Our Purpose

Helix Arts knows that it is our everyday cultures and creativity that make us human, and that, together, we can produce amazing art that begins to address the many issues facing us.

We are a people- and values-led organisation.

Our Values

Authentic
We are honest, open, trustworthy, trusting and fair.

Ambitious
We strive to co-produce excellent artistic works whatever the circumstances of artists, audiences, volunteers and participants.

Creativity
We ensure that creativity is at the heart of our practice.

Communication
We listen and learn from all our stakeholders and share our practice with all sectors.

Diversity

We know that working with artists, producers, partners, audiences, volunteers and participants from diverse backgrounds enriches our practice and our organisation.

What?

Helix Arts is an arts charity collaborating and connecting with local communities. We have worked for almost 40 years to support community members and artists to work together to bring about meaningful changes to their health, their prospects, their communities, and their environments.

Why?

People, nature, and our planet are facing incredible pressures everywhere right now.

We believe that art, cultural practices and everyday creativity can help us through our lives, amplifying little-heard voices, making people feel healthier and more optimistic, helping people to understand the world and to think about new ways they can educate and equip themselves for uncertain futures, and generating a much-need, renewed sense of community.

Artists play an incredibly important part in our communities and society, and we support their development and advocate for their livelihoods and wellbeing too.

Our regular critical conversations with the artistic workforce highlights their current and ongoing needs and pressures. We build in time to reflect and review our work with artists to ensure quality experiences and creative outcomes.

We continue to work closely with artists and producers to create safe and supported practise, including mentoring, coaching, action learning sets and regular training and development.

This is with the shared ambition to collectively nurture, care and respect one another.

Who with?

We work with people of all backgrounds and ages, those who are often forgotten, vulnerable and living in adverse circumstances; especially young people and families at risk and people living with challenging health conditions, particularly older people, and diverse communities.

We work with partners and funders from across sectors. For example, our current work with the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance, CLINKS and Cambridge University.

We work with artists at every stage of their careers. Their role in society is pivotal to wellbeing. We therefore are fully committed to positioning this at the heart of our work to lead to better experience for them and the people they engage, and we pledge our commitment to Artist Union England’s Good Practice Charter for Artists will support and develop this during 2021.

We recognise the need to increase the diversity of those we work with and those who work for us.

Where?

We are based in North Tyneside and deeply rooted in this area with ambitions to create greater impact.

We also regularly undertake projects with partners across the North East of England, working closely with local authority partners.

We work in public spaces, communities, care homes, prisons, schools, parks, clubs, arts venues – anywhere where people feel most comfortable and sometimes in places that make some people a little uncomfortable too.

We are not venue-based. Instead, our work takes place in spaces and places such as community centres and castles, hospitals and parks, prisons, and streets. We create spaces where residents feel comfortable, supported by trusted partners and skilled staff. Often for people who feel in between or forgotton.

We work in many ways to create the best, most productive environment for participants and partners.

This means in 21/22 and beyond we will continue to review and expand our delivery modes offline at home or on-site, online at home, blended – onsite and at home concurrently, detached in the community (parks/ outdoors), and increase 1:1 support for people shielding, carers and artists specifically.

Digital has demonstrated itself in various means during Helix Arts’ history – a noted strength of ours.

We will build on this as part of the developing post-Covid world – exploring and understanding what participants and audiences need and respond to now after much digital fatigue. We will continue to stretch the organisation with reference to our digital artistic outcomes too – through our projects in communities.

How?

We work with people on arts, cultural and heritage projects that always have a clear objective, but whose results are always unexpected. Our aim is to co-produce with people in an appropriate way to their starting point and develop bespoke journeys.

Doing so through carefully nurtured and supportive partnerships across a range of strategic and delivery organisations representing the community and voluntary sector.

We work with diverse artists to enable them to have the space and support they need to work alongside community members.

We encourage people to speak out and to listen to each other, encouraging everybody we work with to be inquiring and to think creatively. We use creativity and artistic and cultural practices that are most appropriate to each situation and context.

We are happy when participants and artists take the lead. We continue to work to inspire people to try new things and do things differently.

Our work is regularly underpinned by external evaluation and research with regional and national universities. Utilising monitoring and evaluation as part of our annual review is critical to understanding what to measure, in the best way for our participant, ourselves and funders. This leads to a rich picture of our impact after ongoing reflection and improvement.