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ArtReach makes great art possible and accessible, connecting art with grass roots and diverse communities to forge creative engagement

The Power of a Story – Reflections on Journeys Festival International 2019

November 6th, 2019|Comments Off on The Power of a Story – Reflections on Journeys Festival International 2019

Blog written by Simon Brown, Managing Director of ArtReach.

As we roll away the Journeys Festival International banners, and gather up the survey forms at the end of another great year for the festival, it’s a chance to reflect on some amazing moments.

One thing that has struck me is the importance of stories and the incredible power of those stories being shared in different ways, whether through poetry, visual art, performance, or film. Over the past 7 years, Journeys Festival International has provided a platform for many stories to be told, and at the launch of Journeys Festival International in Portsmouth this year we heard remarkable stories from four people who were part of a project called Celebrating Journeys run by Pamodzi Creatives working with local Portsmouth residents on the theme of Overcoming. Though each story tackled challenging subjects, they all ended with hope. 

As an organisation, one of the aims of ArtReach is to contribute to a greater understanding of others through artistic engagement and to encourage those who engage to become more socially aware, and to question social and political values. We want people to be challenged but also to discover stories of hope. 

Journeys Festival International Leicester in partnership with De Montfort University hosted the photographic exhibition I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See by Giles Duley. This was an incredible exhibition that documented the lives of individuals and families affected by war in a way that captured a celebration of life and hope, and hearing Giles talk about his work was inspiring.  This was just one of many highlights from the Festival programme this year and we look forward to sharing more stories as the Festival returns in 2020.

See more on the Journeys Festival International website here

Fundraising Fundamentals – Top tips and tools for fundraising success.

October 21st, 2019|Comments Off on Fundraising Fundamentals – Top tips and tools for fundraising success.

This half-day workshop is about supporting you step by step to prepare and write a range of funding bids.

Fundraising Fundamentals – Top tips and tools for fundraising success.

What is it about?

Fundraising can be a challenge and extremely disheartening when applications for funding are declined. It takes time to develop high-quality bids. For many, it is also about having a bit more confidence.

This half-day workshop is about supporting you step by step to prepare and write a range of funding bids and approaches to funders such as Lottery, Trusts and Foundations and also individual donors. The workshop will share some top tips and tools to save time, boost your confidence and increase your success.

What is covered?

Topics covered include:

  • The key elements of a fundraising strategy
  • Tools for planning your projects (and thus the content of your funding bids)
  • The language of funders and tailoring responses
  • Starting to write your bid
  • Building relationships with your supporters.

The workshop will be interactive, encourage discussion and include step-by-step practical activities to take you through the process. At the end of the workshop, you will have all you need to start drafting!

Refreshments will be provided.

Who should attend?

This is an introductory session for those with little or no experience in fundraising or for those people in need of a refresh or confidence boost. It is relevant for all charities, community and voluntary sector organisations who are looking for guidance on how and where to start.

From previous attendees:

” Thank you so much for the opportunity – I really feel I gained useful practical skill.”

” The session really opened my eyes to the work that goes into creating a funding proposal.”


The training is delivered by Lynn Simmonds, ArtReach’s Arts and Heritage Consultant who has over 15 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, working in programme management, grant-making and fundraising roles.

Having worked primarily in small and medium sized charities, Lynn’s fundraising experience covers the whole funding mix from Lottery, Trusts and Foundations, Individual Giving, Memberships, and Corporates.

About ArtReach

ArtReach www.artreach.biz has evolved over a 20-year period to offer a unique combination of consultancy support and creative producer delivery. From April 2018, ArtReach is a Band 2 ACE NPO. ArtReach has provided fundraising support for small and medium-sized organisations and venues and has successfully fundraised to develop its own major, original projects – Night of Festivals (15 editions delivered since 2010) www.nightoffestivals.com and Journeys Festival International (JFI) www.journeysfestival.co.uk a refugee arts festival with ACE Ambition for Excellence support, delivered annually in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth. ArtReach has also secured European funding, including three consecutive awards through Creative Europe, for our Festival activity.

