About Keighley Creative

About

Here at Keighley Creative, we do things a little bit differently…

As a local arts charity, we are here to co-create a diverse range of creative and cultural activities with you. Everyone in Keighley has a say about what services we provide, and we work hard to bring these ideas to life. THANK YOU!

Keighley Creative Animation

This is how our Studios; Festival; Gallery; Community Projects; and our successful Keighley Towns Fund bid* all came to be. It’s a collaboration. We’re in this together 🙂

So, tell us what you want to make happen, we’re listening, and we’re doers… It’s a great combination!

*Our current multi-functional hub is based in an old department store in the centre of the town, and with funding from the Towns Fund we are in the process of buying a permanent home to renovate and open as a part of Bradford’s City of Culture year in 2025

 

OUR TEAM

Our Team

Creative Director

Gemma Hobbs

Gemma is a studio holder at Keighley Creative, and she set up the Orange Room (our arts education space) and gallery in 2019. Gemma has worked in the community arts and education sector for 15 years- in galleries, schools, colleges and charitable organisations. She is keen to see as many people as possible enjoy the arts through workshops, projects and opportunities to exhibit and talk about their own creative practices.

If you would like to get in touch, email at:

Gemma@keighleycreative.org

Studios & Education Lead

Naseem Darbey

Naseem is an artist and studio holder at Keighley Creative. She creates large scale sculpture and installations from her studio and tours them. Alongside her work as an artist she writes and delivers audience participation projects for education and consultation.

She is excited to see Keighley Creative develop into an arts hub that draws on the town’s heritage and creates a vibrant project space for artists, schools and the wider community… So many possibilities!

https://engage.org/happenings/marsh-awards/marsh-awards-for-excellence-in-gallery-education-ceremony/

If you would like to get in touch, email at:

Naseem@keighleycreative.org

Cultural Heritage & Diversity Lead

Javed Bashir

Javed has many strings to his bow, and as well as helping Keighley Creative make sure our events, projects and studios are inclusive and represent all of our local communities, he is also uncovering local creative talent, and working with our community and faith centres to find out about what they want to make happen when it comes to creativity and culture.
 
 
If you would like to get in touch, email at:
 
Javed@keighleycreative.org

 

Festival & Events Director

Madeleine O’Reilly

Madeleine runs our yearly art and film festival, known at KAFF, as well as a year round programme of celebratory events. Madeleine has worked in festivals and events for over ten years.
 
Her background in theatre directing, site specific and community arts makes her passionate about creating empowering and inclusive events for everyone. Madeleine is excited about bringing and supporting the arts in Keighley to celebrate Keighley’s amazing people and stories. 
 
If you would like to get in touch, email at:
 

Festival & Events Coordinator

Cathryn Murray

Alongside supporting Madeleine to make the festival happen, Cathryn is also the person you’ll chat to when you reach out to us online, and the person to reach out to if you’d like to volunteer with us.

 

If you would like to get in touch, email at:

Cathryn@keighleycreative.org

Facilities Manager

Steve Bishop

Steve is a studio holder and photographer based at Keighley Creative, and the brains behind everything we build! From the studios, to the gallery, to our most recent moveable drawing boards in the Project Space, Steve has worked out how and made it happen, using recycled materials wherever he can. Having worked for the last 15 years for arts charities like Fabric and East Street Arts, Steve can turn his hand to pretty much anything, and has helped countless artists realise their ideas.

KEIGHLEY

Come to Keighley

It’s safe to say, we’re big fans of our hometown.

With a rich heritage in the textile industry, an inspiring multi-cultural community and heaps of creativity to boot, we’re proud to call it home.

KEIGHLEY

What’s Happening in Keighley?

Great question- and the answer is lots! Keighley is buzzing with fantastic opportunities to get creative, try something new and find out about our local history and heritage. 

Calling all poets– Spoken Worth is a fantastic monthly, alcohol free spoken word night in Keighley. Set up by local lad, Simon Pickles, the night features some of the top spoken word poets in the country, sharing their work alongside first time performers. Visit https://www.facebook.com/spokenworthpoetry for more information.

At the top of Russell St, Corner House is home to Musicians Centre teaching studio (www.musicianscentre.com), Exchange Arts music venue and bar (www.exchangearts.co.uk) and Corner House Recording Studio (www.cornerhouserecordingstudio.co.uk) amongst other creative organisations, all under the umbrella of www.cornerhousecollective.com.

