The Bluecoat is a contemporary arts centre in a Grade 1 listed building, the oldest building in Liverpool city centre, and offers a contemporary offer of visual art, literature, live art, music, dance, cabaret and comedy. The programme is presented through exhibitions, performances, residencies, cross-art happenings, community celebrations and a related programme of participation opportunities, talks, tours, publications and workshops. Moreover it is a catalyst for Liverpool\’s creative and cultural life, developing and engaging artists, creatives and audiences and aims to fashion \’wow\’ moments; events and happenings that are desirable, connective, inspirational and transforming.
The Bluecoat is seeking a visual artist with international profile and experience of engaged community practice to work with the Participation Team on a seven week residency project between January and March 2012. The project will focus on engaging children, young people and adults with learning disabilities in a collaborative creative experience that will help them connect with each other, take more notice of their environment and support each other in the community. The participant groups are already in place, along with a team of experienced staff who will support the residency.
The participant groups:
The Bluecoat\’s participation team is involved in two award-winning partnership programmes using the arts as a vehicle for working with disadvantaged groups to raise aspirations and increase health and wellbeing:
The Pad is a space in a row of shops in Norris Green in the north eastern suburbs of the city run by the Bluecoat and our creative partners Liverpool Merseyside Theatres Trust. Since January 2009 we have had a full-time Outreach Manager based in the area working for the two organisations. We have worked in partnership with local service providers in health, housing and local government and a range of community organisations to deliver arts programmes that tackle a range of neighbourhood objectives. There has always been an emphasis on health and wellbeing and working with young people to raise aspirations. The Pad has more recently provided us with a dedicated space, which will be a focus for this work for the rest of 2011/12. The Pad opened in early June 2011 and we have already engaged with over 100 people from the local community, mainly children and young people, through outreach work, partnership work with the Youth Service team and children\’s holiday activities. We are building foundations within the community.
Blue Room is an arts development programme for adults with learning disabilities from across the city. It is delivered in partnership with Liverpool City Council and is based at the Bluecoat three days every week. 32 members attend on a weekly basis, many of them for over three years now, and have developed considerable skills in a variety of visual arts media. Members have also reported improvements in health and wellbeing. Last year, the Thursday group worked collaboratively with Sonia Boyce on Like Love: Part Two, an exciting experience which lead to work being featured in the galleries at the Bluecoat. They have also met international artists through our Biennial projects but many of these meetings have been fairly brief. Most of the group have volunteered on children\’s programmes at the Bluecoat so have some experience of working with young people. As a group they would benefit in many ways from the opportunity to collaborate with an artist of international renown.
We are looking for an inspiring international artist to link these two exciting programmes using a creative collaboration as a catalyst and focus for discussion, sharing, exploration, healing and celebration.
The total budget for artist fees, expenses, materials and production costs is just under 15,000 GBP. The project is funded by Liverpool PCT as part of a Decade of Health and Wellbeing.
For a more detailed project brief please email Bec Fearon, Head of Participation: . Deadline for emailed submissions is 31st October 2011.