University of Sheffield, Sheffield Museums and the Sheffield Cultural Consortium.

During 2016, Sheffield will celebrate a Year of Making (YOM), a year-long city-wide creative programme that galvanises people and resource across the city to platform all forms of making – from international contemporary art, advanced manufacturing and cutting tools to award winning theatre, international contemporary design, ground-breaking research and collaborations. YOM will celebrate our past, present and future as a city of makers and promote a world city with a major cultural centre, an international reputation for excellence and innovation and a lead partner in the Northern Powerhouse.

YOM aims to promote Sheffield’s leading role in the devolved city region and the Northern Powerhouse, nationally and internationally and present the best of Sheffield to the world. YOM is an audience-focused programme that includes exhibitions, events, theatre, heritage, art and festivals.  It is managed by the Sheffield Culture Consortium and supported by an Advisory Group that comprises artists, leaders in education, arts, business, industry, politics and academe. The overall strategic heads are Professor Vanessa Toulmin and Kim Streets whose concept this was.  Developing collaborative relationships between arts, higher education and business is a strategic priority for the Consortium and its members.

YOM presents an important moment for the cultural sector, HE and business leaders to join forces in developing a confident growth strategy for Sheffield and the city region. YOM’s focus on excellence presents a timely opportunity to position visual arts practice at the centre of a high profile programme and an opportunity to build the voice of the sector within the city’s long-term cultural vision.

Year of Making will: –

Funding and Budgets

Funding is through a number of initiatives with partners providing content through what are classed as Hero Events (including the latest Ruskin Exhibition curated in part by the Guild of St George and the forthcoming In the Making planned for September which aims to celebrate the contemporary Making Tradition of the Region and will showcase the story of the AMRC amongst others. Hero Events – Content provided by partner organisations including Yorkshire Festival, Sheffield Theatres, Sheffield Museums Trust, Art Sheffield and Music Hub, Festival of the Mind commissions, Rain Works through Off the Shelf is worth over £500,000 in creative content.

Funding Target. The funding target for new content is £1.2 million including £150,000 for infrastructure, staffing, marketing, promotion, economic reports, venues and legacy. Currently we have raised £1 million in total and have further funding bids pending.

New Commissions. Funding from University of Sheffield (UoS) and Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) for commissions through their Festival of Creativity which runs from April to September and aims to animate Exchange Square where the new Arts Institute is located.

We have also secured sponsorship from the Business Sector for new commissions and aim to raise a further £100,000 in sponsorship from local businesses.

Arts Council Ambition for Excellence. £550,000 over three years for Making Ways: Developing Excellence in the Visual Arts which will include £200k of commissions for Year 1 for YOM including an international street art festival, a series of artists markets and international artistic programme in association with National Theatre. See further detail below.

Staffing. Full time 18 month post Year of Making manager contact

Economic Vibrancy Reports. Three reports looking at Art, Music and the Brewing Industry funded by University of Sheffield (UoS) and a separate critique funded from Arts Council England details of the three reports can be found here.

A Compelling Narrative. Sheffield’s cultural narrative is currently in draft form and with help from DHA Communications will be published later this summer.

Creative Content

YOM composes five strands:

The aforementioned Hero events fall within the three main categories with new events planned for strands including the following

We are currently mapping all events and have published the first quarterly programme with the second one to be published 1 June.

Governance and Structure

Year of Making is led by Professor Vanessa Toulmin both as Chair of the Sheffield Cultural Consortium (SCC) and representing the major investment from the University of Sheffield and Kim Streets CEO of Sheffield Museums Trust. There is both an Advisory Board with representatives from the Assay Office, Made in Sheffield, Master Cutler, RIBA, Music Hub, UoS and SHU, Industry and SCC and a Steering Group who act as producers and commissioners for different aspects of the cultural sector. Professor Richard Jones and Professor Roger Ecclestone represent the University sector. Sara Unwin from the Public Engagement Team sits on the curatorial group as does Vanessa Toulmin and Kim Streets.

Summary of Making Ways: Developing excellence in the visual arts

Sheffield has the reputation for having more resident practicing artists than any other city outside London. Walk down streets covered with graffiti painted by international street artists, listen to the sounds of bands practising emerging from open windows and search more carefully in the back of an old factory block and you will find artists painting, welding, thinking, shaping and making.  Visual art in Sheffield is alive and vibrant, artists stay here and are drawn here by more than cheap studio spaces or chic industrial ruins. Sheffield is a centre for visual art production, a city with a reputation for making things happen and growing things from the ground up.  This proposal aims to identify and develop the existing infrastructure and networks that allow excellence to emerge and through creating opportunities for new work harness the city’s potential as a centre of excellence within the visual arts. This puts visual arts development at the centre of a major cross-disciplinary and city wide creative initiative.  It will use the Year of Making, 2016 (YOM) as a springboard for a three-year project which will change the arts ecology of Sheffield for the better.  The Year of Making, 2016 will foreground excellence by identifying and building on what we do well as a city. Through the city’s Culture Consortium, Making Ways will make the larger galleries and visual arts organisations permeable to local and regional talent.  It will acknowledge the place of visual arts within the wider cultural offer, the creative digital sector, both of the cities prestigious universities and the long-term economic success of the city.  We will build this programme through a series of dynamic opportunities ranging from large-scale public art commissions to collaborative projects with HE to smaller commissions, bursaries and audience-focussed residencies.  This portfolio will focus on the research question, ‘What does excellence look like in the visual arts?’  We recognise that artistic excellence is dependent upon environmental conditions including artistic freedom, strong collaboration, financial and practical support and a commitment from all partners to push the boundaries of what is possible.  @cityofmaking

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