What’s The Truth? What Have You Heard?

What’s the truth? What have you heard? is a series of short digital pieces for social media and messaging apps, developed from research with women living in Balsall Heath, working in partnership with Moseley Road Baths. They feature Yasmin Jasmine responding to local women’s concerns about different issues relating to Covid-19 and vaccines.

These films were developed from research working with older women who attend the baths weekly Chat & Splash session for women for whom English is a second language. The research sessions were fun, friendly and informal conversations with swimmers and other local people in May 2021.  Each short piece explores a different area of concern regarding public heath guidance relating to COVID-19. They were developed following social distancing guidelines, by Janice Connolly working with freelance writer Rupinder Kaur and community filmmaker Rachel Gillies.

Yasmin Jasmine was created in response to women saying they would like to hear stuff from a woman like them who they felt  had her feet on the ground and listened with her ears Yasmin is played by Rupinder Kaur.

What’s the truthWhat have you heard? debunks myths and explore new ways of community messaging around public health and wellbeing, by using the language and lives of ordinary people. For more information visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/coronavirus.

You can also get up to date information direct to your phone or inbox by signing up to be a Covid-19 Community Champion. www.birmingham.gov.uk/COVID-19_Community_Champions.

Opportunity for Visual Contemporary Artists to support British Art Show 9 learning programme

Arts Connect are looking for visual contemporary artists who can work in collaboration with educators from early years up to KS3 to create and deliver engaging visual contemporary art workshops designed around the themes and artwork in British Art Show 9.

The commission includes working with educators to plan practical workshops and delivering 3 half-day in school/setting sessions.

Find out more and access the full brief here: https://www.artsconnect.co.uk/commission-british-art-show-9-visual-contemporary-art-workshops/

Come along to our online information session on Thursday 5th August, book on here: https://bit.ly/3qioHtk

For more about British Art Show 9 visit the website: https://britishartshow9.co.uk/

Open Call – Birmingham Weekender 2021

Birmingham Weekender is back!  This year’s free biennial event, produced by Birmingham Hippodrome Festivals and funded by Bullring & Grand Central, Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England, will take place within the iconic labyrinth that makes up Bullring & Grand Central, kick-starting a month of major festivals and the cultural reawakening of the city. 

During the August Bank Holiday weekend, the footprint of Bullring & Grand Central will play host to a range of unexpected ‘pop-up’ and roaming performances, interactive experiences, art installations, film, exhibitions, workshops, and talks, occupying both traditional and unusual indoor and outdoor spaces. 

This major event for the city will bring together residents and visitors to experience Bullring & Grand Central in a unique and unforgettable way. 

Submissions are now being invited from Birmingham and West Midlands associated performers and artists. Festival producers want to programme a range of work that reflects and appeals to the cultural diversity and communities of the city and wider region. This may be an existing piece of work, adapted work or new work that was ready to be premiered just before the pandemic. All work must be COVID compliant. 

Types of work that will be considered:

●    Roaming
●    Visual Arts installations 
●    Street Performance / Circus 
●    Comedy 
●    Puppetry 
●    Dance 
●    Live Music 
●    DJs 
●    Spoken Word
●    Storytelling 

Commissions from £1000 to £7,500 are being offered – deadline for applications 2nd July. For full details please visit the Birmingham Hippodrome website.

Gallery 37, 2021 Artists Residency Programme

Punch Records have officially launched their Gallery 37, 2021 Artists Residency Programme!

Applications are now open for Birmingham’s flagship creative development programme which returns this August for a two-week intensive artist development experience. Up to 100 young creatives (16-25) will be given the opportunity to develop skills and make art across 9 creative camps with nationally recognised specialist mentors.

Our FREE programme invests in the city’s next generation of artists, and offers young creatives an opportunity to boost their career in the creative industries; and boasts an alumni of over 200 artists.

This year’s 9 Creative Camps are:

Music Production | Photography | Vocal Performance | Lyric Writing | Dance | Film | Visual Arts | Digital Arts *New* | Theatre Performance *New*

…With artists & tutors to be announced over the coming weeks on our social media.

The Gallery37 Residency will take place from Monday 23rd August to Friday 3rd September at Aston University Student Union & Centrala. FREE Travel will be available! Lunch will be provided too!

