Economy Board, said: “This Arts Council announcement is an endorser of that ambition and further reinforces St Helens growing reputation for arts and culture activity. As an Economy Board and Ambassadors for St Helens we know how important arts and culture will be and it is great to see such an investment being made in the borough.”All aspects of our work are informed by issues of difference and diversity, and our work is made, of and for St Helens and every community in which we work.”

We will be making further announcements in the coming months, leading up to the commencement of this investment phase in April 2018.

For more information on Heart of Glass, please download A Modest Proposal – our forward strategy and development plan.

Praxis Volume One: Of People, Place and Time, our first publication detailing work to date is also available HERE.