Nicola Winstanley

Stoke-on-Trent Artists Census

Stoke-on-Trent Artists Census

Stoke-on-Trent Artists Census


The winds of change are blowing in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. 2016 has seen incredible growth and interest in the arts and culture in the city, including 43 new artists studios launched at the former Spode Works in Stoke and the City Council announcing their bid for UK City of Culture 2021. To gain an insight into working lives of the pioneers of this change, all Stoke-on-Trent based artists are invited to participate in a 1 day census; a snapshot of the creative labour force in this city at this important time. Furthermore, your input in this census will support the UK City of Culture bid for 2021 by creating valuable evidence to inform the bid itself. Lets stand together and get behind the bid!

To participate:

1. Share this call to action with your network of Stoke-on-Trent based artists. To make the census a fair and robust record of artists’ working life in the city we need as many artists as possible to know about this and take part.

2. On the 22nd November Using your preferred social media platforms, document your work activities hourly for every hour that you are working using the hashtag #stokeartistatwork or for short #sotaaw.


How should I document my hours?

You can use words, images, video or any other method you like to document your time. You don’t have to stick to one social media platform either, you can use any you like for as many of your posts as you like. Whatever suits you and your method of documentation. Just don’t forget to use the hashtag #stokeartistatwork or for short #sotaaw.

What if the work I’m doing on the 22nd November is not creative?

Your work on this day may not be creative or even related to the arts, this does not matter, post your work anyway. This way we will build a real picture of the working life of artists in Stoke-on-Trent in 2016, whether they are able to engage in creative work or not.

What if I’m not working in Stoke-on-Trent of the day?

This does not matter- as long as you are based in Stoke-on-Trent normally then it’d be great to know where in the world you are on the day.

What if I’m not from Stoke-on-Trent, but am working there on the day? 

Great- it’d be good to have all creative activity in the city documented on the day- and to find out where it is coming in from.

What if I don’t use social media?

If you prefer not to use social media you can send the information to Nicola at

Where will this information be used?

Artist Nicola Winstanley is  the 1st Artist in Residence at the Spode Works Studios in Stoke. She is looking into the value of creative labour and the impact of this work on the city of Stoke-on-Trent. The census is part of this project and the information gathered will be displayed/interpreted at a final exhibition in January. It will be available to the public unless instructed otherwise. The information may also be used by the bid writing team leading the Stoke-on-Trent for UK City of Culture 2021 bid. You can contact Nicola with any questions and follow the progress of the residency here on her blog.

Am I classed as an artist?

Whether you are an artist, musician, cultural producer, creative workshop leader, designer, writer, craftsperson, maker or are involved in any practice that is focused on arts and culture- please do join in the census. This census is designed to gauge the size and activity of our city’s creative labour force- if you feel you are part of this drive towards a more cultural and creative city then JOIN IN!

What if I miss an hour?

This isn’t a problem- you can post about each hour whenever is convenient. You could, if you wanted to, post up each of your hours, one at a time, at the end of your working day. Just remember to post everything up on the 22nd November and think about how you might represent each hour as you go through your day.

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