The MakeSpace 'STEP-UP' Project
The MakeSpace ‘Step-Up’ project was a Charnwood Arts’ weekly craft based creative arts group for adults, designed to foster creativity for wellbeing. The ‘Step-Up’ project builds on the success of our arts in mental health projects RawArt and MakeSpace, which are projects that deliver quality arts in mental health activities targeting people who experience severe and enduring mental health problems.
The aim of the ‘Step-Up’ project was to provide opportunities for individuals to progress their individual art practice as well as provide a safe creative environment where they can work together to engage in making hand-crafted saleable items. The sale of items made by project members helped to fund the project so that we can continue to provide the safe creative environment and continue to help participant-artists achieve their creative goals before the pandemic struck. Activities took take place within the MakeSpace group every Wednesday and will concentrated on co-production of products like hair scrunchies, patchwork, notebooks, greetings cards, limited edition fine art prints and other items like tea towels. Designs for cards, prints and tea towels will be produced during sessions. The project also aimed to provide regular exhibition opportunities. Artist-makers were supported throughout the process of conceiving and producing individual work. By taking part in the project participants had the opportunity to develop transferable skills, build self-confidence and improve wellbeing. Through the exhibition of artworks, sale of hand-crafted items at art fairs and local businesses artist-makers helped us to challenge mental health stigma in our community.