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Ironville Youth Club: Graffiti/Mural Artist Call Out

Ironville Youth Club: Graffiti/Mural Artist Call Out

Call Out for a Socially Engaged Graffiti/Mural Artist with experience co-creating with young people

Make/Shift is seeking an artist for a residency with Ironville Youth Club as part of our Amber Valley Makers in Residence Programme.  The commissioned artist will work with the youth club members, and their leaders, to co-design, plan and deliver a artistic revamp of the outside of the substantial railway carriage which houses the club facilities.

Research through the residency will also: help inform Make/Shift and our collaborators, for future work with young people in Amber Valley; help connect the Youth Club with the Ironville community;  lead to a community celebration event focused on the carriage (co-produced with the Make/Shift team); build a plan for the legacy of the project with the Youth Club members.

What you need to know:

The successful artist will need to be socially engaged and have experience working with young people from a wide range of backgrounds. You must be comfortable running ideation and co-design workshops with them and the final project will be co-created with them.

We are looking for an artist whose practice shows a passion for engaging people with place. The Youth Club meets in Ironville, Derbyshire on Thursday evenings, from 6pm onwards. The artist will need to be available to fit in with some of these sessions.

There is an inclusive budget of £9000 for all artist time and expenses, plus materials. There is an additional £1500 for a community celebration event or activity at the conclusion of the project. The project will ideally be delivered in summer/autumn 2024, the actual timescale is flexible. The Make/Shift team will assist with engagement and sharing, event production, and collecting evaluation and feedback.

We will be involving members of the Youth Club in the selection process for this commission. They have expressed an interest in an artist with a ‘graffiti’ style approach.

It would be useful - though not essential - if you have a connection to Amber Valley, Derbyshire.
The focus of this project is the repainting of the outside of the carriage, but there is scope to work with the club to continue the scheme in the interior, if time and budget allow.

Although the main creative output of this residency is the mural, the focus of the residency is the learning process, to feed back into Make/Shift's work to unleash creativity across Amber Valley: in your application, you will need to demonstrate your process, and how this will empower young people, help create space for community connections, and move Make/Shift on in terms of how we work with young people, and the communities of Ironville, ensuring a legacy for the project.

Evolution of the Railway Carriage:

We can't wait to hear from you.

If you are interested, please check out further details in the full brief.

To apply, we ask for a proposal in writing, audio or video, along with examples of previous work. We will also want to hear about your experience of socially engaged practice including co-creation with young people, community projects, and place-making. You will also need to submit a proposed budget breakdown, and proposed timescale. The deadline for submissions will be Sunday 14 July 2024 with a decision expected within two weeks of this date.

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People Make Amber Valley

People Make Amber Valley

Furthest from the Sea Music, Comedy & Arts collaborated with Make/Shift to create a giant community art installation, which was revealed to public on Saturday 6th April as part of The Making of Amber Valley event on Ripley Market Place.

Leading the creative team for Furthest from the Sea was Ambergate-based artist Lise Bennett, who had set herself the challenge of fashioning a 2m2 representation of Amber Valley’s geography and landscape out of chicken wire. This centre-piece was populated by individual figurines, crafted by the community from some of the materials which draw on the borough’s rich industrial heritage. Wire, clay, wood and fabric will be used in a series of workshops, and the ‘people’ created by school children, care-home residents and the general public were added to the piece, titled ‘People Make Amber Valley’.

Lise explained, “There’s so much to celebrate about this wonderful corner of Derbyshire, but most important of all are the people who live and work in our towns and villages. It’s great to be part of something which brings together so many different individuals. Together we can reflect the joy of diversity, and the beauty of community.”

Photo credits: Pictoria & Lise Bennett

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Golden Glue Awards

Golden Glue Awards

On Sunday 12th November we came together with friends and collaborators to celebrate almost a year of starting Make/Shift, collaborating with Maison Foo and Infinite Wellbeing.

We had a fun filled afternoon as we shined a light on the everyday makers, connectors and shifters of Amber Valley doing extraordinary things to stick communities together. There was comedy, cake and a serving of homemade sparkle in this spoof awards ceremony, hosted by local mischief makers Maison Foo Theatre.

The Golden Glue Awards has been created and hosted by Maison Foo as part of their Make/Shift commissioned project 'Vallerie's Gallery'

The event was lovingly stitched together by community makers, bakers and growers from Amber Valley and beyond.

Photo credits: Pictoria
Video credits: Luke Galloway of Space Face Films

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The Making of Amber Valley

The Making of Amber Valley

As Amber Valley Borough Council marked its 50th birthday, Ripley Market Place hosted a day of celebrations on Saturday 6 April 2024.

