Glitter & Guilds: building alternative structures

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Multidisciplinary artist, socially engaged practitioner and creative producer, Priya Mistry is hosting a conversation as one part of Disability Arts Online’s Covid Commissions programme. Glitter & Guilds sees representatives of three organisations come together to discuss cultivating structures, economies and creativity that support and sustain good mental and physical health, permeating ways of living and working with agency in difference and a wider distribution of power. The livestreamed discussion takes place at 2pm on Thursday 16 July.

Composite image featuring a laundrette, two black women in overalls, a bottle of glitter and group of children

As part of the commission, each organisation has been asked to produce a microfilm on how they have practically re-imagined alternative structures for living, working, staying alive and being less lonely.

Kitty’s Laundrette (Liverpool)

Kitty’s Launderette, a community business in the Everton/Anfield area of Liverpool, is re-imaging the humble and well-loved local launderette. They are providing quality, affordable, ecological laundry facilities, as well as utilising the space as a welcoming community hub where people can gather, sit and socialise.

Portland Inn Project (Stoke-on-Trent)

Artists Rebecca Davies and Anna Francis set up The Portland Inn Project CIC in 2016 in a residential area of Stoke on Trent, working in collaboration with other artists, arts organisations and residents to improve their community and renovate an old pub building to be a social space, ceramics workshop and artist residency. The programme seeks to improve skills using a range of artistic methods, with a strong focus on ceramics and community self-organising. 

The project advocates for people led change, and champions the importance of art in leading that change, and in cooperation with public services.

The Portland Inn Project is cited as an exemplar project of people led change, in an underrepresented part of the city. Since 2016 – the project tested future uses of an old pub building before its community asset transfer in 2018. In the same year, the project ran Raise The Roof, to co-build a temporary space with Baxendale Architects. The space and its ACE funded programme was shortlisted for The RIBA MacEwen Award, recognising ‘Architecture for the common good’. In 2019 the project received the BBC Radio Stoke ‘Make A Difference’ Award for Cultural Champions of the year for Stoke on Trent.

Contact (Manchester)

Contact is a theatre and performing arts venue in Manchester where young people change their lives through the arts, and audiences of all ages experience exciting new shows. We are the leading national theatre and arts venue to place young people at the decision-making heart of everything. At Contact, young people aged 13-30 genuinely lead, working alongside staff in deciding the artistic programme, making staff appointments and act as full Board members.

About Josh Wilkinson
I am a 23-year-old actor, presenter, arts facilitator and board member at Contact. I first engaged with Contact 5 years ago through a project called The Agency. I soon joined Contact’s young company and performed 3 shows, 2 of which toured around the UK. I see Contact as an exciting community of creative people and a place that celebrates diversity, change and the potential in future generations.

The event will be live captioned, with integrated AD elements. Register for the event here.