Helping The Arts Thrive In Yorkshire


Four organisations in Yorkshire have come together to bring arts and culture to their members after becoming creative consortium Here to Thrive 12 months ago.

Here to Thrive is a collaboration between Fabric, Chol Theatre, BalbirSingh Dance Company and South Asian Arts UK (SAA-uk) set up with funding from the Arts Council of England.

The collaborative working provides an opportunity for shared learning and support for staff and volunteers at the four arts charities as well as a platform to discuss how charitable income can be attracted from new sources.

These sources include philanthropy, corporate sponsorship and individual giving, and Here to Thrive has set an ambitious fundraising target of £250,000 over the next three years.

Here to Thrive is benefiting from the Arts Council England’s Catalyst Arts funding scheme, having received a £141,000 grant to help consolidate current funding and combine resources.

Over the past 12 months the members of the consortium have helped over 1000 children in community projects plus another 1556 young people in schools access its programmes and it has just held an event to showcase its skills, including supporting artists to develop, helping young people understand their heritage and inspiring people to join the arts community.

One of these people is Om Dey from Leeds.

Seven-year-old Om was born prematurely resulting in delays to his cognitive learning, communication and social skills, concentration and motor development.

His parents Biman and Suma were keen for Om to engage in an activity outside of school to help bring on his development, and they chose South Asian Arts UK.

Om has now been learning the tabla at SAA-uk’s Sunday Music Academy for the past few years and has made noticeable progress. His schoolteachers have also noticed positive changes in Om’s memory retention, social interactions and communication skills.

Biman Dey commented: “As parents, we are very pleased to have enrolled Om at the music academy.

“Om clearly enjoys the challenge that is provided for him and the style of teaching and his progress shows how the different disciplines of art and music can open up new possibilities for everyone.”

Here to Thrive’s March event saw the premiere of a film about the consortium, talks from representatives from each charity and the opportunity to meet others who have benefitted from the programmes offered by each of the four charities.

Keranjeet Kaur Virdee, CEO of Leeds based SAA-UK added: “We are excited to be fundraising in this new way. Demand for our work is increasing so we really appreciate the support we have had from individuals and businesses.

“Our audience is also expanding and they expect to see the best musicians and dancers, most of whom have trained through our academies. We can only continue to run these schemes if we raise an additional £50,000.

“We want to continue to welcome philanthropists and business leaders to help us to preserve traditional South Asian music and dance and bring them to new audiences in a contemporary way.”


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