With For About
A different kind of conference. Each year we invite colleagues and comrades from the UK and beyond to the town of St Helens to discuss, share and consider:
- What is the role of art and artists in civil society ?
- What are the fierce and urgent questions facing collaborative and social art today?
- What the potential of collaborative art, with and within community and social contexts?
#WithForAbout is a moment for public critical reflection and a chance to explore some of the tensions and challenges in our work and in this field of practice. We invite interested parties to critically reflect and discuss in a different type of ‘conference’ setting. Read about previous conferences below.
2018 With for About: Making a Meal of It
In April 2019, over 120 participants were invited to collectively produce a dinner course, present it in a meaningful way; document the process and the event; contribute to discussion; submit a page for publication. Facilitated by artists Joshua Sofaer, idle women, Claire Weetman, Chrissie Tiller, Mark Storor, Eggs Collective, Cathy Cross and Heather Morison, groups were encouraged to take part in a collective experience in space and time, to embody the values we expound and to reflect on a common task.
This was a special edition of our With For About conference series, the fifth Staging Post of the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP). An ambitious transnational cultural programme focusing on the dynamic area of collaborative arts across Europe.
2017 With for About: Art, Activism & Community
In May 2017 we partnered with Axisweb, idle women and Chrissie Tiller to host the second iteration of the conference With For About. The conference took place at Friends Meeting House, St Helens. 16 speakers / provocateurs and 100 participants explored collaboration, language and our role as artists, producers and commissioners in an ever-changing socio-political landscape.
2015 With for About
For our first With For About, 73 artists, producers, caretakers, educators, participants and commissioners gathered to talk and share ideas in St Helens Town Hall. The event aimed to create the space to explore validation, working in context, public art and publics and approaches to professional development. More information here.
Photos from a brilliant day in May 2019 when over 100 artists, practitioners, educators, researchers and arts producers from across the UK, Europe and the USA joined us at Ravenhead Social Club, St Helens for With For About: Art & Democracy. The day was divided into 3 panels around the question: "Is art, and the making of art, the last frontier in the fight for democracy and the realisation of civil society?" Photos by Stephen King.