Participants must be available for the entire 2 week programme.

Applications close on Sunday 11th July 2021.

Open Studios – one month to sign up

There is now one month left to sign for this year’s event. So far there are 40 artists that have fully completed their application, and another 12-15 that just need to finalise a couple of details to complete. I am confident on the final number being at least 50, which isn’t bad with so much caution in the air this year.

The community spaces are pretty much all accounted for now, so if you need one please contact me as soon as you can. There may still be 1 or 2 more community spaces that could potentially join, but they are being very slow at confirming, so they are not a guarantee at this late stage.

We do ask that if you need a space, and you have not already requested one, your priority should now be to ask a friend/family member to help you exhibit from their space within the catchment area. Or perhaps you know a cafe owner for example that could help you out. 

If you have any questions, please do ask me as soon as possible.

Best wishes

Owen – studios@artsbrum.com

Half Term Activities at The Gap Arts

A week of creative activities and workshops for young people and families, all taking place at The GAP every week day between 2.30 until 4.30.

For full event descriptions please follow the Eventbrite link below which is also where you can book your space!

Book your place via Eventbrite

Programme:

Monday 31st May: Celebrating Sunflowers – A family workshop making, drawing, collaging and planting all things sunflower – a symbol of strength and happiness.

Tuesday 1st June: Me, Here, Now – A creative and reflective selfie workshop using photography, collage and drawing.

Wednesday 2nd June: Banking With Who? – Learn how you can make a change with this ethical banking workshop led by Students Organising For Sustainability.

Thursday 3rd June: Spice Lab -A tasty and fragrant creative worksop for families. Blind taste herbs and spices, make flavour profiles and create your own blends.

Friday 4th June: Community Group Open Day: We’re making friendly, safe and free space available for pre-booked grassroots groups to hold self-led activities. See the space and chat to us to see if it suits your needs.

Location: The GAP, 498 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, B12 9AH

Contact: The GAP / arron@thegapartsproject.co.uk / 07761307675

Join The GAP’s Volunteer Team!

Become a part of our friendly volunteer team working together to support our mission of engaging young people and the local community through creative and cultural action!

The running of our venue and its important day-to-day operations is reliant upon a small team of committed volunteers. We’re now looking to expand the team as we re-open our space to the world once again and welcome back our community. We want people who share our vision, have initiative and ideas to share, and who want to get involved in a longer-term journey with us. In the spirit of mutual exchange, we’ll work together to design a range of volunteer benefits in return for your time, energy and commitment, which will include opportunities to get involved in a whole host of other ways.

We’ve outlined below the details of the current roles and how your involvement would support our vision.

To express your interest, fill in your details on our Volunteer Form by the 28th April. Link to form – https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xot3p0Uy6EZKvQgImJMicennt1x-iuVCgmgB_nY45r8/viewform?edit_requested=true

We’ll then invite you to come along to an informal group session at The GAP where you can meet the team, see the space, share the vision and find out more details!

COMMUNITY HOSTS

This role is all about making sure our venue is welcoming, accessible and engaging for all our community.

You’ll be the first person our visitors come into contact with, making people feel comfortable, ensuring they’re informed about our work and what’s going on, and encouraging different types of engagement and participation. Responsibilities will include (but are not limited to) welcoming and chatting with visitors, engaging them in the exhibitions, answering enquiries, signposting to our upcoming events or projects, collecting feedback, addressing accessibility needs, taking donations, signing people up to our mailing list, etc.

We want individuals who love to connect with and care about people of all ages and backgrounds, are confident and friendly, great communicators, have an understanding of accessibility needs, with a genuine enthusiasm for our work and a desire to get others involved. Ideally you’ll live in or around Balsall Heath.

CAFE CREW

By assisting us with the smooth running of our community cafe, you’ll be helping us to raise the vital funds needed to sustain our work.

Our cafe is a really important way of introducing audiences into our creative and cultural work, whilst also acting as a cosy hub for conversation and community exchange. As well as serving delicious food and drinks, our Café Crew play a very important role in creating a welcoming environment and ensuring our customers have positive experiences that make them want to come back. Responsibilities include greeting and seating, waiting on tables, serving drinks and snacks, and keeping things clean and tidy.

