Friday, 21 December 2012

Seasons Greetings from Creative Leicestershire!

We are only a few days away from Christmas and the Creative Leicestershire team have had a really  busy month with lots of fantastic activity such as the Makers Mart at Curve on the 8 December where we had 26 stalls and lots of sales and commissions throughout the day, celebrating the Igniting Ambition programme at the final Culture Club in Derby on 14 November, hosting the Leicester 'Making a Living' networking evening on 4 December at the LCB Depot and working with the Performing Arts Leicester group to recruit Sue Pike to manage their new leadership and training programme for 2013-14 .  Lastly if you are working away over Christmas and looking to exhibit next year,  entries are now open for the Rutland Open Exhibition 2013.
This extremely popular exhibition of work by artists is organised by a sub-group of Arts for Rutland, and held annually at Rutland County Museum. Entry is open to Artists and Designer-makers (painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography (including digital), ceramic, glass, textiles and jewellery) from Rutland, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. This year's exhibition will take place between Saturday 2 March and Saturday 20 April 2013. For full details, download the application form .
We will be back on the 7th January 2013 so until then have a good break and...
The Creative Leicestershire December e-bulletin is now out, click here to download it 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Congratulations Ruth Singer

Ruth Singer, a former Creative Leicestershire Bursary winner has recently won the Craftspace Prize at the inaugural Contemporary Craft Open Exhibition at Unit Twelve, Staffordshire.

The inaugural Contemporary Craft Open Exhibition at Unit Twelve, Staffordshire was
selected by industry experts from Craftspace and and includes some
of the best contemporary craft being made today.

Ruth had two pieces selected for the show from her collection Monumental Folly; a new body
of work combining personal experience, emotions and the heritage of extraordinary buildings.
The pieces shown are a wall panel created using dyed and manipulated fabric from garments
along with personally-significant found objects, combined with hand stitch. The companion
piece, an over-sized pincushion, uses digital print and manipulation, along with handconstructed
elements referencing natural history specimens pinned to the base.

Ruth says “The work I presented for Unit Twelve marks a change in my style – using
personal issues and narrative alongside new techniques such as photography and mixedmedia.
I was absolutely delighted to get a award from Craftspace as I have so much respect
for their expertise in contemporary craft. It is a real boost to me creatively and gives me the
much-needed validation that my work is up there with the best. I will be spending the £100
prize money on exciting materials to use in my future work.”

Jennifer Collier, artist and Director of Unit Twelve Gallery says:
"I am so pleased that this award has gone to Ruth Singer, as she is a maker I have worked
with and admired for many years, and it has been a pleasure to watch this body of work grow
from an idea to fruition".

Emma Daker, Exhibitions and Projects Development Manager for Craftspace says:
“We were really pleased to be asked to select for the open Contemporary Craft Fair at
Jennifer Collier's gorgeous Unit Twelve Gallery in Staffordshire. We awarded our Craftspace
prize to Ruth Singer. We felt her works, 'Monumental Folly' highlight a new direction for
Ruth into more narrative textiles, which we think is very exciting!” 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Stallholding, Enterprise Fairs and Dedications

The Creative Leicestershire team have been busy over the past two weeks with talks, fairs and the launch and dedication of Stand Easy, a memorial to honour Leicestershire's Armed Forces that took place last Friday at County Hall.

On Tuesday 30th November we attended the seminar for creatives on How to Present and Sell your Work at Craft Fairs at the LCB Depot aimed at emerging and mid-career designer makers and stallholders for the upcoming Makers Mart on 8th December.
The event was a partnership between Creative Leicestershire, Design Factory and LCB Depot and we were very fortunate to have two excellent speakers, Clare Gage and Phiona Richards come and give us their tips and advice on the key ingredients needed for a successful craft fair including producing a memorable stand and how to get the best out of social networks.
 Clare Gage designs and creates her distinctive textile inspired ceramics from her studio in Derbyshire. The inspiration for the Clare's range comes from her life-long love of textiles. She is passionate about products being functional as well as stylish and likes to celebrate the British tradition of afternoon tea
Top points from Clare:
1) Be product focussed, allow people to engage with your work and be interactive with your work
2) Make it memorable - have a brand identitiy, think about the 'wow' factor so you make the most of your hard work
3) Read the documents they send on what you can and can't do
Phiona Richards creates interactive book sculptures using traditional needlework techniques. From a ‘make do and mend’ mentality, she is drawn to books near the end of their existence and transforms them into pleasing tactile structures. Although her book sculptures appear to be fragile and delicate, they are quite robust and interaction becomes a therapeutic experience on many sensory levels.
Top points from Phiona:
1)Get your pricing  right
2) Use your promotional material & think about packaging
3) Think about all your marketing - mailing list , newsletters and offers , sharing your news via social networks
4) Think about last minute planning - toolkit  so you can ....
5) Relax and enjoy the day
On Tuesday 6 November we attended the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fair in the Hugh Aston Building  organised by De Montfort University's Campus Enterprise Opportunities (CEO) team in the Student Gateway . We found we had a steady stream of students and recent graduates enquiring about Creative Leicesterhsire and met some interesting organisations supporting graduates and students in business such as,  the DMU Enterprise Society, Princes Trust, Seed Creativity and Smith Partnership. Good Luck to Tom Wingfield who has just launched his intriguing new publishing company Tangible Publications

