Hundreds of families attend inaugural University festival.

Hundreds of families attend inaugural University festival.

Hundreds of families from across the region headed to Birmingham City University over the weekend for the institution’s inaugural Inspired Family Day.

The action-packed day of free and fun-filled goings-on welcomed nearly 1,000 visitors on Saturday 10 June, who took part in a host of hands-on activities, from trying their hand at TV presenting, jewellery making and designing their own train station, to a family portrait experience, a virtual reality showcase and drop in, make-and-take sessions for the under 10s.

Taking place in at Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus, situated in the heart of the Eastside region of the city, the family festival introduced youngsters to the range of subjects on offer at the institution and showcased potential career options.

Coupled with this, visitors had the opportunity to meet with world-class academics, who are training the next generation of creative professionals.

Inspired Family Day officially opened Birmingham City University’s Inspired Festival, now in its fourth year. It showcases the talent of the institution’s final year students in disciplines such as film, art, architecture, fashion and photography.

Visitors to Inspired Family Day were among the first to see many of the student’s exhibitions in the University’s £62 million Parkside Building, which boasts cutting edge facilities – including Europe’s largest static green screen.

Professor David Roberts, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University said:

“We were delighted to welcome the public to explore our University in what was our largest ever family event. Our institution is defined by the city it is rooted in and events like these allow us to showcase the positive cultural and economic impact we are making locally, regionally and internationally.

“From being able to create their very own ‘Space Invader’ computer game or explore the languages we all speak, there was so much for families to do during our Inspired Family Day. Our Parkside Building is always bursting with activity, but it was fantastic to see our campus full of families and children eager to learn more about what we do, and engage with the work of our academics and students.”

Solihull-born voice actor Marc Silk was the star attraction of the festival and gave tips on how to mimic some of the iconic characters he provides the voice for, including Scooby-Doo, Grandmaster Glitch and Aks Moe in ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’.

Meanwhile, award-winning animation director and Birmingham City University academic Shaun Magher joined Marc in a packed auditorium to help families draw some of their favourite cartoon characters, including Johnny Bravo, which was animated by Shaun and voiced by Marc.

Other highlights of Inspired Family Day included a metal pendant making workshop, hands-on experiments from Thinktank Birmingham science museum, a virtual reality showcase and drama workshops, plus budding fashionistas were able to create their own personalised, digitally embroidered badge or screen print a tea-towel.

During Inspired Festival the public will be given the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops focussed on enhancing creativity, and all events and activities will be showcased using the hashtag #BCUinspired.

Further Inspired Festival events will be held at the University’s City Centre Campus, as well as Birmingham School of Jewellery and Birmingham School of Art, ranging from music and literature performances to fashion shows and innovative technology demonstrations.

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