Gulbenkian is the University of Kent’s Arts Centre offering innovative, engaging and high quality arts activity for the public, staff and students. It provides a key role in delivering the University commitment to public engagement and has a particular focus on the creative empowerment of children and young people.
Gulbenkian will work with a range of creative partners to become a leading 21st Century international arts centre offering an engaging, innovative and high quality arts programme. We will act as a catalyst developing and curating ideas, spaces and emerging talent. The empowerment of children and young people will be at the core of our activity.
Gulbenkian houses a 340 seat theatre, 300 seat cinema and a café which incorporates an informal cabaret style space for live music, comedy and slam poetry. We programme over 1,000 events including music, comedy, theatre, dance and film per year, enjoyed by more than 100,000 people. The arts centre attracts a range of conferences and events to Kent such as BBC Question Time.
Our work with young people includes the Gulbenkian Youth Theatre with over 100 members aged 5-18 years and Gulbenkian Youth Dance Company, run in partnership with Jasmin Vardimon Company. We are also home to ART31, a cultural leadership project, led by young people, TECH31 , SCREEN31 and TECH(Y)31 plus Kent’s international family festival – bOing!
A range of companies and artists are based with us including Artswork (South East Bridge), Confidance, Animate Arts Company and the Three Half Pints.
In April 2015 we became an Arts Council of England National Portfolio Organisation in recognition of our developing role as a pioneer in the creative empowerment and engagement of children and young people.
The University of Kent as the “UK’s European University”, provides invaluable access to Europe through our campuses in Paris, Brussels, Rome and Athens. Our international outlook and the expertise of international colleagues helps to inform our work and develop best practices through initiatives like ART31 and the bOing! International Family Festival.