New creativity centre in the art of Sheffield

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The Sheffield Arts and Wellbeing Network will be launched next week after £1.5m was raised to transform a city centre building into the group’s home.

St Matthews House on Carver Street will house the Sheffield Centre for Arts, Creativity and Wellbeing with help from a European grant of £740,000 and fundraising from St Matthews church.

Graham Duncan, from the network, said: “The property has been a hidden gem at the heart of Sheffield for more than 150 years and was built to serve the densely populated slums which made up the area.

“When it has been refurbished it will contain a cafe, community pottery, high quality meeting space and art workshops, providing a place where everyone can be renewed by the magic of art.”

One initiative involving the new network is Artfelt, funded by the Children’s Hospital Charity.

Cat Powell, Artfelt manager, said: “Art brightens our hospital walls, makes our children smile and engages them in creative workshops.

“They are a great way to get children socialising, expressing and enjoying themselves and are a valuable way to create a welcoming, warm hospital environment through colour, art, music, imagery and poetry.”

The Creative Arts Steering Team (CAST) also form part of the network and aims to connect people with local arts activities.

Kay Aitch, a member of CAST, said: “We are passionate about arts for mental health and wellbeing. We run regular workshops, live music, poetry gatherings and art exhibitions.”

The Centre for Arts will host many of the activities and projects arranged by the network, which will officially launch at Sheffield United Football Club next Friday.

Shadow Minister for Arts and Culture Dan Jarvis and Chair of the National Alliance for Arts and Wellbeing Alex Coulter will both be speaking at the event.

It will take place between 8.30am and 4pm at the Tony Currie conference suite on Friday November 2.