5 Things You Didn’t Know About Appetite

Appetite kicked off a year-long calendar of activities and events earlier this year to celebrate 10 years of engaging Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme residents in the arts. But what do you really know about Appetite? Here are five things you may not know about the successful arts programme…

  1. It started as a 3-year programme

Led by the New Vic Theatre, Creative People and Places programme Appetite began as a three-year programme for Stoke-on-Trent in 2013.

Now in its 10th year, the programme has served up a wide variety of local, national, and international arts activities for local audiences.

  1. Appetite is not just for Stokies!

Although Appetite started as Stoke-on-Trent based programme, it expanded to Newcastle-under-Lyme in 2019. Over the last few years, Appetite has brought a whole host of events to the borough, including…

  • Newcastle Common, a programme focused on the changing Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre and transforming empty shops and the high street into places of art and creativity.
  • Taking place every June since 2014, The Homecoming is an award-winning, one-day circus-inspired extravaganza in Newcastle-under-Lyme Town Centre which celebrates the life and legacy of local-born legend and ‘father of the modern circus’, Philip Astley.
  • Luke Jerram’s GAIA, an out of this world installation at Keele University’s Chapel, that featured detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole, stunning artwork projected onto the north entrance of The Harecastle Tunnel on the Kidsgrove stretch of the Trent & Mersey canal
  • And many more!
GAIA by Luke Jerram at Keele Chapel. Image by Jenny Harper
  1. 100s of people have volunteered with Appetite over the last decade

Over the last 10 years, hundreds of people have donated their time to make Appetite a success. Our volunteer team is at the heart of everything we do, from site set-up to being a friendly face for the public, to making decisions about the art, marketing and more; we couldn’t make the magic happen without them.

We are always looking for more enthusiastic people to join us and be part of something special. Could you be our next volunteer? To enquire about volunteering, call our Community Participation Coordinator Sammy Bishop on 07951357389, or email sammyb@appetite.org.uk.

Appetite volunteer at the Big Feast 2022. Image by Jenny Harper
  1. Appetite turned digital during lockdown

During the pandemic, the Appetite team believed that arts and culture was the perfect tonic to see everyone through the unusual times. From the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, Appetite adapted its offering to provide its Home Cooked Menu, a handpicked feast of digital arts and culture that people could enjoy from their sofa. It included fabulous online performance from some of the fantastic companies we’ve presented or worked with in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme over the last few years.

As restrictions started to ease during 2020 and 2021, Appetite was thrilled to bring several COVID-safe events to the people of North Staffordshire. These included two wonderful light and sound installations, Ray Lee’s CHORUS and Dan Fox’s Shimmer Tree. Lighting up Stoke-on-Trent’s City Centre!

  1. It’s not too late to join in the fun!

The Appetite programme has secured funding from the Arts Council to ensure it runs until at least March 2025. Whether you are a long-standing fan of Appetite or if you have never attended an Appetite event, join in the fun at an event near you! Head to our What’s On page to read all about the fantastic events and activities we have planned.


Featured image by Andrew Billington