The Peepul Center situated on Orchardson Avenue in Belgrave is set to open its doors again this year as a community arts and culture hub, following its use as a COVID vaccine center during the pandemic.
‘Peepul Culture’ is the new rejuvenated programming system that the Peepul center will use, in which it encompasses the variety of arts, culture and social activities that are provided at the center. Central to the ethos of Peepul Culture is to provide a dedicated platform to promote emerging and recently established artists to showcase their art and creative ideas.
Gurdeep Sian, also known as “G.Sian” has been appointed as the Cultural programmer, and is the creator of Peepul Culture. His role entails conceiving a unique arts and culture proposition, to give a platform which supports the development of local unrepresented artists and makers.
LeicestershireLive spoke to Gurdeep about his thoughts on the transition that the Peepul center is set to take in upcoming months as well as some of the events that the people of Leicester have to look forward to.
“It has been wonderful to be a place that provides vaccinations and support for the community. It’s raised the Peepul center’s profile, people are more aware of the building which is helpful. It’s really beautiful that people have become more aware of this institution situated in quite an inherently Indian-dominated community. ” There will still be vaccination blocks within the building, but the Peepul center will be a continuation of a place that serves the community. ”
Gurdeep expressed his desire for all voices to be heard, with a variety of topics being covered. He also shared that his role is to facilitate the production of culture in meaningful ways.
“My focus is the arts and the arts ecology. I want to support artists who may not have had the opportunity or platform to showcase their talents. I’ve mentored loads of artists over the years, both at an amateur and professional level. I am very aware of the devaluation of arts and culture activity. The arts have always been the poor relations of society. My principle is to raise the value of the arts. ”
“I want the Peepul center to not just be known as a hub of activity in the conventional sense, but I want the Peepul center to be understood and become known as a place where culture is facilitated in all its possibilities. So it won’t just be about presenting art work, it’s also about facilitating important cultural conversations and supporting the careers of technicians, mediators and creatives. ”
G.Sian has proposed an open call in which previously first-time public exhibitors can showcase their un-exhibited work under the conditions that they are relevant to the public and communities of Leicester; South-Asian subcontinent and its diaspora culture and global dynamics and futures. Gurdeep has already onboarded local students.
Residents in Leicester can look forward to a series of events that will begin in August. Artists that respond to the open call will actually get to inform how the whole program is run.
He said: “This is the first time we are doing something like this. The program that I’m running will demonstrate the culture and arts of the city. There will be a direct reflection of the Belgrave and St. Matthews area. Although it may appear to be operating from a South Asian perspective because of my own background, we aren’t focused on just Asian culture, but we want to cover all cultures in the city. ”
“We will be continuing with our Bollywood karaoke weekly, there will be some plays coming out later this year. A pantomime will take place during the winter season, as well as events for Diwali ”.
Further information about the Open Call criteria and submission process can be found on the Peepul Center website – https://peepulenterprise.com/theatre-arts/peepul-culture-open-call/