The programme included live entertainment by movers, shakers, dancers and musicians from across Amber Valley’s communities, with free interactive activities for everyone.

Not-for-profit arts organisation Furthest from the Sea, mischief makers Maison Foo Theatre, and local community makers, sewers, growers and shedders collaborated with Make/Shift and Amber Valley Borough Council to deliver a birthday party to remember.

Photo credits: Pictoria

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Muddlin’ Through Together

A place for freelancers, small business owners, creative practitioners and community organisers to get together, make connections, share skills, and show off about what you do. Some weeks you’ll be able to learn something new, other weeks you might just want to work alongside people who share your struggles and triumphs. There’ll always be a cuppa and a chance to chat. And we’ll end each session with a few minutes of mindfulness or reflection to send you off into the world feeling ready to take it on.

Sound like something you’d be interested in? Our first session on 28th February is a chance to come along, find out more, and make suggestions for what you’d like to see from the upcoming programme of sessions – we’re not creating the programme until we hear from you first.

12.30pm – Arrive, light lunch provided
1.15-2.30pm – We’ll run a friendly workshop to share ideas and invite your feedback: come prepared to tell us what you need
2.30pm- Session ends
2.30-5pm – Chance to stay on and chat, meet, use the space to hot desk.

You’ll be able to pop your name and contact info on the list for the future sessions – and we’ll let you know as soon as we put the programme in place.

We’re aiming to run an initial series of six sessions all 12.30pm – 2.30pm 28th Feb, 12th March, 27th March, 10th April, 24th April and then based on feedback we hope to keep them going into the summer and beyond!

Muddlin’ Through Together sessions will be hosted by Infinite Wellbeing in collaboration with Make/Shift. Find out more about us at the links below:

Community Centre | Infinite Wellbeing | Heanor, Derbyshire (

Hello we are Make / Shift (

Photo credits: Pictoria

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Friday Craft & Chat at Salcare

Friday Craft & Chat at Salcare

Our regular Craft and Chat sessions are for everyone! All you need to do is turn up, and join in. Booking isn’t essential, it’s just to give us an idea of numbers because it’s quite a cosy space: but you’ll always be welcome if you arrive unexpectedly at our craft table. You don’t need any experience, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re crafty or artistic. All abilities are welcome. Children are welcome too, but do bear in mind the crafts are aimed at older children and adults – if you bring younger children, you will need to help them.

You’ll find us in the community café at Salcare. We love being in the midst of everything – people using all the other wonderful services that Salcare provides: the Salcare volunteers and staff often join in with our crafting and chatting too.

It’s a different craft every week, from fabric wreath making, to journaling, via embroidery, paper flowers and making wire suncatchers – but it’s always something simple, which you can complete in a couple of hours. All materials are provided and it’s free. Our resident makers will welcome you, and show you how to get started, but there are no rules! It’s all about unleashing your creativity – and you’ll get something to take home. We’ve had lots of our participants make something to take home for a gift for a family member, or with a particular place in their house in mind.

While you’re at our table, you’ll find people to chat to, though there’s no pressure, and everyone usually goes quiet for a while whilst they’re focusing! And we’ll make you a cuppa if you fancy one.

Come and join in – and find out just how creative you are!

This project is a brilliant partnership with Salcare and Platform Thirty1.

From July 2024, there’ll be a break in regular sessions, but we will have special school holiday sessions on Friday 9th August and Friday 23rd August. On Friday 9th, our regular makers in residence will be joined by Vallerie of the Gallery, and her Community Living Room (produced by Maison Foo theatre company) and on 23rd they’ll be joined by Grow Outside CIC, for activities focused on nature and growing. Regular Friday sessions (11am-2pm) will start again in September.

Special School Holiday Session dates: August 9th, 23rd 

Autumn/Winter: September 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

November 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th

December 6th, 13th


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Zine Library

Zine Library, Alfreton Library

Over six months Make/Shift collaborated with  No Jobs in the Arts and Alfreton Library to host free zine making workshops imagining the future in Amber Valley. The workshops ran from October 2023 to March 2024.

   No Jobs in the Arts hosted drop-in workshops which were unique, each led by a different early-career creative. During the arty workshops, zines- a handmade leaflet or booklet - were made in response to the question, ‘What can we make together that will shift us towards better futures?’

You can visit the brand-new Zine Library in Alfreton Library and add your own to the shelf using the make a zine materials and activity packs provided during the Library’s opening hours.

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