Opportunity: Explore York Library & Archives, , Creative Cafés Artist Call Out - Deadline 11th Oct

Explore York Library & Archives are looking for professional artists who have experience in participatory arts practice, particularly working with people living with mental ill health to run two hour weekly workshops over eight weeks as part of the Creative Cafés project.

Two creative cafes will be running in different locations in York.

The workshops will involve 2 artists working in collaboration over eight weeks. This could be two artists who would run both cafes, four artists who would run each café as a pair, or a combination of the two.


Explore York has been awarded funding to deliver two eight week Creative Cafés, one at York Explore and one at Tang Hall Explore between January and March 2021. Our Creative Cafés are part of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Activities Programme 2020-21, coordinated by York Mind.

During each eight week period, a group of up to 10 participants will work with two artists who will enable them to engage with a variety of art forms. The Creative Cafés will build the confidence of participants, provide them with the opportunity for social interaction, support the development of new skills, offer them a creative outlet and introduce them to the range of activities and services available at Explore Centres in York. It will give them the confidence to continue to use Explore as a meeting place, a welcoming environment to spend time and a place where they can participate in creative activities which will improve their health. Each Café will focus on themed creative activity, comprising different artistic elements, to enable participants to experience a variety of different art forms.


Café 1

York Explore Library Square Museum Street York YO1 7DS


Weekly for 8 weeks, each session will be 2 hours. To run from January to March 2021, dates and time to be Funding

Café 2

Tang Hall Explore

The Centre@Burnholme Mossdale Avenue,

York YO31 0HA


Weekly for 8 weeks, each session will be 2 hours

To run from January to March 2021, dates and time to be


Explore York will pay each artist a fee of £800 for the eight week period of each café which will include planning and review meetings, plus there is some additional funding of up to £400 per café for materials.


Applications welcome from pairs of artists or from individual artists who are enthusiastic about working closely with another artist. Explore York are looking for artists with different, but complementary skills.

To apply please send us the following by 11 October 2020:-

 A proposal, on no more than one sheet of A4, setting out a plan for the content of an eight week course which would introduce people to a variety of different art and craft activities. We would be grateful if you would also include an estimated cost of materials.

 Your CV including any web/social media links to examples of past work. Applications and questions should be emailed to arts@exploreyork.org.uk


Applications will be assessed on the proposals, with successful artists that Explore York feel match the criteria invited to come and discuss their ideas before the final decision is made about who will be engage to run the Cafés.

 Explore York will invite artists for discussions week commencing 26 October.

 Successful artists will be notified week beginning 2 November

 Due to time constraints, Explore York will not be able to provide feedback to artists that we have not met for discussion.


The project funding funding requires Explore York to complete a form with each participant at week one and week eight of the Creative Cafés. A member of Explore staff will support this, but it may mean that the first and last sessions may go over 2 hours.

About Explore York

Explore York was awarded a 15 year contract in 2019 to deliver the library and archive service for the City of York Council. Explore libraries are trusted spaces, safe, creative environments, welcoming to everyone. Explore York have developed libraries as cultural spaces with increasing interaction with artists and cultural organisations. Offering the opportunity to re-imagine libraries with participation, co-creation and inclusivity at their heart.

Explore York are recognised for the positive impact their cultural offer has on health and wellbeing, evidenced in a recent external evaluation report. Explore York's intergenerational, targeted activities engage residents with disabilities, dementia and those suffering from mental health problems, removing barriers and enabling them to positively participate in the cultural life of the city.

Explore Labs won Outstanding Community Arts project, York Culture Awards 2018 and an Edge 2020 innovation in libraries award.



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Download this opportunity as a PDF from Explore York