Arts Development

The arts development team deliver cultural events and volunteering opportunities throughout the year.

We aim 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
  • promote partnership working within the arts and cultural sector

Event volunteering opportunities

There are many ways to get involved with the key cultural events that we organise throughout the year.

Leeds Young Film Festival

You could be a part of one of the largest events of its kind in the North, with live cinema, animation, VR experiences and the best new and classic films for young people from around the world.


Leeds International Beer Festival

September 2020, dates TBC

If you are passionate about beer, festivals, music and the arts, get in touch to volunteer.


Light Night

October 2020, dates TBC

Light Night is a spectacular city-centre event featuring installations, performances, music and dance. The event takes over Leeds city centre on a Thursday and Friday night in October. Arts and cultural venues open their doors late into the evening, and artists transform indoor and outdoor spaces into exciting, interactive works of art. 

It is a celebratory showcase for the huge range of diverse and thriving creative activity taking place in Leeds all year round, giving people free access to art and venues that they might not normally see. 


Twitter: @LightNightLeeds 

Leeds International Film Festival

November 2020, dates TBC

During November, over 100 volunteers will help run and deliver the largest film event in the North. We will be recruiting from September, so if you would like to give us some of your spare time in exchange for free films, a free festival t-shirt and an incredible experience where you will get to meet lots of other film lovers, get in touch. Please note, you must be 18 or over to volunteer. 


Twitter: @leedsfilmfest 

Email to find out about any upcoming opportunities and to join our mailing list.

Other volunteering opportunities

Leeds libraries

There are various opportunities to get involved with the library and information service across the year. 


Twitter: @leedslibraries 

Leeds museums and galleries

We have various opportunities to work across nine museum and gallery sites.  

Previous and current volunteers have assisted in a wide variety of tasks including the documentation and research of our collections, helped identify and label collections, carried out cleaning and remedial conservation of objects, assisted in the preparation of our Education and Outreach Programme, carried out basic data entry and live guiding.  

We are always looking for new ideas for volunteer roles and if you think you have a good idea which will allow you to use existing skills or develop new ones we would like to hear it. 


Twitter: @leedsmuseums 

Events, programmes and funding

You can find out more information about specific events, programmes and funding below.

arts@leeds funded organisations

Development programme

A Quiet Word             

Artlink West Yorkshire             

Assembly House             

Cloth Cat             

Compass Live Art             


Geraldine Connor Foundation             

Heads Together             


Invisible Flock             

Jazz Leeds             

Leeds Big Bookend & Northern Short Story Festival             

Leeds Chinese Community Association             

Leeds Community Arts Network             

Leeds International Piano Competition             

Leeds Irish Arts Foundation             

Leeds Lieder             

Left Bank Leeds             

Live Art Bistro             

Morley Arts Festival             

Northern Opera Group             

Otley Courthouse             


Pyramid of Arts             

RJC Dance             


Slung Low             

South Asian Arts-uk             

Space 2             

The Leeds Library             

Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah             

Thought Bubble Festival             


Tutti Frutti             

Investment programme

East Street Arts             

Leeds Grand Theatre             

Northern Ballet             

Opera North             

Phoenix Dance Theatre             

PSL The Tetley             

West Yorkshire Playhouse             

Yorkshire Dance             

arts@leeds newsletter

The newsletter is sent bi-monthly. It contains information on funding and training opportunities and is a good source of information about opportunities and news in the Leeds arts and culture sector.             

To subscribe to our newsletter and receive art sector updates, us our subscription form.             

arts@leeds programme

The arts@leeds programme provides support for cultural, voluntary and community organisations to provide opportunities for residents from across the city to engage in cultural activity as a participant, an attendee or a creator.             

The 2018 – 2022 programme consists of three different strands: engagement, development and investment. More information about the programme can be found on the arts@leeds website.             

To sign up for a one to one session through the arts@leeds engagement programme, visit Eventbrite              

Breeze Culture Network

If you work with children, young people and/or families in Leeds, you can register online to 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 have one thing in common - they all work positively with children, young people and 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. There is also a direct link to 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 the network 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.              

Community committee funding

Community committees allocate funding to both community projects and youth activities. Most Community committees provide small grants of up to £500 and larger grants of over £500.             

For details on how to apply for funding, visit our community committees page. You can also contact the support team on 0113 378 5808.             