We want individuals who enjoy and are confident in customer service, who can commit to following COVID-secure hygiene procedures, and who are friendly and hospitable towards all different types of people. Ideally you’ll live in or around Balsall Heath.

Birmingham Open Studios

Birmingham Open Studios returns this September, bigger than ever before, and now covering even more of the city.

Dozens of artists and creators exhibiting from their own homes and studios on the weekends of 18/19th and 25/26th September. Artists who cannot exhibit from their own homes can buddy-up or use a community space. The event is run like an art trail, and is free to visit and family friendly. The public can pick up printed guide books with maps from across the city, or follow the interactive map and guide on our website www.birminghamopenstudios.com

The event allows artists of all calibre to display and sell as much work as they like, all commission free! The interactive element between the artists and art lovers brings a personal element, and promotes community spirit. The event welcomes experienced and brand new artists of all calibres and styles. However, all art must be tangible and non-performance. 

Artists can exhibit between one, or all 4 days of the event. The event runs 11am-5pm each day. The membership fee is £42 for the event regardless of how many days they participate.

If you wish to know more, please visit our website and read our About Us and FAQ sections, and sign up online. The deadline for submissions is July 15th

Any questions, please use the contact us form online

Artist Slots & Open Slots, Theatre Mix @ Home

Theatre Mix @ Home is a live-streamed performance night for West Midlands artists – scripted, devised, music, spoken word, cabaret and more. We’re open minded! We have Artist Slots and Open Slots available for our next event.

Where? Your place
When? Thursday 15th April 2021 (evening)

More information and how to apply can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Mzx2PhiNdjbnSzaYJwxoqrsTxS2j9IvoWFaSIUCTiLs/edit?usp=sharing

Open Slots:
Breaking down barriers for artists to try out new work and have performance opportunities.
First come, first served for each art form
Up to 5 minutes
Drink provided

Submission form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSerp07wBjSN3zLGVJojlJBV_M6ADN5y0J8h9FX2rLmNXdrXNQ/viewform
Deadline: 5pm on Thursday 8th April (may close sooner if all slots are filled before this date). We will respond as and when each submission comes in.

Artist Slots:
For more developed work.
Programmed by organisers Holly and Lisa
15-20 minutes
Fee: £100 for a solo act, £200 for a duo
Duos can be in a bubble, or we can facilitate two performers remotely on the screen

Application form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfsUPxiYogo9n_Zb3KucK8EHbUGEgdGaeY7_DgP1ooXWmErEQ/viewform
Deadline: 5pm on Thursday 1st April. We will respond by 12pm on Monday 5th April.

Although this event is taking place online, we are committed to platforming local artists and, as such, are looking specifically for artists based in the West Midlands.

If you have further questions, would like help applying or want the submission form in another format, please email theatremixbirmingham@gmail.com

Note: You will need a stable internet connection and a device to record from (smartphone, laptop etc).
GUSH Theatre welcome applications from everyone regardless of age, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, socio-economic background, sexual orientation, religion or disability. We are particularly interested in working with people who consider themselves to be from backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the arts sector.
Supported by Arts Council England, The Society for Theatre Research & The GAP Arts Project.

Youth Rules Lockdown 2021 – Exhibition

Each piece in this exhibition was submitted as an entry to the Youth Rules Lockdown 2021 competition. This competition was run throughout January and February through schools, colleges and community organisations across the Hall Green locality. It was run by a youth project called Youth Covid Challenge that, with NHS England funding, has been working with young people across the same locality to retell Covid messages in a way that relates to them.

The competition required participants, aged 10-18, to respond to the brief: ‘how have you stayed safe and positive throughout lockdown?’, through artwork, digital skills, or writing. As you can see, the results have been amazing and incredibly diverse. It is a testament to the wide variety of lives and experiences of the pandemic throughout this unique corner of Birmingham. The two age categories (10-14 and 15-18) each have three winners respectively, bronze, silver and gold, and were decided on by a panel of young people from the local area who have participated in Youth Covid Challenge on a weekly basis since December.

