East Street Arts has announced a new national programme to support artists’ spaces to become more resilient.

GUILD is a four-year partnership project that aims is to transform the landscape of artists’ spaces in England by developing their resilience and sustainability.

This includes a new approach to business modeling through embedding artists within their localities, advocating their impact on political and social environments, and profiling their international reach through the support of innovative and enterprising practice.

Partners in the ACE-funded programme include a-n, Locality, Key Fund, the University of Leeds and the Stockholm Institute for Environment. Partners will work together to utilise knowledge, reach, networks and influence to create a new approach to resilience that tests the reality and challenges of sustainability

East Street Arts’ artistic director Karen Watson said that the new programme reflects the need for a flexible service that can respond to the capacities of a wide range of artists’ spaces, from new, small and emerging organisations to more established enterprises.

She said: “While artists’ spaces across the UK help generate new and innovative artwork, projects and public facing events, and are historically self-organised, they are also under-resourced and are prone to experiencing burn out and we are committed to addressing this.

“Operating as essential catalysts for the art’s sector, these spaces help explore and develop new art practices that can lead to community-led ventures, social housing, land trusts and public-facing bakeries and bars.”

Speaking about a-n’s support of the programme, a-n executive director Jeanie Scott, said: “The need to secure affordable, long-term work space is a fundamental and ongoing concern for our artist members.

“We’re delighted to be partnering on GUILD to explore and develop models that will, we hope, help to put artists in much more control of how and where they work and develop their practice in the future.”

East Street Arts Social Club event for Situation Leeds.

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