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New People United artists commission explore empathy, belonging and values

  • Date: 11 October 2012
  • Area: National, South East
People United Kindness Coins

People United Kindness Coins. Credit: People United

An award-winning Kent Arts Council England National portfolio organisation has launched a national artists commission in collaboration with National Theatre, Turner Contemporary, Kent County Council, and Arts Council England.

Canterbury-based arts organisation People United is looking for four artists from a wide range of art forms and disciplines to deliver stimulating and ambitious work that respond to the themes of empathy, belonging and values. The commissions will take place in 2013. The deadline for applications is 5 November 2012.

People United’s artists commission aim to produce high quality and inspiring art, explore how the arts can help grow a more caring society and contribute to the development of new research into the ways that arts can build communities and enable social change.

The commissions have grown out of the organisation’s work and ethos as a creative laboratory for social good.

In 2009 and 2010, People United encouraged the people of Herne Bay to use arts to share and celebrate the good things people do in a project called We All Do Good Things. Artists worked across the town to uncover and celebrate positive stories - from bingo halls, schools, residential homes and hairdressing salons.

The project culminated in an exhibition and giant community picnic, which attracted more than 1,000 local people. Overall, the project engaged with a total of 5,702 people and 32 local organisations - a sixth of the town’s population.

In July 2012, the ground-breaking We All Do Good Things project won a Better Places National Awards from UK magazine New Start and the Community Award presented by Canterbury City Council at the Culture Awards in 2011 for its innovation and inclusivity.

Stephanie Fuller, Regional Planning Senior Manager, South East, Arts Council England says: “We are really excited by People United’s new artists commission – they are challenging, thought provoking and completely have the enrichment of both society and individual artists at the heart of them.

‘The collaboration with National Theatre, Turner Contemporary and Kent County Council gives the commissions a wonderful sense of place and time and will anchor them in Lambeth, Margate, and Kent. People United’s commissions truly show how great art can make our lives better.'

For more information about People United’s national artist programme and for details of how to apply, please download the brief by visiting http://www.peopleunited.org.uk/resources.php. The deadline for submissions is Monday 5 November 2012, at noon.