Arts organisation Beam moved into new premises at the beginning of April, becoming part of the well-established creative community within The Art House, Wakefield.
Beam, which, in 2016, celebrates 30 years of delivering creative projects, left The Orangery on Back Lane, its home for many years, to cross the road to The Art House on Mulberry Way. However, it will be very much business as usual as Beam continue to deliver a programme of work, including key arts projects for Wakefield such as the annual Wakefield Lit Fest.
Beam’s Principal Consultants Kate Watson & Frances Smith said: “After a long history of Beam at The Orangery, we leave with many happy memories of people participating in the arts here, through projects such as Richard Wood’s ‘A Maze for Yorkshire’ commission, Studio Myerscough’s ‘Swing It!’ intervention, and hundreds of events and activities including the Long Division Festival, Wakefield Lit Fest, conferences, exhibitions, artist talks, weddings and more. We look forward to opening the next chapter of Beam’s life in Wakefield, from our new home at The Art House, a key centre as part of Wakefield’s thriving creative community; and continuing to deliver arts opportunities and projects both in the Wakefield District and beyond”.
Upcoming Beam projects include planning for the next Wakefield Lit Fest, due to take place in late September, including ‘Lit Fest’ outreach projects in Altofts and working with the city’s South Asian community. Beam’s programme ‘Arts in Place’, supported by the Arts Council, continues in 2016 including the coordination of the Wakefield Arts Partnership and other work nationally to coordinate a collective voice around the role of the arts and artists in place-making, linked to the Farrell Review of Architecture. A series of arts commissions working within community settings in the district are also planned throughout the year, alongside an artist commission opportunity linked to the Wakefield Arts Partnership.
Kerry Harker, Interim CEO, The Art House commented: “The Art House is delighted to welcome Beam as the newest tenant in our building in central Wakefield. Beam’s relocation to The Art House reinforces our central role in supporting the creative industries in the region, and complements our growing community of creative businesses, which already includes Axisweb, One to One Development Trust, We Are, and somewhere to_ (Yorkshire & Humber) as well as individual creative practitioners. We look forward to working with Beam, particularly through the Wakefield Arts Partnership, to advance the cause of culture in Wakefield.”
Beam Deputy Chair Kevin Trickett added: “Beam is very much looking forward to its new future based at the Art House. We are, of course, very sorry to be leaving The Orangery, a place that holds many fond memories for us and which we have developed into a key part of Wakefield’s cultural offer over the years but, at a time when there is no longer any core grant funding available for an organisation like Beam, it is not possible to cover the overheads of running a building like The Orangery. We have been working closely with the Council to secure alternative tenants for the building and we are hopeful that the Council will be able to make announcements soon.”
“Meanwhile, Beam is currently looking to add to the skills of its board of Trustees at this exciting time for the charity. Those interested should contact Beam for further information about Trustee roles and to arrange an informal chat about available positions.”