At their annual black tie event at Liverpool Town Hall last Friday, attended by the cream of the crop in the region’s social enterprise sector, dot-art Services CIC was announced as the Arts and Cultural Champion for 2015 by SENTogether, the Social Enterprise Network for the Liverpool City Region.
The SEN Powerful Together Awards aim to recognise Liverpool City Region’s most innovative social enterprises, for attributes such as creativity, growth and social advocacy. The awards have now taken place each year since 2012 and this year saw more than 90 nominations received.
The Arts and Cultural Champion award recognises the achievements of the creative sector in supporting communities through a range of creative mediums, and was awarded to dot-art in recognition of its varied programme of works in the visual arts.
Local visual artists can develop their careers and gain exposure for their work through dot-art’s unique membership scheme. There are currently around 100 active members, but the scheme has seen more than 500 artists engaged since 2010.
By joining dot-art, artists can become part of a growing community, working in a broad range of styles and media, and at varying stages of their careers. Members develop their own practice, which promotes confidence, life satisfaction and overall health and well-being. Since 2010 dot-art services has also provided affordable studio and workspace to over 30 artists.
dot-art also offers a range of adult art classes and courses, led by its members. Participants tell us that they build confidence, improve their skills and see it as a gret opportunity to meet new, like-minded people. Over the past four years, courses have provided regular paid work for 22 artist tutors and delivered over 5,000 hours of teaching to over 500 local people.
dot-art Schools is an interactive, online, inter-school art competition taking place on an annual basis and culminating with an exhibition at St Georges Hall. It is designed to raise ambition, nurture talent and help young people to discover a creative career path at a time when many argue the arts are being side-lined in the National Curriculum.
The programme was launched in 2012 in response to demand from local schools; and since then some 2,500 children from over 80 primary and secondary schools in the Liverpool City Region have participated.
Lucy Byrne, managing director of dot-art Services said:
“The dot-art team are absolutely delighted to win this award. Over the past few years we have developed a number of new projects, which have had fantastic reach and impact across the region; perhaps most importantly the dot-art Schools programme. This has given thousands of children the opportunity to see their work showcased online, and displayed over 120 of these works in public art galleries in Liverpool city centre. We have ambitious growth plans for 2016 and I am confident the profile gained by winning this award will help us deliver these.”
Social Enterprise Network CEO Rosie Jolly added:
“I am very pleased that our judges decided to name dot-art Services the Arts and Cultural Champion for 2015. SEN has supported and championed their work for several years and has been impressed by their resilience, development and growth. Congratulations to dot-art on a well-deserved accolade!”