Arc believes in the power of creativity to change lives. We see this everyday in the people who join our wellbeing programmes to explore the impact of creative activities on their mental health.

We also passionately believe that everyone can make art. All of us have creative abilities, which we can express and develop given the right environment, tools, encouragement and support. This is why we’ve developed a highly successful programme of public creative courses and workshops at Arc Centre and Gallery including drawing socials, ceramics, textiles, digital design and photography.

But what about support for professional artists?
While we see no barriers to who can be an artist, Arc recognises the pressures and challenges faced by those who have dedicated their professional lives to making art. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges is isolation – particularly for people working freelance, or trying to develop their practice in part-time.

28337179569_17c650a848_kFor this reason Arc has established a series of networking events for artists based in Stockport and beyond. These sessions have proved hugely successful, bringing together over 30 regional artists who have shared ideas, insights, encouragement and mutual support. Arc has also provided specific training in fundraising and networking, helping artist build their professional skills.

By creating these kinds of artist-to-artist networks, we can all proactively develop our own projects and make a stronger case for the value of arts and culture in Stockport. The additional benefits for Arc are that we broaden our pool of talented artists with whom we can collaborate.

“Arc gives you a lift as an artist/facilitator as it’s a very positive and stimulating environment to be in.”

This is something Arc wants to build on and we’d love to hear from artists in Stockport and neighbouring boroughs about their development needs and aspirations.  

What would you like to see happening in the Arc Centre? How can Arc help you to develop your own career, thus making Stockport a richer, more creative town?

by Tom Northey, Development Lead, Arc