Autumn attractions for all in arts centre’s 25th year

A family rave, punk cabaret and a jaw dropping textiles installation are just some of the highlights of a very special autumn programme from a Leicester arts centre.

Attenborough Arts Centre, which is based at the University of Leicester, is putting on an eclectic series of events during its silver anniversary year.

The centre, in Lancaster Road, has been a hotbed of cultural delights since the building was opened by Richard Attenborough and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.

Its new autumn programme caters for all sections of the community, which is in keeping with the centre’s ethos, which was summed up by Richard Attenborough. Speaking at the centre’s opening in 1997, the lifelong champion of arts and social justice who campaigned to make culture accessible to everyone, said: “Art is not an elitist gift for a few select people. Art is for everyone.”

Attenborough Arts Centre Director, Andrew Fletcher, said: “We have a proud reputation of producing and presenting the very best contemporary artists’ work, alongside opportunities for people to actively participate and get creative themselves.

“One of our core aims is to use art to break down barriers, by giving platforms to those who are not heard, who are not represented, and who are overlooked, enabling them to tell their stories.

“Around 100,000 visitors make their way to the centre, every year, and we are keen to throw our doors open wider than ever before, by welcoming even more people to events taking place in our 25th anniversary year.”

Highlights of the autumn season include Not Your Circus Dog Collective, pictured, who present a punk cabaret from unapologetic learning disabled and neurodivergent performers on 16 September 2022.

Serendipity Institute of Black Arts and Heritage will launch Leicester’s Black History Month 2022 programme at Attenborough Arts Centre on 1 October 2022 with an exciting lineup of artists working across different artforms including music, textile art, poetry and dance.

Acclaimed visual artist Mohammad Barrangi will present an exhibition which invites visitors into an imaginative, fantastical and colourful world with a series of never-seen-before works inspired by Persian calligraphy, from 29 October 2022. Letty McHugh will also present a jaw-dropping textiles installation from 8 October 2022. Both exhibitions are free.

Local favourites, Leicester-based theatre company Enter Edem, bring their family shows Fanfunia Stories on 25 September and 11 December 2022 – presenting magical puppetry worlds inspired by Icelandic folklore and fairy mythology. Attenborough Arts Centre’s ever-popular family programme kicks off on 4 September 2022 with a Pride Family Rave which will feature multi-sensory play, disco lighting and thematic projections. Meanwhile, the Centre’s ever-popular Craft Fair returns on Saturday 29 October 2022, featuring many local artists.

In addition to performances, events and art installations, Attenborough Arts Centre runs extensive Learning programmes for people of all ages which recorded over 20,000 attendances last year. This includes regular free weekend activities for families and a wide-ranging Creative Courses programme where people can learn or further develop their artistic skills with everything from pottery to creative writing to Tango. There is also a popular events and activities programme for students, alongside programmes which bring artists together with academics and researchers from the University of Leicester to forge innovative new collaborations which promote and amplify the world-leading research taking place in the city.

Visit the website for more details.