Back Story

Take A Part make great art with communities

Since 2008 Take A Part has worked with more than 59 artists on 26 commissions, hundreds of workshops and events, engaged 60,000 people directly and have created work that has been broadcast and been seen city wide by 300,000 audience members.

The Efford community, our heart and home, was registered as the 5th most deprived in Plymouth when Take A Part started its pilot work in 2006. Currently, Efford now ranks as the 12th most deprived area of the city



The Take A Part project started as a partnership between The Heart of Efford Community Partnership, Plymouth Arts Centre and Plymouth City Council.  The aim was to respond to the development of a Building Communities Initiative Master Plan for Efford.

Delivering a series of small projects from cob sculpting to mural painting the Take A Part process became embedded in Efford for the long term.  The process was managed by a volunteer group of community members, curators and Plymouth City Council officials who had partnered to apply for funding to initiate the project and led to a more intensive period of larger scale work from 2009-2011.  Over this period Take A Part embedded in the Efford community.


Interactive art workshop with Graham Guy-Robinson

The Take A Part process was so highly regarded and successful that in 2011, Take A Part decided to share the ‘Efford experience’ across the city in a series of commissions to develop interest and support new community groups to undertake their own arts initiatives.

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Moving on

As the Take A Part process has moved forwards we have spread our work to other areas of the city undergoing regeneration initiatives to give a wider voice to communities in the city who are not normally engaged with and to also develop a wider arts audience for the city. And the results were great with thousands of new audience members attracted and engaged.


Crazy Glue at British Art Show 7, London

We marched, we broadcast, we sculpted, gave tours, listened to people and shared opinions. We created legacy commissions that developed pride and ownership

And now, we have launched ourselves as Take A Part CIC. An organisation of curators, artists, community groups, councillors and activists all supporting the need for more and better socially engaged practice in Plymouth and the region.


Protesting as a part of the Take A Part exhibition ‘Efford the Capital of Culture for Plymouth’

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Our vision and approach

Take A Part are a significant socially engaged contemporary arts organisation that works directly with communities in a long-term process of engagement. We work on co-commissioning, co-curating and co-creating work that underpins regeneration initiatives and supports legacy. We work on creative projects with a purpose with communities, to produce socially engaged art that addresses needs and sets agendas.


‘In Praise of Trees’ Peter Randall-Page commission with the Friends of Ham Woods

Take A Part explores issues around improving health, changing physical environments, providing new skills and opportunities for young people and community cohesion.

Our process is challenging, risk-taking, innovative, alternative, transformative and brings knowledge. We learn from working with artists who are invested in socially engaged practice and by working closely to understand the impacts of our work on the communities we engage with.

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How we work

Our vision is to develop Take A Part as a nationally and internationally significant model of socially engaged arts practice. The Take A Part process is bespoke. We have a grass-roots approach; working with communities, consulting to identify needs, support local agendas, instigate change and respond to ideas.


Crazy Glue deliver ‘Plain Speaking Tours’ at British Art Show 7, Plymouth

We aim to work with communities engaging local, national and international artists, offering different ways of delivering and new perspectives.

We deliver on larger, risk-taking, artistic commissions with collaborators and stakeholders. These projects have wider investment, can be community focussed or more city-wide and often have several partners.

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The Shed On Wheels delivering creative consultation at ‘Love Parks’ week

We also offer more spontaneous short-term projects which utilise arts as a vehicle to draw attention to issues,undertake consultation, help relay ideas and introduce a creative processes to a community. These projects are usually generated via invitation by local authority or communities.

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-Efford’s Building Community Initiative was awarded a Creating Excellence Award in 2010 for the work of involving arts in planning.

-The Grow Efford Project received a Best Food Project award at Flavour Fest in 2011.

-In 2012 we were case studied by Arts Council England as a project of excellence –

-In 2013 Efford’s High View School were awarded Arts Mark Gold Award for the engagement of students in arts and the arts community of Plymouth via working with Take A Part.


An Efford resident presenting ‘Nowhereisland Radio’ live

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Project highlights


-Nowhereisland Radio – Mark Vernon, Neil Rose, Sophie Hope, Jo Bannon

-Grow Efford – Anne Marie Culhane, Tess Wilmot

-Magic Hour – Hana Backland, Gem Ward

-Shed On Wheels – Anne Marie Culhane, Ruth Ben-Tovim, Belle Benfield, Rufus Maurice

-Efford FM – Sophie Hope, Mark Vernon

-Crazy Glue Does British Art Show 7 – Gill Nicol, Alain Pezard, Graham Guy-Robinson, Hana Backland

-Social making Now and Next- Kim Wide and Beth Richards for Take A Part


Who are we for? 

Take a part works with communities for communities. We don’t work with a specific age group, gender, ethnicity or orientation. We have a transparent process and an open door policy and aim to engage anyone and everyone who is interested in the arts and those that don’t yet know that they are.


Audience at ‘Efford the Capital of culture for Plymouth’

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Our Funders and supporters

Take A Part has worked with a highly diverse and skilled range of partners:

Local Authority (Plymouth City Council)

Further and Higher Education (Plymouth College of Art, University of Plymouth)

Schools (High View, Riverside School, Mayflower, Plymouth School of Creative Art, Whitleigh Primary)

Housing Associations (Affinity Sutton, Plymouth Community Homes, DCH)

Youth Services (Local Youth Centres and Services)

Community Organisations and local businesses (Heart of Efford Community Partnership, Barne Barton Partnership, Stonehouse Action Group)

Community Groups (Time Bank, Friends of Ham Woods, Friends of Kinterbury Creek, Tenants and Residents Associations, Transition Plymouth)

Health Services (Plymouth Community Health Care, Devon and Cornwall Food Association)

Arts Organisations (Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth City Museum and Gallery)