Skimstone Arts

Skimstone Arts

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Mental health
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - England


Skimstone Arts’ mission is to create collaborative theatre, music and art with artists and researchers, and develop artistic practice with diverse individuals and communities, to reflect challenges in society.

Founded in 2007, Skimstone Arts has developed to become one of the North East’s leading organisations in inclusive arts practice and the development of high-quality work responding to current social challenges, especially those concerning mental health. Our work sits across three mutually-reinforcing themes; the direct provision of multi-arts opportunities and support for the most socially vulnerable groups; the production of high-quality touring work; and contribution to national debate on social challenges, particularly around diversity and inclusion.


Multi-Arts Opportunities

Skimstone Arts is the only organisation in Newcastle providing a professional studio which equally supports professional artists and people experiencing social vulnerability.

We provide a regular programme of creative and professional development activities including band sessions, cross artform workshops and masterclasses, graphic design and film-making and instrumental tutorials, as well as performance and touring opportunities.

“Listening to Reality Boots and talking to the young people afterwards encapsulated everything YM stands for. I came away humbled, inspired and energised by what you were doing, musically and socially.” – Clive Grant, Trustee, Youth Music

From our studio space in the centre of Newcastle’s Creative Quarter we choose to recruit, work with and recognise disengaged and vulnerable individuals who are facing multiple life challenges, ranging from multiple mental health issues, isolation, autism, and socio-economic deprivation to have a right to explore the world they live in and make work we are all proud of. We provide an environment which is safe and supportive, and a programme that is challenging and professionally rigorous.


Touring Work

Skimstone Arts maintains an annual programme of professional touring theatre – often commissioned by University research partners such as Edinburgh and Northumbria – which is inspired by work around dementia. The work is toured to established small/medium scale theatres, cultural and health venues and include post-performance Q&A sessions with audiences.

In addition to touring theatre, gigs and performances by our Young Artists Collective are commissioned by partners e.g. Trinity College London, Northumberland Music Partnership North, and Juice Festival. The tours can involve workshops designed and run by the young artists. This aids development opportunities – artistic, professional, and personal – for the young people.

Touring work not only maintains Skimstone’s reputation and outlook as a national organisation, but affords us the opportunity to take the stories we have collected to the widest possible audience. All the groups we work with – whether socially vulnerable young people, our older people’s collective, or our academic partners – have stories to tell, and we can best fulfil our mission by amplifying their voices to national platform.


National and International Debate on Social Challenges

Skimstone Arts has a network of strategic partners across academic and clinical spheres. Our ambition is to not only inform and develop our own practice and programme design by learning from these partners, but to provide a mechanism by which our various stakeholders – from socially vulnerable young people, those living with dementia, to early, mid-career artists and arts/health/cultural organisations – can be instigating and enriching the debate which has direct consequences on their, and our lives.

We create opportunities for collaboration between artists, clinicians, and researchers. The resulting partnerships gives researchers and clinicians the opportunity to work in a creative context with individuals and groups who are the focus of their work, and artists the opportunity to respond to areas of critical societal importance.

Skimstone occupies an important niche in the arts landscape, by providing development and support for individuals who would otherwise never realise their artistic potential, and by sharing untold stories which bring to life dialogue around important societal challenges.

We have embarked on a new 3-year plan to build on the successes of the past, providing a road-map to a more robust, higher-profile, artistically ambitious, and impactful Skimstone for the mutual benefit of the diverse groups and individuals we exist to support and who inspire us. You can explore more of our work at our website.

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