WEST MIDLANDS WEEKENDERS RETURNS THIS SATURDAY

Artists from across the region will take part in the West Midlands Weekender, an event put on by the West Midlands Culture Response Unit and designed to celebrate young creatives in the West Midlands. The weekender features a collection of performances, films, dance, poetry, stand-up, where the region’s young talent are put centre-stage to share their art and highlight the issues affecting them including lockdown, health, Black Lives Matter, and the power of communities.

Artists will respond to the theme of Democratising Creativity & Culture with four brand new pieces created and commissioned for the Weekender and a variety of pre-recorded work all hosted by Ashlee Elizabeth-Lolo and Rakeem Omar.

Birmingham based artist Kiesha ‘KSsense’ Sadler explores the Black Lives Matter movement in a brand-new spoken word film and independent artist-researcher Melissandre Varin investigates how we keep in touch with each other during the pandemic and how this is reflecting our relationship with the natural world in a newly commissioned poetry film for the weekender too.

The theme of the weekender is explored with the chance for audiences to have their say in Stoke-on-Trent born artist Holly Johnson’s work where the public can vote at each stage of the process of making a hat including the colour, size and style with a random winner receiving the finished design! Multi-disciplinary artist Chloe Deakin will also delve into the theme with a never-before-seen documentary portraying young creatives’ experiences with the cultural sector and asking the viewer “”how can I play my part in democratising the culture and creativity sector?”

Birmingham’s ever-entertaining drag hostess, Yshee Black will celebrate West Midlands key workers with a fabulous digital drag show, plus there’s interviews with artists throughout the day and a special closing party DJ set from Switch Radio from 6pm – 7pm. The festival will also include text captions for all performances with live BSL interpretation accompanying the hosts.

Erica Love, Director of Culture Central said: “The West Midlands Weekenders are a great way to showcase the diversity and innovation of the region’s arts, creating culture in new ways to keep the West Midlands on the map.”

This closing Weekender will round the trilogy off by celebrating and platforming some of the region’s young creatives giving an opportunity to showcase new and upcoming talent.

Opening up creativity and culture starts with making sure that young creatives get opportunities. This is especially important now as the Office of National Statistics recently reported that the estimated number of people unemployed aged 16 to 24 years increased by 47,000 on the year.

The full line-up and running times for Democratising Creativity & Culture Weekender will be released in the coming days on makeitwm.com/wm-weekender.

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