The Runners Up

The Winners (10-14)

Tallulah (Bronze), Ryan (Silver), Isobel (Gold)

The Winners (15-18)

Jago (Bronze), Akram, Kishore and Deneal (Silver), Cherry (Gold)

Arts and Health activities survey for Artists and Arts organisations

Art Works are currently collating information about ‘Arts and Health’ activities across the area to assist Hall Green Neighbourhood Network Scheme with planning and commissioning activities for residents.

We understand that many activities will be on pause or in planning stages at the moment. Please answer these questions based on your ‘normal’ or planned activities without Covid-19 restrictions.

We would be grateful if you could complete the form by 12 noon, Friday 19th March. If the embedded form below is not working, please use this link.

How not to exclude Artist parents

Artist Joanne Masding has pulled together some important and useful guidelines ‘How not to exclude Artist parents’.

This is welcome not just for Artists with children, but for those with other caring responsibilities. Unless we can ensure equity in access we are excluding important voices from arts and culture.

You can view the full guidelines over on her Instagram feed.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CMAw_ISFR5W/

Arts Connect’s Leadership Development Programme

Are you an active/aspiring leader within arts and culture? Are you passionate about learning & engagement with children & young people?

Consider applying for Arts Connect’s Leadership Development Programme.

Art Works’ Co-ordinator Rachel Gillies joined five years ago and is still finding it valuable, especially the annual leadership convention (quite aside from the cake offering!). She is very happy to chat with anyone who is wanting to find out more. E-mail her at hello@artworkshallgreen.co.uk.

Gush Theatre’s Theatre Mix @ home – slots available

Theatre Mix @ Home is a live-streamed performance night for West Midlands artists – scripted, devised, music, spoken word, cabaret and more. We’re open minded! We have Artist Slots and Open Slots available for our next event.

Where? Your place
When? Thursday 11th March 2021 at 8pm

More information and how to apply can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cmPBM8-6em8aRY6F5sN4j_Hua0fTSoDa3x-dI1AA5D4/edit?usp=sharing

Contact: theatremixbirmingham@gmail.com

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A blue background with an orange circle in the top left corner. Text reads: “THEATRE MIX @ home. A cross-artform performance night featuring a range of West Midlands creative talents, live-streaming from home. Got something you’d like to perform? ARTIST SLOTS. Programmed by organisers. Paid. 15 – 20 minutes. Online application. Fee: £100 solo / £200 duo. Deadline: 25/02/21. OPEN SLOTS. First come, first served. Unpaid . Up to 5 minutes. Online submission form. Drink provided. Deadline: 04/03/21 (slots might get filled sooner). Where? Your place. When? 11th March 2021 (evening). To apply: See links in description or email theatremixbirmingham@gmail.com for more info.” At the bottom are logos for The Mix cafe, Arts Council England and The Society for Theatre Research.]

Job Opportunities from Unlimited

Unlimited, a disability-led arts commissioning programme, are currently transitioning to being an independent organisation.

We are recruiting for a full-time Artist Support role who will help support Unlimited artists and coordinate, deliver, and evaluate Unlimited activities, alongside the team, helping develop and working within the new organisation’s guidelines and policies. The position is open for applicants based anywhere in the UK.

The salary for this role is between £23,000 and £25,000 depending on experience. 
Deadline to apply is 12 noon Friday 12 March 2021.


We are also recruiting a Visual Identity brief. We are looking for someone/a team who will work with us on a freelance basis to create a visual identity which: 

  • Can be used to launch the new organisation, signify its evolution into a new organisation, and to mark this next stage in Unlimited’s development 
  • Reflects Unlimited’s new mission and values 
  • Is designed with accessibility at its heart, meeting the highest accessibility standards and created for and with the involvement of disabled artists 

The fee for this contract is£5000 including VAT. Deadline to apply is5pm on Friday 26 February 2021.


We encourage people from any background to apply to either roles. We are committed to creating a team which is representative of our society, and to bringing together those with a variety of skills and experiences to help shape what we do and how we work.

Full information on the roles, including job description and how to apply, can be found here: https://weareunlimited.org.uk/new-roles-want-to-work-for-advise-support-unlimited/

Who cares? At what price? The hidden costs of socially engaged arts labour and the moral failure of cultural policy.

An interesting paper by Professor Eleonora Belfiore on how Artists involved in community based work should/could be supported.

