We are East Street Arts

Since 1993, East Street Arts has been working to secure better livelihoods for artists, and our neighbours, while addressing issues of economic and commercial decline in towns and cities.

Founded on a broad definition of visual art including traditional disciplines of painting and sculpture plus more specifically socially engaged practices, crafts/makers, radio, sound, street and public art. We work to ensure on-going professional support is available for working artists.

Gaining charitable status in 1998, we have become a leader in the artist-led sector, empowering artists to take control and incite change by influencing decision-makers to improve people’s lives and environments.

By 1999 we had secured capital support from Arts Council England, Leeds City Council and European Regional Development Fund to purchase and refurbish St Patrick’s Social Club in the east of the Leeds. The completion of Patrick Studios in 2004 gave us stability and a bespoke venue to operate from offering artists warm, clean and accessible studios and a large open project space.

Our interventions in art, education, the environment, public spaces and regeneration projects support artists and communities to force positive change and think differently about models and ethics of working and living.

Developing from our experiences of working across place, art, enterprise and hospitality and we now operate a range of temporary spaces, consultancy services, artists support programmes and projects across the country and internationally.


Patrick Studios (Leeds) artistic directors Karen Watson and Jon Wakeman, along with artist in residence, Pippa Hale, stand in the Project Space currently showing work by Les Biggs of Coal Salt Tin.
Picture: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian

"To take a role in the development of a city that doesn’t displace people who live and work there." The Directors; East Street Arts

Our roots are firmly planted in the Mabgate, Burmantofts and Lincoln Green areas of Leeds. Our regeneration work in the area is on-going, placing art right at the heart of the community.  We have recently purchased and converted the Convent next door to Patrick Studios into Convention House – a new venue for artists and audiences to explore technology, art and the environment, and also purchased the old presbytery and this will open as the permanent home for our Art Hostel, a 60 bed venue in 2021.

Looking outward we have initiated and are supporting a Neighbourhood Plan for the area conscious of the encroaching growing city and the dangers of re-gentrification.

The development of our studios, facilities and project spaces includes Union 105 in Chapeltown, Barkston Studios in Holbeck, Leeds Print Workshop cooperative on Vicar Lane and Artist House 45 in Beeston. Supporting a community of hundreds of artists and creative businesses. We want to see them continue to thrive and engage with city developments and aspirations. As such, they significantly contribute to the economic and social capital and identity of Leeds.


Our starting point will always be artists, as we believe they have the talent, energy, ideas and determination to change our worlds. We underpin all our work with artists support programmes including our SSO funded project Guild.

We raise funds for and initiate an on-going range of projects that support locally based artists. Bringing artists from all over the world to Leeds through commissions, residencies, and events.

These activities position artists, young people and neighbours in taking an active role to: 

  • Effect change in the places they live and work.
  • Intervene in the power of hierarchies, subjective judgements and distribution of wealth.
  • Take a role in the development of a city that doesn’t displace people who live and work there