Three artists have been appointed to develop community artist residency projects for the Chester High Street Heritage Action Zone programme.

  • Matt Baker, Artistic Director of Theatre in the Quarter, will lead an engagement project with Chester Residents using film and creative writing.
  • Local theatre company, Yet Another Carnival, will be working with people who formerly slept rough on a spoken word project, in partnership with Forfutures.
  • Suzanne St Clare, a socially engaged photographer will be working with Chester Pride and the LGBTQ+ community, supported by Open Eye Gallery.

Artworks from the projects will be showcased using digital platforms and using creative spaces in the city centre.

Lead partner Cheshire West and Chester Council has been awarded funding by Historic England for a programme of pilot activities to help shape a future Cultural Programme. A new consortium will bring high quality creative activity into the historic centre of Chester, working with communities to celebrate what is unique about the city.

Following the initial COVID-19 lockdown some residents felt that they had rediscovered and ‘reclaimed the city’ which has resulted in the first project theme: ‘Reclaim the City’ that will run until February 2021.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Thanks to the funding from Historic England, this first project will be a starting point for artists and communities to discuss and understand how experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic shifted individual and community relationships within the city.

“Participants will share their thoughts, insight and discoveries about what Chester and what culture means to them.”

The consortium is now looking for a Photographer Apprentice from the LGBTQ+ community to work with Suzanne St Clare on her Photography project.  Anyone interested and would like further information about this role contact:

The Chester High Street Historic Action Zone Cultural Consortium members include: Chester Pride; School of Arts and Media, University of Chester; Storyhouse; St Mary’s Creative Space and Theatre in the Quarter.  Open Eye Gallery are partners for the Pilot Activity programme.