And just a short walk out of town, Cliffe Castle Museum, with its wonderful collections and grounds is a treat for the whole family! https://www.bradfordmuseums.org/venues/cliffe-castle-museum 

If you know about a creative or cultural gem in Keighley, do let us know so we can shout about it! There is always plenty more to explore.

OUR TEAM

Trustees

Chair

Susan Mendoza

Susan has recently retired from working within the property industry and she is already an experienced Chair of Trustees through her work with Participate Projects, supporting people to develop their businesses through coaching and networking.
 
She is passionate about creativity and culture, and a keen painter in her free time.
 
As a resident of Keighley, Susan wants to develop Keighley Creative’s impact when it comes to supporting and regenerating the town.
 
Susan@keighleycreative.org

Vice-Chair

Georgina Webster

Georgina has lived in or near Keighley for 30 years, drawn to the local landscape and friendliness of the people. She knows that involvement in art can change people’s lives, and provide fun along the way! Georgina has worked with communities and community organisations all her life, locally, nationally and internationally, to make positive change happen. “I believe we can achieve big things for Keighley.”

Georgina@keighleycreative.org

Treasurer

Charles Oxtoby

Born in Shipley, Charles has always lived in Bradford district.  He is passionate about music and the arts and he plays guitar in three local bands.
Career wise, as a qualified accountant he laterally worked at Leeds City Council as a Head of Finance and is excited to help develop the amazing potential of Keighley Creative.

Charles@keighleycreative.org

Trustee : Funder-Finder

Jan Smithies

Jan has worked locally, nationally and internationally in community and organisational development and change management and her positive ‘can do’ approach gets things done! She has been a Keighley resident for 28 years and has a strong commitment to the town.

A keen photographer and cook herself Jan is excited about the possibilities arts, creativity and culture can bring to Keighley.

Jan@keighleycreative.org

Trustee : Human Resources

Fiona Sherburn

 

Fiona is an experienced HR professional who worked for almost 20 years across Bradford and Keighley within the NHS helping to create organisations that harness the many talents of NHS staff.  She is passionate about helping individuals and communities thrive and reach their full potential.

As a Trustee of Keighley Creative Fiona is keen to see the arts and culture support the economic development of Keighley and help improve the wellbeing of individuals.

Fiona@keighleycreative.org

 

Trustee : Creative Industries

Riaz Meer

Back in 2019 Riaz championed the first Keighley Arts and Film Festival, regularly supporting events and volunteering his time. Having studied film editing at the National Film and Television School before embarking on his career as a Film Editor Riaz has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to film and production, and he continues to edit both drama and documentary. He has had a recent focus on feature documentaries about musicians including the singers Jonas Kaufmann, Teddy Pendergrass and Janet Baker, and the conductor Bernard Haitink. Riaz’s films have won a number of awards, and Riaz himself is a BAFTA nominee, and winner of a SXSW and Grierson award.

Trustee : Festival & Events

Rachel Richards

Rachel works as a Social Venture Co-ordinator for a capacity building charity which means she supports people with ideas for social change choose the right structure to set up and make something happen. Keighley is a hot bed of social enterprise and is working towards being a social enterprise town. She believes the open and inclusive approach to try and work with all areas of the community is something that is worth supporting and that is why became she wanted to become a trustee.

Rachel moved to Keighley 6 years ago to start a family so is also keen to support the development of working with young people.

Rachel@keighleycreative.org

Trustee : Communications

Bob Smith

Bob worked as a photographer on the Keighley News for 31 years and is now a freelance photographer and is also editor and writer on his online magazine grough, which covers outdoors activities.

“I joined the trustees because I think Keighley Creative can be a real asset to my home town. Having a vibrant hub for the arts is a great way of reinvigorating our town centre and supporting local creative people from all sectors of the arts is vital to the economic wellbeing of the area.”

Bob@keighleycreative.org

Trustee : Buildings

Damian Kearnes

Damian is a surveyor with over 30 years experience.

It grieves him to see communities such as Keighley, which harbour so much talent and potential, being damaged through lack of investment and facilities.

He believes that town centres are the heart of a community and that the arts are its soul. He is pleased therefore to have the opportunity to make a small contribution to the Keighley Creative project.

 

Damian@keighleycreative.org

KEIGHLEY CREATIVE

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