A Birmingham retailer’s £30,000 donation to develop dance in the city is believed to be the largest philanthropic gift from a South Asian business to West Midlands cultural life.
Latifs, a family firm based in Digbeth, has given the money to Punch records to invest in the Desi Moves programme, which will help deliver dance workshops to schools, hospitals and community centres and Arts Award accreditation to young people in 2013.
Desi Moves began as an Olympic-funded pilot, with free pop-up dance workshops organised by Punch along the Olympic torch route.
The partnership with Latifs ensures it continues to provide activities around dance and art from South Asia, aimed at bringing communities together.
Abid Hussain, relationship manager at Arts Council West Midlands, said: “This partnership establishes a precedent for philanthropic giving from within the South Asian community.
“It recognises the value of the arts and its importance within our wider society.
“I’m confident that we will see more philanthropic support for the arts from black and minority ethnic communities as a result of this unique partnership.”
Latifs began in 1956 when Mohammed Latif sold household goods door-to-door and nowadays the chain employs more than one hundred people across the region. Brand ambassador Kashif said: “Latifs has always been very close to the community. Associating with Desi Moves is a great way to promote young talent. We are honoured to partner with Punch to provide such a great platform for our local people.”
Last year the company supported dance performances at Birmingham’s Mela and Town Hall for young people.
Punch chief executive Ammo Talwar said: “With Latifs now fully on board, we can bring together more diverse traditions, get more people moving, and really get different generations and communities sharing spaces together.”
In June, Punch joined the Arts Council’s Catalyst programme to help cultural organisations diversify their income streams and access more funding from private sources.