On the 15th August, Artcore, Derby’s foremost Arts charity proudly opened their new City Centre venue to a group of invited guests, including the Mayor of Derby.
Artcore describes itself as:
“… a visual arts charity with a group of professional artists working within communities locally, nationally and internationally. We endeavour to operate as a culture hub; fuelling active engagement for a diverse range of communities in Derby, East midlands and beyond.”
It was set up 10 years ago, in Derby, by co-Directors, Ruchita and Zahir Shaikh. Their work was started in 1995, in India, by Zahir as a contemporary art gallery and craft space; they then decided to move to the UK, originally working in London before coming to Derby.
The uniqueness of Artcore is that it works in many ways, on different levels, in a range of projects. Whether it be residencies with established artists, or with new talent, or using the medium of Art to support vulnerable people in the community – the options and dimensions seem endless.
Ruchita Shaikh summed up the spirit of Artcore, and the event yesterday:
“What makes the difference is celebrating togetherness in Derby ….it’s great to be together and to share something that we have in common, and our tagline is “Together we stand”.”
But the principal, eye-catching purpose of the event was the opening and introduction of their new Arts space. The old Laura Ashley shop on Albert Street / Osnabruck Square has been transformed into a contemporary interior which will provide space for galleries, art for sale, meetings, social gatherings in the cafe, and creative workshops….and more.
The question was asked of the Directors, what the arrangement was with the building, a long term lease, or other arrangement?
Ruchita proudly explained:
“We’ve actually challenged ourselves, and gone ahead….and Artcore’s bought this building. So this is ours…and we’re not going anywhere. It’s a space for local artists, a space for local makers”
This was met by a spontaneous round of applause.
There is more they want to do to make the building more accessible, and more energy efficient but this is “the start of the journey”
Anyone who works in the community/arts/ charity sector within the inner City will know Artcore very well. They are constantly innovating with their projects, looking for opportunities to bring communities together, and supporting different groups of people. They use Art, progressively, in these contexts and not just as a medium for it’s own sake.
Derby is lucky that when Ruchita and Zahir chose to leave India, they decided to make Derby their home and work tirelessly for this City.
Categories: Charity issues