8 Months
Paid by host 

Fee of £10.000, travel budget £2.000 and accommodation provided free of charge.

Paid by artist 

Meals are not included as a part of the residency.

Application guidelines 

To apply please send your CV and a short piece of writing (no more than one side of A4) about how you would approach the residency to [email protected]


Heart of Glass

Heart of Glass

Make It Happen Residency


Heart of Glass is a collaborative arts commissioning agency based in St Helens. Made possible by an initial investment of £1.5 million from Arts Council England through the Creative People and Places programme, it is steered by a consortium which brings together St Helens Rugby League Football Club, Helena Partnerships housing group, FACT (Foundation for Art + Creative Technology), St Helens Council, St Helens Arts Partnership (Platform Arts, The Citadel arts centre and The World of Glass museum) as well as new partners St Helens College, Northwest Museum of Road Transport, Carers UK and Health Watch. The Heart of Glass program is rooted in collaborative practice and embodies the principle of partnership.

The core values, philosophy and approach as a project are founded on co-production with the community and the active participation of the collaborator, non-artist, audience and viewer in the creation of great art. Heart of Glass is made with, of and for St Helens. Through their projects, they create a space for dialogue, research and experimentation for artists and citizens in which the inter-relationship between people and place can be explored, gathering and valuing diverse perspectives in the understanding, articulation and development of St Helens as a place, supporting people as constructors of that narrative, drawing out its ‘DNA’, and using that ‘DNA’ as a unique artistic platform for expression.

Through increased participation in the arts, and active collaborations between communities of place and interest, and artists, Heart of Glass is supporting the development of work that directly reflects, challenges and questions the politics of our times. The artistic programme examines the current and potential role of art and the artist in this post-industrial landscape by commissioning work that sees passionate, provocative and direct interactions between artists, people and place, creating the possibility through shared art making, dialogue and critique to imagine and express new futures and other ways of being.

This residency has been developed in partnership with CAPP (Collaborative Arts Practice Programme) – which supports artists to work transnationally to create international dialogue around collaborative arts practice. Its Residencies programme takes place across partner national territories and seeks to explore new models of participation and cooperation and encourage exchange of artists’ methodologies and practices in context. The overall goal of CAPP is to improve and open up opportunities for artists who are working collaboratively across Europe, by enhancing mobility and exchange whilst at the same time engaging new publics and audiences for collaborative practices. Partners: Create-Ireland (coordinating lead partner Dublin); Agora Collective, Berlin; hablarenarte, Madrid; Heart of Glass, St Helens; Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück; Live Art Development Agency, London; Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art Budapest; M-Cult, Helsinki and Tate Liverpool.

This residency opportunity, for EU based artist/s, will develop through collaboration and engagement with young people (aged 11+) from each of the four neighbourhood regeneration areas of St Helens. Working with the partners Helena Homes and their youth engagement project; they have chosen to jointly fund a live/work residency. This approach will enable an artist/s to become embedded within these communities, over a sustained period, to gain a deep understanding of St Helens as a place, and to create new work in response to their time here. The specific areas are considered extremely deprived, nationally and within the borough of St Helens, they include:

  • Four Acre; a small estate with a strong identity, the residents are proud to come from here. There is little youth service provision with few venues; a library and church at opposite ends of the estate.
  • Thatto Heath is an area where sports are very popular with young and old and targeted sports sessions have successfully reduced the levels of ASB. There is a volunteer lead youth club for 11 – 14 yr olds but most other activities target younger age groups.
  • Parr is a large and diverse area with differing levels of deprivation across the several sub-localities. A lot of older young people take part in Parkour independently and there is a thriving council-led youth club.
  • Fingerpost, whilst included in the Parr Neighbourhood Management area has its own board considers itself completely independent. There is an emerging community hub at the Holy Trinity Church but few existing youth activities.

The organizers are seeking expressions of interest from artists that have a demonstrable track record in working collaboratively with young people, and an ethos rooted in socially engaged practice. Young people would influence and be involved in some of the decision making.


To gain a deep understanding of St Helens as a place, and to create new work in response to their time here.

Accommodation Information 

Accommodation will be provided in the form of a flat (including kitchen and living spaces). Please note: there is a possibility to accommodate artists with a family - please contact them on [email protected] to discuss your needs.

Studio Information 

They are not offering a traditional studio space but artists will be provided with a work space for the course of the residency.


Sandwiched between Liverpool and Manchester, the imperative need for that space and dialogue for St Helens - and for other post-industrial, suburban towns across the north of England - is becoming ever more critical. St Helens is a town of 180,000 people in the north-west of England. The year 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the town’s incorporation as a borough, bringing together the four townships of Eccleston, Parr, Sutton and Windle. Previously acknowledged as a world-leading industrial force and a centre of innovation, St Helens is now more synonymous with rugby success and post-industrial decline. The local authority is currently the town’s biggest employer, with its former primary industries of glass and coal now replaced with significantly smaller interests in logistics and distribution.

Water Street
Beechams Building
St Helens
WA10 1PP
United Kingdom

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