Inspiring art project to celebrate Leicester’s Indian heritage

Posted by ap507 at Jul 29, 2015 11:25 AM |
University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre receives Arts Council grant as part of ‘Re:Imagine India’ programme

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 29 July 2015

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The University of Leicester has received a grant for its involvement in a new project to promote cultural exchange between visual artists in India and England through a programme of artist residencies.

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre, in partnership with seven visual arts venues across Leicester, has been awarded an Arts Council grant of £25,700, as part of the ‘Re:Imagine India’ programme.

The project will bring cutting-edge Indian contemporary artists to the UK to create new art celebrating Leicester’s Indian heritage while inspiring young people, challenging stereotypes and fostering inter-cultural awareness across Leicester’s diverse communities.

The residencies, and work produced, will strengthen the city’s visual art sector and will open up the art to new audiences.

Michaela Butter MBE, Director of the Attenborough Arts Centre, said: “With our new galleries opening to the public this autumn, this funding provides us with an exciting opportunity to develop international links and foster discussion and debate between our partners in Leicester and India.

“The Attenborough Arts Centre wants to be a dynamic, creative hub brokering opportunities for inter-cultural dialogue between artists and local communities.  This money will help us to identify exciting talent both here and in India with whom we can work to build longer term partnerships and projects.”

‘Re:Imagine India’ runs in partnership with the British Council, encouraging English artists to work with artists in India in order to exchange ideas, develop partnerships abroad, and export their work.

The first part of the project involves a research trip to India in spring 2016, where artists will be selected to take part in the programme of residencies in Leicester. At a second stage, the project will showcase new work in 2017, marking the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said:  “Britain’s arts and creativity are a vital part of our influence across the world, and are an increasingly important export. These awards will help organisations of all sizes, and from across the country, to collaborate with artists from abroad, develop new performances, take on global influences and attract new audiences, especially from south Asian communities.”

The project partners the University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre with seven Leicester visual arts venues, including Leicester Print Workshop, Phoenix, Leicester Arts and Museum Service, Two Queens, Soft Touch, De Montfort University and Peepul Centre.

Attenborough Arts Centre’s new gallery, due to open in autumn this year, will look to exhibit work produced during the ‘Re:Imagine India’ project.

The £1.5 million new gallery, funded by Arts Council England and over 1,000 individual donations raised by the University of Leicester, is still accepting donations through its Breaking Barriers Appeal.

The public is invited to support the award-winning work of the Centre by contributing to The Breaking Barriers Appeal, which will ensure ongoing opportunities for even more people and help fulfil Richard Attenborough’s original vision to improve access to the arts for all.

For more information about how to donate, please contact Ave Vinick at or make a gift on line at:


Notes to Editors:

Further details are available from Patricia Bennett at email:

Attenborough Arts Centre

The University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre prides itself on being accessible and inclusive; a pioneering arts centre designed to include everyone. With over 18 years of experience, it offers a programme of courses and workshops, contemporary art, performances and events; championing emerging talent and disability-led performance companies. Its welcoming building provides outstanding access and has received multiple awards and grants.

This autumn Attenborough Arts Centre will open a brand new gallery, dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary British and international art. Doubling the size of our existing building, the new £1.5 million capital project will be the largest contemporary art gallery in Leicester and one of the largest in the East Midlands area. The new gallery has been funded by Arts Council England, University of Leicester and over 1,000 public donations.

Attenborough Arts Centre, Lancaster Road, Leicester LE1 7HA. Box office: 0116 252 2455; e-mail:

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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