We know that changing the name of our organisation is a big step and that people may have questions about it. You can read more about why we have chosen Bradford Arts Centre and the consultation process we have been through here:
- When will you become Bradford Arts Centre?
We will become Bradford Arts Centre in 2025.
- Why are you changing your name?
It is an exciting time for our organisation – we are about to begin a major redevelopment of our building, to not only create more space but make us fully physically accessible to everyone. However we are aware that for many people our name is also a barrier – there is confusion about what we do and who we are for. When we reopen in 2025 with a bigger, more accessible and welcoming space we want to do so with a name that is welcoming and accessible to everyone.
You can read more about why we embarked on a consultation process to look at our whole brand and name here.
- How was the new name chosen?
In August 2022, following an open competitive recruitment process, we appointed Bradford based design agency Out Of Place to deliver the consultation and rebrand work. They engaged with 100s of people across Bradford and beyond with a survey and series of focus groups to find out more about what people think about our brand, our name and or work.
Through that consultation work, one name, Bradford Arts Centre, was mentioned time and time again. It was suggested by groups from many different heritages and faiths, including South Asian communities, as a name they felt would include them and not exclude others.
Out Of Place presented their findings and recommendation for the new name, to our board in April 2023 and our trustees (with the support of the staff team), voted unanimously that Bradford Arts Centre should be our new name.
You can read the full report from Out Of Place here.
- Who was involved in the consultation process?
As well as putting out a public survey, Out of Place spoke to many people from many different backgrounds in their focus groups, including Kala Sangam founder, Dr Geetha Upadhyaya OBE, Community groups from across Bradford and local and nationally based artists (including those working in Indian Classical artforms). You can find a full list and details of the focus groups on pg.7 of Out of Place’s report.
We also kept our major funders Arts Council England and Bradford Metropolitan District Council informed throughout the process. Our intention to change our name was written into our successful Arts Council England National Portfolio Application.
- Why has the name changed from Sanskrit to English?
Kala Sangam has a beautiful meaning (Arts and a Meeting Point or Confluence) that does reflect our delivery, but Out of Place’s consultation has evidenced that for some people, including those from the majority of Bradford’s South Asian communities, it is a barrier. We have always been an organisation that is open to everyone, regardless of heritage or faith, but our name has lead some people to believe that we are only for particular groups, and not for them. By changing our name to Bradford Arts Centre, we hope to better represent and engage ALL Bradford’s communities.
We recognise that moving to an English name raises legitimate questions about whitewashing. We are committed to continuing in our work to amplify South Asian voices, allowing important, sometimes uncomfortable conversations about race and faith to take place and supporting South Asian artists to create and share authentic work based on their own lived experiences.
- Is your programme going to change?
We will continue to programme work that fits with our programme strands (South Asian Now, This is Bradford and British Diversity) as we have done since 2017. When we reopen as Bradford Arts Centre, we will be able to present more work than ever before.
Our commitment to supporting the development of South Asian Artists and Artforms remains at the core of what we do and later this year we will be announcing our largest ever commission – specifically focussed on Indian Classical performance.
We think our programmes and annual reviews demonstrate clearly our recent work to support and develop South Asian artists and artforms we are looking forward to continuing this work as Bradford Arts Centre.
- How can I share my thoughts about the new name?
We are committed to having an open, honest dialogue with people around this process so you can email BradfordArtsCentre@kalasangam.org to ask us any questions about our name change. We are making this change to include people rather than exclude, so your thoughts, particularly about our future visual identity, will be welcomed.
- How can I be involved with further consultation about the branding?
Out Of Place will be running a series of focus groups and feedback sessions to help develop our new logo and branding. If you would like to be involved with this process please email BradfordArtsCentre@kalasangam.org