Seven art projects in Luton have successfully received support in the latest round of funding as part of Luton's Strategic Vision for the arts, cultural and creative industries.
The Luton Arts Fund, generated through contributions from Luton Council, The Culture Trust, Arts Council England, University of Bedfordshire and Capital and Regional, offers up to £50,000 a year for arts projects taking place in Luton.
It supports both emerging and established artists and community organisations to deliver projects that advance the goals of the strategic vision.
The Fund is open to a range of Luton based activities, groups, individuals and organisations and aims to encourage the creativity and imagination of applicants.
Laura Church, Corporate Director, Place and Infrastructure said: “All the incredible activity and events that took place this year as part of People Power Passion clearly showed we have a lot of creative talent in Luton and that the arts can make a huge impact on skills, jobs, civic pride, community cohesion and the economy.
"The awarding of these funds is fantastic news for Luton’s arts scene and it is great to see what can be achieved when the Council comes together with its partners – each with a huge passion for Luton.
“The applications were very strong but the grants awarded were deemed to best meet the funding criteria and strategic vision.
"We are sure people will want to get involved with all of the projects – they range from performances, creative writing, visual arts installations, film festivals and video workshops and podcasts.
"By enabling local residents to design and deliver their own projects, we are able to ensure that the power of the arts to make real change in Luton is reaching deep into our communities."
Seven projects received funding from The Luton Arts Fund this year:
Jakob Rokita will present ‘Makers’ Den’ an interdisciplinary visual arts project that will teach people new skills and develop the creative industries in Luton. Printmaking and audio and visual projects will engage with students from the University of Bedfordshire and Central Bedfordshire College and a pilot ‘Affordable Art Fair’ will be held in Luton.
Filmstock is a four day international film festival running from 21-24 November 2019, it explores the festival capacity of the Cultural Quarter to hold festivals. Shorts, documentaries, features from around the world, guest speakers, spoken word, live music, exhibitions, comedy, live podcast recordings and a special historical Luton film getting its first screening in 30+ years will all form part of the programme. www.filmstock.co.uk
Adeyinka Akinrinade - Making Fatiha is an intercultural new writing project which explores the impact of bigotry and discrimination and celebrates the shared values of two different belief systems, Islam and Atheism. It will be performed at The Hat Factory on 7 and 8 February 2020 alongside a Q&A and creative writing sessions for young Muslims in Luton. www.culturetrust.com/whats-on/making-fatiha
Visual Artist Abi Spendlove will venture underground to explore Luton’s hidden river. Abi will walk in the underground parts of the River Lea, through its culverted sections in Luton Town Centre to film, photograph and gather material. She will create a series of new artworks which seek to reveal the dark spaces where the river flows. There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved and see the work develop including River Lea history walks, open studio sessions at The Hat Factory and film screenings in The Mall. Abi will also mentor three young artists during this project to inspire more creative endeavours in Luton and beyond.
Caroline Wallace has developed Luton Busway Archaeology, a contemporary visual art installation with local artists Helen Jones and Mary Hearne at Storefront, Luton. The work in textiles, photography and film is inspired by found objects and urban archaeology is about identity and explores disabled artists’ experience of the Luton Busway - the only access to the town centre for those using a mobility scooter.
Haleema Ali will aim to tackle ‘postcode wars’, by promoting ‘postcode love’ in Luton through a series of films made by young people in schools in each of the main postcode areas of Luton. The films will showcase the young people talking about what they love about the area they live in and by making them, they will learn filmmaking skills, public speaking and presentation skills.
Lizzy Fretwell ‘We’ve Chosen Here’ will explore the connection between location, grief and memorial in Luton through a series of workshops, culminating in the production of six podcasts that will be available to listen to worldwide. This poignant and personal project will feature the stories and words of Luton residents, describing the story behind the places that remind them of those loved ones no longer with them.