More Than a Hundred Stories

We are two artists, interested in how art can animate, challenge and create communities. We’ve been commissioned by Creative People and Places to creatively map and respond to its achievements, the problems it faces, and the questions it has generated.

We are interested in the programme’s ambition to change how art is commissioned and experienced and will be exploring how and to what extent this ambition has been realised across all 21 projects.

We will be posting creative responses to conversations, observations and research throughout the project and will share our final work with you in autumn 2016. Do join us and follow our creative journey on this blog.

You can find out more about our work at: and

Sarah Butler and Nicole Mollett

Cycling the ‘Northern Belt’| Monday 21st September: Creative Scene, North Kirklees


It is raining in Dewsbury but this town is still immediately beautiful, with its rows of elegant stone buildings. There has been money here – from heavy woollen cloth, I am told, when I ask.

Again, I hear the story of the unloved cousin, the place that has been forgotten, the sense that somewhere else (Huddersfield in this instance) gets all the attention. And yet I am also told about local pride, about very strong attachments to specific places, an appetite for arts activity and a willingness to come along, to talk, to be interested. Still the story of being forgotten, overlooked, but more of a sense of confidence than I've picked up on in other places.

Rebecca tells me there has been a history in this area of new initiatives full of promises and injections of cash over fixed periods of time. 'Things come in and then leave,' she says, 'And so there is an element of distrust.' This is a huge issue for all the CPP projects I think – how to have impact; how to create something that lasts; how to avoid being just another initiative that comes and then leaves – or if that is unavoidable, then the question is how to do it well.