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About Us

Take A Part works with communities to celebrate, connect, and learn - together.

About Us

Take A Part are experts in socially engaged audience development for contemporary art. Based in Plymouth, we work in areas that have been historically underserved and don’t usually engage in the arts. Our practice is about giving agency to those who historically have been underserved to take on their own ambitions and narratives and realise aspirations for themselves where they live.

Our long-term, embedded process starts with listening and supporting communities to set agendas for projects that reflect and address community need and diversity. Our genuine processes with communities leads us to co-commissioning exceptional national and international artists in those communities.

We embed contemporary arts practice in the process of regeneration. Crucially, the process of creating the work itself is as important as what is created. Our purpose is to engage, educate and inform new audiences in contemporary arts while developing policy and setting agendas for neighbourhood regeneration initiatives in Plymouth. Take A Part’s work contributes directly to the social infrastructure of the city.

History

Take A Part started in 2006 in Efford, Plymouth, as a series of pilot projects supporting the area’s regeneration. Engaging residents in contemporary art processes allowed for a deep and creative impact into the regeneration of the area - this supported the core aims of the Efford Master Plan by supporting health, young people, skills development, access to green space and physical changes to place. You can read our ‘Efford: Capital of Culture’ case study here.

By 2011 Take A Part had grown, working in other areas of the city, and by 2014 we began to work regionally and nationally to support other organisations, advocate for socially engaged practice and spread our reach.

In 2016 we launched the UK’s first biennial symposium on socially engaged practice, Social Making, establishing ourselves as leaders of socially engaged practice in the South West region and since then, we have developed a successful line of consultancy and partnership commissions across the UK and internationally, supporting local authorities, arts organisations, educational institutions etc to widen their audience reach.

In 2018, we were awarded the prestigious Arts Council England National Portfolio Status for the 2018-2022 period, securing our programme for Plymouth. In 2020, our founder and CEO Kim Wide received and MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List for 'Services to Social Engagement in the Arts' the first time social practice has ever been awarded at this level.

If you would like to make a real difference to underserved communities in Plymouth, please visit our ‘Support Us’ page for more details. You can help us make a real impact in people’s lives.

Team Members

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Kim Wide MBE

CEO & Artistic Director

Kim Wide is Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Take A Part. Hailing from Canada, Kim started her work in museums and collections at the City of Toronto and Government of Ontario Art Collection before moving to the UK in 2003 to work at ArtSway, a contemporary gallery in the New Forest and Kaleido (the former SW Disability Arts Development Agency as Interim Executive Director). She initiated Take A Part with the Efford community of Plymouth in 2008 and the approaches, methodologies an impacts supported this pilot project grew to an national and international programme of work with Take A Part receiving National Portfolio Organisational Status in 2018. She established Take A Part Carlow in 2017 and We Create in 2018. Kim is a Clore Fellow and Critical Friend to SEED (Creative People and Places) and Filwood Fantastic (Local Trust Creating Civic Change). She received an MBE in the 2020 Queen's New Year's Honours List for 'Services to Social Engagement in the Arts' the first time ever social practice has been honoured on this level.

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Gem Smith

Creative Education Director

Gemma has worked in the arts in Plymouth for 10 years. Over that time her work has crossed many different disciplines and involved a range of projects as diverse as community radio, public art, theatre, sculpture, mass dance, stone carving, tour guiding and orchestral outreach. Gem heads up Take A Part's school engagement and creative education work and has supported High View School to become Plymouth's first Arts Mark Gold School as well as establish the groundbreaking CECE (Centre for Excellence in Creative Education) programme, supporting a diverse range of schools to embed creativity in their education for the best outcomes for children, teachers and families in the region.

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Dr. Beth Maxwell-Pooley

Development Director and Artistic Co-Director (Plymouth)

Beth is an artist, researcher, and producer, and has been working with Take A Part since 2015. She is an associate lecturer at Plymouth University, where she gained a practice-led PhD. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently a solo exhibition ‘Poor Copy’ at Jerwood Visual Arts, London, The Northern Charter, Newcastle, and Exeter Phoenix (2018). Her expertise is in artist development and established the South West Social Art Network in 2020 as well as working to amplify social practice as the Artistic Director of Social Making since its inception in 2016.

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Rhys Morgan

Public Realm Producer

Rhys is an interdisciplinary artist and freelance producer based in the South West. Since 2017 he has been involved in the delivery of the DIY art festival Plymouth Art Weekender, and has since become a director of the steering group Visual Arts Plymouth and is a former director of CAMP. Most recently he has joined Take A Part as a public realm Assistant Producer. As an artist his work has been shown consistently around the South West and across the UK.

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Lily Urbanska

Evaluation & Impact Manager

Lily is a community project worker, visual artist and environmentalist and has been working with Take A Part as a freelance assistant producer since 2019. Previous community work has included running nature and art workshops for inner-city children, managing an urban community garden project and setting up a community apiary and beekeeping project in Plymouth.

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Katie Oborn

Operations and Communications manager

Katie is a journalist, writer and editor of the community magazine, Coxside Echoes. She continuously studies through the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) to develop further skills in press and is also experienced in marketing and sales within customer service. Resident in Coxside since 2014 and originally from East Devon, Katie really cares about her immediate community, nature and wildlife in Plymouth and the wider South West. She has lived in Plymouth since 2008, prior to this she was based in London for 10 years where she travelled internationally as a model and actress. As well as news and journalism Katie writes poetry and fiction and when possible, reads her work at live-art events in Plymouth. She is passionate about theatre and performance in the city and beyond. Katie also makes her own handmade soap and likes to bake in her spare time. She supports businesses within the community by shopping locally as much as possible in Plymouth.

Board Members

Mark Leahy

Independent Artist - (Chair)

Jodie Bishop

Plymouth City Council, Public Arts Officer

Zoe Li

Independant Curator

Sarah Bowden

University of Gloucestershire

Kathy Hancock

Community Member

Rachel Dobbs

Activist, Artist and Educator

FAQs

Accolades