Monday, 15 September 2014

Referrals open for new Art Therapy programme

We are running a new Art Therapy (aka Art Psychotherapy) programme running from now until end of May 2015.

Delivered through 4 groups including 1 women only, 1 men only and 2 mixed gender groups per week.

The mixed gender groups have a focus on supporting both mental health through Art Psychotherapy and creative skills through volunteer artist involvement in a therapy studio style programme.

If you know anyone who would benefit from being involved and needs support for the psychological wellbeing contact SOLA's Art Psychotherapist Adele Spiers on or 0151 726 8440 for a referral form.

Funded by ESF Grants, WEA and Comic Relief

It's been a while since we last posted!

It's been sooo long it feels since we last posted- why? Well we've just been sooooo busy.

We've had a great first FESTIVAL 31 with over 65 individuals and organisations involved and 45 activities over the month- amazing, then we ran several strands of a great playscheme with MPAC supporting Eritrean families and Romanian Roma families. We've been working with Merseyside Expanding Horizons and Refugee Action on a INSart arts for employability and integration EU funded project. We've continued Peacemakers with Aspire Trust, we've been running and started a new Art Psychotherapy programme, continued our work with Family Refugee Support Project for Art Psychotherapy with one child and family, run workshops with Knowsley Siblings Group around henna art, adventured and enjoyed for a 7th year running children's cultural art workshops at WOMAD festival and taken part in a Mondrian style living artwork at Liverpool Pierhead with Tate Liverpool and Open Culture. Oh yes, been on film for The One Show and yesterday on BBC Radio Merseyside. 
And finally we've been continuing our Dementia & Art Psychotherapy programme for people with Dementia and carer. And that's only some of what we've been up to with our wee team of part-time staff, volunteers and lots of passion and commitment. PHEW!

SO, over the next few weeks we will be updating the blog to show and celebrate these and more of our recent activities. Hope you enjoy!!!

Monday, 16 June 2014

FESTIVAL 31 has begun!

Yesterday's launch event at Liverpool Carnival Company went down a treat.

With around 100 people joining us throughout the day's programme of creative workshops, music making, house building, food sharing, discussion, face painting, groovin' tunes and fun.

Lots of new friendships made and awareness raised.

With over 42 orgainsations, projects and individuals involved in running and delivery during the 31 days, this is the first refugee focused festival in Liverpool for the public.

So many events and activities to come



Monday, 26 May 2014

Join us in celebration, collaboration and exploration. For a detailed update of the activities during the 31 days visit

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Call for Artists and Creative Practitioners


PEACEMAKERS: Call 2 Action

SOLA ARTS in partnership with Aspire Trust are undertaking a 4-month research and development for our new collaboration: 'Peacemakers'.

Peacemakers aims to open dialogue between victims of war both military and refugee, using creativity and arts based practice as a platform and sharing space. It also aims to enhance the refugee arts infrastructure in the region by  presenting work by participants who are drawn from the refugee and military communities and who are willing to work with artists to explore, express and present their diverse experiences, shared and common understandings and unique life journeys.

The project coincides with 1st World War Centenary programming in the Liverpool City Region and in this research phase we aim to identify partners, consult potential participants, identify a suitable delivery approach with a view to informing a year long programme of arts activity.

If you are within the refugee community, we would like to hear from you. We would like to consult with you, hear of any experiences that you would like to share and develop a programme of activity with you.

If you are within the military community, we would like to hear from you.  We would like to consult with you, hear of any experiences that you would like to share and develop a programme of activity with you.

If you are within the artistic and creative community, we would like to hear from you. We are looking for community based and socially engaged artists who have the experience, skills and knowledge to work with participants drawn from the refugee and military communities.

If you are interested I contributing, please contact us:

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Launch of our Art Therapy In Education programme

We have launched anew programme for schools, educational services and learning services. Art Therapy is well known across the UK for its benefits for young people, children, adults and families in supporting personal development, emotional intelligence and mental wellbeing.

We have been working with Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services through Alder Hey Hospital outreach for the past 10 years in arts and health through community arts and are now able to offer Art Psychotherapy for those most in need yet unable to access NHS CAMHS services.

