Social Housing Arts Network is an eighteen month arts project funded by Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring fund. It aims to establish, by doing, a touring network for socially engaged artists working on process led projects. Working in four locations with four social housing partners the project will work with specifically targeted local areas using a three-phased model.


Phase One

Working with the social housing provider in each area and local groups, Guild’s artists will establish a focus for the project.

A steering group will be established, comprising of housing provider staff, residents and other local parties who express an interest, alongside Guild.

An existing, revamped artwork, The Pin, will be present in each location to attract people and give them reasons to stop and talk.

During this phase, a brief for the next phase will be circulated for an artists’ commission at each location.

Phase One will last for two months at each location.


Phase Two

The commissioned artist(s) will work alongside Guild to expand on the starting points of Phase One, delivering socially engaged art activity in each area.

The artist will work from a central hub point, with the flexibility to work elsewhere in the immediate community setting to deliver process focused work with the residents.

The steering group will meet regularly during this period to evaluate and create critical discourse around the art activity currently taking place in the area and to start to discuss how art activity like this could be continued in the community on a more long term and sustainable basis.

Phase Two will last six months at each location.


Phase Three

Although the project is about the process, Guild felt it pertinent to bring together and celebrate the work created in each location as a way of asking: Where do we go next? How do we build on what has been done? What went right? What went wrong?

As such, each location will feature a showcase event developed over Phase Three. It will be produced by Guild, the commissioned artist and the community they have worked with.

Phase Three will last for two months at each location.

Shared learning across the partners and participants is integral to the project and has informed the staggered three-phased project schedule.

Visits to other exemplary organisations and projects throughout the duration of the project also forms part of this learning.

The project will culminate in the production of an advocacy pack, to be disseminated through arts and social housing channels to demonstrate good practice, interesting precedents and what we have learned from the project. We wish to continue and expand the project with new partners, and develop the projects initiated in the original four locations.

The four starting locations are Bolton, Sheffield, Tower Hamlets and Doncaster; working with Bolton at Home, South Yorkshire Housing Association, Poplar HARCA and St. Leger Homes respectively.

Guild is the new name for one branch of the now defunct Ultimate Holding Company.