Arts Catalyst

Arts Catalyst

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Environment

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


We enabling all kinds of people in South Yorkshire and beyond to engage in creative experiences that increase ecological awareness, encourage positive social action and open up new ways of learning about the world around us.

We activate spaces for people to think differently about the world around them using art to explore social and environmental issues, provoke debate, and test out alternative ways of learning.

We collaborate with artists, activists and people with different kinds of knowledge to organise creative projects that respond to social and environmental issues. Our programme often takes place within community spaces, unusual sites and outdoors.


Over the last three decades we have commissioned over 170 creative projects that have at their heart a desire to connect people with ideas about the world around them. We have commissioned artists including The Otolith GroupTrevor MathisonAleksandra MirLarry Achiampong & David BlandyAgnes Meyer Brandis and The Alternative School of Economics, and delivered projects in unusual contexts, sites of ecological interest and cultural institutions across the world.

Since 2014, our focus has shifted towards projects that are deeply rooted in places and address the ways in which local environmental challenges and their social impacts are connected to the wider climate crisis. To do this, we collaborate with artists, activists, interest groups and people with different kinds of expertise on long term artistic projects and programmes that support critical thinking, creative exploration and alternative ways of learning about issues at hand.

This approach is reflected in the geographic shift to Sheffield in 2020, where we have begun a series of long-term experiments in building relationships and embedding ourselves within different parts of South Yorkshire through our Emergent Ecologies programme, in partnership with City of Sanctuary and Sheffield Mind

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