Worcester Arts Workshop’s final project, Mobilise, will continue to embed the company’s most recent work around diversity and inclusion in the arts and arts and mental health through new socially engaged work, into Worcester’s cultural sector.

Funded by Arts Council England, Severn Arts, Worcester County Council and in partnership with Worcester Theatres, Mobilise will support a visual arts outreach project with local artists Kay Mullett and Yasmin Agillah Hood and see the creation of a new socially engaged piece of theatre which will premiere in 2022 on International Women’s Day titled Badass Medusa #MeToo.

Mobilise is championing and supporting new work which focuses on the arts as a tool for social change and aims to support mental health and wellbeing of marginalised artists. The visual arts project will engage adults with a learning disabilities and / or autism from the Monday Night Club a former resident organisation at Worcester Art Workshop and girls from Newbridge School which provides specialist education for students who have been Permanently Excluded from mainstream settings many of which have Special Educational Needs (SEN), specifically Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (SEMH).

Mobilise will be led by former Director of Transformation of Worcester Arts Workshop, Hannah Phillips, she said: “This project aims to offer agency to female-identifying artists, participants and audiences. Mobilise is an opportunity to work with artists, organisations and participants we had developed strong relationships with such as the Monday Night Club and Severn Arts.

“The project is also an opportunity to make new relationships and respond to the current climate. We are working in partnership with Worcester Theatres. We are working with a Worcester based Counsellor, Isabel dos Santos who is delivering workshops which focus on self-care strategies for artists when working with vulnerable participants or distressing content. Access and inclusion is about supporting artist’s well-being as well as their practical needs.”

Mobilise will run until March 2022 with the long-term ambition that it will become a company in its own right – not building based – working in partnership with other organisations, responsive to community need and advocating the arts as a tool for positive social change and well-being. Mobilise will build on Worcester Arts Workshop’s 40 years of skill, experience and impact.

Richard Hayhow, Co-Founder of Worcester Arts Workshop and current Trustee said: “Change is not always an easy process and the closure of the Worcester Arts Workshop building last year could have led not just to change but to a winding down of all that Worcester Arts Workshop has stood for over the past 40 years.

“It’s exciting now to see the emergence of a way forward for the Worcester Art Workshop spirit and aspiration through ‘Mobilise’. Led by the incredibly capable Hannah Philips, formerly Director of Transformation at Worcester Arts Workshop, ‘Mobilise’ represents the next phase in the transformation of Worcester Arts Workshop’s ways of working into new, relevant and much-needed areas for Worcester and its diverse and under-represented communities.”

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