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Art is at the heart of regeneration in Bradford

  • Date: 24 September 2010
  • Area: North
river under brick arches

Bradford Beck. Credit: Simon Warner

Creativity and Regeneration in a New Economy at the National Media Museum,
Bradford on Thursday 7 October will bring together leading figures from the arts
and regeneration to explore the vital part culture can play in regeneration in
the current challenging economic climate.

At the conclusion of the conference, which is being organised by Arts Council England regularly funded organisation Beam, as part of its Arts of Place initiative, five new multimedia works by West Yorkshire-based artists will be launched.

The works have been commissioned by Beam, Bradford City Council and Arts Council England to highlight The City Park regeneration project in Bradford, which will create a vibrant public space in the heart of Bradford city centre.

The artworks include: Lucy Bergman's series of short films Belvedere which will be shown on the big screen in the city centre and explore and celebrate the connection people have with Bradford's parks; Simon Warner's Seven Streams in which Bradford Beck becomes the central character of a live performance in a secret location at Bradford City Hall exploring the history of stories about this key waterway; and Jack Lockhart's recreation of an old style cinema in Centenary Square in the heart of the city that will show archive and new films to provide the audience with a unique experience.

Supported with National Lottery funding through a Grants for the arts award from Arts Council England and Bradford Council, Beam worked with Bradford City of Film, to launch The Arts of Place in February 2010. This innovative initiative combines the arts, learning and public engagement to place the arts and artists at the centre of the regeneration work taking place for The City Park project.

Robert Powell, Executive Director of Beam, said: 'Our conference will give a timely and valuable opportunity to examine the vital role that arts development and creativity plays within regeneration, particularly at a time of national debate about the Big Society.

'Art and creativity not only inspire hearts and minds but time and again can be shown to boost the economic fortunes of the areas which invest in them. These new temporary art works, have at their heart the connection between communities and their home city. They have been commissioned to help drive public awareness to the longer term City Park development which will transform the heart of Bradford, boosting visitor numbers and the city's economy.'

Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director for Arts Council England, who will officially launch the new artworks, added: 'These innovative public artworks by Yorkshire artists make the cultural connections between the communities of Bradford. They put the arts at the centre of the City Park project and enable people to embrace the regeneration of their home town.'

For more information about the conference and to book a place email cathy@beam.uk.net or telephone 01924 215550

For more information about Arts of Places visit http://www.artsofplace.org.uk/bradford-news

For more information about Bradford City Park visit: http://www.bradford.gov.uk/bmdc/life_in_the_community/city_park/

For more information about Beam visit www.beam.uk.net