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Junction Arts

Visual Arts

Europe, United Kingdom, Chesterfield

Junction Arts vision is to create a better future for everyone through the arts. Established in 1976 we have been at the forefront of rural participatory arts activity for over 40 yrs. We believe passionately in the positive impact the arts can have on people and places. We co-create projects and events with local people, developing projects from the ground up that have a long-lasting impact on communities. On average, we deliver 20 projects a year working with all members of the community and across all artforms ranging from mosaics to music, textiles to theatre. We have four main areas of delivery; Rural, Health & Wellbeing, Festivals & Events and Digital. We work with a range of established artists and support emerging artists to open up access to the arts for communities facing major economic challenges through the decline of local industry.

Junction Arts has worked with the communities of rural, ex-industrial North East Derbyshire for over 40 years. Established in Bolsover District which has very little cultural infrastructure, Junction Arts has provided opportunities for thousands of people to engage in the arts. The majority of our delivery is in North Derbyshire and in particular focusses on the ex-mining districts of Bolsover and NE Derbyshire. Bolsover, for example is the most deprived district in the county of Derbyshire and has specific health and isolation issues. These were once proud, resilient communities. The decline in textile and mining industries has led to a feeling that they have ‘lost their purpose’.

Our communities tell us they want to learn, play and celebrate together, building stronger connections between people and place. People want to connect with their neighbours, their community and their heritage, and our festivals, workshops and events make this happen.The areas that we deliver in have some of the highest levels of deprivation in the country, especially in terms of long-term ill health and people over 16 without formal qualifications. Given the history of the area, it is not surprising that people who face higher than usual economic, social, health and educational challenges are less likely to be involved in the arts. We believe the arts should be for everyone and evidence shows that communities with culture, creativity and imagination at their heart are stronger and more resilient.

Our target communities are similar in terms of rural isolation and low arts infrastructure. We work with people from these communities to develop and express themselves through the arts, we want them to find their creative voice. Many are from underserved groups and have socioeconomic challenges and do not have the same opportunities to engage in the arts as their peers in urban areas.

Our success to date has been rooted in effective partnership working. We understand our role in engaging hard-to-reach communities in the arts and how the arts can be transformative for communities. We also understand how we support the wider arts ecology and through our work collaborate with other placed based agencies such as heritage sites, regional arts centres and health commissioning groups.

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