ArtReach makes great art possible and accessible.

ArtReach is a not-for-profit, contemporary arts development agency, led by ArtReach (Trust) Ltd, that connects art with grass roots and diverse communities to forge creative engagement.

ArtReach – A Brief History

ArtReach began life in the late 1990’s as a sole trader “arts fundraising” business supporting the work of theatre director, David Hill. David established the company formally in response to being contracted to manage the capital project (£8.5 million) and direct the development of the new Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead which opened in 2000.

From a Maidenhead base, ArtReach successfully led development work on several major capital cultural projects, including The Peepul Centre in Leicester, the New Art Exchange and PRIMARY in Nottingham, the Cornerstone in Didcot and the Curzon Community Cinema heritage restoration in Clevedon, Somerset.

From 2004 ArtReach started to develop a strong reputation for Festival, event and public art delivery. ArtReach led the £2.5 million Three Cities Create and Connect project in the East Midlands, establishing its Leicester office base at LCB Depot. It commissioned international artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer to create the world-leading UnderScan installation, which ArtReach produced in six cities culminating in Trafalgar Square, London.

In 2010 ArtReach launched Night of Festivals, working initially in partnership with six Latin American Embassies in London. The Festival has now been delivered through fifteen Editions in seven different locations, including an iconic event at Tower Bridge, London, to mark the opening of the Rio Olympics. Night of Festivals was also part of the London 2012 Festival programme.

Journeys Festival International was initiated in Leicester in 2013 and is now delivered annually in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth. Since 2015 ArtReach has built extensive European cultural partnerships and led three major collaborative projects with organisations in Hamburg, Rome, Palermo, Budapest, Sofia and Sibiu. The company’s main base is now in Leicester.

In 2018 ArtReach was successful in applying to Creative Europe to lead a three year, pan-European, project called LIBERTY EU. LIBERTY EU is an exciting international arts programme exploring and celebrating freedom, led by ArtReach. Liberty EU is an ambitious and innovative creative response to current challenges facing the European Union. In 2018, ArtReach, the Lead Partner for the project, was the only UK organisation to receive funding on this scale from Creative Europe. They will be teaming up with eleven other arts organisations representing ten European countries from; Germany, Italy, Romania, Denmark, Serbia, France, Slovenia, Hungary and Belgium.

In 2020, in partnership with Leicester City Council and BID Leicester, ArtReach led event management and artistic programming for the incredibly successful Light Up Leicester event. Light up Leicester filled the city centre with interactive illuminations and received over 60,000 visitors over four days and is set to return in 2022.

Also, in 2020, in response to a shifting political climate in the UK and across Europe the long standing Night of Festivals was rebranded as Liberty UK Festival. Liberty UK is a pop-up festival exploring the themes of Freedom and Democracy, produced by ArtReach. Previously known as Night of Festivals which has a 10-year history of popping up in towns and cities across the UK celebrating themes of freedom and democracy from around the world. Liberty UK is inspired by ideas of Freedom; Democracy; Solidarity and Unity; and will bring a new approach to the values of celebrating ‘Freedom and Democracy’ for the new decade ahead.

2020 also witnessed the first ever fully digital version of Journeys Festival International, with the three cities of Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth combining programming and events into one online three week festival.

ArtReach is part of the Arts Council England NPO portfolio and has four key strands of activity:

Slide Slide Festival and Event Delivery Public Art Commissioning Consultancy Services Capital Project Development

Festival and Event Delivery

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ArtReach provides exemplary planning, direction and project management to support a range of cultural festival and event delivery. Its work includes projects for Local Authority, venue and cultural organisation clients, as well as a significant body of self-generated projects including Journeys Festival International, Liberty UK Festival (formerly known as Night of Festivals) and LIBERTY EU, a three year, European wide programme exploring transnational mobility with a focus on the positive impact of creative integration through art and culture. The company regularly undertakes work across the UK and internationally (including Germany, Italy, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Trinidad and India) and has been responsible for brands such as Dance in the Park, The Lyric Lounge, Three Cities Create and Connect, World Arts Platform and Dress the World.

