Arc Centre For Arts and Wellbeing in Stockport
As the year draws to a close, it seems a good time to reflect on a busy and chaotic couple of months for all at Arc. Many people have been patiently asking what we plan to do, where will things be taking place and what, if anything, is going to change.
Firstly, a massive thank you to our incredible volunteers and trustees who have enabled us to relocate after more than 20 years in Reddish. Volunteers gave at least 200 hours of their time to help with lifting and shifting, packing and sorting, listing and selling – it was a truly overwhelming level of support from a group of good people.
The Arc staff team have all worked above and beyond and had to put up with some pretty dreadful working conditions so thanks to all my colleagues for keeping going!
And I would also like to thank to our friends at Bruntwood Construction, Universal Aids and Floreeda Fabrication for supporting us in the move.
Looking ahead, Arc really is embarking on a new adventure – and creating a centre for arts and wellbeing in the Hat Works building in the centre of Stockport. It’s an exciting time for us. We have been made so welcome by the Hat Works museum staff and are already loving our new spaces in this iconic building!
What will we be offering at the centre for Arts and Wellbeing?
- The heart of our programme is and will always be our Arts for Wellbeing programme, which will now be based in our centre in the Hat Works building.
- Our Community (Outreach) programme will continue to reach out to adults with a range of mental health needs in neighbourhoods across Stockport and in other GM areas, working with key partners and local people.
- Our studio-based Creative Challenge projects will still offer opportunities for adults to grow in confidence, skills and self-esteem through arts activities. We think our studios in Hat Works will be the ideal place for this – warm, friendly, full of inspiration.
- The Creative Mums programme will include projects in Hat Works, in Children’s Centres in Stockport and now also in Oldham.
- Ageing Well is our age-friendly creative wellbeing programme for the over 50s. Hat Works will be the venue for our Age Well arts studio, including a pottery course.
- Our Young Peoples Arc programme will continue to offer partnership projects and a studio-based music group, and we really hope that our new town centre home will be accessible to more vulnerable young people and partner organisations than ever before
- After a lengthy break due to the relocation, we have a new Public Programme of courses and workshops which will be bookable very soon. Join the mailing list to get first shout at spaces!
- If you have popped in to Hat Works already you will see that we’ve brought our picture hanging system with us from Reddish and already the walls in the Gallery Café are covered in colourful artwork from our Arts For Wellbeing programmes. In the New Year we are going to launch our café, offering exactly what we did in Reddish – hot and cold drinks and snacks, alongside a year-round programme of exhibitions.
This will start with a beautiful new installation called ‘It Takes A Village….’ from Arc’s Just for Mums group at the end of January. From the end of February, we will host an installation by artists Sharon Campbell and Rachel Ramchurn. Funded by Arts Council England, the exhibition is called ‘A Museum of Journeys in a Chest of Drawers’ and features powerful and poignant narratives from women from Arc and refugees from Nottingham.
- We are delighted to have 3 social work students on placement with us at the moment and hope to welcome many more to Hat Works this year. If you haven’t had a chance, do read student Nicolle’s blog posted last month.
- And then there’s volunteering – as I have said, we do have an amazing team who give so much to Arc in many different roles. But we are always looking for more – so if you feel you have some time to dedicate to helping others and helping our charity survive and thrive, have a spare half day or a day a week, if you share our passion, then we’d love to hear from you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
So, what’s going to be different? In a way, as little as possible! But we see this as a huge opportunity for Arc to grow, to reach more people and help transform lives through the power of creativity…
And finally, please don’t forget our first Makers at the Mill evet this coming Saturday December 7th. Between 11 and 5 you’ll be able to find a range of arts and crafts stalls, raffle, an activity and refreshments. It promises to build on the success of previous Art Bazaar events – but offer something a little different, including gin! It would be great to see you!