£600,000 AWARDED TO WEST MIDLANDS ARTS PROJECTS AHEAD OF BIRMINGHAM 2022

A share of £600,000 has been awarded to three West Midlands organisations to create inclusive arts and cultural projects linked to the Commonwealth Games, following a collaboration between the Olympic legacy funder Spirit of 2012 and Birmingham 2022.

The successful projects awarded £200,000 each from the Spirit of 2012 West Midlands Challenge Fund span Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry. Collectively they will work with more than 1,600 disabled and non-disabled people to explore links between communities and Birmingham 2022, maximise the impact of the Commonwealth Games and leave a lasting social legacy.

The projects will culminate in a series of performances during the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme, a world-class arts festival running from March to September 2022, alongside the sports programme. The cultural programme will include new work, installations, exhibitions, performances and major events across the West Midlands.

The successful organisations who will receive funding are:

Creative Black Country: a project called Shine a Light, building bridges between D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled people to tell stories of people around the Commonwealth. Workshops will be delivered to 280 people, culminating in a touring performance and series of films to share across the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.

Caudwell Children: a project called All Roads Lead to Alexander, delivering music workshops for young disabled people and their families in Birmingham (Ladywood, Sandwell, Sutton Coldfield and Perry Barr). 1,000 people will take part in workshops and around 80 will tell their story of links and ties to Commonwealth nations and territories, culminating in a performance during the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.

Warwick Arts Centre: a community cohesion project called Playing Out in Canley, Coventry, using play to deliver a listening and storytelling project engaging with around 400 people, including those with long-term illness and disability, at community venues. The project will culminate in the production of two spectacular carnivals, inspired by the unique moment of the Games.

Spirit of 2012, which is the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacy Funder, has worked with Birmingham 2022 on the West Midlands Challenge Fund to help build strong communities, improve wellbeing and empower inclusive participation in the arts.

Main Image: Creative Black Country’s 100 Masters landmark project at Festival of Masters, dancer from Eternal Taal, image by Dee Patel.

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