Every three months, we highlight an object from our collection. Visit Woking's Story on our first floor to find out more.

Arts Council for Woking was founded by former Mayor of Woking, Gordon Brown. Beginning in the late 1970s, the council was founded with the aim of “protecting, projecting and promoting” the range of art produced by and available to Woking’s residents.
Interviewed by the Woking News and Mail, Gordon Brown said “The arts council started from scratch in 1978 or 1979, when I was mayor and one of the revelations you have when you are mayor is the amazing amount of talent that never gets a fair airing. We decided we would set up an arts organisation that would speak up for all the arts. We have put on festivals to bring the arts to the people of Woking. It’s amazing how little the people of Woking know what they have in their midst.”

The council organised arts festivals, opened a shop in Woking town centre to raise funds, and supported local artists, musicians, dancers and performers from all around Woking and the local area. It also lobbied for a permanent art showcase in Woking, eventually fulfilled by the opening of The Lightbox in 2007.

In 1997 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was created. This gave local authorities agency over their local arts and culture. Furthermore, Arts Council England was formed which has become a central organisation making the case for art and culture.

The banner was donated to The Lightbox Heritage Collection in January 2022. Our thanks go to Julian Keeley and the Heritage volunteers for their support with the display.

Free entry

Banner image: The Mayor of Woking, for 1992-93, Les Pescodd with members of Arts Council for Woking. © The Lightbox.