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Hubs As Hosts British Council Creative Hubs Tour

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Last week I was fortunate to take part in a Creative Hub tour with the British Council that brought together different UK and Southern African Creative Hubs. To share skills, knowledge and learn from each other and a series of inspiring different UK Creative Hubs we visited throughout the week.

Whitworth Locke

We stayed in the gorgeous Whitworth Locke as our base for the week in Manchester and visited the following amazing locations:

 

Paradise Works

Paradise Works  an independent artist-led initiative providing studio and project space to a proactive community of 36 contemporary artists. Their gallery space hosts a critically engaged programme of exhibitions and film screenings, showcasing works from new and established artists working nationally & internationally. Paradise Works aims to develop a sustainable model for artist-led activity in the Manchester city region. They believe that artists hold a vital role in the development of a vibrant and diverse city, and that artists are better enabled to establish sustainable careers as part of this.

Manchester Craft & Design Centre

Manchester Craft & Design Centre  is a gorgeous Victorian market converted into artists’ studios and retail spaces with contemporary jewellery, ceramics and art for sale, as well as regular events and activities.

Leeds Playhouse

Leeds Playhouse is one of the largest producing theatres in the north. They support local artists and engage with communities across West Yorkshire. They are a creative hub for the city and beyond, a place where people and communities come to tell and share stories; to experience world class theatre that is pioneering, invigorating and relevant. They are dedicated collaborators seeking out the best companies and individual artists locally, nationally and internationally to create inspirational theatre here in Leeds at the heart of Yorkshire.

Slung Low

Founded in 2000 Slung Low is an award-winning theatre company specialising in making epic productions in non-theatre spaces, often with large community performance companies at their heart.

The company recently relocated to The Holbeck in Leeds: the oldest working men’s club in Britain. They run the bar as a traditional members’ bar and the rest of the building as an open development space for artists and a place where Slung Low invite other companies to present their work that otherwise might not get to be seen in Leeds. All work presented at The Holbeck is Pay What You Decide. The equipment and vehicles of the company are lent to those who have need. It is a useful place that shares its resources with those artists who need them.

In Autumn 2018 Slung Low launched a Cultural Community College based in Holbeck; a place where adults come to learn new cultural skills – from stargazing to South Indian cooking, from carpentry to singing in a choir – and all workshops, supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, are provided on a Pay What You Decide basis.

Side Photographic Gallery

Side is dedicated to showing the best in documentary photography: rich, powerful and challenging work engaged with people’s lives and landscapes, telling stories that often get marginalised, whether they are from the North East of England or anywhere else in the world.

Star and Shadow Cinema

Star and Shadow Cinema Star and Shadow Cinema is a volunteer-run DIY space for Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, and the north east UK.  It is set up as an open-to-join co-operative housed in a building it owns, dedicated to culture coming from and/or programmed by the grass roots – particularly cinema and music.

The Old Courts Art Centre

The Old Courts is a not for profit multi-arts centre which aims to bring innovative art, music, comedy, dance and spoken word events to Wigan. In a beautiful refurbished court house they have two music venues, a theatre, an art gallery, Victorian Court Room, arts space, rehearsal rooms, performance space and flexible space.

 

Lessons Learned

Overall it was an amazing week and opportunity to reflect on our work in Belfast, meet lots of lovely and very passionate and inspirational creatives from across the UK and Southern Africa. To learn from others working within the Creative Hubs sector and hopefully help us to become more ambitious, effective and better at what we do.