On Friday 9th November guests were invited to the launch and dedication of Stand Easy - a memorial to honour Leicestershire's Armed Forces. The tribute is a striking bronze sculpture depicting four young recruits of all three services taking part in a military drill with a central  plaque inscribed with the words 'They Stand Among Us'  and was created by Glasgow based sculptor Kenny Hunter. Kenny worked with a group of cadets from Welbeck Defence Sixth Form college to develop the casts which were used to model the bronze figures and bereaved families worked with Kenny to develop the inscription. The implied absence of a fifth figure conveys a sense of loss yet also symbolises camaraderie, unity and personal identity.  The service was a  moving tribute and we were very proud have been there to support the event and the creative team who worked on it.

Coming soon ... Making a Living Hinckley, the Artists in Learning Networking event and Culture Club!

Creative Leicestershire E-bulletin November 2012

The latest Creative Leicestershire bulletin is out now.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Arts Council Grant for Opera Minima

Opera Minima (former Creative Leicestershire bursary winner) has just received news of their successful bid to Arts Council England for their production in November 2013 of Mozart’s Magic Flute.

The grant is £8,000 and it means that the company will be able to stage a much more elaborate show that would otherwise be possible, but still keeping ticket prices at a remarkably low level.
Music Director is renowned pianist, accompanist and repetiteur Nicholas Bosworth, who accompanies the performances, directing from the piano. Magic Flute will also have a small band with keyboard, flute, panpipes and glockenspiel as well as a plethora of electronic sound effects.

Opera Minima has received funding from the Arts Council nearly every year since 2004, and this is the third year running, a particularly commendable achievement in the current arts climate.

Singers are mainly young professionals in the early stages of their careers, but Minima’s growing reputation in the profession means that they often attract more experienced singers, especially for more challenging repertoire.

They are currently rehearsing Beethoven’s Fidelio, with a number of singers with an international career, such as Elizabeth Stannard in the title role who attracted rave reviews when she sang the role in Sydney Opera House: “ The greatest triumph of opening night belonged … to our Fidelio. Elizabeth Stannard … sang with confident, expressive artistry, her facility with the role’s challenging runs and wide tessitura easily compensating for a slight lack of heft..”

Gillian Leftwich, Artistic Director

Monday, 22 October 2012

Joining the Creative Leicestershire team!

I have now been here one week and in that time I have been introduced to lots of people I will be working with including the brilliant Creative Leicestershire team, Fred Brookes and Lucia Masundire. I've witnessed a brand new sculpture, created by Kenny Hunter, going up at County Hall - 'Stand Easy', a memorial to honour Leicestershire's Armed Forces. I've also been to two networking events and importantly found my way to the canteen!
The first event was part of the series of Wellbeing Wednesdays - a month of events, on each of the five Wednesdays this October, to help celebrate and champion the many ways which culture and the arts contribute to our collective and individual wellbeing. 'Your Choice' was held at the Atkins Building in Hinckley and around 20 different service providers chatted to service users and their carers about the services they had on offer, ranging from 'Beauty and Utility in the Arts' - managing arts and health projects, to Changing Minds - promoting positive mental health using the arts, sport and leisure, to creative writing workshops with Sue Mackrell and David McCormack to  3ZERO, a small recording studio in central Leicestershire catering for all abilities and all genres of music to Not Your Average Theatre group offering performance, drama and dance to adults with learning disabilities. It was a great event with over 100 people visiting the stalls and taking part in various activities .
The second event was the launch of the Sustainable Enterprise scheme with the Prince's Trust working with partners, Enterprising Leicester to encourage and support young people into business. We heard inspiring stories from the young people receiving their certificates from the Prince's Trust, about to launch their businesses and we were offered some impressive aims from Leicester's Business Support Network such as their assisting 2,812 people to start a business  and placing 180 graduates  into SMEs by 2015.