ArtReach has secured over £60 million for arts and heritage projects across the UK from sources including Lottery, Local Authorities and other statutory sources, European Union (Creative Europe, ERDF, ESF and INTERREG), private Trusts and Foundations, corporate sources and individual donors. Over the last three years ArtReach has written circa 50 successful applications to ACE (with over a 90% success rate).

Book your workshop space here: Fundraising Fundamentals

Designers/Design Companies Wanted

October 18th, 2019|Comments Off on Designers/Design Companies Wanted

ArtReach is a dynamic cultural development agency and charity that helps support and drive high-quality arts and heritage initiatives. The ArtReach mission is to “make great art possible and accessible, connecting art with grassroots and diverse communities to forge creative engagement”.

ArtReach delivers four key strands of work:

  1. Festival and event creation
  2. Public art commissioning
  3. Consultancy and strategic development
  4. Capital cultural project development


For examples of existing ArtReach projects visit:




ArtReach is looking for a highly motivated and dynamic designer/design company to deliver three significant brand establishment treatments and concepts. Two new UK arts festivals and one European wide 3-year programme will require design and detailed planning with multiple strands of activity required for each new project.

The selected designer/design company will need to work intensively on each project with the majority of work required in November and December 2019 with potential for further asset and print design work leading into and beyond 2020. The brands created will have significant reach across the UK and Europe.

This is a general call out to seek impressive design support and will be followed by detailed briefs for the selected designers/design companies.

To respond to this call out please send the following by email to Gary@ArtReach.biz

  • Costs of day, half-day and hourly rates.
  • A sample portfolio of your previous design work
  • 1 example of excellent customer care
  • 1 example of excellent problem solving
  • 2 references that can be contacted by email

Send responses no later than 12 noon on Thursday 24 October.

  • Evaluation Wordle

5 Tools and Resources to help you with Evaluation

September 6th, 2019|Comments Off on 5 Tools and Resources to help you with Evaluation

The National Lottery Community Fund launched a new index tool signposting organisations to a range of existing outcomes frameworks offered by some of the leading impact measurement experts.  

This open resource for the sector is extremely welcome and is a helpful reminder (especially for small to medium sized organisations) for two reasons. First, there is help and support out there and some of it is free! Second, a wealth of data already exists for you to use, and that means less pressure on your own data collection activities.  

Having supported many organisations on evaluation, from developing outcome frameworks, collecting data on the ground and reporting findings, ArtReach has an insight into the challenges faced by organisations when getting started. 

We delved right into the Community Fund’s free resource, clicked all the links and read the guidance. 

Below are five featured Tools and Resources that might help you on your evaluation journey.   

  1. Big Society Capital’s Outcomes Matrix – if you need inspiration for the outcomes you want to achieve, then use this tool as a starting point. The Matrix groups together different outcome areas for a range of programmes, from arts and heritage to homelessness and the environment, and for communities, individuals and organisations. We use the tool to kick start discussions with clients when preparing evaluation frameworks and fundraising bids. Read more 
  2. Inspiring Impact Data Diagnostic Inspiring Impact is an online resource hosting self-assessment tools and peer learning networks for your evaluation needs. It has developed a useful self-assessment tool that asks 10 simple questions about the projects you seek to evaluate; who accesses your support; and how you engage with them. Once completed, you receive a report listing recommended data collections tools to use (such as online surveys, focus groups, etc), which are tailored in line with your answers.  Read more
  3. Measuring wellbeing – with some of the key arts and heritage funders, such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund, placing greater emphasis on wellbeing outcomes, it is useful to know what things you can measure to evidence your impact and the data that already exists. What Works Wellbeing recently published an evidence review on heritage and wellbeing and it is a useful guide to understand the impacts on physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals and communities. Read more
  4. Thriving Places Index – what is great about this resource is the way it presents complex data around sustainability, local conditions and equality in your local authority area into a simple ‘scorecard’. For many, it might just be a fascinating insight into the ‘big data’ that sits behind it, but it is useful to compare different local authority areas and understand some of the broader issues facing your local community that need to be addressed. Read more
  5. New Philanthropy Capital’s guide to creating a theory of change – for those looking for a holistic approach to measurement and evaluation, NPC’s ‘four pillar approach’ provides a step-by-step guide to take you through the process. Using a theory of change can be helpful for all areas of your work from strategy, programme planning and even fundraising.  Read more

For support measuring impact and evaluating programmes, ArtReach offers 1-2-1 consultancy support and even covers some of the tools in its fundraising and evaluation workshops. 

