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Arts Development

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The Arts Development Team is part of Leeds City Council’s Arts & Venues service within City Development.
Our aim is to:
  • CREATE opportunities for local people to take part in the cultural life of the city;
  • SUPPORT local artists and arts organisations working in communities; and
  • PROMOTE partnership working within the arts and cultural sector.
We promote the Leeds Culture Criteria:
  • spotting, nurturing and retaining talent in Leeds;
  • removing barriers;
  • demonstrating Leeds’s distinctiveness and telling the city story; and
  • community inspired.

Funding for the arts in Leeds
Arts Development administrates two grant schemes. These are:

arts@leeds Grant Scheme
The arts@leeds grant scheme is a longer term funding option. It is administered on a three year cycle, with the next date for applications in 2015. Please check back in the summer for the timetable of application.

Leeds Inspired Grant Scheme
The Leeds Inspired grant scheme has been launched to support new projects or create new work for the city’s vibrant cultural programme. All events are featured on the Leeds Inspired website, which is fast becoming the go-to guide for planning your free time in Leeds (www.leedsinspired.org). You can download information about how to apply from the Leeds Inspired website (see external links section). There are a variety of grants offered on a rolling system, with up to £15,000 available. Please see the website for application deadlines.

Database of funding sources
The Arts Development team have updated our database of funding sources for cultural and community projects for 2014. It has been refocused with an emphasis on funding in the Yorkshire area and national schemes. Please see the Documents section on this page.

Arts Development Initiatives
In order to increase residents' participation in the cultural life of the city and to raise young people's aspirations, we organise projects and events throughout the year. We aim to provide new opportunities where there are few and reach new audiences across the city. Alongside a full programme of events in Leeds Town Hall we present:

Arts Exchange
The Arts Development Team, in partnership with CidaCo, Leeds Community Foundation and Artforms has put together a subsidised programme of professional development for artists and arts organisations.

Leeds Community Foundation - Finding Funding – Introductory Workshop on Grant Funding for Charities, Community Groups and Non Profits
When and where: Thursday 27 February, 9am to 12.30pm at Leeds Town Hall

Cost: Freelancers: £10   Organisations: £12.50

Learning outcomes include: understanding different sources of funding and their relevance; identify suitable funders and their different requirements; the initial steps to develop effective funding proposals; key elements to draft a well-structured application; maintaining and developing high quality relationship with funders.

Content includes: planning; budgeting; potential funders and how to find them; what makes a good application; monitoring, evaluation and reporting; building lasting relationship with funders & other supporters

Leeds Community Foundation - Social Enterprise – Introductory workshop for arts organisations considering developing into a successful social enterprise
When and where: Thursday 6 March, 9am to 12.30pm at Leeds Town Hall

Cost: Freelancers: £10   Organisations: £12.50

Learning outcomes include: understanding the key elements that make an organisation a Social Enterprise; legal structures; identifying products and services that can potentially generate income; business planning – the roadmap to success; identifying sources of investment; key support available and grant funding

Content includes: Social Enterprise and key elements; SE legal structures; generating Ideas to develop products and services; market research; drafting a business plan; sources of investment

It is not essential that you attend both Leeds Community Foundation training sessions but it would be of benefit.

CidaCo - Ideas to income generation
When and where: Thursday 13 March, 9.30am to 3.30pm at Leeds Town Hall

Cost: Freelancers: £20   Organisations: £25

Perfecting and pitching your brilliant idea. Turning your ideas into innovations that make a difference – this programme provides you with the techniques for turning raw ideas into powerful innovations that will delight your audiences and satisfy your customers (including your funders!)

CidaCo - Blue Sky Thinking
When and where: Thursday 27 March, 9.30 to 3.30pm at Leeds Town Hall

Cost: Freelancers: £20   Organisations: £25

Where are we now, where do we want to be? – vision-led strategy for arts practitioners. All too often, there is a divide between the artistic vision and the organisation’s business plan – this brings them together and helps arts leaders ensure that the success of the whole organisation is based on the achievement of the artistic vision

To book on any of the training or for more information please use the Contact us form on this page.

Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is an internationally recognised day of commemoration, to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenhau. 

It was set up by the HMD Trust to commemorate all those who have been affected by the Holocaust and more recent genocides such as those in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. It encourages people to think about their own attitudes, behaviours and choices and the way they interact with others.
Every year, Leeds hosts its own HMD civic commemorative event, which is open to the public.

Breeze Arts Festival 2014
The 2014 Breeze Arts Festival will run from Sat 19 July to Sunday 27 July, and will be packed full of activities for 11 to 19 year olds, celebrating the creativity of young people across the city. For more information about the festival, please follow the link to the Breeze website.

Light Night - October 2014
A spectacular city-wide event featuring performance, installations, music and dance. For one evening, Leeds’ artists pool their talents in the city centre, exhibiting and performing their work on the streets and squares and in venues not usually open to the public.

If you would like to be added to our Light Night mailing list, please use the Contact us form on this page.

Town Hall tours
Town Hall Tours take place on the last Saturday and Monday of each month, where you can see Victoria Hall, the old courtroom, prison cells and the view from the top of the Clocktower. Tickets must be booked in advance on 0113 224 3801. Please note: for those unable to ascend the clock tower stairs an audio-visual presentation will be available on advance request. If the weather is particularly bad we are unable to take people to the outside of the clock tower. Tickets: £4.50

We also offer private tours at a time and date to suit you, so if you’re interested in the Town Hall or fancy doing something different then we can take groups of up to 25 around. The cost is £100.

Saturdays: 22 Feb, 29 March, 26 April, 31 May, 28 June & 26 July at 10.30am and 1pm 
Mondays: 24 Feb, 31 March, 28 April, 19 May, 30 June and 28 July at 2.30pm

Lunchtime talks
Working with Leeds University’s Brotherton Library and Leeds Central Library, join us in a series of ‘one object, one hour’ talks about the objects in the University’s Special Collection. These talks, presented by people who work with the collections, will reveal some of the remarkable objects that make up our cultural heritage which the Brotherton collects and makes accessible, not just for the University, but for the benefit of everyone.

Dates & Times:
Thursday 13 February, Leeds Central Library
The romance of Shakespeare’s Sonnets: First editions at the University of Leeds
Friday 14 March, Leeds Town Hall
Secrets of Swallows and Amazons:  The Arthur Ransome Collection
All talks 12.30-1.30pm and you are welcome to bring your sandwiches  
These talks are free, however donations are welcome
Email enquiry.express@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 2476016 to reserve a space.

Photo & Exhibitions
If you are interested in exhibiting, please use the Contact us form on this page with your ideas.

Arts Development Newsletter
You can receive arts sector updates and information for arts organisations by signing up for the quarterly arts@leeds e-newsletter. To subscribe, please use the Contact us form. To see the latest edition, please see the Documents section on this page.

Breeze Culture Network
Do you work with children, young people and/or families in Leeds?

Register online at www.breezeculturenetwork.org and join a huge network of cultural organisations and artists, sports bodies and coaches, schools and colleges, voluntary and community groups and local authority departments all with one thing in common - they all work positively with children/young people/families in Leeds. There's a huge directory, an active targeted messaging system constantly circulating information about events, activities, opportunities and news for children and young people AND the people who work (and volunteer) with them, plus a direct link to Breezeleeds.org which means you can promote what you do directly to children and young people in Leeds on their events diary, news and facebook. Everyone on BCN has provided basic safeguarding and quality of provision criteria to guarantee you are networking with people in the know, working directly with your target audience - big or small.