Steel Gala Reimagined – Artist Residency

Artist Brief  – Artist Residency

A Great Place Tees Valley is a Great Place Scheme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England


Tees Valley Arts, in collaboration with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority wish to commission an Artist for a Residency as part of the Great Place Tees Valley Project

Tees Valley Combined Authority and the five Tees Valley Local Authorities have provided match funding for the Great Place Tees Valley scheme, which delivers projects in all five Tees Valley boroughs. The Great Place scheme is delivered by the Combined Authority.

The opportunity is open to artists working across any platform and should respond to the themes identified below.

The work will involve groups associated with a Social/Working Men’s Club in Redcar, which has strong affiliations with the now mostly closed former TATA Steel (British Steel) site on the edge of the town exploring history, thoughts and memories about the traditional Redcar Steel Gala.

This work is part of Steel Gala Reimagined, which attempts to look at the past, and take with it an eye to a future Redcar through a rekindling of Steel Galas of old, supporting and building on a Summer 2019 local Steel Gala event.

Support will be offered by Tees Valley Arts in reaching local communities, and through local interested groups in accessing information regarding the history of the Steel Galas, including the team at Kirkleatham Museum, where the current exhibition ‘Steel Stories’ is on show.

Dates for Residency

July 2019 – Initial discussions with local community groups, currently and previously connected to the Steel Galas and further thought/re-firming of ideas, particularly with the Ladies of Steel and other community groups based in and around the Corus Club.

August-September 2019 – Period of more intense research, including contact with the local community on Steel Gala day 18th August 2019 for this purpose.

October-November 2019 – Final stage and discussion moving towards realisation of final work/piece in chosen artform.

August 2020 – Work will be included as part of 2020 Steel Gala


Steel workers and their families traditionally celebrated with a yearly Steel Gala – a once lavish affair involving a vast team of people, and connecting the whole of Redcar community and beyond, which mostly happened at Redcar Racecourse.

The shadow of the closed Redcar Steelworks emanates throughout the local community, and local people have distinct ideas and memories of what being part of that community means and has meant in the past, and what future could bring.

Since the running down and closure of the Redcar Steel Works, local groups have continued to run more modest versions of the Steel Gala, bringing together volunteers and people of all ages.

In collaboration with the ‘Ladies of Steel’ community group, the 2019 Steel Gala Reimagined event will run at the Corus Club in Dormanstown which is the local Working Men’s/Social club with strong links to the Steel Works using their outdoor events/sports ground and club buildings.


We invite applications which should include a statement about your practice, details of previous experience in a related area and an outline of how you would approach the brief and a proposed breakdown of your budget.

This should be no more than 3 sides of A4 in total, including one A4 page for proposed project budget breakdown. Please include up to 5 high quality images or suitable media to accompany your proposal in digital format.

Shortlisting will take place by Tees Valley Arts, members of the Ladies of Steel and the Steel Gala Reimagined Steering Group.

Shortlisted artists may be invited to present their ideas to interested parties from the local community.

The overall budget for the final commission is £9,000 to include fees, travel & subsistence and materials. If you wish to discuss any details of this opportunity please contact by email Miki Rogers, Curator at Tees Valley Arts

Please email your application by 12pm on Thursday 2nd May 2019 to

Opportunity Summary

Duration: Please see the brief
Total Budget: £9,000 including all fees, travel & subsistence and materials.

Key Themes

  • To explore the importance and history of Steel Galas to workers and families from the recently closed Steel Works and local area
  • To engage creatively with local community and historical groups
  • To have a presence at the 2019 Steel Gala for the purpose of creatively interacting with and gaining knowledge from the local community
  • To produce work of any genre informed/ inspired by exposure to local groups
  • Produced work will be part of 2020 Steel Gala

Key Dates

Thursday 2nd May – Deadline for applications.
Tuesday 7th May – Shortlisted artists notified.
Thursday 9th May – Shortlisted artists interviewed and successful artist informed.
Monday 3rd June – Residency begins.

Download Brief

Download (PDF, 77KB)