About us

Arts&Heritage forges collaborations between artists, communities, museums and heritage sites.

Putting People at the Core

Arts&Heritage (A&H) forges collaborations between artists, communities, museums and heritage sites. Founded in Northumberland, but operating nationally, it challenges how people explore and engage with heritage narratives and shows museums and heritage sites how artists can add new insight, create new conversations and involve wider communities in their work.

Alongside pioneering a successful 10-year skills development programme for the museum and heritage sector, A&H also delivers new contemporary art programmes across the country and shares knowledge, undertakes research and acts as consultants, advisors and mentors for the arts and heritage sectors.

A&H constructs the optimum environment for museums to engage with and reflect the stories of their communities through ambitious and innovative artist commissions that prioritise diverse voices and represent our contemporary lives. Supported projects empower under-served communities to shape the future role museums and heritage sites have in society.

A&H was launched in 2009, has received significant support from Arts Council England and is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

A&H is proudly an accredited National Living Wage organisation.

Arts&Heritage’s Mission and Values

Mission: Exploring our pasts to create new futures.

Values: 

• Artistic freedom

Believing that honesty, representation and nuance finds new territory and unique approaches to connecting and collaborating, with artists being supported to place new lenses on heritage narratives.

• Equity
Creating impact, relevance and excellence through high quality embedded and collaborative artworks that form bridges between artists, heritage and communities.
• Care
Providing the right support, guidance, and infrastructure for the staff, artists, curators, communities and organisations to progress, make work that feels genuine and challenge perceptions.
• Exchange
Listening to and learning from collaborators, sharing knowledge and feedback and creating inclusive spaces for an equal exchange of ideas.
• Rigour
Championing and embedding rigorous research, evaluation and continuous learning to support resilience.

Programmes

Meeting Point

Meeting Point has been running since 2016, and is A&H’s seven-year Arts Council England funded museum development programme, supporting heritage and museum curators and staff to develop their contemporary arts programming skills.

Meeting Point supports the presentation of artworks in unexpected places by enabling small and medium scale museums and heritage sites to commission artists; together creating contemporary visual arts commissions in response to their location and community. The programme aims to bring new visitors to participating sites, and position museums and heritage organisations as exciting places to see contemporary art alongside diversifying the narratives told within them. Through this programming, Meeting Point tries to ensure that museums better represent the communities that to-date had been marginalised and underrepresented in their collections and expand the breadth of people they engage with

Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience

Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience (MCAHE) was a three-year interdisciplinary research programme funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) running from 2017 to 2019. MCAHE was led by Newcastle and Leeds Universities and critically examined the role and practice of temporary visual art commissioning within heritage properties in Britain. 

The programme was delivered in collaboration with UK heritage partners The National Trust, English Heritage and The Churches Conservation Trust. Arts&Heritage was a partner in the delivery of this programme.

Consultancy & Training

Consultancy:

Arts&Heritage (A&H) undertakes curatorial support and consultancy work with a range of heritage organisations including small scale independents, local authorities, regional & national museums and archives. A&H excels in building bridges between the heritage and arts sector and with wider stakeholders, bringing with it a wealth of experience in advising on artistic strategies and working in partnership to develop projects and commissions.

All A&H consultancy projects are tailored to the client and ensures that any partnership A&H work with is left feeling more confident about programming and running future commissioning strands. A&H always embed thinking around legacy and sustainability into our consultancy approach.

Training:

Arts&Heritage provides structured training programmes to curatorial teams and project managers across the heritage sector. A&H has experience of delivering action learning projects, inspirational visits and opportunities to meet artists which enables staff to take a new look at programming approaches and feel more comfortable about incorporating contemporary arts commissions and projects into their core programmes. 

Curatorial Forum:

Arts&Heritage is currently developing a national forum to support curators working outside of formal gallery spaces.  This will comprise of sharing sessions, meet-ups and group visits aimed at supporting arts professionals, curators and producers who are often working in a different way to the rest of the organisation they are based in.  More news will follow later in 2023.

Find out more about Arts&Heritage’s training and consultancy work

Arts&Heritage works with a range of specialists, organisations, artists, performers and architects to deliver our broad national programme. Partners have included:

