Arts Derbyshire

Artist profile

People Express

Empowering people through the arts, creativity and fun!

People Express is a professional participatory arts organisation, rooted in communities in South Derbyshire since 1990, whose work with communities has been used as a model of good practice in Bangladesh, Japan and across Europe.

People Express supports local groups to work with a wide range of highly skilled and inspirational professional artists across all art forms. Our projects enable participants to become the designers, makers and/or performers of their own artwork.

We successfully encourage people of all ages and abilities to get involved in the arts, by listening to what they would like to do and what they have to say. Together we dream, we plan, we fundraise and we deliver arts projects that are as unique as the people who have created them…but mainly we all have a lot of fun!

People Express shares decision-making and choice with the groups we work with, we encourage local leadership, we filter through skills, information and contacts, building a sense of ownership and level of self-confidence that enables groups to move towards running the project or new initiatives independently.

Originally founded in 1990 as an Unincorporated Association (charity no. 1005753) with a board of voluntary committee members, People Express became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (charity no. 1158735) in 2015 run by a board of Trustees.  We are currently revenue funded by Derbyshire County Council and South Derbyshire County Council and are an Arts Council NPO (National Portfolio Organisation). We are a key member of EMPAF (East Midlands Participatory Art Forum), championing the promotion of the region’s strength in the range, quality and diversity of arts engagement.

Creative Genre

  • Participatory Arts, covering Drama and Theatre. Film and Video, Animation, Documentary film, Film making, Photography, Music and sound art, Mosaic, Willow Weaving and environmental arts, Poetry, Writing and storytelling

Work Undertaken

  • Participatory arts projects co-designed and delivered with community groups
  • Exhibitions
  • Workshops
  • Performances
  • Project Management
  • Support community groups with fundraising

Work in Education

  • Arts Award Centre
  • Artsmark Supporter
  • Work placements
  • Arts projects with schools


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