Programmes

Main A&H Programmes include Common Lands (2023- ongoing) and Meeting Point (2016-2023).

Arts&Heritage is excited to share the details of Common Lands – a new approach for the organisation driven through a themed national programme.

For 15 years, A&H has worked across the UK to forge connections between artists, communities and historic sites and museums. Throughout our existence, we have supported heritage sites and museums to emotionally engage existing visitors and new communities in their varied untold or marginalised narratives by working with artists to creatively explore collections and sites, whilst centering a diverse range of perspectives.

Recent much appreciated Transition funding from Arts Council England has helped us complete vibrant collaborative projects connecting parks and proto-museums (Vanley Burke, Gary Stewart, Friends of Handsworth Park & Museum X); historic archives and theatres (Liz Gre and the Royal Shakespeare Company) and verdant heritage sites (Luke Fowler at YHA Ilam Hall with NT Ilam Park) as the last projects of our Meeting Point programme. It has also  allowed us time to reflect on our past achievements, spend time identifying what is now needed from an arts organisation, and freed us up to imagine potential new futures.

Emerging from this time of consolidation and planning is an exciting new approach; our first thematically driven national programme: Common Lands. This is the working title for our two year programme for 2023-25. Retaining the best of our collaborative learning approach and continuing to forge new partnerships between communities, heritage organisations and artists, Common Lands will use as its inspiration the stories of people, place and collective action, inspired by histories of access to land, land ownership and the duty of care for nature.

Recently we have expanded our definition of heritage to include organisations that hold intangible cultural heritage or have responsibility for the safeguarding of environmental heritage. Common Lands will focus on these aspects of our heritage and crucially will pivot to create projects that are driven by a broad range of communities, that increase opportunities for sharing knowledge and perspectives and promote the learning of new skills. It will embed care and foreground co-created projects nationally that create small positive tangible incremental change.

The starting point for projects comes from the communities we partner with, artistic and academic research. Large and small scale activism and partnerships which value and support environmental quality, inclusivity, community well-being, and biodiversity will be at its heart. While always acknowledging and highlighting voices traditionally excluded from narratives of land access and ownership, we want to bring to light progressive historic environmental movements that give voice and value to radicals from the past, informing the present and inspiring the future.

As projects start to emerge from Common Lands we will continue to share.

We wanted to start the conversation by  sharing our initial thoughts and reading list, which can be found here.

Meeting Point is Arts&Heritage’s artist-led research programme that explores tangible and intangible heritage of museums and collections through collaboration: between artists, participants and heritage partners.

Meeting Point is designed to support small and medium scale museums to develop their skills and commission artists, who will create a piece of work in response to their site or collection. 

The programme addresses the fundamental question of why museums and the contemporary arts should work together. Meeting Point brings new opportunities for artists and new experiences for visitors to participating museums, positioning heritage sites as exciting places to see contemporary art.

There has been six rounds of the Meeting Point programme; each funded by Arts Council England.

Please contact info@artsandheritage.org.uk for further information.

Meeting Point 6

List of participating organisations and artists

Read more about the programme here and watch the overview film by Pascal Vossen below:

Meeting Point 5

List of participating organisations and artists

Meeting Point 4

List of participating organisations and artists

Meeting Point 3

List of participating organisations and artists

Meeting Point 2017

List of participating organisations and artists

Meeting Point 2016

List of participating organisations and artists

Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience

Arts&Heritage is a core partner in this three-year interdisciplinary research project (2017-19) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).  

Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience is an interdisciplinary research project that critically examines the role and practice of temporary visual art commissioning within heritage properties in Britain today, mapping the current landscape and exploring the impact of this activity on its producers and audiences. It approaches this subject from multiple perspectives, bringing together the knowledge and experience of scholars, artists, heritage professionals, volunteers and visitors.

This is a three-year research project (2017-19) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The project is delivered in collaboration with UK heritage partners The National Trust, The Churches Conservation Trust and English Heritage.

Public outputs from this research project included the production of five new commissioned artworks at heritage property sites in North East England throughout 2018, a major international conference on contemporary art in heritage practice and an exhibition at The Hatton Gallery in Newcastle in 2019.

For further information please visit the MCAHE website.