For more information email us;

The 'Peacemakers' Project

We are delighted to announce that SOLA ARTS in partnership with Aspire Trust has been awarded investment by the Arts Council of England to undertake a 4-month research and development for our jointly developed 'Peacemakers' project.

Peacemakers aims to open dialogue between victims of war: both military and refugee, using creativity and arts based discourse as a platform and sharing space. The project coincides with 1st World War Centenary programming across Merseyside, will enhance refugee arts infrastructure in the region and presenting work by participants.  In the research and design phase we will,  through dialogue and creative consultations identify partners, consult potential participants, identify delivery approaches, evaluate and review to inform programming of a further more substantial programme which we want to provide up until June 2015.

This is the first time the two companies have worked in partnership and we are looking to a constructive and long term relationship with SOLA. 

Dr. Nick Owen MBE, Director of Aspire Trust commented, 'The Aspire Trust is delighted to forge a brand new working relationship with SOLA ARTS and are looking forward to working with Adele, Phil Taylor and the wider SOLA community. Peacemakers is an exciting project which we passionately believe will make a major contribution to refugee arts in the region".

Adele Spiers, Artistic Director & Manager of SOLA said: 'This is a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with Aspire Trust. Whilst also being able to deliver an exciting and innovative social action arts based project through which connections, dialogue and creativity will be given a solid foundation for the longer-term project to evolve'.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Final Call for Festival 31- 2014

Final call goes out to all interested and passionate people about Refugee discouse and sharing, celebrating and exploring the arts and cultures of people from refugee backgrounds in Liverpool and Merseyside.

21st May deadline and looking forward to the festival!

Jewellery Making with MOWWL- a great journey and loking forward to a longer relationship

SOLA and Lead Artist Adele Spiers has been working with the MOWLL Moving On With Life and Learning group in partnership with Granby Toxteth Development Trust

We had a lovely, fun and creative jewellery and decoration making session again today.
Drawing near to the end of this first course or creativity, we are looking forward to the next 'bling up my t-shirt' course.

Well done ladies!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

FESTIVAL 31 Call for proposals


Merseyside’s first official festival exploring the refugee experience, arts & culture.

Bringing together refugees and the wider communities, individuals, grassroots, small and larger organisations for a 31 day experience across the city.

Beginning 16th June, the first day of refugee week, and finishing 16th July  this programme will act as a prologue and epilogue to Liverpool One World Festival. Those of you who know about the festival may see that dates have slightly shifted- well spotted!!!

Join us in collaboration, through a wide  range of activity, events and programmes; music, exhibitions, campaigning, discussions, socials, art actions, workshops, education, awareness raising, poetry, drama, storytelling, film shows, meet & greet, living books, food & more.

We are inviting your ideas for celebration, creativity, exploration or awareness raising under the theme ‘journeys to freedom’.

FESTIVAL 31 is open to all different types of radical, less radical, exciting, of the wall, fantastical and simply simple ideas that you, your group, your organisation or school might like to put on, to be a part of the programme. These can be open to the public or for your participants/members only.

Let’s fill the 31 days together!

Open For Proposals- 1st call; if you know what you are delivering or need a bit of £ to help your activity happen read on...

Collaborate with us to create a diverse and vibrant festival across the city.

You may have an idea that doesn’t require funding. Or you might need financial support so if you do FESTIVAL 31 has a small pot of funding to share.

As limited funding is available, the festival collaborative has agreed to contribute up to £50 to each one-off activity (if you need it).

Any activities requiring funding support need to submit a proposal on the form below by 28th April.

In the interest of fairness we would like you to include a breakdown of costs, so we can best accommodate your expenses.

Notification of budget allocation will be made on 8th May.

For projects that are sure of their activity or that are requesting financial support, the proposals should be submitted by the 28th April.

If you have a venue for your activity then great! If not and you need support with finding a venue we might be able to help you. This includes spaces for workshops and performances as well as other activity.

Other Submission deadlines
(the following 2 deadlines won't necessarily receive any £ support)

To be included in the printed zine and promotional calender we need your submission by 15th May.

Final submission date;

Any activities submitted after 15th May will be shown in the blog calender and social media only.

 Email SOLA for a copy of  the Proposal form: