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Birmingham City Council

Local Arts Activity

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The Culture Commissioning Service manages a range of activities which engage local people on their doorsteps, whilst supporting the growth and development of artists and companies working in this area. Contributing to the Council’s priority of improving residents’ quality of life by providing opportunities that inspires and encourages creativity. These activities bring local people together with their neighbours and help to build a sense of individual identity and community cohesion.

Culture Officers advise District colleagues in developing a local Arts infrastructure by supporting local Arts Planning, Arts Forums and the sharing of information.


Arts on the Move

Using two custom-built mobile units, the Culture Commissioning Service programmes delivery of arts activities at a neighbourhood level, across the City. The units aim to complement local events wherever possible as well as profiling the work of the service and the local arts development agenda.

The mobile units are multimedia high-tech vehicles which convert into spaces for arts activity with drop-down walls and extending floor sections; they are equipped with a laptop, plasma screen, PA system, DVD player, cushioned seating and have disabled access; bringing the arts directly to Birmingham residents.

Arts Champions Scheme

Birmingham City Council supports a range of large-scale producing companies and presenting venues which provide a year round programme of international quality mainly in the City Centre. The Arts Champions scheme pairs each of these organisations with a district (comprising four wards), to enable all our residents to benefit from this investment. The Arts Champions have been active in local neighbourhoods since 2005, delivering projects and supporting neighbourhood planning for arts.

Local Arts Fora

The Culture Commissioning Service has assisted in initiating a Local Arts Forum in each of the city's ten Districts. Local Arts Fora offer a flexible network for advocating the Arts at a District level and helping to develop capacity for the Arts locally through effective partnerships and ways of working.

Making Moves 2

Making Moves 2 is an exciting cross regional partnership between four local authorities, HE partners, craft industries and Craftspace. In Birmingham the partnership has drawn together Birmingham City University, Birmingham City Council Culture Commissioning Service (formerly the Arts Service) and BM&AG to offer two artist in residence positions and two graduate placement opportunities.

Based at Soho Museum Karina Thompson (textile artist) will create a new commissioned work shadowed by Lauren Crawford (weaver/textile artist). Miranda Sharpe (designer maker) is based at Andrew Macgowan's studio, Regent Silversmiths, in the Jewellery Quarter to develop new skills in silversmithing and create new work as part of the commission. Jewellers Miranda Sharpe and graduate Amy Logan (designer jewellery maker) are also working in Holte School, Aston.

A public exhibition will take place in the Autumn of 2012.


Advice and Guidance

The Culture Commissioning Service provides a range of information about the arts (including funding sources) and runs regular “surgery” sessions for artists and organisations. Please contact us for details or to book a surgery.


Birmingham City Council Culture Commissioning Tel: 0121 303 2434, email: arts.team@birmingham.gov.uk, www.birmingham.gov.uk/arts