Kala Sangam announces name change to Bradford Arts Centre. 

From January 2025, the company will be known as Bradford Arts Centre. This follows an extensive public consultation over recent months,

The consultation was completed by Out of Place, a Bradford-based design agency. Their research used both questionnaires and focus groups. They went to community centres, temples and schools. The consultation collected feedback from people of all ages, backgrounds and faiths.

The name Bradford Arts Centre was suggested at nearly every consultation session. People felt this name would be easy to understand and inclusive. They also said the name would be representative of the company’s location and programme. There was a strong sense of pride in Bradford that participants wanted to be reflected in the name.

The company will start redevelopment of its city centre venue later this year. This means the name will change when the venue reopens in 2025, (as part of Bradford’s celebrations as UK City of Culture).

Kala Sangam Chair Jas Athwal DL said: ‘I want to thank the hundreds of people who took the time to complete a questionnaire or join a focus group to help us choose our new name. Many of Bradford’s people are proud of our city and all the communities and faiths that call it home.  

People from every group told us that the name Bradford Arts Centre would include them and not exclude others. I’m delighted to say our staff team and board agree with them.  I’m already looking forward to welcoming everyone to Bradford Arts Centre for an incredible year of culture in 2025.’

The company name is changing but the focus on art and artists of South Asian heritage remains. The company has steadily increased the number and variety of artists they support. South Asian artists and artforms consistently enjoy this support and are a key part of future programming plans.

To celebrate Kala Sangam’s 30th birthday in autumn, the company will launch its largest ever commission. The commission will be specifically for Classical Indian performance.  

Kala Sangam Trustee Rashmi Sudhir said: ‘Over the last 30 years Kala Sangam has played a critical role in supporting the development of South Asian art forms. This love for and focus on South Asian arts will continue as Bradford Arts Centre. I can’t wait to share beautiful artforms like Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Qawwali with a wider audience when we reopen..’

 The company has published Out of Place’s report on the recommended name change along with  a detailed statement on its website.

Kala Sangam Creative Director Alex Croft said: ‘It was consistent feedback from many local people that prompted us to start a consultation on our name. We wanted to make that consultation as open as we could and share what people said to us. So please do take a look at the report on our website.

We’d love people to get in touch to share their thoughts on the new name.  We’d also like people to help us create the look and feel of our new brand. Anyone can email with feedback or to get involved at bradfordartscente@kalasangam.org.

Kala Sangam will mark the organisation’s 30th anniversary this autumn, with a series of events reflecting their history. It’s expected that building work will begin in January 2024.  

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