Artists needed to create views of Kettering town centre at pop-up cultural event

The art slam event takes place over the first two weekends in September

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 7:00 am

A creative collaboration of artists will launch a £90,000 programme of cultural events and remodelling aimed at revitalising Kettering s high street.

The grant is a slice of the £95m four-year-long High Streets Heritage Action Zones initiative funding given to 67 English high streets in May 2021 after a successful bid to the government.

Kettering Cultural Consortium, a group of the leading cultural groups in the town, working with North Northamptonshire Council, will use the £90,000 for a cultural activity programme 'that asks residents to look beyond names and perceptions and instead consider the unique substance of Kettering, both its people and places'.

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Kettering High Street

To kick off the Kettering Heritage Action Zone Kettering Cultural Consortium programme, Made With Many are looking for 15 locally-based artists to create new work depicting Kettering town centre.

Helen Willmott, programme director at Made With Many, said: "This is a really exciting project that will open up opportunities for visual artists with a strong connection to Kettering.

"We’re really looking forward to seeing local talent showcased in this way and there will also be the opportunity for local residents and visitors to the town centre to create their own work of art, either with their own materials or through collecting an activity pack from the team.“

Kettering Cultural Consortium includes Friends of Kettering Art Gallery and Museum, Kettering Civic Society, Picture the Difference and Wicksteed Park, and associates, Friends of Kettering Library, Kettering and District Art Society and Northamptonshire Heritage Forum

Kettering High Street

The funding from Historic England will be used for a programme of artistic, cultural and heritage events around the town centre including street theatre, guided walks and talks, and exhibitions of art, heritage, photography and local industries.

Within this programme, Made With Many will be creating a pop-up event in Kettering town centre, over the first two weekends of September 2021, inspired by the Sky Arts' ‘Landscape Artist of the Year’.

Made With Many are a community-led arts programme that has been working in Corby and Wellingborough to produce events and activities designed to inspire more local people than ever before to take the lead in experiencing, creating and taking part in high quality arts and cultural activities.

They are looking for people working in any visual art form, from sculpture, painting and textiles to pottery, drawing and digital to create a varied exhibition and showcase the wide range of visual arts activity happening locally.

The High Street, Kettering

The work would be created live on Kettering High Street, Gold Street, Market Place and the surrounding areas, with artists working in gazebos across the town centre, to capture a series of views and interpretations of the area. The resulting art works will then be displayed to the public in a central exhibition and it is hoped that this will include a wide range of artists, mediums and styles.

Alongside the exhibition, historical details about the town centre linking to each work will be displayed, as well as details of future development work, such as improvements to shop fronts and street furniture.

A community decision-making panel, including members of the Kettering Cultural Consortium, will work with the Made With Many team to select the artists who will take part in the project.

For further details how to get involved click here www.madewithmany.org/high-street-artist .

The Kettering Cultural Consortium brings together arts, heritage and cultural organisations in the town

The cultural programme will deliver four years of nationwide cultural activity helping to make high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.

Eilis Scott, acting regional director Historic England Midlands, said: “The high street cultural programme is a step change in the way we think about bringing high streets back from the brink in the midlands.

"As we start to see these important historic spaces become regenerated through building work, it is the community-led cultural work that helps people to enjoy their high street again and also have a say in what the future of their high street might be.”

The Heritage Action Zone