Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Tue 13 Sep 2011


    Arts Council England has today, Tuesday 13 September, opened applications for the revised Renaissance in the Regions major grants programme for regional museums.

    We have also published Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone - the document which sets out how we will place museums and libraries at the heart of the organisation.

    Both moves come as part of the preparation for the Arts Council assuming key responsibilities formerly held by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) from 1 October 2011. Since agreeing in December 2010 to take on these key functions, we have been working to develop funding programmes and to secure the best expertise to provide ongoing support to museums and libraries. The ultimate aim is a fully integrated cultural offer that inspires more people to get involved with the arts, museums and libraries.

    Our investment

    We have a budget of £46 million a year for our new responsibilities with £43.6 million set aside for Renaissance in the Regions - a 15 per cent reduction in the Renaissance budget for 2012-15 when compared to the last spending period.

    The funding for the reworked Renaissance major grants programme - which replaces the MLA's core museums fund - is £20 million a year. For the first time, major grants to regional museums will be awarded via an open application process, assessed against published criteria, in a similar fashion to our National portfolio funding process for arts organisations earlier this year. We hope that by opening up the application process a new mix of museums across the country will find support through Renaissance.


    Applications open today (13 September) and close on 2 November. Funding decisions will be announced towards the end of January 2012. Grants of between £500,000 and £2 million will be awarded for a period of three years, April 2012 - March 2015, and only accredited museums with designated collections will be eligible to apply. Face to face briefings for museums interested in applying are taking place throughout the country this week. Visit the Renaissance major grants programme page for full details of the criteria and application process and to download the briefing presentation.

    The major grants programme is one of the four key parts to Renaissance - an improvement programme for regional museums that Arts Council England sees as the key way to drive excellence and deliver long term change in museums in England, with the aim of attracting more visitors to museums and enabling people to experience them in new and innovative ways. Find out more about the programme and our investment.

    Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said: 'Our National portfolio application process for the arts was a major step forward in making regular funding available to a wider range of arts organisations and  today we are offering a similar opportunity to regional museums through this revised Renaissance programme.

    'As ever, our resources are limited and we will not be able to fund every application we receive - we expect that some organisations will no longer be funded but others will be offered support for the first time. However,our ambitions for culture in this country are undiminished and we intend to grasp the exciting opportunities presented by our expanded role.

    'We recognise and celebrate the fact that arts organisations, museums and libraries are distinct from each other and offer a wealth of different experiences. From the community to the university library, a small independent museum to a large regional collection, or a small poetry publisher to a national theatre company, there is a real cultural richness that everyone can enjoy.

    'We'll also be playing a focused role in supporting and developing libraries, through initiatives like the Future Libraries programme, and I look forward to working with arts organisations, museums and libraries across the country to really bring the cultural offer together for the benefit of audiences.'

    We hope that Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone will act as a starting point for conversations and informal consultation over the coming year to help shape a single vision for the arts and culture from 2015.

    Further details of other Renaissance funding, and of support for libraries, will be announced in the coming months.

  • Tue 13 Sep 2011


    The Arts Council has today published Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone - a framework for future cooperation. This publication sets out how we will place museums and libraries at the heart of our work and our vision for the future; it is a companion piece to our 10-year strategic framework for the arts Achieving great art for everyone.

    Download the publication here and find out how to feed in your views.

    From October 1 2011 the Arts Council will assume some responsibilities currently held by the Museums and Libraries Archives Council (MLA) following its closure. Though this change was born out of necessity, we are inspired by the opportunity it presents for the arts, museums and libraries, and their audiences and users.

    The new framework revisits our strategic goals, making sure they are appropriate for our expanded role.

    Our plans

    We recognise that arts organisations, museums and libraries are distinct from each other and offer a wealth of different experiences. We should celebrate this, not be afraid of it. Culture, knowledge and understanding: great museums and libraries for everyone articulates how we plan to champion, develop and invest in museums and libraries, and how they in turn can contribute to our strategic goals - offering exciting and imaginative experiences to as many people as possible and developing a strong and sustainable cultural sector.

    The new framework also sets out how we will work with museums and libraries over the next three years (funding period 2012-15) and provides a structure for our forthcoming funding decisions – including the revised Renaissance in the Regions major grants programme which is open for application from 13 September 2011.

    We will hold an informal consultation on the longer term focus beyond 2015, this autumn to make sure that we hear a wide range of views on the long-term ambitions of all the cultural areas that we now represent.

    Download the publication here and find out how to feed in your views.

    A review of research and literature on museums and libraries

    In preparation for our new responsibilities and to help us understand the museum and library landscape, we have also undertaken a range of activities to understand the needs and priorities of the sectors and published A review of research and literature on museums and libraries.

    Download A review of research and literature on museums and libraries.

  • Tue 6 Sep 2011


    Lottery awards for three arts events


    Three major Lottery awards have been made by Arts Council England for key arts events in the West Midlands.

    They include a craft exhibition across the West and the East Midlands, a youth project in Herefordshire and Stratford Music Festival.

