What’s On Your Mind?

What's On Your Mind logo - text in different coloured boxes, designed to look like speech bubbles

We want to know what’s on the mind of our local communities – so we thought we’d take some time to ask.

What’s On Your Mind? is a new project we’re delivering this autumn that will reflect the hopes and concerns of local people throughout the Borough of Stockton on Tees. To find out what’s on your mind we have already started conversations with some of the communities who call ARC home, and we’ll be checking in with even more of you in the coming weeks.

Those of you we’ve spoken to have already told us you’re thinking about our changing town, how safe you feel in it, and what it means to be welcome here. We’ll be taking these themes and everything else we learn through our conversations with you to commission 14 artists to respond with new pieces of work that engage with the ideas at the forefront of Stockton’s collective consciousness.

The artists will create work in a range of digital formats, which could be a video, an online exhibition, a streamed live performance, or an interactive piece of digital art. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!

We’ll be sharing their work with you every Tuesday and Friday between Tuesday 19 October and Friday 3 December. We’ll be sharing regular updates about the project and the work the artists have been making each week via our website, emails (sign up to our mailing list), and through our social media channels.

We’re really pleased to welcome Paula Clark to the ARC team for this project. As Creative Director for What’s on Your Mind? Paula is meeting with communities who have links with ARC including disabled people, care-experienced children and young people, LGBTQIA+ people, and refugees and asylum seekers among others. Through these conversations Paula will be working to uncover what the most important things our communities are thinking about are. She will also be working to identify artists to respond to the concerns and thoughts that come out of those conversations.

Headshot of Paula Clark

Paula said:

“So often people feel that their opinions don’t matter and are not cared for especially people who already are marginalised. WOYM is a really lovely project that is all about having conversations and actually listening. ARC want to know to how people feel right now coming out of the pandemic, what feels urgent to them, what are their fears but also hopes and dreams for the future. It’s so exciting to work for an arts organisation who want to have that dialogue at the core of the work. I am absolutely delighted to be a part of it.”

During the pandemic ARC was forced to close and so we adapted to creating more digital work. We learnt a lot in the process and we’re now making more of our programme available digitally. We want to use the experience we gained during this time to help artists create and share their work through digital mediums.

Our aim is for What’s On Your Mind? to further our work in giving local audiences a say in the work we make, and ensuring what we do continues to speak to and reflect what’s important to our communities. Annabel Turpin, our Chief Executive and Artistic Director said:

“Although we’ve continued to offer events and activities throughout the pandemic, our building was closed for many months and so this feels the perfect time to carry out a major listening exercise. This isn’t just about listening to local people though, it’s about using the creative skills of artists and the new digital platforms we have developed to make their views heard.  We’re delighted to have Paula on board to lead the programme, and can’t wait to see what artists create.”

Up to date information about What’s On Your Mind? and ARC’s other work can be found via our website and social media channels, or by calling the Box Office on 01642 525199.

What’s On Your Mind? has been made possible thanks to grant funding from Arts Council England.