THE University of Bradford has been awarded a grant of almost £50,000 by the Arts Council to organise a series of exhibitions, commissions and art projects over the next 18 months.

The ambitious programme marks the university's 50th anniversary, and will pull together the existing strands of music and visual arts produced there.

The first event, starting next month, looks at the counter-culture activity that has taken place at the university over the past five decades.

Held at Gallery II, the exhibition, titled Subveillance will include looks at the student newspaper Javelin, and the work of Skinning the Cat, an all-female aerial trapeze group started by Bradford College student Becky Truman. The group was championed by former university student and founder of Bradford Festival, Dusty Rhodes, and were an important part of the festival in its early years.

Guest curator Helen Kaplinsky has been gathering together stories and materials from individuals and organisations related to the University since the start of the year.

Other events during the 18 month celebration include work by London-based artist and filmmaker Rehana Zaman, who has researched and worked with women’s groups in the region, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, an artist whose work looks at human rights, and composer Mariam Rezaei, who is working with the university music society, Bradford Scratch Orchestra and local organisations to develop No Borders Ensemble; a choir open to all,

There will also be a series of events themed around art, technology and public space that builds on the successes of Bradford Threadfest and Recon festivals.

The Arts Council has provided a grant of £49,067 towards the project.

Dr Andy Abbott, Producer for Music and Visual Arts at the university, said: “There’s something fascinating about the art and culture that emerges from Bradford: there’s a lot of collaboration and different disciplines coming together in an ever-changing environment which results in some exciting and progressive projects.

“The grant, and the continued support from the university, will allow us to create more opportunities for this to happen and help keep Bradford leading in socially concerned arts.

“I’m looking forward to bringing inspiring work and people to the city, opening up the amazing activity that’s already going on to wider audiences, and exploring the potential of art in a leading technology university with a commitment to social justice.”

Initial exhibition Subveillance’ runs from September 23 to December 8.