Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture2018-02-27T11:33:09+00:00

Luton is a town of rich arts, culture and heritage. Through our festivals, International Carnival, a thriving arts programme and impactful community arts projects, we celebrate the diversity of our town and bring people together.

Luton has a robust arts strategy that has been endorsed at the most senior levels of the local authority. Harnessing Momentum: A Strategic Vision for the Arts, Culture and Creative Industries is a vision that builds on the strengths of the local cultural scene. This strategy, developed through consultation with the people of Luton, will help celebrate and develop Luton’s prosperous, inclusive and cohesive community.

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Luton Creative Forum

The Luton Creative Forum is a network of artists and arts workers established to enable collaboration and advocacy. They meet quarterly at the UK Centre for Carnival Arts to discuss current issues in the arts both locally and nationally. Previous topics have included European Funding for the Arts , and Sharing Audiences & Communication Channels. The Forum is open to anyone engaged or interested in the arts, arts education, community arts or the creative industries. To join or find out more email Michaela Nutt at Michaela.nutt@luton.gov.uk

Luton Arts Fund

The Luton Arts Fund enables artists and arts organisations to be ambitious, creative and imaginative in the delivery of projects that help achieve Harnessing Momentum.

The Luton Arts Fund has been generated through contributions from five partner organisations (Arts Council England, Luton Borough Council, Luton Culture, University of Bedfordshire and Capital & Regional) and is open to a wide range of project activity. It comprises a sum of £50,000 per annum available for both new and enhanced activity in the period 2017-2019 inclusive, leading to a short, “pilot” Year of Culture programme in 2019.

The Fund is open to any arts organisation (excepting the partner contributors), artist or collective of artists, that is proposing arts activity for delivery within the Luton Borough Council area. For more information please visit the Luton Arts Fund webpage or contact Michaela Nutt at Michaela.nutt@luton.gov.uk

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Imagine Luton is Luton’s outdoor arts festival. In 2017 Imagine Luton supported Luton’s Next Generation Youth Theatre to co-create a dance project with young people about what happens when our connections are not just digital, but human.
Image credit: Aleksandra Warchol

Arts Council England Investment in Luton

Luton has attracted over 2.5 million pounds of investment from Arts Council England since 2013 through two main programmes:

  • The Luton Investment Programme aims to enhance the arts and cultural infrastructure of Luton and ensure the town has a cultural offer with something for everyone. Partner organisations Luton Borough Council, Luton Culture, the University of Bedfordshire and Watford Palace Theatre deliver the four strands of activity: Harnessing Momentum, As You Change So Do I, TestBeds and Imagine Luton.
  • Revoluton Arts is Luton’s Creative People and Places project, a national programme that aims to engage England’s hard-to-reach audiences. Revoluton have enabled people in Luton to come together in the town centre, in local parks and in community centres to celebrate our diversity and showcase our town.

The Creative Industries and The Hat District

The Hat District is Luton Culture’s plan to refurbish three heritage sites in Luton’s Cultural Quarter to create a hub for the creative industries in Luton. The Creative Industries are the UK’s fastest growing industry, growing at a rate double of that of the rest of the economy, so organisations and partners in Luton are working to attract creative businesses to Luton, support local entrepreneurs to grow their business and help young people develop their skills and employability through creative subjects.