New Arts and Heritage Officers employed by Kala Sangam in Bradford

Kala Sangam Appoints Arts and Heritage Officers to work across Bradford district

As part of an ambitious two-year engagement project, Kala Sangam and partners Keighley CreativeSouth Square Centre and Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company have appointed four Arts and Heritage Officers to deliver a programme of activities with communities across Bradford district.

The four partners will form a network of creative venues, with each organisation having an Arts & Heritage Officer embedded in their team to work with local communities to build a programme of activities inspired by their heritages. The unique model sees the four Arts and Heritage Officers employed by lead organisation Kala Sangam, but jointly managed with their parent hub.

The four Arts & Heritage Officers are Claire Hudson, Lauren Kelly, Amarjit Singh Bath and Gemma Bailey.

Claire will be based at Kala Sangam and will be working with diverse community groups from Womenzone, The New Libya Society, u3a Bradford, and the Rohingya Centre UK. In Keighley, Lauren will partner with Keighley Neighbourhood Office to identify and work in four residential sites of community interest across the Keighley Wards. Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company run the Rockwell Centre in Thorpe Edge and this is where Amarjit will engage a range of users of the community centre, including their men’s mental health group. At South Square Centre, Gemma will be developing projects with both current building users and local communities including residents from two supported living communities.

Amer Sarai, Head of Community Engagement at Kala Sangam and project manager said: ‘I am so excited to be launching this Arts and Heritage project. We have appointed a brilliant group of talented, diverse officers, who will work closely with their local communities to create bespoke programmes of creative work that capture and celebrate their heritages.

Kala Sangam logo

‘The work developed at each hub will truly be led by the communities they are working with and will really reflect the breadth of experiences, cultures and stories of the people of Bradford.’

Alice Withers from South Square said, ‘We are really looking forward to being part of this project which connects disparate parts of Bradford, together with the Hubs. The project will enable us to build on existing relationships with communities in West Bradford and give us a really exciting opportunity to develop exciting outcomes for communities over a long period of time.’

Gemma Hobbs for Keighley Creative said, ‘I’m really excited by the opportunities this project opens up. Having a new member of the team, with us for the next two years – with her whole role being to go and listen to people about what they want, share stories, and work with local groups to turn these personal histories into great art will be a big boost for the town. As an organisation, the learning this project offers by linking us up with other centres across the district, to share best practice and tour work, is fantastic.’

Katie Mahon from Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company said, ‘Bloomin’ Buds are delighted to be involved as a community hub as part of this incredible project. It is a huge stepping stone for us to spend time engaging with vulnerable groups to increase access to arts and cultural opportunity with more support and resource. It is also great to be a part of this network at a time of exciting change and opportunity in Bradford. 

This arts and heritage project has been made possible thanks to funding from both the Arts Council administered Department for Culture Media and Sport’s Cultural Development Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

(Image c. Karol Wyszynski. L – R Claire Hudson, Amarjit Singh Bath, Amer Sarai, Lauren Kelly, Gemma Bailey)

Arts Council logo
National Lottery Heritage Fund logo

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