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Artists Together

What is Artists Together?

Artists Together is part of the St Helens Libraries, Cultural Hubs Programme and its aim is to support artists of all disciplines* who are based in St Helens. Currently Artists Together is led by artist Claire Weetman, who devises events and activities in response to and in collaboration with artists in St Helens and beyond.

*When we use the term Artist we are referring to any creative person; actors, dancers, painters, craftspeople, photographers, sound artists, musicians, poets, performers, novelists, improvisers, filmmakers, embroiderers, scriptwriters, makers... there's as many ways to be an artist as there are people, so if you think you might be an artist, show up!

Manifesto for Artists Together

Artists Together should give artists the confidence to make, create and share their work through the support of other artists in St Helens.

Artists Together:

  • Responds to the ideas of a range of artists in St Helens

  • Provides opportunities for artists* in St Helens to give each other peer-support

  • Creates spaces and opportunity for artists to test, share and create new work

  • Is an open invitation to artists* of all disciplines to meet each other.

Where do I get involved?

Since November 2020 Artists Together has happened as both online events and as in person events. These change from month to month and are posted on St Helens Borough Council's Eventbrite page where you can sign up to each event. 

The kind of events we have held are:

  • Online sharing of work by Artists Together artists

  • Online sharing of work by invited speakers

  • Creative walks led by Artists Together artists

  • Skills development and skill sharing sessions (online and IRL)

  • Arting Together and Collaboradoodle events - opportunities for artists to make and share work in a real life space over a longer period of time.

Sometimes things happen as part of 'official' Artists Together' events, and sometimes they form part of other closely related projects. For example, the Artist-Led in St Helens empty shops project in 2022 worked with lots of artists from Artists Together and the Oral History Festival had a poetry night that was based on a request from an Artists Together poet.

Through meeting each other at events artists have worked with each other on other projects and been able to share knowledge and skills outside of the formal Artists Together events. Some of the things we do are one-offs, and others are ideas that develop over time and as the right opportunity or conditions allow.

Also as part of her work as the Artists Together lead artist, Claire Weetman meets with artists individually and connects with organisations where artists are based (like Buzzhub, St Helens College, MD Creatives) to try and join up the dots between the artists in the town.

Who can come?

There are approximately 25 artists who attend events regularly, with around 10-20 people at each event. If you come to more than one event, you'll probably recognise someone. This is great, because together we can support, champion and work with each other. There's usually at least one person who hasn't been to an Artists Together event before, which is also great, because it's wonderful to experience and meet more of the creative ideas and people in St Helens. 

Transparency

St Helens Arts in Libraries have commissioned Claire Weetman to be the lead artist for Artists Together since November 2020. For the current term (June 2022 - March 2023) of her contract Claire receives a fee of £5000. She uses this to pay for 16 days of her time (£4000 = approximately half a day per week over 8 months) and uses the remaining £1000 to enable other artists to deliver activity as part of the programme (this might be to lead a session, for speaker fees for people who are sharing skills, materials costs etc).

Please email Claire Weetman for more details.