As with other categories of grants, the main focus of these awards is the provision of opportunities for people to come together and enjoy the creation or performance of art. Because of this focus, art projects do not necessarily have to have any higher aim or other agenda, beyond the enjoyment of those taking part.
Recent grant recipients are featured below:
Northern Opera Group
Grant awarded £2700 in 2020
"The award-winning Northern Opera Group perform rare and wonderful operas in imaginative ways. Based in Leeds, they enable audiences, artists and participants to enjoy performances of works that they are unlikely to see anywhere else. With community participation at its heart, Northern Opera Group enable people of all ages and abilities to enjoy opera – whether as participants in their annual Christmas community opera, as audiences for pop-up performances all across the city, or through a growing online programme of workshops, films and heritage projects.
A grant from Wade’s Charity enabled Northern Opera Group to create and tour ‘The Wandering Scholar’ to 7 venues across Leeds as part of the 2021 Leeds Opera Festival. Free pop-up performances were delivered in Morley, Leeds City Centre, Seacroft, Headingley, Farsley, Kirkstall and Chapel Allerton, reaching over 500 audiences over the August Bank Holiday weekend:
“Just been to my first opera performance. Found it to be very accessible and fun and was really impressed by the talented team. Thank you!”
“We had never been to an opera before. We loved the performance and will be going again! Thank you for a close-up experience”
David Ward, Artistic Director
A free film version is now available to watch online - https://youtu.be/Cu8NfkmxppU
Skippko Arts Team
Grant awarded £2200 in 2020
"Skippko is an arts organisation based in Holbeck, South Leeds. We were formed in October 1988 by two female artists and for more than 30 years we have committed ourselves to developing creative projects with communities across the North of England. We focus on the needs and concerns of frequently disadvantaged communities by working through artist facilitators and partnering with education, health, civic and cultural institutions.
Our grant from Wade’s Charity gave us an amazing opportunity to try something different as we continued to work with often vulnerable people throughout lockdown. ‘Shutter Stories’ was a collaboration with Carers Leeds and what a fantastic 10 months it’s been. Carers who were isolated at home were able to get creative with photography tasks and technical challenges which, were facilitated over zoom. We even managed face-to-face workshop sessions in our brand new, Covid-secure, venue to curate and mount a brand new exhibition of the photographs produced as well as printing a publication; a copy of which will be lodged in the British Library.
We’ve had some fantastic feedback from participants, who are fired up and ready to take their photography skills to the next level.
“It’s been great to keep in touch with other people, during what has been a stressful time during lockdown, with different restrictions. I’ve looked forward to each meeting, seeing old & new friends. The photo challenges have given me something to focus on, apart from the pandemic, and not being able to meet family & friends in person.”
“It was great to have something creative to do during lockdown that could alleviate the tensions and worries that come with living through a pandemic. It was very helpful to feel part of the community created by being part of the Shutter Stories group during this very isolating time.”
“It was fantastic to see our photos at the exhibition, and to see the book! It was all a bit overwhelming – seeing the culmination of all our work. Especially considering the photographs were taken during such a stressful period in our lives.”"
Compass Live Arts
Grant of £1000 awarded in 2020
"After the universal interruption of Covid-19 which delayed the project by 6 months, One In, One Out, Leeds’ smallest gay bar was eventually realised as a live public event on 28 – 30 May 2021. Thanks are due to Wade’s Charity for the sensitive and nuanced way in which they responded to the crisis – offering us a grant subject to conditions being met re- safety and allowing us to move dates accordingly. Your grant made it possible to employ the lead artist and a local queer performer to realise the project for the benefit of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies.
One In, One Out by artist Lucy Hayhoe was a playful interactive installation, which created nostalgia for lost LGBTQIA+ scenes, explored the consumption of queer culture as novelty and asked what it means to be queer and alone. Given the pandemic, these questions were poignant and more relevant than ever.
The freestanding installation, measuring 1.5 m square, miniaturised the gay bar experience allowing one audience member at a time to be greeted by friendly bomber jacket clad ‘security guards’ at the glitter curtain door. Their hand was stamped before entering the bar. Inside the installation were all the features you would expect to encounter: mirror balls, disco lighting, and a banging soundtrack. Participants were met by a cloakroom attendant, offered a drink and invited to stay as long as they pleased.
The installation ran seven hours a day 12 – 7pm for 3 days as part of the “slow” festival arranged by Compass whereby we presented projects planned for November 2020 one by one over a six month period (instead of a 10 day blast as usual). It was located in the entrance to The Civic Trust Courtyard on Wharf Street, over the road from Wharf Chambers, a co-operative club that welcomes LGBTQIA+ members.
Photo credit: Lizzie Coombes
Grant awarded £2,500 in 2020
"tutti frutti is 30 years old this year and is a successful Leeds-based charity that creates highly imaginative and meaningful theatre productions for children and their families aged 3+. Based in Shine in Harehills they tour locally, nationally and internationally focussing particularly on venues and schools in areas of deprivation and where the provision of high-quality performing arts is low. They create productions that explore stories and themes that are relevant to children and present them in a creative and sympathetic way.
Wades Charity has generously supported our work for several years now giving us the opportunity to offer our shows at reduced cost or free of charge and reach children across the city of Leeds who may not have the opportunity to see theatre or are first time theatre goers. Through this support we are able to keep our fees low and reach many more children and their families with our productions and delight and ingnite the imagination of young children."
The digital story of The Snow Queen that Wades supported during lockdown can be found here https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/487160807
Diocese of Leeds Music Department
Grant awarded £5,000 in 2020
"Diocese of Leeds Music delivers award-winning choral singing and keyboard tuition programmes to 7,500 children weekly, during and after the school day across West and North Yorkshire. We strive to offer the highest standard of music education and performance opportunities to all children and young people, regardless of background. In this hugely diverse area we aim to inspire, build confidence and develop teamwork and leadership skills, whilst advocating self-belief and inclusivity. To date, our programme has reached over 35,000 young people aged 5–21.
We remain incredibly grateful to Wade’s Charity for their generous support towards our Schools Singing and Keyboard Studies Programmes. The grant received in 2020 has enabled us to offer free trials and full bursaries to our most disadvantaged students on the organ, piano and accordion - continuing all lessons online throughout the lockdown periods. This grant also supported our Primary Schools Organ Day at Leeds Town Hall. After three postponements, the day finally went ahead on the 19th October 2021 and saw 300 children from Leeds primary schools come together to experience one of Europe’s most magnificent organs and take part in interactive organ workshops."
‘What a day! So many of the children at our school have never been to the Town Hall and it was wonderful to see their eyes light up and hear their gasps as they saw the hall and the huge organ for the first time. Thank you for inviting us to this brilliant day, the first live event that many of us have been to since March 2020!’ Class Teacher, Leeds