There is some exciting news from the creative community in Lancashire this week: Wigan STEAM is rebranding and changing its name to ‘Everyday’, following confirmation this innovative and essential arts organisation are to receive funding through GMCA’s cultural portfolio. Alongside the new name, is the tagline ‘Making Space for Creativity’, highlighting the team's commitment to supporting people of all ages and backgrounds to develop their everyday creativity. The rebrand project was initially supported with investment from Arts Council England in 2021, which allowed Wigan STEAM to undertake research and development and to consult with community members, before going on to work with designer Studio Baba to develop the brand.
Louise Robson, Everyday's Creative Director has explained the thought process behind the rebranding: "We’ve been exploring the possibility of a name change and rebrand for the last few years, having identified that people were often confused about our name and what we do. Over the years, we’ve lost count of how many people asked us if we were something to do with steam engines and Wigan’s heritage. Many people aren’t aware of the STEAM acronym so anybody who asked received a long-winded explanation, and those who did know what STEAM meant, often assumed we were just about coding and technology. We also really wanted to drop the ‘Wigan’, as it gives people the impression that we only work in Wigan, when in actual fact, we deliver projects across the borough and Greater Manchester. Essentially - we realised we needed to find something more fitting, but also more neutral that doesn’t carry multiple confusing connotations."
Rebranding has presented the organisation with an opportunity to better communicate what they do and why, and it's hoped that in time this will enable Everyday to reach more people and make wider impacts.
Supported by designer Studio Baba, the team decided on ‘Everyday’ as their new name for some of the following reasons:
They foster everyday creativity. Activities and events happen regularly. 'Everyday' is unpretentious and inclusive – not out of reach but open to everyone. It's intrinsic – part of the everyday fabric of the community. And 'Day' nods to daytime, sunshine and joyfulness!
The organisation's new name is accompanied by the tagline ‘Making Space for Creativity’, which provides people with a brief flavour of what happens at Everyday. While the changes are huge and exciting - the passion and drive of the team remains the same: With creativity at the centre of everything they do, facilitating creative and cultural opportunities for people in their everyday lives is still the central objective. Everyday continue to provide physical space for the community - and centre and platform others by making space.
This project began with a six-month period of consultation, during which time Wigan STEAM spoke with several groups across Wigan about their existing name and brand. They also brought together a focus group featuring people from within the community to voice their opinions and had conversations with the board, artists they’ve worked with previously, and colleagues working in the sector locally. This feedback then fed into the design process with Studio Baba.
The organisation officially transitioned to ‘Everyday’ on the 18th April, and will celebrate the launch with a free community event on the 29th April 11am - 1pm at The Old Courts court room. Everyone is invited - booking is essential, just head to the events page on the new look site to book! From 18th April we will be known as Everyday, though Wigan STEAM CIC will still be our registered company name for legal purposes. The team know calling them Everyday will feel weird at first, (they feel the same).
Everyday is based within The Old Courts on Crawford St, Wigan. They moved back to the site in February 2022 after previous premises was marked for demolition as part of The Galleries redevelopment.
Unlike previously, Everyday now doesn't have premises with regular opening times. With an office where the team work on a day-to-day basis, Everyday will be delivering events within the community room at The Old Courts, as well as in libraries, green spaces, and community settings across Wigan and Leigh.
All the weekly sessions, Pottery Night and Mini Makers are set to continue as normal. The youth programme, Young Makers, Young Producers, and Creative Activators, will ramp up again from May as new groups are recruited. As always, there will be family activities on weekends as part of the Make Together and Have a Go programmes, and the school holidays will be busy with art camps (back from July this year). You’ll also see Everyday delivering some new projects this year, primarily Clay Club, thanks to funding for through The National Lottery Community Fund, and the Big Brain Health Fund.
With no staff changes, the same amazing, friendly faces are waiting to say hello! The team is still Louise (Creative Director), Emily C (Engagement Director), Steph (Creative Project Coordinator) and Emily R (Marketing Coordinator).
Wigan STEAM began in October 2016 as a pop-up project supported by Wigan Council, initiated to foster digital skills & engage people in STEM through creativity. The organisation has since developed into a more dynamic operation, incorporating these themes and mediums into a broader, more responsive creative and cultural programme that prioritises access to shared creative experiences, cultural learning opportunities, and artist-led, socially-engaged practice.
But Everyday still believe that technology and creativity go hand in hand and that creativity is an excellent vehicle for nurturing digital skills, so you’ll still see coding and creative technology projects and workshops taking place from time to time - they are just part of the new wider creative programme.
Everyone at Everyday believes in the power of creativity, and that creativity enables us all to learn new things, delve deep and imagine new ideas - across all fields. They're also big believers that the arts are also a field in their own right, and that being creative, even if only for the purpose of enjoyment, should be celebrated.
As an arts-focused organisation, Louise, Emily C, Steph and Emily R acknowledge that there are limitations with the STEAM concept, which is partly why they’ve changed their name. They still believe that, particularly within education, promoting STEM subjects through creativity is a brilliant way to engage children in learning and exploring new ideas, and they will continue to advocate for cultural education across the curriculum.
Everyday has been working with some fantastic organisations behind the scenes in preparation for the launch, including Just Bee Social, who worked on a pro-bono basis to develop a social media strategy. Studio Baba - who is apparently the most patient, hard-working, generous and talented designer. Rebecca Lupton, who captured the community so well. Debbie Chan, who supported the team through the early stages of the project, and who was always being at the end of a phone for feedback, support, and friendship. And not forgetting all of the wonderful community members who took part in the two workshop days held so Rebecca could capture some stunning images of what Everyday does!
Everyday are also extremely thankful to all of their funders, primarily GMCA and Wigan Council, who have provided vital core funding so that they can keep doing what they do.
However, it's the Everyday team, who are anything but 'everyday', together with the wonderful community members - that deserve the biggest cheer as a new chapter begins: Without them, none of this would be happening.