We are dedicated to delivering high quality community outreach programmes with and for people from the Calderdale area.

From 2015 – 2018, we have been and will be working in partnership with verd de gris Ltd and Orange Box Young People’s Centre on a project called Creative Communities, using the arts as a tool to bring about improvements in people’s lives. This project works with schools, children, young and older people to reduce social isolation, improve community cohesion and increase skills, knowledge and quality of life for people in Calderdale. It is supported with funding from the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

We deliver a range of inclusive activities for older and young people, including arts and crafts workshops, a creative writing group, afternoon tea dances and drama classes.  We also deliver activities for young people in partnership with Orange Box, including a streetdance crew, arts activities, a rock school, festivals and events.

Project partner, verd de gris, delivers innovative, creative, intergenerational programmes, working with older people and schools, to improve community cohesion.

Click on the video below to find out what was achieved in 2016.

Past projects

In 2016, verd de gris are delivered an exciting year-long programme of work called Our Music Sets Us Free with different groups and communities in Calderdale. The groups included schools, members of the Roma communities, the Parkinson’s Dance4Fun group and local women’s groups.  The work explored the role music plays in our lives – how it inspires and connects us and makes us feel free.  The work brought different generations and communities together, increasing knowledge, tolerance and understanding.

Programmes of workshops culminated in a series of public events bringing all the participating groups together to showcase their achievements to a public audience.

The first of these events took place at Square Chapel on 22nd June.  Young people from Sowerby Bridge High School and Burnley Road Academy joined together with talented musicians and dancers from Calderdale’s Roma communities in an uplifting, joyous, celebratory performance, packed with music, song and dance.  A full house comprising members of the public, schools and invited guests learned about Roma culture and heritage, with many joining the performers on stage at the end.

“Fantastic!”  “Moving” and “Amazing!” declared audience members.

Our Music Sets Us Free 22 June Image
Still from Square Chapel event 22 June – photo by Fin Shields

Other projects delivered include an animation project which paired up celebrated animator David Bunting with Year 6 children from Beech Hill Primary school – they made a beautiful short film inspired by the traditional dances and stories of freedom from the Roma community in Halifax – you can view the film here: animated film

2016 also saw the premiere of a film verd de gris made with film-maker Geoff Brokate and local taxi drivers, exploring stories of their lives as drivers in Calderdale.  You can view TAXI here.

Directors of verd de gris are Sharon Marsden and Jeff Turner. Follow them on Facebook for regular updates about their work or click here to visit their website

Square Chapel delivered a programme of outreach sessions in partnership with Calderdale Youth Service at Field Lane in Rastrick and Luddenden Youth Centre.  Young people at Luddenden enjoyed taking part in music workshops to develop their skills and try something new and young people living on the Field Lane estate in Rastrick took part in Parkour sessions – we made a film with them to document their progress – you can view the Parkour Film here

Routes is an annual one-day music festival delivered by and for young people, at Orange Box young people’s centre.  This year it included an acoustic stage, band stage and DJ stage, with a total of 75 young people performing and 14 young people working as technical and support volunteers.  The festival attracted an audience of almost 300 people and was busy throughout the day, providing a unique public platform for young unsigned bands and musicians to perform and meet other musicians and music fans.  A team of young volunteers interviewed some of the performers and produced a short film – you can watch it here

Open Door offers schools a diverse programme with heavily subsidised tickets to shows. Workshops, projects and resource packs are also available.

Open Door works with nurseries, infant, primary and secondary schools and colleges; it can also support schools who are doing Arts Award.  The programme aims to increase access to the arts and improve skills, knowledge and life opportunities for children in Calderdale.

If your school is interested in taking part, or you would like more information about what we offer, please contact Michaela O’Sullivan, Head of Audiences, on 01422 353073 or email michaela@squarechapel.co.uk.  Information about our current schools programme is available by visiting the Schools tab on our website.


If you are a theatre company with a production suitable for children or young people, and you are able to bring it to our venue, we would also like to hear from you!


Square Chapel’s outreach programme began in 2001 supported with a 5-year grant from the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB6) through Action Halifax. As it developed and changed it received additional support from Urban II, Arts Council, Big Lottery Fund, Esmee Fairbairn and a variety of smaller Trusts and Foundations. From 2011 – 2014 it was supported with a grant from the National Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme.  In 2015 Square Chapel was awarded continuation funding from Reaching Communities to launch Creative Communities in partnership with verd de gris and Orangebox.


For more information about Square Chapel’s outreach work, please look at our Current Projects or contact:

Michaela O’Sullivan: Head of Audiences: michaela@squarechapel.co.uk
Kane Rattray: Education and Outreach Manager: kane@squarechapel.co.uk

Tel: 01422 353073

For information about verd de gris: www.verddegris.org

For information about Orangebox: www.orangeboxhalifax.org

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