Peterborough Presents

An exciting arts project in a fast-growing city
Audiences at Peterborough Arts Festival
Audiences at Peterborough Arts Festival
Photo: Dan Donovan
Artist’s surgeries with East Street Arts
Artist’s surgeries with East Street Arts
Photo: Metal
 Level by Steve Messam. An interactive installation as part of the Key Theatre Secret Circus
Level by Steve Messam. An interactive installation as part of the Key Theatre Secret Circus
Photo: Steve Messam

Where: Peterborough  
With: Vivacity – Peterborough Culture and Leisure, Creative Peterborough, Metal, Ignite, Step Up, Voluntary Arts England

Peterborough Presents is a consortium of local artists, arts organisations and communities working together to create great art in our city.  By great, we mean art that is new, diverse and, most importantly, relevant to local residents. Peterborough is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities with a youthful and diverse population, 35% are under 25 years old and 25% come from outside the UK.

As well as building audiences, Peterborough Presents will help develop artists through a dedicated programme of support, training and networking. This includes practical help, professional and marketing skills training, go-sees and one-to-one mentoring sessions.

Young artists, aged 16-25, are encouraged to get involved with a specially formed network called Emerge. Network members commission and promote activities for their age group, specifically looking at how the city’s existing arts venues can support emerging artists and reach young audiences. Over the course of the programme up to 12 network members will have the opportunity to undertake a six month paid internship.

Partnerships and networks are crucial to Peterborough Presents’ goal of bringing together different communities and creating an exciting arts programme. The Community Bridgebuilders network works with a range of organisations including the Peterborough Diwali Committee, Peterborough Pakistani Association and the Italian Community Art Project to help residents create and commission artistic activities for themselves. Arts ‘advocates’ are being recruited from local businesses, media and political groups too, while a Cultural Producers Forum encourages networking between arts organisations and professional and amateur artists.

Highlights of the project so far include the Music Takeover – a unique day of performances all around the city and featuring choirs, orchestras, bands and soloists. Thirteen cafes hosted lunchtime performances and a city nightclub even ran special Baby Loves Disco and Pop Lock events providing a rare chance for families to party together.