Heart of Glass

Celebrating arts and community from its rugby club base
Silent Night / ‘And, on that note’ at Langtree Stadium
Silent Night / ‘And, on that note’ at Langtree Stadium
Photo: Stephen King
Merseyside Dance Initiative at the Summer Streets Festival
Merseyside Dance Initiative at the Summer Streets Festival
Photo: Stephen King
In My Place will bring performance to peoples’ homes and workplaces
In My Place will bring performance to peoples’ homes and workplaces
Photo: Stephen King

Where: Borough of St Helens
With: Saints Community Development Foundation, Helena Partnerships, FACT (Foundation for Art + Creative Technology), St Helens Council and St Helens Arts Partnership (Citadel, World of Glass, Platform Artist Studios)

Heart of Glass offers an exciting artistic programme as well as promoting collaboration and innovative practice in the arts. The project is based in the beating heart of St Helens – Saints Rugby Club at Langtree Park – and aims to link artists and communities.

With a population of 180,000, St Helens is synonymous with rugby success and industrial decline. Approaching its 150-year anniversary, Pilkington Glass, Beecham’s Powder and Proctor and Gamble are amongst some of the companies founded in the town.

One of the key goals of the project’s busy programme is to create space for artists and locals to enjoy dialogue, research and experimentation, exploring the idea that art can play a part in every area of human activity. The project also looks at the place and impact of art in a post-industrial Britain.

Heart of Glass works with a range of partners and community groups, from the Liverpool Philharmonic and Live Art Development Agency through to carers, the travelling community and isolated older people. It involves local people in shaping its programmes, including a network of Community Commissioners working with communities of place and interest.

Activities arranged by Heart of Glass are often highly interactive and typically rely on high levels of participation and engagement to help them really come alive. Highlight to date include Silent Night / And, on that Note, a visual and choral event at Langtree Stadium, and Your Name Here, an opportunity to nominate someone to have a park named after them, led by artist Joshua Sofaer.