We really welcome an open discussion about how Artists in our area can be supported to do their best work and engage with local residents in a meaningful way. Often that means that Artists themselves need to be supported with plenty of opportunities for development and nurture. Professor Belfiore’s paper is a really welcome contribution to this discussion.

If you wish to direct people to papers, articles, websites, organisations, courses or conferences then please share generously – we’re very happy to publish contributions here!

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1367549420982863

Request for schools, colleges and exhibition venues within Hall Green

Hall Green Families, as part of Accord Housing, have been awarded NHS England funding to recruit young people to co-design covid, winter & mental health messages.

Our young people are age 11 to 18 who live, study and work in Hall Green locality, which includes Sparkbrook, Sparkhill, Moseley, Kings Heath, Balsall Heath and Hall Green. We work in subgroups, which enable us to make the most of our time, resources and skills.

We are looking for schools and colleges to collaborate with. Ideally this will be within your school curriculum as part of, not limited to, art, ICT or design.

The aim is for your learners to produce something  that can be exhibited or interacted with, hopefully in the public, to showcase their work and achievements. We want young people to set the agenda, hence why we haven’t outlined what will be created.

We will work together to map out the right questions for your young people, as everyone as different needs.

We would love for this exhibition to highlight the voice of young people and their Covid experiences in 2020.

We are also looking for venues within Hall Green to exhibit the final work.

If your school would like to be involved, or if you are interested in showcasing the project, please contact Project Manager Simarjeet.Kaur@accordgroup.org.uk.

Public Health Arts Commissions

Public Health are seeking to work with a series of creative arts providers to develop arts based COVID-19 messaging, particularly through different cultural mediums, to engage with different ethnic communities. This work will support the COVID champion programme which currently has 523 members across the 69 wards in the City. 

We are looking for Arts based programmes that will engage residents in activities which contribute to the protection and health and wellbeing of Birmingham residents. Arts and Health interventions capture the public’s attention, meet them where they consume information and convey reliable messages in ways that are accessible across languages, ages, cultural affiliations and education levels. The Arts have been shown to be an effective and efficient means for communicating health information to larger audiences. This method enhances emotional engagement with messages and optimises social learning patterns and motivation to change behaviours. Arts in Health Education is used to create memorable messages with outcomes which will be enhanced by strategic approaches of multiple modes of communication.

The provider(s) will be required to have relevant track record of delivering Creative and/or Art’s based projects.

A Contemporary Music with under 25’s
B African and Caribbean Music
C Central and Eastern European Music
D Asian Music
E Visual Arts with 30 to 50 year old’s
F Spoken Word and Poetry with 60+
G Spoken Word and Poetry with the under 18’s
H Theatre with intergenerational families

Please note that Bidders may express an interest in one, multiple or all Lots under this tender.

The Council will be using its free to use e-tendering system (in-tend) for the administration of this procurement process and potential suppliers must register with the system to be able to express an interest. If you wish to express an interest in this opportunity please click on the following link to access https://in-tendhost.co.uk/birminghamcc/ and submit your details to register. You will then be sent details on how to log on which will enable you to download all relevant quotation documentation. 

If you are unable to register with In-tend or have any questions or problems on how to use this web site please either email us at: cps@birmingham.gov.uk or call CPS Helpdesk on 0121 464 8000.

Your completed quotation submission should be returned by noon on 5th February 2021 via the ‘in-tend’ system https://in-tendhost.co.uk/birminghamcc

Balsall Heath Artist Survey for 2022 Commonwealth Festival

Are you an Artist or Creative Practitioner, living or working in the Balsall Heath area?

Celebrating Sanctuary (CSB) is working in partnership with Gap Arts, Ort Gallery and Craftspace to plan and design a project and event for 2022 as part of the Commonwealth Cultural Festival.

As local artists we would like your views and input in its design. This process will influence how we approach an inclusive, community focussed project & event in the Moseley Rd and surrounding areas of Balsall Heath. We want to identify emerging and established artists in the area, especially those from refugee and migrant backgrounds who could be involved in artist development, performance & exhibition opportunities, or delivering creative workshops.

We will be holding some online consultation sessions this month which will be advertised soon. But in the meantime, we have created this short online survey to find out who the local artists are, what they do and what their views and needs are. The survey is very short, so we ask you to please take 5 minutes to give us your feedback.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.