This set presents records relating the Centre's residency programmge. The physical records are arranged within folders representing the record sets seen below. However, born-digital records have been arranged into this set by function to aid research, and can also be found within the record set representing the original accession in which they were transferred to the archive.
In its very early days, the Centre use the term 'artists-in-residence' to refer to artists who worked with the Centre to provide on-site workshop and facilitate workshops at other organisations, such as schools. After the move to Edge Street in 1997, artists exhibiting at the Centre were often based at the Centre for the duration of the exhibition. Between 2000-2003, many artists who created works for the 'New Commissions' scheme were based at the Centre while they developed their new works.
When the Centre moved to Thomas Street in 2003, the venue included studio and an living space for resident artists. Initially termed 'Project Space' the studio/living area would provide private accommodation as well as access to the Centre's new resource space and other on-site facilities. There was no pressure on the artists to produce an exhibition, but they were asked to hold an open studio event. The open studio could be used to present their work to the public; provide a talk about their practice or provide an engagement activity for visitors to the Centre.
Up to 2013, the Centre offer two types of residencies:
- Breathe: Residencies aimed at more established artists lasting between 1-3 months.
- Whisper: Residencies aimed at UK based emerging artist with a duration of less that 1 month.
From 2003-2006, Breathe residencies were largely funded by the Centre. The Centre aimed to hold at least three Breathe residencies each year, featuring at least one UK based artist and one international artist. Whisper residencies were initially funded by career development projects aimed at UK based artists: Creative Diversity: Greater Manchester, (2004-2006) and the Personal Artists Development Scheme (2005-2008). After 2006, most of the Centre's residencies were funded by external bodies or were held in collaboration with other arts organisation or festivals.
From 2004-2014, the Centre also offered space on the main staircase for artists to exhibit their work. The 'First Step' scheme was offered as an alternative space for emerging artist to show their work, when they were not yet at a stage in their career to benefit from a full residency.
In the mid 2000s, the Centre had developed a relationship with 501 Artspace gallery in Chongqing, China. The Centre's Residency Coordinator took part in a residency in Chongqing to develop his own practice and provide assistance to 501 Artspace to set up their own international residency programme. As a result, the Centre continued to facilitate residencies for UK based artists at the Chongqing gallery between 2009-2013.