bait's mission is to create long-term increase in levels of arts engagement, driven by the creativity and ambition of people living in South East Northumberland, having a demonstrable effect on the wellbeing of local people and levels of social energy and activism within communities and the means to sustain those changes in the future.

bait legacy from phase one and two

Phase 1, 2013-2016

From 2013 - 2016 bait worked with 215 partners to develop and deliver 162 projects. These projects created 112,997 opportunities for people to take part in the arts, that's over 10,500 hours of activities.

People across South East Northumberland explored the arts in lots of ways, from emerging photographers reimagining the Ashington Group (Pitmen Painters) to create their own photographic Journal, the Ashington District Star; members of Guide Post Social club using the arts to reinvigorate their club and attract new members; people exploring the arts to support their well-being as part of their recovery journey from drug and alcohol misuse; families taking part in large scale winter events at Woodhorn Museum to brass band players coming together for the first time to perform new work together at the annual Northumberland Miners' Picnic and on the world-class stage at Sage Gateshead to name a few.

Through this variety of projects, many people and groups were inspired to explore how they can continue to develop their art and sustain that in the future.

Phase 2, 2016-2019

Arts Council England awarded Museums Northumberland bait with a funding extension, to develop the programme for a further three years, 2016-2019. This second phase of the bait programme focussed on working with men, young people facing economic challenges, older people aged 65+ and people who would benefit from improving their sense of well-being. 

4 major Time to Inspire commissions were developed during phase 2, working with local people through decision making panels. They were:

Commission 1 - Wonderfolk (Summer 2017) - an interactive family trail at Woodhorn Museum developed by community groups working with artists, The One and the Many. 

Commission 2 - Colour to the Grey (January 2017 - August 2018) - A project led by young people from across SE Northumberland working with artist Amy Lord and The Empty Space, culminating in 5 days of Arts Activism and Wellbeing.

Commission 3 - From the Ashes (March 2018- May 2019)- an intergenerational project working with Curious Monkey Theatre Company to develop a radio drama which aired on Koast Radio

Commission 4 - A Great Night Out (2016 - 2019)- Community programmers worked with The Empty Space to bring renowned theatre work from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to SE Northumberland.

These commissions worked alongside Time to Enjoy projects which were developed with groups and organisations and targeted towards their memberships but also welcomed new people to join in. These projects were commissioned through conversations with groups to identify what they want to try in the arts. Partnership, group members being active in making decisions about the project, ensuring there is the possibility that activity can be sustained into the future and the opportunity for people to develop creative skills and gain a greater sense of well-being were key when commissioning.

Time to Present moments created opportunities for people to present their work to a wider audience, some of these moments linked to high profile events in the area, such as From the Ashes radio play being performed live at the Northumberland Miners' Picnic and the Open Door group working with artist Eva Mileusnic to create work which featured in the Highlights Rural Touring exhibition, Craft and Conflict.

Time to Reflect sessions were relaxed, regular get togethers involving participants, artists and partners having conversations about the impact of the programme and to share learning.

Where do you work?

We are funded by the Arts Council to work across South East Northumberland, which includes Ashington, Blyth, Bedlington, Cresswell, Choppington, Cramlington, Ellington, Guide Post, Lynemouth, Linton, Newbiggin, Seaton Valley and Stakeford.

We work with artists based in these areas, across the north east, nationally and internationally, but the projects we support must benefit people living in South East Northumberland.

Who are bait?

bait is a programme of arts events and activities driven by and for people who live in South East Northumberland.

A small bait staff team help people to shape the programme, brokering and connecting people to artists, arts networks and supporting people to develop their creative skills.

bait is managed by a consortium of organisations led by Museums Northumberland. Consortium members are: Northumberland College, Northumberland County Council Public Health, Active Northumberland,Queens Hall Arts and Northumberland CVA.

bait is funded by Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council

What is Creative People and Places?

bait is part of the Creative People and Places programme, initiated and funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery. Creative People and Places is about more people taking the lead in choosing, creating and taking part in art experiences in the places where they live. There are 30 independent projects, each located in an area where people have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts. Creative People and Places projects have reached over 1.2 million people, 90% of who do not regularly engage in the arts.


Who do you work with?

We work with groups, organisations, artists and people who share in our mission.

bait's mission is to create long-term increase in levels of arts engagement, driven by the creativity and ambition of people living in South East Northumberland, having a demonstrable effect on the wellbeing of local people and levels of social energy and activism within communities and the means to sustain those changes in the future.

How do you commission projects?
Commissioning opportunities are cocreated with and for communities in South East Northumberland. In 2020, a decision making group, made up of representatives from our four priority groups, developed the artist briefs with the Creative Producers at Museums Northumberland bait. A panel shortlisted and interviewed the successful artists in early 2021. These commissions are the two projects for the final phase of the programme and will be completed by October 2022.

Any new commissions will be published on the Museums Northumberland bait website.

To register interest in commissioning opportunities, email, creativepeopleandplaces@museumsnorthumberland.org.uk

How do I find out about commissioning opportunities?

To register interest in commissioning opportunities email creativepeopleandplaces@museumsnorthumberland.org.uk

What do you fund?

We aren't a funder or grant giver, but rather we work with partners who are interested in finding ways to support people to take part in the arts in South East Northumberland. We can connect and signpost you to people you might want to work with or help with researching and developing your idea.

From 2019 - 2022, we're particularly interested in working with men, young people, refugees and older people aged 65+. It's these groups which we have evidence to show aren't typically taking part in the arts.

I've got an idea I'd like bait to support, what do I do?

We have a limited number of commissioning opportunities; however, we try to link and connect artists and groups to network and explore projects ideas. Contact the bait team to have a conversation.

How can I get involved?
What has been learnt through the bait programme?

Visit www.baittime.to/share-learning to discover what has been learnt from the bait programme