Funding Leeds

Funding Leeds is a public and third sector partnership - helping the voluntary, social enterprise, and community sectors in Leeds find the funds to achieve their vision. For funding opportunities visit the Funding Leeds website.             

Using Funding Leeds you can:             

  • make funding searches to tap into local, regional and national funding sources
  • get regular updates on your funding area of interests
  • take advantage of useful information and local support to help you achieve your funding goals

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day

Sunday 26 January 2020 2pm, Leeds Town Hall: free and open to all.             

Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day of remembrance of six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust, and millions of other people killed under German Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.             

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest German Nazi concentration and death camp. It also marks the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.             

The Lord Mayor will open this year’s civic remembrance event, which will include a keynote speech by Dr James Smith, and a performance by Opera North Youth Chorus on this year’s theme of Stand Together.             

There will be also be a reading of the seven statements of commitment with candle lighting and a traditional Hebrew mourning prayer sung by the president of the Bradford Synagogue Rudi Leavor, BEM.             

There will be British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters at the event.             

Full event details can be found on the Leeds Town Hall website external link.             

Leeds Armed Forces Day

Saturday 27 June 2020.             

Armed Forces Day in the UK is now marked by hundreds of events held across the country, celebrating the courage and contribution of the British Armed Forces community: from veterans to currently serving troops, reserves, cadets and service families.             

Facebook: /LeedsAFD             

Twitter: @LeedsAFD             

Leeds Inspired

Leeds Inspired provides arts project funding to support cultural activity in Leeds.              

The team manages two grants schemes that offer project grants to arts organisations, community groups and artists. They also also run the city’s event listings website featuring thousands of events every year.              

For more information about grant deadlines and how to list your event visit the Leeds Inspired website.             

Town Hall programme

Cultural conversations

Leeds cultural conversations is a series of free monthly lunchtime talks organised by the Centre for Culture & the Arts at Leeds Beckett University and take place from October to May. The series is run in partnership with the council, with support from Palgrave Macmillan’s Campaign for the Humanities.             

The series showcases the leading research being undertaken by the academic staff from the centre and encourages debate with all that attend.             

Now in its fifth year, topics have included everything from Caribbean carnival, race in football, Oscar Wilde and the figure of the dandy, contemporary dystopian literature, and zombies and vampires in the new millennium.             

For further information and to book a free place at one of our talks please visit the page on the Leeds Beckett website External link              

Reception gallery: Postcards of Leeds

An exhibition of Leeds through the ages from a selection of postcards selected from the Leodis archive.             

Leeds Dortmund 50

Until 4 January 2020, Brodrick Room.             

Part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the civic partnership between the cities of Leeds and Dortmund, Germany, the exhibition shows images produced by students from Leeds City College and the UZWEI in Dortmund, reflecting the true identity of both cities.             

Holocaust Memorial Day Exhibition

We Were There: Holocaust Survivors in Leeds             

13 January to 29 February 2020, Brodrick Room             

To mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 and the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz- Birkenau, We Were There is a photographic exhibition about children and young people who survived Nazi persecution across Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. These children came to Leeds as refugees or survivors of the Holocaust, settled and made new lives here.             

Visitors will see poignant personal photos of the survivors and their families presented alongside survivors’ stories of discrimination, persecution, escape, hiding, ghettos, forced labour, concentration camps and liberation. Images and content featured in this exhibition are courtesy of the Holocaust Survivors' Friendship Association.             

Art in the Dark – A Celebration of Light Night Leeds

Until 29 February 2020, South East Staircase              

A photographic exhibition showcasing some of the most iconic past projects from Light Night Leeds, one of the UK’s largest arts and light festivals, which hosts a spectacular mix of light projections, installations, exhibitions and performances, turning the city centre into an exciting and vibrant cultural playground for two nights each October.             

Accessibly notice: Please note in this exhibition the majority of the images are located along a staircase and therefore these images are not accessible by wheelchair. However printed versions of all of the exhibition images can be found in the booklets located at the bottom and top of the staircase, both of which are wheelchair accessible.             

Please note: Leeds Town Hall hosts civic celebrations and ticketed and private events. As such, access to building may be restricted during stated opening hours. Please contact 0113 378 6016 before visiting to ensure there are no restrictions at the time you plan to visit.             

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