Skippko was started by a dancer and a visual artist in 1988, and initially ran from a garage! We’re not sure, but we think the name ‘Skippko’ came a combination of two sources: ‘skipping’ (like dancing) and ‘diving into skips’ to find materials for projects! We do know that we started out as SKIPCO, until someone spelt the name wrong – SKIPPKO – and it stuck!
Early projects were small-scale, with just one group over a few weeks, often making banners or mosaics – many of which are still on display around Leeds.
After several years, the organisation moved to larger premises in an old mill in Bramley (west Leeds) where it was based for many years. Projects got bigger as well, often involving a number of groups from across the city, over multiple years – and sometimes across Yorkshire.
Development and Awards
In 2007, Skippko was awarded the Fred Moore Institutional Award from NIACE for innovation and good practice for work with older people, for our Tall Tales project.
On presenting the award, Jim Soulsby from NIACE said, ‘When I created the Fred Moore Award it was the sort of thing that you are doing that I was looking for, but it took five years to find it. None of the other award winners had managed to reach so many different communities, nor produce such variety of outputs with such quality.’
At the end of 2010, Skippko completed a major move to more central premises in Holbeck (south Leeds) where we are close to other arts organisations and artists’ studios.
Skippko has two core staff members, Sue Barnes, Director and Cath Brooke, Arts Project Manager. We have a team of 12 dedicated freelance artists. The organisation is overseen by a board of five Trustees.