ArtReach coordinates one-off projects, programmes of work, tours and major outdoor events. It works from small scale to significant commissions. ArtReach input includes identifying and recruiting artists and performers, designing content and format, fundraising and all aspects of delivery, project management, documentation and evaluation. ArtReach works with a trusted group of suppliers to provide technical and design support.

Featured Projects

Consultancy Services

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ArtReach has substantial experience of supporting cultural organisations in – visioning and strategic planning; business planning; fundraising activity (strategies and implementation); board development; personnel review; and wider development work. The organisation has successfully supported over 200 clients, working with theatre and performing arts venues, galleries, museums, arts centres, dance companies, musicians, visual artists and crafts people, carnival organisations, and festivals. It builds supportive, ongoing relationships through organisational development and fundraising work, enabling it to have a detailed understanding of client aspirations and needs.

Fundraising continues to be an important ingredient of the organisational development support provided by ArtReach. It has successfully delivered many Lottery applications (to all distributors) and has an excellent track record of securing funds through other public and statutory sources, Charitable Trusts and Foundations, and the European Union (ESF, ERDF, Culture Programme and INTERREG). ArtReach has also secured other forms of private philanthropy and corporate support for cultural projects.

For an informal discussion about your consultancy requirements contact Joanna Dacombe, Arts and Heritage Consultant, by email or call 0116 261 6882.

Featured Projects

ArtReach has initiated, commissioned, developed and produced many public art projects, including integrated work within building developments, stand-alone discreet work in the public realm, and temporary initiatives within festivals and events.

Whether it is an ArtReach led project or work on behalf of a client, the company’s role is often to develop Artist Briefs, identify and recruit artists, arrange contracts, manage/project manage delivery and to ensure adequate maintenance or deconstruction provision.

Between 2006 and 2009 ArtReach commissioned the first major UK work from Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, producing the £1,000,000 initiative, Under Scan, for the public realm in several high profile urban squares, including Trafalgar Square. As part of its own Night of Festivals event, ArtReach has commissioned artists such as Michael Nyman (Cine-Opera), Dom Coyote (Folk in a Box), Laura Belem (Night of St John), Atis Rezistans (Queen Erzulie), Alinah Azadeh (Freedom Square), Petra Kilian, Lea Rasovsky, Squirl Art and Golden Green; creating an exciting range of temporary work, sometimes with a permanent legacy.

Currently ArtReach is contracted by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to develop public art works in 3 new transport interchanges.

Featured Projects

Capital Project Development

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ArtReach has supported the successful development of many new capital projects as well as assisting with refurbishment and restoration. The company project directed the development of a major new arts centre in Maidenhead, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, and was Lead Business Consultant for development work on The Cornerstone (Didcot), The Peepul Centre (Leicester) and the New Art Exchange (Nottingham). As Lead Business Consultant ArtReach provides vision development, strategic and business planning and fundraising. ArtReach also leads Feasibility Studies, often providing procurement and management of design team members and cost consultants.

ArtReach has led on the Heritage Lottery funded restoration of the Curzon Community Cinema in Clevedon (North Somerset) and the development and delivery of PRIMARY (artist studios) in Nottingham. The company is currently working with the Ulcheldre Centre in Holyhead on an ambitious Centre extension and with Norden Farm as it builds on its success with an exciting new extension design by Andrzej Blonski. 

Featured Projects

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ArtReach has been invaluable in providing strategic fundraising support to enhance our 50th Anniversary programme in Barking and Dagenham in 2015. As the icing on the cake they delivered a high quality two day event in July, Night of Festivals, which also facilitated many opportunities for local people to participate and engage in advance. We expect to work with ArtReach again.

Paul Hogan Divisional Director Culture and Sport, Adults & Community Services


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