thank you, Common Wealth and 154 Collective

Thank you for being an exemplary couple of leaders

A successful consortium is a well-oiled machine made of complex and unique parts, a bit like a car. The engine needs oil to get started, the battery requires connection and the pedals and steering wheel demand a driver. Or else the car doesn’t start.

Creating a new arts project to support the live arts sector in Bradford was a mammoth project akin to building a car. And only possible thanks to the hard work and expertise of the Consortium: Theatre in the Mill, Mind the Gap, Kala Sangam, 154 Collective, Common Wealth and Displace Yourself Theatre – all essential components of this flourishing project of making live art in Bradford.

154 Collective and Common Wealth leave the Consortium after two years of incredible dedication, resilience and perseverance: fine-tuning this complex machine that connects artists with financial support, training that leads to professional work, and well-resourced opportunities to create live art for our audiences. We simply couldn’t have jump-started it without you. Thank you very much.

Common Wealth and 154 Collective were essential supporters of BPH long before we became a live project. At the time, we were an exciting idea that started in September 2018, born from a desire for Bradford arts organisations to work together more closely, and grew into an Arts Council England funding application. In June 2019, we found out we were successful, and since October 2019, Lisa Mallaghan has been in the driving seat, motored by the Consortium. Right from the start, Common Wealth and 154 Collective committed whole heartedly to the ethos of the project, including transparency, bravery and generosity – supporting the growth of the sector with very little individual gain and managing to be active Consortium members while also producing and touring their work across the UK.

Thanks to Common Wealth, we were able to apply to the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency to fund Culture 101 – a new development programme for ethnically diverse women in Bradford. A fabulous project that is now connecting women to jobs in Bradford. Furthermore, CommonWealth has been instrumental with their advice, guidance and, perhaps more importantly, sharing skills with our artists through Extracurricular sessions on Creative Development and the Art of Finance, and providing space for research and development projects.

154 Collective has been a constant critical friend and supporter of BPH in the many meetings where decisions were made about this project’s direction, always ensuring that freelancers needs came first and foremost. They opened the door for new possibilities, gave lifts to many artists, and supported our Transforming Spaces Fund that has nourished several new live arts spaces to grow and prosper.

From the team at BPH and Consortium, thank you, Common Wealth and 154 Collective. Thank you for loaning equipment to creatives whenever it was needed. Thank you for mentoring artists and businesses. Thank you for being a helping hand, a sounding board and an exemplary couple of leaders. This new car couldn’t have gone this many miles without you!

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