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GRAFTERS SPACE: A New Open Network for Creatives and Communities in Leeds

Hard graft is at the centre of our ethos as a company, and we know from our own journeys into the creative industries just how much work, pain and sleep-deprivation goes into developing and maintaining successful creative or cultural projects. Here at Graft, we believe that open, honest and unusual collaborations are the way forward for the creative sector in Leeds, with more partnerships, community engagement and interdisciplinary approaches needed now in a post-covid world, than ever before. Lockdown has isolated us enough, and it’s time for our city’s creative community to open up those doors, pull down those barriers and get out there to help others!

Grafters Space is an open networking platform, online and (eventually) at physical pop-up events, connecting creatives from across Leeds with residents from their communities. Our aim is to use this space to engage conversations about important social issues that affect us, and how we can tackle these difficulties we face through unified and creative responses.

In partnership with our PLAYGROUND: projects, we will be running and joining online campaigns, offering opportunities for all voices to be heard.

To launch Grafters Space, we will be exploring #MentalHealthAwareness across October, with today marking the international Mental Health Awareness Day, part of a full month to discuss, explore and share our stories and experiences of mental health difficulties.

Funded by Leeds City Council through the Inner West Community Committee Wellbeing Fund 2020/21, and supported by Interplay Theatre, we will be interviewing community leaders from Armley who will be laying the foundation stones of our rockery for PLAYGROUND: Exploring Mental Health Awareness.

These interviews will be posted online, as part of MindWell’s campaign #LetsTalkLeeds to end stigma and shame around speaking out when we are struggling with our thoughts and headspace.

All of this will then be stitched together to create a documentary, exploring Armley and the affects of mental health difficulties on its community and residents. This documentary will be live streamed for free, and available to everyone to watch.

If you are a creative or resident in Armley and would like to get involved, be interviewed, or share your work, stories or opinions through Grafters Space, follow and contact us through Instagram or get in touch through the contact page above. Make sure to start painting those stones and rocks ready for our launch in the half-term week!


Published by graftcollaborativecic

Graft Collaborative is a non-profit Community Interest Company established to support emerging creative practitioners from a range of artistic and performative disciplines through the development of engaging projects involving Leeds-based communities to highlight and engage residents with important social issues. This will be achieved by creating and developing opportunities for communities to engage and participate in artistic projects from emerging artistic and performative practitioners.

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