Arts Council England awarded the project funding from the Small Grants Scheme in 2014, enabling the production and casting of the Erinma Bell portrait and the Paving the Way to Peace sculptures.
The GUNS TO GOODS project emerged from a 3 year AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship from 2009 to 2012 (AHRC Reference: AH/G017115/1; ‘Supporting arts and enterprise skills in communities through engagement with the local area’), the purpose of which was to demonstrate creative community engagement through Arts and Enterprise activism.
Community Alliance for Renewal, Inner South Manchester Area (CARISMA) were originally responsible for the initiative, developing the GUNS TO GOODS concept with the GMP Serious Crime Unit and the University of Salford. Formed in November 2002, in response to the issue of gun crime and to provide life chances for young people in the community, CARISMA closed in July 2015, having seen a significant decrease in gun-related crime since being founded.
Founder Erinma Bell is now Executive Director of Chrysalis Manchester, continuing as a key contributor and ambassador of the GUNS TO GOODS Project.
Chrysalis is a family support drop-in centre located in Moss Side’s Alexandra Park Estate, Moss Side, an inner city suburb just south of central Manchester, with a philosophy to promote personal improvement, emotional wellbeing, social stability and economic opportunity.
The GUNS TO GOODS concept was devised by GMP Serious Crime Unit and local charity CARISMA in 2010 with support from the University of Salford. GMP police armoury source the metal for GUNS TO GOODS, with the project repurposing 310 guns from Greater Manchester’s streets to date. GUNS TO GOODS works closely with the GMP Public Relations department on planning and communications of the project.
Harpers Foundry in Bradford have partnered GUNS TO GOODS throughout its development, assisting with technical advice, melting guns from the police armoury, producing the original commemorative ingots and fabricating wood patterns and green sand moulds for early production projects.
The School of Art and Design Research Institute at Middlesex University supported work at the Castle Fine Art Foundry for the production of ceramic moulds for the 2015 sculptures and the finishing work on the portrait bust.
The Jewellery and Small Metals Department and the 3D Digital Manufacturing Department in the School of Art and Design at Middlesex University continue to support GUNS TO GOODS with design exploration and new product development.
MAV worked with GUNS TO GOODS in 2014 and 2015 to execute the young persons dance project that produced the textured reliefs of the ‘Paving the Way to Peace’ sculptures.
The University of Salford hosted the research project that originated GUNS TO GOODS and co-funded both research and early production projects supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Students and staff from academic programmes in Graphic Design and Fashion Styling from the School of Art and Design at the University of Salford produced initial branding concepts and communications design. The GUNS TO GOODS logo was produced as part of a project with the Graphic Design students and staff.