For questions or thoughts, get in touch by email or call 0116 261 6882.

Journeys Community Film Programmer (Paid Development Opportunity)

August 7th, 2019|Comments Off on Journeys Community Film Programmer (Paid Development Opportunity)

Journeys Community Film Programmer (Paid Development Opportunity)
September 2019 – March 2020

ArtReach is a dynamic cultural development agency that helps support and drive high-quality arts and heritage initiatives. ArtReach produces Journeys Festival International which explores refugee experiences through great art.

We are seeking a Community Film Programmer to join our team on a development contract, to work on our new community film programme, running from September 2019 – March 2020 in Manchester.

This pilot project aims to address under-representation of people from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee backgrounds working in the arts and film industries. We encourage and welcome applications from people who have lived experience of forced migration or the asylum process who are now settled and have the right to work in the UK to join our team to develop and deliver this exciting project.

The role will be offered as a development opportunity for the right candidate to gain experience of working in an arts organisation, developing film programmes and working in community settings. ArtReach will provide support for the role through a close working and mentoring relationship with the Producer and Assistant Producer based in Manchester. Through the project, we will look at opportunities for the legacy of the role and connections
with other organisations in the industry.

Is it for me?

We are looking for applicants who:

  • Are passionate about film and the arts.
  • Have some experience (however small) of initiating or managing film, arts or other cultural activity.
  • Aspire to become a leader in the film, art or cultural sector.
  • Have personal experience of, or a strong understanding of the issues facing people who have experienced, forced migration and seeking asylum in the UK.
  • Live in the Manchester area.

Why should I apply?

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain work experience in the arts/film/cultural sector.
  • Develop production and project management skills through working with an ArtReach mentor.
  • Develop connections with a range of Manchester’s community groups and cultural organisations.
  • Contribute to an exciting programme of film that will engage and entertain audiences across Manchester.
  • Be paid at £9 per hour for 30 days spread over the period from September 2019 to March 2020.

To apply, please fill out this short online form ensuring you answer all the questions. Apply here

The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 6 September and interviews will be held in Manchester on Friday 13 September.
If you have any queries once you’ve read this info please e-mail dan@artreach.biz. If you would like to talk to someone about this opportunity please email the same address to organise a time for a phone call.

Hounslow Heritage Community Consultation – Share your thoughts!

August 2nd, 2019|Comments Off on Hounslow Heritage Community Consultation – Share your thoughts!

Night of Festivals Hounslow 2019 was a tremendous success for celebrating local heritage and people’s wellbeing on the weekend of 15 and 16 June. Thought-provoking conversation were had with members of the diverse local community. However ArtReach, the producers of Night of Festivals Hounslow, are now continuing to ask the community their thoughts on the local heritage of this culturally diverse urban borough of London.

Night of Festivals Hounslow has often celebrated local heritage with this year’s focus on migration to Hounslow from 1965-1975, which resulted in a colourful and informative heritage comic from pupils at Beaver Community Primary School featuring the stories of immigration. You can view a copy of this wonderful creation here: Comic

Now ArtReach looks to the present to understand what today’s Hounslow community thinks about heritage, what people find interesting and how local organisations can better celebrate and explore this heritage in an exciting and meaningful way.

Following consultations on Saturday 3 August and Sunday 11 August in Hounslow Treaty Centre, the results will be shared with Hounslow organisations.

To contribute your valuable thoughts on heritage, please fill out this quick survey here and be in with a chance of winning in a £50 prize draw.