CoCreART – call out for artists

Headway Arts is delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding towards our dynamic CoCreART programme from Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts. CoCreART is an ambitious artistic programme which puts disabled and disadvantaged artists centre stage.


What we have termed our ‘co-creative methodology’ is at the heart of Headway Arts and we have the pleasure to invite expressions of interest from socially engaged artists who are interested in collaborative work. We will be offering a number of Associate Artist contracts over the coming year.

Since 1995 we have been pioneers in inclusive participatory arts practice and worked co-creatively with over 250,000 people bringing in over £4 million in project funding into the social economy of SE Northumberland. We are proud to have offered many of the northern region’s most accomplished socially engaged and disabled artists fantastic opportunities to learn, begin, grow and develop their practice through our local, national and international programmes. We have developed and defined CoCreART our multi-award winning co-creative methodology in which we have trained arts practitioners across Europe and are working with our fantastic partners and supporters to transform The Old Church in Blyth into Headway ArtSpace – a beautiful environment for art to happen, inspirational centre for international inclusive arts & world-class performance venue.

We are looking for adventurous, forward-thinking, dynamic, hardworking, organised, enthusiastic and exciting practitioners who would be eager to contribute to this next inspiring phase of our voyage. We are particularly looking for Artists to support our Stars Workshops and Inclusive Dance Company.


There are 7 elements to the CoCreART programme:

  1. Stars Workshops: Engaging weekly creative and performing arts workshops at Headway ArtSpace, Blyth, aiming to inspire new creative journeys. Running Monday to Thursday each week exploring a different art form each day. 12 week blocks of one day per week offer opportunities to learn and develop new skills from a variety of high-quality artists.
  2. Headway Arts Inclusive Theatre Company: A highly skilled ensemble including learning disabled actors, working together in equity to co-create magical, authentic and bold theatre. Pioneering world-class professional theatre opportunities touring locally, nationally and internationally to offer audiences fresh ideas.
  3. Commissions for Exchange Laboratories: one learning disabled artist from Headway Arts and one new visiting Artist explore and share their skills together. Five short but intensive laboratories aiming to co-create new shared work across a variety of art forms and equally explore each other’s processes, influences, culture and practice.
  4. Collaboration: exciting and innovative partnership work with venues across the region focusing on audience development and new ways of working with learning disabled artists.
  5. Headway Arts Inclusive Dance Company: Vibrant performances focus on the place where natural unique movement crosses dynamic contemporary dance and production techniques, bringing unique movement, often to original scores, and new perspectives on learning disabled dance to the audience.
  6. Come On Down Festival: The 15th annual original and best fantastic free festival of creativity by learning disabled people. Quality performances, exhibitions, talks and art by talented learning disabled artists from across the north east and beyond.
  7. CoCreARTive Conversations: Discussion labs and visual dialogues developing critical skills and evaluation techniques leading up to the CoCreART Symposium.

CoCreART, aligned with our wider artistic programme, offers the region a most comprehensive high quality inclusive artistic programme which will champion and support the fuller participation of learning disabled people in the cultural life of their communities.


Expression of Interest (EOI):
Send a CV along with no more than 300 words about your practice, ideas and why you’d like to be part of Headway Arts’ CoCreART programme. Please provide links to 3 past projects and 2 references by 30th September 2018. Those shortlisted will then be invited to interview and to run a short workshop as part of the commissioning process. Please include DBS information.

To: Alison Walton-Robson, Creative Director, Headway Arts, Headway ArtSpace The Old Church, Waterloo Road, Blyth, NE24 1BY. Email: with subject line: Associate Artist EOI. No phone calls or social media applications at this stage please.


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We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of all our funders which currently includes:

  • Arts Council England
  • Blyth Town Council
  • Community Foundation
  • Edward Gostling Foundation – RW Mann Trust – Shears Foundation
  • Erasmus+
  • Great Northumberland
  • Hadrian Trust – High Sheriff of Northumberland – Rothley Trust
  • Heritage Fund
  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Postcode Community Trust
  • Sir James Knott Trust
  • The 1989 Willan Trust – Wellesley Trust
  • the Coalfields Regeneration Trust