idle women awarded £23,900 from Arts Council England’s Catalyst Small Grants programme

idle women awarded £23,900 from Arts Council England’s Catalyst Small Grants programme

idle women, the organisation who creates contemporary art with women is delighted to announce that they have been awarded £23,900 from Arts Council England’s Catalyst Small Grants programme. The award will support idle women – led by co-caretakers Rachel Anderson and Cis O’Boyle – in the development of a fundraising infrastructure for attracting donations and philanthropy, which will enable the organisation to grow its activities.

idle women said, “We are very excited to have this really timely award, as idle women enters its third year with an increasingly ambitious vision and a range of new projects. It will help us to build a solid foundation from which we can more confidently and creatively reach out to women and girls everywhere. We truly appreciate this recognition for our work as we concludeidle women on the water, our successful but challenging two-year programme of collaborations with communities of women along the waterways of North West England.”

At present, Anderson and O’Boyle are based at the idle women’s institute in St Helens, Lancashire, which they established with partner arts commissioner Heart of Glass in autumn 2017. They are currently working with renowned artist Dina Rončević and the women and girls of St Helens to create a dystopian survival vehicle by deconstructing a Landrover Defender and remaking it as an artwork. They are also developing a major project with Heart of Glass and Anu Productions (granted an Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence Award in 2017), to be announced shortly; continuing a long term collaboration with women’s refuge Humraaz; training women in home maintenance skills; launching new publications and nurturing other initiatives.c

Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England said, “idle women’s work reaches a wide range of women. This award will enable them to improve their fundraising to continue their excellent programme.”

idle women launched on International Women’s Day 2016 with idle women on the water, a two-year project during which Anderson and O’Boyle took to the waterways of Lancashire and West Yorkshire aboard their floating arts centre, the Selina Cooper. During this time time, they worked with MUF Architecture/ArtMartina MullaneyMojisola AdebayoNoor Afshan MirzaStella Barnes & Nicky BashallSarah ColeMichelle WrenCandice PurwinRaksha Patel, the women’s refuge Humraaz and many other artists, organisations and communities. They also hosted Shifting Loyalties, two residential events for women that took place in Pendle in 2016 and 2017, with invited artists, writers, historians, activists and others.


For further information, images and interview requests please contact Janette Scott Arts PR on or 07966 486156.