Oriental Arts is a social enterprise that promotes and provides artistic programming of South Asian and multi-cultural arts in the form of music, dance, drama and visual arts.

To those who know about Oriental Arts they associate the organisation with promoting South Asian Arts activities since 1976, and then the Bradford Festival in 1987 followed by the ‘Mela’ in 1988. The organisation’s vision is, “to become the leading provider of popular South Asian and multi-cultural arts primarily in the North of England, national and international”.

Founded as an association in 1976, Oriental Arts become a Company Limited by
Guarantee in 1994 as well as a registered as a charity. The organisation provides the following services:
a. Educational activities
b. Delivery of community events
c. Consultancy work
d. Strategic touring programming
e. Booking agency (for artists) for private entertainment and event management.
f. Programming of Melas

In the past, Oriental Arts has successfully delivered the programming of Bradford Mela and this is one of its key services that earn a reputation for the organisation. The discontinuation of the programming of Bradford Mela by Oriental Arts meant that the organisation has to re-position itself in the market to regain its competitive edge.

This can be achieved by concentrating its effort more on Promotion and Artistic
Programming as its core services. Through promotion and artistic programming, the above services can still be included as a sub-set of its core services. This means that Oriental Arts’ function in any event will be mainly as project manager or facilitator rather than as a deliverer. However, it could still take part in the delivery should it wish to.

Oriental Arts takes pride itself to be the:
– oldest arts organisation in West Yorkshire.
– only one of the two South Asian arts organisations in Bradford.
– only organisation in West Yorkshire that attracts renowned artists from the Bollywood, Bhangra, classical and folk music events, locally, nationally and internationally.

Oriental Arts was also successful in attracting over £118,000 funding from the Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme to produce and put on tour a stunning new show exploring the connections between Britain and Gujarat. This project is called “India’s Gateway” and it runs for three years from 1 June 2014 – 1 June 2017.

The next three years will be something to look forward to for Oriental Arts as it embarks on its 40th year anniversary. This is going to be the main highlight of its activities in 2016. This celebration also coincides with the 40th year anniversary of Race Relations Acts. The plan is to stage various cultural shows that bring together the different communities, discover untapped talents from dis-engaged communities and create new form of arts from a fusion of various forms e.g. music combined with visual arts or dance.

Oriental Arts also plans to carry out a detailed audience development and market needs analysis to fully understand the needs of the audience that will inform its services in future and help discover the un-tapped talents from the dis-engaged communities. It also wishes to explore further partnership with Bradford Theatre and the like. This partnership promises new avenues to provide audience with unique experience and help Bradford to be a ‘leading cultural city for 2014 to 2024’.

The ability of Oriental Arts to deliver all its exciting plans relies heavily on the
Availability of funding from various sources. The main threat to its sustainability is its inability to secure the three year funding from Bradford City Council to leverage existing and future funding. If unsuccessful with its bid, Oriental Arts may still survive. However, it will surely be limited to what it can do to the community.
The organisation is still in transition from being grant reliant to becoming a fully pledge social enterprise. Albeit its determination to income generate, its capacity is still limiting its scope. Nonetheless, the talent, passion and commitment of the Artistic Director combined with the organisation’s uncontested track record are putting Oriental Arts at the top of the list against its competitors.

How can we help you?

We are Bradford's South Asian Arts event specialist and our services include event consultancy, event promotion and artistic programming. Please call 07769 830476 or drop us a line with any questions you may have.