Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme, a Kirklees Council funded initiative, has secured a grant of £29,750 from Arts Council England to further enhance its programme in the town.
The successful Kirklees Council bid includes a mix of collaborative projects aimed at providing opportunities for early career artists, and engaging residents to explore the story of Dewsbury’s changing landscape. The work will be delivered over a 12-month period and through a range of walks, film, conversations, craft, design, public art & digital media.
As part of the project, we will work with key local partners to deliver the programme including Pioneer Higher Skills Centre at Kirklees College and the Kirklees Community Cohesion Team.
Artist -led organisation Manasamitra have been commissioned to engage the community in developing a series of podcasts and guided walks for people to explore the past, present and future of the town. The organisation which is also based in Dewsbury will deliver a wide range of exciting and original cross-cultural experiences as part of the programme.
In addition, Dewsbury-born visual artist Zachary Eastwood-Bloom has been commissioned to create designs for a series of artworks for the new Town Park. Zachary is particularly interested in engaging young people and sharing his process of combining handmade techniques with the use of digital technology. Zachary will also be mentoring Karen Stansfield, a Kirklees based early career artist and workshop facilitator.
Councillor Eric Firth, Cabinet Member for Transport and Dewsbury Ward Councillor, said:
“It’s fantastic news that the Council is boosting its investment in culture once again. Especially at a time of major economic and mental health challenges, unlocking the huge potential of the arts to enrich lives, communities, and local businesses. We want to ensure that residents from all backgrounds can enjoy the rich and diverse cultural highlights that Dewsbury has to offer and be able to participate in new cultural projects in their local communities. Bringing in creatives from Dewsbury is the perfect way to support the Dewsbury Creative Arts Programme, we will value this opportunity of working with Manasamitra and Zachary Eastwood-Bloom.”
Kate Watson, Programme Manager for Dewsbury Creative Town, added:
“ We’re delighted to have been awarded funding from the Arts Council and this additional resource will enable us to deliver some exciting projects as part of the overall programme. The funding will also create a legacy for the programme in years to come by creating vital opportunities for early career artists, inspiring the next generation of creatives in the town and empowering residents to get involved in the future of the town.”
The Dewsbury Creative Town Arts Programme is a £200,000 initiative funded by Kirklees Council. It is produced by arts organisation Beam and includes a range of permanent and temporary public art interventions at various sites across Dewsbury. It also aims to provide residents, businesses, and community groups with an array of opportunities to engage with art and get involved in the commissioning process.
Image: An artist’s impression of the proposed new Dewsbury Town Park on Longcauseway