Ribble Valley Project (North West Sound Archive)

North West Sound Archive/ Phase 1 Commission

 Creativity Works background:

Creativity Works is a consortium consisting of Pennine Lancashire Arts Officers, Arts Council North West, Lancashire County Council, Creative Lancashire, Elevate and Curious Minds. The partnership provides the infrastructure for joint working, shared approaches, economies of scale working across the sub region and alignment to the Multi Area Agreement as well as districts Local Area Agreement’s.

Creativity Works was initially set up in 2000, supporting Creative Industries in Pennine Lancashire. In 2008 it extended its remit to work strategically on four priority areas: Health, Business, Regeneration and People, to raise the profile of and participation in, quality arts practice in the region.

The engagement programme of work that this project belongs to, began in September 2009. The aim of this work is to increase engagement in the arts through working with local heritage venues.  This project forms part of the initial programme of activity that will happen with each partner venue.

Project background:

 The North West Sound Archive, housed at Clitheroe Castle in the Ribble Valley, is the largest collection of sound recordings in the UK outside of London, and is a collection of international importance. The NWSA does not have the capacity to develop much engagement work with the communities of Pennine Lancashire and because of this many people do not know about this amazing resource on their door step.


  • To work creatively with the community and local voluntary groups to increase local engagement with the arts through the use of NWSA collections
  • To raise the profile of NWSA in Clitheroe town centre in order for local people to know how they can use the collection
  • To encourage conversation and discussion
  • To engage specifically with young families and adults from 30-50, an age range that are not covered by existing projects.
  • To explore the themes that the archive suggests that would be relevant to the community today, for example their recordings around make do and mend, family remedies or food and recipes.
  • To create new work that can be used to further engage the public with NWSA.

 Project brief:

We would like to recruit an artist to work with the collections and staff of the North West Sound archive to use this resource to engage the residents of Pennine Lancashire with the arts. We want to develop a project that would take the sounds of this collection out into the community, perhaps through local shops, to provoke conversation, story telling and new reminiscences. There are a number of themes that the collection suggests, such as make do and mend, home remedies, food and recipes that might be particularly relevant to the interests and concerns of today’s communities. We would like to see a project that:

  • Uses the sound recordings in an innovative and experimental way
  • Makes the recordings relevant and interesting to the local community
  • Engages the public through local voluntary and community groups and illustrates new and exciting art forms
  • Looks at new spaces for the collection to engage with people that might not usually visit an arts or heritage venue
  • Explores how an internet presence may engage more people in the project, or use it as a way of creating content for the project
  • Encourages conversation and discussion
  • Results in new work which can in turn be used to attract a new audience

Project Structure:

 This project will take place in June 2010 in the NWSA and the surrounding community. Applicants must have access to their own technical equipment that they may need to use for the project. The NWSA has a small amount of recording equipment that they can lend out. We envisage that the resulting work or series of works will be exhibited in a public venue out of the NWSA or Castle, such as a shop, library or leisure centre. These are partnerships that will be built after the artist has been appointed and the project has been shaped by their ideas. In the budget we have allocated 2 artist days for researching the sound archive and working with NWSA staff,  10 half day sessions for working with the community and voluntary groups, 2 days development time to create work and 1 day installation time. The project will run over a four week period and the session plan will be developed between all the partners.

We are also asking for the artist to undertake a blog or a series of podcasts for the duration of the project.


 2 x artist day @ £180 for research and working with NWSA staff = £360

10 x 0.5 artists days @ £90 for community and vol. group work = £900

2 x artist day @ £180 for developing work = £360

1 x artist day @£180 (installation) = £180

Materials = £450

Total = £2,250

 How to apply:

 To apply, please send us:

 1. An outline of how you would approach this project. This should include:

  • How you would approach working with the community and voluntary groups
  • The themes you would be interested in exploring
  • Methods you might use to create new work
  • A draft budget

2. Examples of previous work/projects that you have undertaken

3. A full CV

4. A letter of application stating what interests you about this project.

 Please send application, or for more information, by email to Laura Rodgers, Creativity Works Arts Engagement Officer, laura.rodgers@blackburn.gov.uk

 Closing date: 26/03/2010 (12 noon)

Interview date: 07/04/2010


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