Delivery & Development: We will yySupport up to six domestic artistic residencies per year

yyWork in-depth with communities of place and interest

yyStrengthen relationships with regional and national strategic bodies and stakeholders

yyDevelop our international partnerships and exchange programmes

yyGrow strong local partnership networks and links to agendas including, Children and Young People, Health, Well-Being and Dementia


Our programme, as part of the Creative People and Places (CPP) initiative, operates at the very forefront of social engaged artistic thinking and practice. CPP is a pioneering national action research programme, and Heart of Glass is committed to gathering and sharing learning and insights locally and among our peers, and to further disseminating best process and practice through the wider arts and cultural network. The fourth tenet of our delivery and growth strategy, is Criticality, For Heart of Glass, this centres dually on creating the routes for reciprocal shared learning and development and, through establishing and strengthening those mutually beneficial relationships, on creating a robust, partnership-led network to support our continued development and future growth.

Building on our work with local and emerging artists through the Prototype programme, our well-attended and well-received WithForAbout conference in 2015, and as founder member of the partnership resulting in The Northern Faculty of Social Arts Practice, we will initiate a programme of professional development and thought leadership. We will develop WithForAbout as an annual conference, working with a different national partner every year. We will curate and host talks, workshops and masterclasses, and work with our partners at the Faculty to build and offer practice-based learning programmes, through colleges and electives, potentially to Masters and PhD level.

All of these elements will contribute to our own continued development and learning, which we will proactively share with peers and the wider network through contribution to local national and arts media, academic papers, think pieces and provocations, and via contribution to events, debates and conferences.

Working with our partners at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), we will continue to develop an innovative and robust evaluation model, which captures a full range of qualitative and quantitative data, and which demonstrates meta and social outputs, outcomes and impacts. This longitudinal and in-motion evaluation will contribute to both our sustainability and legacy, assisting other non-venue based organisations to find a more sophisticated and relevant model of evaluation.

Our overarching intent is to build a demonstrable and evidenced reputation for St Helens as a national centre for socially engaged arts practice, which will enable us to attract new audiences, and to secure national and international interest and partnerships on this basis. In the medium to long term, our aim is to further augment this positioning by authoring bespoke publications, contributing to policy and a strategic touring programme, looking towards securing international partnerships and exchange in the longer-term.

Delivery & Development: We will yyHost an annual WithForAbout conference, each with a different national partner

y yDevelop a comprehensive programme of professional development talks, workshops and masterclasses

yyShare insights and learning through media relations and key events

yyCreate an experimental programme of Prototyping and Research

yyDevelop the evaluation model and evidence base yyAuthor bespoke publications yyInfluence and contribute to policy yyEmbark on a national touring programme

yyInitiate and foster international strategic partnerships and exchange networks

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