#blickstudios on
Instagram post 2247913038672118912_295518986 Team catch up! We had a lovely meeting catching up and creating a plan of attack for the year! - You will be hearing more about our team at Blick and who we are & what we do. - Hope you all are having a blessed day!
Instagram post 2246619409689220325_295518986 Peaceful Tuesday in our Hill Street Studios . . . #hillstreet #belfast #cqbelfast #blickstudios #workspace #creativeworkspace #coworking #studio #studiospace #architecture #entrepreneurlife #creativelife
Instagram post 2246062236852599757_295518986 Jan & Feb are months of planning for us at Blick. Resetting the balance after the busyness of the previous period and catching up with admin and other essential tasks. We have lots of new events and projects planned for 2020. However it's so easy to get caught up in plans and details and not actually get time to implement new ideas so keeping this quote in mind over the next couple of weeks to keep us moving forward to our 2020 goals
Instagram post 2242229519522458389_295518986 The storm seems to have lifted here at Cotton Court! ☀️ . . . #cottoncourt #coworkingspace #creativespace #workspace #belfast #blickstudios #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #creative #city #cityscape
Instagram post 2241379269920255324_295518986 Dreading leaving the warmth of the studio today! . . . . #hillstreet #belfast #cqbelfast #blickstudios #workspace #creativeworkspace #coworking #studio #studiospace #architecture #entrepreneurlife #creativelife
Instagram post 2241002821808104530_295518986 Our gorgeous front room in our Malone Studios is available to hire weekdays before 5 and weekend afternoons for workshops, events etc
Instagram post 2237125508884351914_295518986 Lovely day for a lunchtime meeting in the Cathedral Quarter! . . . . #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #belfast #lovebelfast #discoverni #creative #architecture
Instagram post 2236389740100455149_295518986 Toasty Tuesday in our Hill Street studios! . . . #hillstreet #belfast #cqbelfast #blickstudios #workspace #creativeworkspace #coworking #studio #studiospace #architecture #entrepreneurlife #creativelife
Instagram post 2231460793260805457_295518986 The afternoons are definitely getting lighter now. Lovely for travelling home! ☺️ . . . . #belfast #cathedralquarter #dukeofyork #belfastcity #belfastpub #lovebelfast #CQBelfast #creative #city #belfastcreatives
Instagram post 2230553542647977222_295518986 Beautiful start to the week in the Cathedral Quarter! . . . #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #belfast #lovebelfast #discoverni #creative #architecture
Instagram post 2227216840084686614_295518986 Some Wednesday Wisdom for anyone starting a creative business or project from our Hill St resident illustrator @gemmaoneill - You can find an interview with Gemma on our blog if you want more inspiration
Instagram post 2226288394949239495_295518986 The greyest of January days, but there’s still plenty of colour in the Cathedral Quarter 🎨 . . . #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #belfast #lovebelfast #discoverni #creative #january
Instagram post 2225481193921908418_295518986 Hello Monday! Hope everyone has a productive week 💪🏻 . . . . #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #belfast #lovebelfast #discoverni #creative #architecture
Instagram post 2222141311052684065_295518986 Lovely and cosy for working late in our Cotton Court studios on these cold dark evenings
Instagram post 2217512272174374717_295518986 Blue sky in the Cathedral Quarter again this morning! Definitely worthy of a little stretch of the legs . . . #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #belfast #lovebelfast #discoverni #creative #architecture #januarysun
Instagram post 2216897875760588450_295518986 Resident illustrator @gemmaoneill has been enjoying the view from our Hill Street studios today! ✏️ . . . . . #lovebelfast #cathedralquarter #CQBelfast #ireland #northernireland #niexplorer #explorebelfast #discoverni #cityscape #citylife #urban #BelfastCC #illustration #illustrator #art #artist #artwork #sketch #sketchbook #locationdrawing #showyoursketchbook
Instagram post 2216820743936082445_295518986 Beautiful January morning in the Cathedral Quarter! Hope everyone is enjoying getting back into the swing of things after the break. Coffee helps! . . . #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #belfast #lovebelfast #discoverni #creative #coffee
Instagram post 2216066693372175246_295518986 Happy New Year! Some great advice for creatives starting their own business from Blick Resident @joelavertyphotography to keep you motivated as you get back into the swing of things following the festive season. For more inspiration and advice on getting started you can read his full interview on our blog (link in bio)
Instagram post 2203039766931745682_295518986 Christmas in the Cathedral Quarter. Hope everyone has a wonderful one this year! . . . #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #belfast #lovebelfast #christmas #winter #city
Instagram post 2198133200277315977_295518986 The dark winter nights aren’t so bad in the Cathedral Quarter. Happy weekend everyone! . . . #belfast #cathedralquarter #dukeofyork #belfastcity #belfastpub #lovebelfast #CQBelfast #creative #city #belfastcreatives
Instagram post 2197959147423796044_295518986 Great start to the day on the way to our Hill Street Studios this morning ☀️ . . . #belfast #cqbelfast #cathedralquarter #lovebelfast #explorebelfast #discoverni
Instagram post 2196621714967229764_295518986 Beautiful crisp afternoon in the Cathedral Quarter today ❄️ . . . #belfast #city #lovebelfast #cathedralquarter #CQBelfast #niexplorer #cityscape #citylife #urban #VisitBelfast #BelfastCC #winter #wintersun #shadows #stannessquare
Instagram post 2192222683465521971_295518986 Belfast Design Week – Closing Party 9.11.19 - @belfastdesignwk @creatingaspace & @matter.sustainablemarket came together to curate a special night for Belfast Design Week closing party. - The aim of the event was to bring everyone together that had taken part over Design Week , celebrate all of the hard work that had been done and to acknowledge the successes of the week! - We had the event at @artceterastudio43 , and transformed the space into a creative, visual space. - We had a fashion installation where we had local fashion designers in Belfast showcasing their work and combined that with that a film screening on the theme of ‘Power’, promoting diversity and multiculturalism and celebrating Art, Fashion & Music within Belfast made by @creatingaspace - Fashion Designers @katieirelanddesigns @jamie.m.kerr @owenmarkhenry