Bedford Creative Arts (BCA)
Bedford Creative Arts is a contemporary arts charity, delivering a programme of artist commissions and residencies, events projects and workshops for a wide audience. Although it has had a presence in the town since 1985 it was officially launched as a charity in 2004.
The Harpur Trust funds arts organisations like BCA when it’s clear that they are using the arts to educate, involve and inspire a broad cross section of our community. BCA‘s work to date demonstrates that inclusivity is at the heart of the organisation; with many of their projects reaching out to Bedfordians who feel isolated and left out. A prime example of this was the appropriately named #Bedford Voices, which invited local charities and community groups to work with artists, cartoonists and an advertising agency to create billboards with hard hitting messages. Dawn Giles, dynamic CEO of BCA said “We wanted to give a voice to some of the different communities in Bedford who may not always be heard” . The results from participants like Bedford and District Palsy Society were striking and thought provoking.
BCA have received a number of grants from the Harpur Trust for their education and outreach work over recent years, most recently for the Culture Challenge. This initiative saw the group develop a network linking schools and other organisations working with young people with artists, poets, dancers and drama professionals to ensure all children in the Borough have access to the high quality arts provision available on their doorstep. The group received an award of £6,500 for this work in 2014.
Like many of the groups who successfully apply to the Harpur Trust BCA collaborate with a large number of other projects. Dawn and her Trustees have also been enthusiastic participants in our Cranfield leadership programme.