About Us

What we do

Creativity is a human right...

The need for creativity is lifelong and universal. Being creative makes people happier, healthier, empowered and more equal. It brings people together and it changes lives. Since 1977, we have helped communities and artists to create and explore art of all kinds – from music to writing, from drawing to dance. We aim to give everyone the chance to be creative, regardless of who they are or where they’re from.

City Arts is a charity. We rely on donations, public funding and income from our small venue in Hockley, where we host music, comedy, film and poetry events as well as hands-on workshops and exhibitions. All our income goes into running our programme of arts activity – some of it for the general public, some for particular groups like care home residents or vulnerable young people.

Our Values

In all its work, City Arts tries to enact to the values implied by a rights-based approach to cultural participation. Specifically, we expect our work to be:

  • Creative – because we make new art from today’s ideas and interests
  • Respectful – because everyone has the same right to participate in culture
  • Empowering – because making art is a way to learn, grow and be stronger
  • Ambitious – because everyone wants to achieve the best they can
  • Trustworthy – because our work depends on mutual confidence
  • Enjoyable – because if art doesn’t bring pleasure it’s no use to anyone

These values – CREATE – shape every aspect of our work. They are the foundation against which we assess our performance. They are the values by which we hope others will judge our work.

Programme Areas

We divide our work into the following areas. Click to find out more.

Every project ends in a showcase, whether it’s a parade in Market Square, a public exhibition, a sharing afternoon in a care home or an online event. But we believe the most important thing isn’t what you make, it’s how you make it. With our help, people from all backgrounds, with all kinds of lives, get a chance to explore new ideas, learn new skills and express themselves creatively.