Small Arts Grant Scheme

Ryedale District Council awards arts funding to sustain creativity in communities

The Council has awarded five grants to help local arts-related organisations and freelancers deliver creative activity, engage audiences and explore new ways of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Art Happens Here, Everwitch Theatre, Libby Pearson Creatives, MakeMore Arts and Serena Partridge successfully applied for funding through the Council’s Small Arts Grant Scheme. Over the next six months, they will use their grants to launch exciting projects – from creative art and letter writing in schools to community-based performance pieces.

Councillor Keane Duncan, leader of Ryedale District Council, said:

“Ryedale’s creative economy is the heart and soul of our communities, but the COVID-19 pandemic has hit this sector hard.

“I am delighted that the Council has stepped in to provide funding to local artists and organisations to ensure that Ryedale’s culture and creativity is sustained during and beyond this unprecedented time. We are looking forward to seeing their innovative ideas come to life in our local communities.”

The Council is running a survey to find out what people think about Ryedale’s arts, culture and heritage. The feedback will help shape the Ryedale Cultural Action Plan and the Cultural Strategy. The survey is available online at until 15 November.


Notes to editors


Successful applicants:

Everwitch Theatre

Everwitch Theatre is an award-winning, not for profit theatre company working within communities to explore and unearth stories of both local and national significance. They bring intangible heritage to life through thought provoking performances.

Helena Fox, Writer/Director, said:

“We are excited to have this opportunity to find new ways of creating safe theatre experiences for local people in the new normal, thanks to the Small Arts Grants funding and are keen to get started, developing a new outdoor performance piece, “In the footsteps of Hank Haydock; A Performed Walk in The Park” with support from Duncombe Park & Helmsley Arts Centre.

“Set in the beautiful parkland at Duncombe Park, this performed walk will allow the local community to discover the parkland’s WW2 heritage, and bring to life the first-hand accounts of a Sheffield born tank gunner stationed there just prior to D-Day.”

MakeMore Arts

Rosie Goodwin runs a business called MakeMore Arts, working with families, schools and community groups on arts engagement projects, encouraging everyone who takes part to be creative and explore. She said:

“I believe that taking part in the Arts is really good for us, particularly for our mental health, and that producing creative pieces, especially alongside friends and family members across different generations, is really life enhancing. 

“The project I have planned is called The Ryedale Place Pledge and it is about everyone in Ryedale discovering what we can do to live well in this beautiful region - in ways that make life better for us all. There will be lots of ways to be creative included.”

Libby Pearson Creatives

Commenting on her grant award, Libby Pearson said:

“Like so many artists, as a playwright, I am now looking for ways to adapt and develop new ways of working. Moving into developing audio performance is an exciting and challenging opportunity that I am very keen to begin.

“I will use the grant from RDC to help me to work with new technology, involve other local artists and stay in the creative world.”

Art Happens Here

AHH Studio Collective is an arts organisation based in Malton. As well as the provision of studio space, they facilitate workshops, residencies, exhibitions and networking opportunities for a number of artists in Ryedale.

 Rachel Renwick, Artist & Co Director, said:

"We are delighted to have been awarded this grant from Ryedale District Council. As a group our plans have had to adapt significantly due to Covid, with many of us individually losing income. We are excited to be able to use this funding to facilitate a series of art workshops engaging with a selection of school pupils in Ryedale, not only to introduce our group and what we do, but also to provide some creative, fun and positive activities at the same time!"

Serena Partridge

Serena Partridge is a freelance visual artist inspired by history, place, people and communities. Alongside creating work for exhibitions and commissions, Serena facilitates workshops for a wide variety of groups. Previous partners have included: National Parks, Canada; Crafts Council, Sweden; Kensington Palace, London, York Theatre Royal and Malton Hospital.

Serena said: “With funding from the RDC Small Arts Grant, I am looking forward to collaborating with a local primary school and writer Libby Pearson a project exploring the joy of 'snail mail’.”