I hope I shall see many of you at a networking event soon and please don't hesitate to dop me a line to say 'Hi' .  To make sure you receive the Creative Leicestershire ebulletin with jobs and funding opportunities as well as events, sign up here

Catherine Rogers -  'the new' Arts and Creative Industries Manager

Creative Leicestershire now has a Facebook page and Twitter @Creative_Leics follow us and keep up to date with news & events relevant to the creative industries

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Working with interns: things to consider

Internships and other types of work experience provide a great opportunity for people to gain first hand experience of working within an arts organisation or creative business. Host organisations also benefit from such schemes as they gain access to talented individuals. However, such schemes should not be used as an attempt to avoid the regulations that govern the National Minimum Wage.

While there is no legal definition of what an intern is, there is one for a 'worker' and if it is established that the intern satisfies this status they are entitled to be paid at least National Minimum Wage. A 'worker' is defined as anyone who is engaged under a contract (whether that be written or implied) to personally carry out any work or services. The host organisation is also required to pay any tax and national insurance contributions for all 'workers' and employees and failure to do so is a criminal offence.

There are many work based opportunities that internships are not, for example volunteering (which has its own legal definition), work experience or apprenticeships. However, it is important to note that changing the name of an opportunity available to an individual does not change the legal requirement to pay at least National Minimum Wage. If the individual can establish that they have worker status, then they are entitled to be paid at least the the National Minimum Wage.

If you are unsure as to whether your intern, volunteer or work experience placement has worker status, the HMRC have a handy tool to help you check their employment status. Try the Employment Status Indicator tool.

Arts Council England and Creative Choices have published guidelines to help clarify the legal obligations of arts organisations offering internships and Creative Skillset have published guidelines for those working in creative businesses.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Creative Leicestershire August ebulletin

The Creative Leicestershire August ebulletin is out now. With lots of information and opportunities for people working in the arts and creative industries in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Click here to see the ebulletin.

To make sure you receive the ebulletin straight to your inbox, sign up here

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Creative Leicestershire July ebulletin

The Creative Leicestershire July ebulletin is out now. With lots of information and opportunities for people working in the arts and creative industries in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Click here to see the ebulletin.

To make sure you receive the ebulletin straight to your inbox, sign up here

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Local artists and musicians to benefit from the opening of a new creative hub in Leicester City Centre

Former Creative Leicestershire Bursary Winners, LCMP will be opening a new creative space in the City centre:

Local artists and musicians are set to benefit from a new creative space opening in the city centre, combining art exhibitions, recording facilities, business support services and much more.
The creative hub, known as “HQ”, is located at 38 Charles Street in Leicester City Centre, having taken over the premises formerly occupied by 5HQ (former home of the Formation Record label). The venue contains high quality recording studio facilities, workshop areas, gallery and exhibition space, art supplies, event tickets and much more.
HQ is being run and managed by LCMP (Leicester Community Music Project), a social enterprise who work with local artists and musicians to nurture and develop their talents. The group received a grant of £5,000 through “CaSE-da”, the local Co-operative Development Agency, towards the cost of renovating the building.
HQ will enable LCMP to continue Leicester’s proud history of supporting the local music scene through providing a place for musicians to record their music and provide the opportunity to work closely with mentors to develop their skills and confidence. Later in the year there will also be the opportunity to take part in apprenticeship schemes to gain formal qualifications and work experience opportunities.
The grand opening of HQ will take place on Friday 6th July from 3pm until 8pm and is open to anyone to attend. The event will feature guided tours of the recording studio facilities with performers and producers showcasing their recent projects. As the building is famed for being an integral part of the early rave scene, an art exhibition entitled “Rave Culture”, featuring works from local artists will also be on display in the gallery space.
Yasin El Ashrafi, Chairman of LCMP, said: “We are delighted to be formally opening HQ – the building has a long-standing reputation for being a meeting point for local urban musicians, we hope to uphold and build on this. A lot of hard work has gone into transforming the building which will enable us to continue our work with emerging local talent.”
An afterparty, in conjunction with FORTRAN Records, will be taking place at The Music CafĂ© just off Braunstone Gate from 10pm – 4am.
For more information please contact Yasin on 07835243805/0116 3196063 or email

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Making a Living: Sharing Experiences - Hinckley

Unfortunately we have had to cancel our Making a Living event on Tuesday 3 July at the Atkins Building. We will be rescheduling the event for Autumn, if you wish to be kept informed of when the new date will be please keep reading our ebulletin and subscribe if you have not already.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Wellbeing Wednesdays - A Celebration of Arts and Wellbeing 2012

Throughout the month of October Leicestershire County will be celebrating Wellbeing Wednesdays, a month of events, on each of the five wednesdays, to help celebrate and champion the many ways within which culture and the arts contribute to our collective and individual wellbeing - and arts and cultural practitioners are being invited to join in!

