Our 5 years as a CIC developed and evolved through our collaborations with many talented artists. Driven by the belief that artists enact positive change, our mission was to connect artists with our communities and create spaces for us to learn from each other. We invited artists to share new perspectives and ideas which in turn shaped our organisation in unexpected ways.
A key part of our approach was giving artists space and time to develop work that was truly grounded in the town of Leigh. Projects such as The Turnpike Pottery created an environment that nurtured artistic innovation through deep engagement with local collaborators. An emphasis on process over outcome shifted the focus to artists’ practice and allowed for responsive and participatory ways of working.
We worked hard to support the artist workforce, both through paid opportunities and professional development projects. Making of Us was our most ambitious strand of this work, supporting 15 mid-career socially engaged artists working in Greater Manchester through a programme of training, mentoring, and live collaborative projects with partners.