April Blog

Published by KalaSangam on

Kala Sangam’s April Blog!

Welcome to the new Kala Sangam blog!

With so many exciting things going on here at Kala Sangam, we have decided to create a dedicated blog space so we can share monthly updates of what’s going on behind the scenes! We will be using this space to bring you up to date with what’s happening with the redevelopment of our home at St Peter’s House, what our team have been up to, what artists have been busy creating in our spaces, our upcoming events, what our tenants have been working on and tracking our journey to become Bradford Arts Centre.

Capital Update

A group of seven people wearing hi-vis jackets and hard hats stand in front of a building

Our biggest news this month is that work has officially started to transform St Peter’s House!

Our contractors, Simpson, took control of the site on Monday 22nd April and expect to be on site for the next 14 months. You can read more about the plans here

Upcoming Events

We have some fantastic performances coming up for our Spring events programme. With all our performances being off site, we will be visiting venues across Bradford for 3 stunning performances, starting on the 10th of May at The Bradford Club. As always with our events, the tickets are Pay What You Decide, which means you don’t have to pay until after you have seen the event. Check out our upcoming performances:

A male musician holding a violin, a male musician playing the keyboard, a male musician holding a bass guitar and a female musician playing the drums

Vijay Venkat and Band Live: Jazz Fusion

Friday 10 May | 7.30pm | The Bradford Club | Pay What You Decide

Join us in the unique surroundings of Bradford Club for an evening of stunning music from long time Kala Sangam collaborator Vijay Venkat.

Showcasing Vijay’s talent as a musician and composer, Jazz Fusion blends genres and styles such as Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Dance and Folk with improvisations spanning different genres. The evening will transport audiences from the Victorian splendour of one of Bradford’s best hidden secrets across the globe on a musical journey. 

Vijay will be joined by a line up of talented performers including Felix Bertulis Webb (Keyboards), Abi Swift (Drums) and Ethan Faulkner (Bass)

Book tickets here

a female dancer with her leg in the air with two musicians behind her


Friday 24th May | 7:30pm | Mind The Gap | Pay What You Decide

CROWN/تاج is the UK’s first touring production combining classical Persian dance, contemporary dance, and Sufi movement to tell a story of displacement, identity, and body sovereignty to an original soundtrack of live classical music and electronica.

CROWN//تاج is a manifestation of female strength; it is an opportunity to reclaim what we lose through displacement. Using Persian miniatures, lived experience and the poetry of Forough Farrokhzad, the 3 lead dancers take the audience on a journey from determination through struggle to release. Finding courage, resilience, and joy along the way.

Book tickets here

a group of dancers hugging on stage

Fireflies at Dawn

Tuesday 11th June | 7.30pm | The Alhambra Studios | Pay What You Decide

Step into the depths of darkness with us, where every step is a dance of connection. Fireflies at Dawn invites you to embark on a journey of discovery, where emotions take flight and senses awaken to the soft rustle of wings.

This enchanting dance theatre piece weaves together the threads of inclusivity, and self-expression, exploring the richness of our shared humanity and the strength found in our search for connection. This delicate interplay of sound and motion invites you to discover the lived experience of blind and visually impaired people and to pay attention to how we connect to our senses, ourselves and others. Witness the power of vulnerability in this emotional and sensory show.

Book tickets here

Arts and Heritage Project Launch

A group shot of 5 people smiling

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.

You can read more about the project here

a photo of a person writing 'Embracing Change'

Claire from Kala Sangam Update:

Claire and her Hub lead Amer have been getting out and about this month, building relationships with their community groups!

They hosted a ‘Getting to Know You Session’ with the u3a, focused on discovering who u3a are and what they aim to get out of this project. They also went to two Eid parties held by The New Libya Society and The Rohingya Centre.

“My favourite part has been getting to know everybody, from my colleagues, through to my community groups. I’m looking forward to discovering more about Bradford and its communities over the next 2 years!”

a group photo of 9 artists smiling in front of a mural

Lauren from Keighley Creative Update:

I’ve spent the first few weeks getting to know Keighley better and its communities, as well as building relationships with existing community engagement workers and centres to find out about the amazing work already been done, and residential areas where I can help increase their engagement with arts and heritage.

I was invited to help out on the painting of the ‘Young Bracken Crew’ mural, which was a project collaboration between One In A Million charity, artist Leonie Briggs, Keighley Creative, Sue Belcher Centre and Word Up North. Helping out with the painting and attending the launch event at Sue Belcher allowed me to meet some amazing people who live on the Bracken Bank estate and identify a residential area where I can form some great networks for this project!

What have our staff been up to

The Kala Sangam team are always busy, and we want to share with you everything that we do outside the office!

a colourful abstract painting, a football pitch, a music concert and a crochet squid

This month, our Marketing Officer Jess has been looking into developing her next body of work with ownership and possession by looking at abstract portraiture and how this can reflect in her next set of paintings. She also went to see a Declan McKenna gig!

Alex Corwin has been binging all things Ripley related, but still thinks the 1999 Matt Damon/ Jude Law film is the best version of the Talented Mr Ripley. She has also been knitting a jumper and listening to the new Tylor Swift album.

Alex Croft went to see The Hives and has been listening to the new DVNE album. He has also been enjoying Tim Key’s latest poetry collection.

Fay went to see the Man United Women’s team at the FA Cup semi final where they beat Chelsea. She is going to the FA Cup final at Wembley in May!

Our Tenants

an audience watching a performer who is sat down reading a script

In April, our Tenants Freedom Studios hosted two Writers Studio Group Readings with a selection of short plays/ extracts from local writers, which were read by professional actors. This was a brilliant opportunity to see some fantastic new writing being created in our region, and allow the writers to get feedback and let the audience to be a huge part of the development of these stories.

‘It was fantastic to see the readings from our Writers Studio Group. The group started working in November over 10 sessions including some fantastic guest workshops from Kamal Kaan, Vinay Patel, Karim Khan, Hannah Kumari and BBC Writers. We had 17 writers have their work performed by Bradford based actors with a huge mix of storytelling and ideas. I’m sure we will see future work from many of the writers involved!’ – Graeme Thompson (Creative Director at Freedom Studios)

Social Media Highlights

We shared a fantastic photo of St Peter’s House as part of #ThrowBackThursday, if you missed it, you can check it out here on Instagram or Facebook! Let us know when you think it was taken in the comments!

Who has been using our space

a group of dancers with their arms in the air inside an old building

This month we had Northern Rascals in our first floor dance studio to work on their piece ‘Reviving Her’ about what it is like to be a young woman in the North in today’s world. The piece is being created as part of Calderdale’s Year Of Culture and will be performed at Square Chapel Arts Centre between the 25th and 28th of July. The show will include elements of Dance, Theatre and Spoken Word with 6 female dancers – Flora, Fern, Sharol, Grace, Ella and Sophie. They are currently in week 5 of 13 and have been focusing on movement exploration and research while using our space.

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