Leicestershire County Council will lead on delivering this celebration, in partnership with NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland and Big Difference Company.

This partnership is looking to hear from anyone with an interest in supporting this celebration. hosting events, sharing information about their work etc.

To let us know about your cultural activity, how it could fit in to the celebrations, please contact:

Lucia Masundire
Leicestershire County Council
Arts & Creative Industries Officer
T: 0116 305 4119

Please get in touch by Monday 6 August

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Creative Leicestershire April ebulletin

The Creative Leicestershire April ebulletin is out now!!

Lot's of information, opportunities, jobs and commissions for people working in the arts and creative industries.

Make sure to subscribe to the ebulletin to receive it straight to your inbox every month!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Get mentored! Creative Leicestershire's mentoring scheme

Creative Leicestershire are looking for 10 individuals, at any stage in their career, who are interested in working with a mentor over a six month period in 2012 to support their professional development.

To apply you must be;

  • based in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland; 
  • over 18 years old;
  • currently working professionally full or part-time in the arts sector (either as an artist/creative or arts administrator/manager). 
You may apply with a mentor in mind, or ask us to help you find one. We will expect you to work up a development plan for yourself and we will give you £500 towards carrying out the plan.

Download the application information here. If you have any questions email

Deadline for applications is Monday 30 April 2012.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Wistow Gallery is Now Open

Wistow Gallery, is a new independent gallery at Wistow Rural Centre in the beautiful south Leicestershire countryside.

Run by Kate Foster, the gallery opened in March 2012 and showcases the best contemporary craft, art and design from the county. They have sourced an exciting, constantly changing and affordable range of ceramics, glass, jewellery, prints, paintings, wood, cards and paper crafts, textiles and much more, all created uniquely by very talented artists from Leicestershire and Rutland.

So if you are looking for a gift, a unique souvenir of your visit to Leicestershire, or something new for your own collection, come and see what some of the best makers, designers and artists in the region have to offer…

Kate is a Furniture Design graduate who lives with her husband and two daughters in Kibworth near Wistow. In the year she turns 40, Kate is realising her long-standing dream of opening her own gallery.

To keep up-to-date with products, artists and events at Wistow Gallery, visit their website and/or follow them on Twitter @WistowGallery.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Selling art & craft online

Thanks to our excellent panellists for this event on Tuesday: Jewellery maker Sharon Dickinson (of Archives Crafts), Amanda and Alison of Giftwrapped and Gorgeous and James Boardwell, founder of Folksy. The key points for selling online were:
- Get good professional photography (well lit, professional models)
- Have a range of work at different price points
- Be niche/specialist - there's a lot of competition out there
- Have a story behind you and your work
- Share your thoughts and enthusiasms

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Creative Leicestershire March ebulletin

See the March edition of the ebulletin for lots of information and opportunities relevant to people working in arts, design and media.

This months edition includes:

  • Funding for people working in Film & Media
  • Call out's for artists & designer makers
  • Information on the Creative Leicestershire Arts Mentoring Scheme
Register to make sure you receive the ebulletin straight to your inbox

Friday, 23 March 2012

Epublishing Discussions

Excellent panel discussion took place on 22 March, led by Leicester Writers Club. Amanda Grange - a romantic novelist who sells online as well as in print - summed up the advantages of self-publishing:

  • it's fast (can take over a year to publish through traditional system)

  • if you have the rights, you can publish your backlist

  • you can get a much high percentage of royalties (eg 70% via Amazon)

  • you can publish work which might sell in relatively small numbers (which wouldn't interest a mainstream publisher)

And the disadvantages:

  • the work won't be in libraries and bookshops

  • the work won't be reviewed in the big journals

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Rutland Open Exhibition submissions

We are supporting Arts for Rutland to run the Rutland Open Exhibition at a new venue this year. Submission days are Saturday 17th and Monday 19th March at Rutland Museum in Oakham. Costs are £5 to submit one work; £10 for 2 and £15 for 3. Selection takes place on Tuesday 20th and prizes include £250 prize from Creative Leicestershire. Application info, including the compulsory form is under Visual Arts on and the exhibition runs from 24 March to 21 April.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

An ‘egg’hibition to remember

Local artist and Creative Leicestershire member Loz Atkinson has been selected to take part in 'The Big Egg Hunt'.

