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Convened by the Social Art Network.

Over two-days artists from around the country will come together to share practice, showcase work and explore what it means to be making art through social engagement right now.

Artists, activists, community groups, curators, students, academics, funders and sectors working in the social realm are invited to join the conversation through a series of events at Site Gallery and other venues around the city.

Through building a network, showcasing practice and expanding dialogue, the Summit will develop agency in the field of art and social practice and test the ground for launching a Social Art Biennale in 2020.

Ten years of severe austerity measures together with the wider divisive political climate has triggered a sense of urgency for conversations around the impact on communities. We are interested in questioning, what kind of society do we want to live in and what roles can artists play?

The programme includes a series of artist-led labs; presentations by international guests; workshops; discussions; a publication launch; free lunch each day; a party on the Thursday night; plenty of opportunities to network and share practice, and a whole host of diverse work presented by artists and practitioners.

Artists leading labs include Harold Offeh, Anna Francis, Sophie Hope, Elsa James, a place of their own, Sophie Hope, Rebecca Beinart, Sally Labern [Drawing Shed] and Studio Polpo.

International guests include Black Quantum Futurism & Interference Archive.

The full programme will be announced in early October on the Social Art Summit website.

Supported by: Arts Council England, Site Gallery, a-n & Sheffield Culture Consortium

Partners: Peckham Platform, Artquest, Bloc Projects, YVAN, Up Projects, S1 Artspace, Yorkshire Artspace, University of Highlands & Islands, Middlesex University & Sheffield Hallam University


In 2016 artist and filmmaker Eelyn Lee was selected by Artquest to convene a group of artists with socially engaged practices to form a Peer Forum at Peckham Platform. These sessions, with twelve artists, triggered urgent conversations around the need to de-marginalise the practice, leading to the idea for the Social Art Summit.

In 2017 Eelyn and fellow peer forum artist R.M. Sánchez-Camus [Marcelo] co-founded Social Art Network (SAN), a base from which to realize these ideas. Eelyn and Marcelo are working collaboratively to co-convene the Social Art Summit; build an artist-led network; expand dialogue and develop the first ever Social Art Biennale. SAN aims to build agency for artists and communities making art through social engagement whilst developing new audiences for the work both nationally and internationally.

Sheffield based artist Ian Nesbitt is this year’s guest co-convener of the Social Art Summit.

Social Art Network has been developed through the volunteer labour of artists interested in social practice.

If you have any questions about the Summit or SAN, please get in touch via email.

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