a space arts
Arts Council England
Auckland Castle Trust
BALTIC Gateshead
Belsay Hall
Birmingham Cathedral
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Cherryburn
Chetham’s Library
Colne Valley Museum
Compton Verney
Cromford Mills
Crow Park
Cumbria Museum Consortium
Dales Countryside Museum
Didcot Railway Centre
Durham Castle Museum
English Heritage
Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal
Furzey Gardens
Gawthorpe Textiles Collection
Gibside
God’s House Tower
Grace Darling Museum
Head of Steam, Darlington Railway Museum
Heritage Lottery Funding
Hexham Book Festival
Hexham Old Gaol
Hirst Park
Historic Environment Scotland
Holy Trinity Church
Kelham Island Museum
Kielder Partnership
Kirkleatham Museum
Lakeland Arts
Lindisfarne Castle
Lion Salt Works
Middleport Pottery
Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum
Morpeth Gathering
Museum X
National Paralympic Heritage Centre
National Railway Museum
National Trust
Natural History Museum, London
Northumberland County Council
Northumberland Libraries
Norton Priory Museum and Gardens
Pannett Art Gallery
Pontefract Castle
Port Sunlight Village Trust
Portland Basin Museum
Prescot Museum
Preston Park Museum
Quarry Bank
Queens Hall Arts, Hexham
Ripon Museums Trust
Royal Shakespeare Company
Shandy Hall
Standen House & Gardens
Thackray Medical Museum
The Alnwick Garden
The Brickworks Museum
The Churches Conservation Trust
The Laurence Sterne Trust
The Naseby Battlefield Project
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums
Tynedale District Council
Ure Museum of Greek Archeology
Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens
V&A Museum London
Warrington Museum & Art Gallery
Warwickshire County Record Office
Washington Old Hall
Woodhorn Charitable Trust
X Site Architects
YHA

Artists and architects we have worked with include:

Aideen Barry
Alex Hartley
Alex Parry
Alexander McQueen
Alison Welsh
Alistair Gentry
Andrew Burton
Andrew Cross
Andrew Fentham
Andrew Hutchinson
Anna Cady
Anne Vibeke Mou
Antony Hegarty
Ashley McCormick
Aura Satz
Bob Levene
Brass Art
Brothers Quay
Carl von Weiler
Cath Campbell
Catherine Bertola
Charles Holland Architects
Chisato Minamimura
Chris Levine
Chris Ruffoni
Chuck Close
Claudia Silvestrin
Clements Ribeiro
Dan Fox
Dan Scott
Danny Lane
David Appleyard
David Murphy
Diana Scarborough
Dominic Watson
Ed Kluz
Eley Kishimoto
Eliza Brown
Elizabeth Green
Emma Smith
Enam Gbewonyo
Fancy Butcher Press
FAT
Faye Claridge
Fiona Curran
FleaFolly Architects
Foster & Partners Architects
Gary McCann
George Shaw
Geraldine Pilgrim
gobscure
Grace A Williams
Grennan and Sperandio
Gwyneth Herbert
Heinrich & Palmer
Hetain Patel
Hew Locke
Imogen Cloet
Inflate
Intervention Architecture
INSTAR
Irene Brown
Jack Brown
Jacob Cartwright
James Bulley
Jem Finer
Jen Southern
Jo Coupe
John Byrne
John Newling
Jordan Baseman
Julian Opie
Julie Howell
Kaffe Fassett
Kandis Cook
Karim Rashid
Kerry Lemon
Lady Kitt
Langlands & Bell
Laurie Powell
Liadin Cooke
Lindsey Mendick
Liz Gre
Luke Fowler
Luke Jerram
Lynn Setterington
Magnus Quaife
Marcus Coates
Mariele Neudecker
Mark Fairnington
Martin Hylton
Mat Collishaw
Matt Stokes
Matthew Butcher
Matthew Rosier
Mel Brimfield
Micheal Anastassiades
Michele Allen
Mosedale Gillatt Architects
NEON
Nick Jordan
Nick Till
Nuala Clooney
Olana Light
Opera North Projects
Owl Project
Paul Rooney
Paul Smith
Phoebe Connelly
Pippa Hale
Polly Morgan
Quay Brother
Rachel Brook
Rapture and Wright
Rebecca Beinart
Richard Dawson
Rosie Elwood
Sally Greaves Lord
Savinder Bual
Scanner
Serena Partridge
Simon Costin
Sir Francis Spalding
Slinkachu
Sophie Dixon
Stephen Dixon
Steve Messam
Studio Orta
Susan Philipsz
Susan Stockwell
Tania Kovats
Tess Denman-Cleaver
Tessa Farmer
The Keeling Curve
Thomas Heatherwick
Tilda Swinton
Tim Shaw
Timorous Beasties
Tod Hanson
Tom Adams
Tom James
Tomoaki Suzuki
Tony Heaton
Vanley Burke
Viktor and Rolf
Will Shannon
Wolfgang Weileder
Zandra Rhodes
Ziad Jabero (The Baghdaddies)

The Company

Arts&Heritage is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with a board of seven directors.  It has a small staff team comprising a Chief Exec, Director of Projects and Operations Officer, alongside numerous valued freelance associates. The Board meets a minimum of four times a year.

Head office:

Arts&Heritage CIO, Attic Office, Queens Hall, Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS 

Phone number: 01434 600601 

CIC number 7491762