The Reading Room is a new collaborative project where people can read, learn, listen, and share ideas.
Through linking up with other spaces across the country, we’ve created libraries stocked with thought provoking books, where reading groups and opportunities to meet authors are being established, providing resources and activities that hope to catalyse creativity, collaboration and conversation.
The organisations involved share a common goal – to support and empower people within their communities. This project has been initiated in partnership with Pluto Press, and the Left Book Club, and over time, each local hub will develop to reflect and serve the community within which it sits, making each space responsive and unique.
As well as physical library spaces, The Reading Room will open up forums to debate local issues that affect everyday lives. Taking the lead from our communities, these topics may include inequality, the environment, precarious employment, LGBTQ+ issues, structural racism and much more.
An artist-led space that supports artists, curators and communities through the provision of space for creative practice, curatorial opportunities and an ambitious artist-led programme of exhibitions, commissions, artist development and events. Their programme is based on an artist-led model, delivering an ambitious programme of exhibitions, performances, screenings, educational talks, workshops and bookshop events in consultation with our artist members. This creates a programme that reflects the diversity of contemporary art practice, is responsive to the environment within which it exists, that builds solidarity, and that places community-centred, experimental, collaborative and socially conscious programming at its heart.
The Sustainable Studio is a grassroots community studio, focussed on providing a platform for people of all abilities to thrive and succeed. Set within a repurposed industrial warehouse, the studio includes an immersive space for performance, exhibitions, photo & video shoots, 30+ affordable studios, a sustainable fashion hub, community swap shop, and refill station.
Nurturing talent through mentoring, work experience and paid internship opportunities is at the very core of what they do, enabling people from all walks of life, at any point in their journey, to access workshops and events, including affordable space to develop ideas, and work closely with others in a safe and supportive environment.
The studio has become a launch pad for emerging artists and creative businesses. They are proud of the diverse range of artists, makers and creative professionals that make up the studio. They invest in people and the community.
Left Bank Leeds is a progressive space for creativity, culture and community, set inside a beautiful Grade II listed former church building in Burley, Leeds. It’s a vibrant hub for workshops, events, markets and exhibitions. Alongside a full programme of events, Left Bank is open every day as a café to work, relax and study in.
Our programme is created to give everyone in our community and from wider areas something amazing to do, participate in, or experience. We have live music, comedy, art workshops, exhibitions and quiz nights as part of our regular schedule, and an exciting list of events throughout the year.
Metal holds time and space for artists of all ages and backgrounds to forge new ideas and realise their potential.
Founded in 2002, Metal provides innovative, multi-disciplinary residencies and development opportunities for artists from the UK and overseas, from spaces in Peterborough, Southend on Sea and Liverpool. Their approach celebrates place, builds local connections and nurtures talent, encouraging experimentation, collaboration and co-creation.
In Peterborough, Metal operates from Chauffeurs Cottage, and provides a welcoming and stimulating space for artists to create with the wider communities of Peterborough. Through their work, Metal aims to build stronger, healthier and happier communities, through art, culture and creativity.
The Old Waterworks (TOW) is an artist-led charity that provides studios, facilities and professional development for artists. TOW is home to studios occupied by artists living in and around Southend-on-Sea, it also has a research library and a risograph printer providing a service for small-run DIY publications, workshops and low cost printing. TOW hosts regular community events.
The Other MA (TOMA) is an 18-month artist-run education model and nomadic exhibition space based in Southend-on-Sea supporting artists who have faced barriers accessing art education and the ‘art world’. TOMA was set up in 2016 to offer responsive, affordable, accessible art education to artists and is currently the only postgraduate level art programme in Essex. TOMA is unaccredited in the traditional sense, but provides a programme of learning that will benefit artists in the same way. TOMA is based at The Old Waterworks.
Both organisations work collaboratively and alongside other cultural organisations in the area, bringing contemporary art and culture to the wider community.