Presented by Faberge, organized by Elephant Family and supporting Action For Children, it will see London transformed and even try to set a world record in the process. Each corner will hold a secret treasure for the public to discover and experience, hatching wonders and excitement as they journey through the streets of London for a cracking good time.

Loz, has designed and painted one of 200 fibreglass eggs. Each standing 2 1/2 foot tall they will take pride of place on the streets of London from Shrove Tuesday, 21st February, continuing on for 40 days and 40 nights. London will be transfixed by the most astounding and exhilarating egg hunt it has ever seen. Former Bursary winner and Artist Taking the Lead commissioned artist, Shauna Richardson has also designed an egg for the event.

Loz has had works featured in two previous Elephant family events. In 2010’s Elephant Parade London her elephant ‘deliverance’ featured on the Southbank and fetched £10,000 at auction. Whilst in the summer of 2011 her Hornbill creation was one of 150 creatures that turned Edinburgh into Jungle City, with Loz’s artwork appearing on the front cover of the exhibitions accompanying book and raised over £2,000 at auction.
Her egg titled "from little acorns, mighty oaks do grow", which will feature on Liverpool Street in the City, symbolises the fantastic work done by both Elephant Family and Action For Children charities.

For more information on the big egg hunt please visit

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Creative Leicestershire February Ebulletin

Click here to see the February edition of the Creative Leicestershire ebulletin.

This month we have lots of opportunities for people working in the creative industries including:

  • Many Call-Outs for artists and designer makers for local, regional and national work
  • Information from Curve about their Curveball - A Platform for showcasing performing artists
  • Lots of resources for organisations working with young people
To make sure you receive the ebulletin, sign up now

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Creative Leicestershire Funding Boost

Creative Leicestershire are pleased to announce that we were successful in our Grants for the Arts application to Arts Council England to support our work for the next two years.

The Arts Resilience programme involves:
  • A mentoring programme for emerging artists and arts managers with small training bursaries for mentees;
  • Training for arts organizations in measuring and meeting social outcomes for public sector contracts;
  • Economic impact research into the arts sector and networking with commercial business sector; 
  • A project to encourage and stimulate domestic art buying.
Further information about these projects will be released over the coming months, so make sure you receive our monthly ebulletin to find out what's on offer

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

New Gallery looking for quality work

A new independent contemporary gallery will be opening at Wistow Rural Centre, just east of Leicester, at the end of March. Owner Kate Foster is looking for high-quality locally-made contemporary ceramics, prints & paintings, jewellery, textiles, small furniture/accessories. Space is limited as it's not a huge unit, but please email Kate with examples of your work if you are interested in selling there. e:

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Congratulations Ruth Singer

Textile designer, author & tutor Ruth Singer, has won the Haymarket Shopping Centre's Big Idea competition to kick start her creative business. Her mission is to get Leicester sewing & making by opening a studio and running sewing and craft workshops.

To get to this stage, Ruth had to submit a proposal, get past the Dragon's Den style panel of experts and win the public vote. Ruth has won a month's rent-free shop unit in Leicester's Haymarket Shopping Centre and a cash prize of £1000 to spend on the business.
Ruth's Big Idea is to run a craft & design studio where anyone can learn new practical skills. Ruth will use this opportunity in Leicester city centre to run a month of taster workshops and activities for all ages to raise the profile of her studio in the run up to opening in its permanent home later in 2012.

The studio opens in the Haymarket Shopping Centre on 29th March for a month which will include the following:

Free regular Learn to Sew taster workshops
Easter holiday activities for children 5th April
A day of activities for local schools 25th April
Customising clothes workshop tbc
Dressmaking classes 15th April
Lampshade restyle workshop 1st April
Fabric manipulation Masterclass 14th April
Coffee & Craft Mornings
Open studio & Craft Cafe 8th April
After school activities 18th April
Handbag making workshop 22nd April
Sewing machine hire by the hour
Private hire for groups

Full programme will be available online in March

There will be a small retail area with Ruth's own kits & patterns, vintage fabrics, sewing patterns, haberdashery and lots of books including Ruth's own Sew It Up and Sew Eco. Visitors to the studio will also be able to see and buy Ruth's work  including wall panels, customised clothes and small gifts. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Creative Leicestershire January ebulletin

The Creative Leicestershire January ebulletin is out now!

There is lot's of information and opportunities for those working in the arts, design and media sectors including:

  • Jobs with Arts Council England
  • Call out for artists for the Rutland Open
  • Events from Creative Leicestershire's event programme
You can see a copy of this months edition here but make sure to register now and receive the ebulletin straight to your inbox