Assembly 2019 kicks off in Swansea with a day-long event across three of the city’s art spaces. Programmed in collaboration with Swansea-based artist Jane Simpson, Assembly Swansea will explore the difficulties and advantages of running artist-led projects in the city.

Swansea is a city at the end of a train line, the exit off the motorway you pass on the road to a holiday in West Wales. When the city you are based in isn’t a ‘destination’, how can artists reach audiences, maintain relevance and remain engaged and connected? Described by Simpson as ‘brimming with talent’, Swansea is home to a community of resourceful and creative people – but it also faces economic and geographical challenges.

Simpson has devised a day that addresses these issues and has proposed to ground the event with research from a pre-Assembly questionnaire. The day will conclude with a tangible outcome for the benefit of the city’s art scene.

The questionnaire has been devised by artists Jason & Becky and will be sent to participants in advance of the event to begin to identify the barriers to setting up artist-led projects. Their findings, along with a series of Artist Soap Boxes will be used to activate discussion throughout the day. Assembly Swansea will also look outwards at existing projects for inspiration, culminating in a call-to-action with the creation of a manifesto for a Swansea union of artists, and road-map to foster a resurgence of artist-run activity.

The event will be compered by Dr Ben Reynolds, Director of Urban Foundry, a Swansea-based creative regeneration agency whose mission is to forge great ideas that change the world for the better.

DAY BEGINS: National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Road, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD

Welcome and introduction to the day
11 – 11.15am

Artist Soap Box #1
11.15 – 11.45am

11.45 – 12.30pm

Artist Soap Box #2
12.30 – 12.45pm

12.45 – 1.30pm

Panel Discussion: Outreach and art in ordinary life
1.30 – 2.45pm

Artist Soap Box #3
2.45 – 3pm

MOVE TO: Glynn Vivian Lecture Room, 
Alexandra Rd, Swansea SA1 5DZ

Panel Discussion: DIY Culture – Artists doing it for themselves
3.30 – 4.30pm

Artist Soap Box #4
4.30 – 4.45pm

A Rallying Cry to Artists
4.45 – 5.45pm

Elysium Gallery, 210 High Street, Swansea, SA1 1PE

Manifesto Party
6 – 8pm