    Made in the Middle has received a Grants for the arts award of £39,000. The grant is to Craftspace in Birmingham which is organising this exciting, triennial craft exhibition.  For the first time it will feature work from makers from both the East and West Midlands.

    This major touring exhibition will launch at mac birmingham in February 2012.

    The exhibition, which is free to visitors, will showcase work of all disciplines by contemporary craft makers based in or affiliated to the region. Work will be on sale. Made in the Middle has been developed by Craftspace, which is an independent crafts development organisation based in Birmingham.

    Craftspace is well known for their innovative work and exhibition partnerships with venues in the Midlands and other parts of the UK.

    Previous Made in the Middle exhibitions have focussed on the West Midlands, so it is a new approach to involve the whole of the Midlands. It will be the seventh Made in the Middle show, and is a partnership between Craftspace and mac birmingham in collaboration with The National Centre for Craft and Design.

    The selection of makers for the exhibition has recently taken place and will be announced on Craftspace's website:

    An award of nearly £38,000 has been made to Herefordshire Council for an arts project involving young people, aged between 11 and 25.

    The pilot - named y.Art - will involve a series of contemporary arts projects led by professional artists. It will end with a large-scale evening public performance in Hereford in March 2012 showcasing all the work that has been produced from ten groups.

    The project will employ a lead artist and lead designer/technician to guide and oversee the work of six artists who will lead 140 workshop sessions with the young people.

    Around 600 individuals are expected to be involved in the project with 300 taking part in the final celebration. They will be recruited from youth centres, skate parks, social housing projects and through publicity activity.

    Stratford Music Festival is receiving £17,000.  The festival runs in the town from 15 to 22 October this year.

    During the eight days the music will range from contemporary, classical, jazz, folk, world and music played on period instruments. The 2011 Festival seeks to develop new audiences, old and young and give performing opportunities to young artists and composers alongside established musicians.

    Ambrose Miller, Artistic Director, said the festival has existed since 1996 and has a reputation for offering a high standard of performances and value for money.

    This year's theme is New Lands, New Horizons. It will include work associated with or influenced by a country, rather than the composer's own.

    The festival takes place at various venues around the town. For more information visit the website:


  • Tue 2 Aug 2011

    BROMSGROVE'S Artrix scooped a prestigious accolade at the annual awards held by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.

    The popular arts centre saw off its competitors to be named the two counties' Community Enterprise of The Year Award for 2011.

    In the last 12 months alone, Artrix has been involved in a partnership with NEW College to help provide courses in performing and production arts, media and music technology and has also ran 492 workshop sessions in dance, drama, music, belly dancing and stand up comedy. Also, as part of its link-up with the organisations in Bromsgrove Arts Alive, 41 shows have been staged at the venue, there have been monthly exhibitions by local artists and there have been 34 schools activities and 126 children's holiday activities.

    As well as those successes, the centre's Outreach programme has seen 40 activities take place at community locations throughout the Bromsgrove district.

    Andy Woods, the art centre's director, said: “Since we opened in April 2005, one of our key strengths has been the partnerships we have formed with Bromsgrove’s creative communities.

    "Over the years, Artrix has secured an excellent public profile as an innovative centre for the creative arts. 

    "Earning recognition for our achievements from our peers in the business community is a tribute to all our staff, partners and volunteers who have worked so hard to establish Artrix."

    For more on Artrix, visit:

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Mon 1 Aug 2011

    The curtain will rise this week on another fun-filled summer of public Street Theatre entertainment across Bromsgrove district.

    This year’s Street Theatre calendar begins at the Recreation Ground in Bromsgrove on Wednesday August 3 and continues through to August 18, with six shows across Bromsgrove, Wythall, Hagley and Rubery.

    Crowd favourite Robot Titan will play the first two shows in Bromsgrove and Wythall, with Bruce Airhead – as seen at Glastonbury festival – wowing the crowds in week two at Bromsgrove and Hagley. Returning Tanzanian acrobat troupe the Black Eagles will perform the final two shows in Bromsgrove and Rubery in week three.

    All Street Theatre days also see the return of children’s artwork, workshops, face painting, Mendhi painting and more.

    Bromsgrove District Council’s portfolio holder for Leisure and Cultural Services Cllr Michael Webb said: “I hope that residents right across the district will take the opportunity to enjoy the sixteenth year of Street Theatre. Every year our Street Theatre brings the community together for summer holiday fun and I’m sure this year will be no different.”

    Street Theatre fun starts at 10am on every date, with performances starting at 10.30am and then every hour on the half hour until 1.30pm. Events finish at 2.30pm. Bring a picnic!

    Street Theatre is just one part of Bromsgrove District Council’s Go 4 Fun summer activity schedule. A brochure with full details of Go 4 Fun was distributed to households with residents’ magazine Together Bromsgrove and is available on the Events section of the district council’s website

    • August 3, Recreation Ground, Bromsgrove, Robot Titan
    • August 4, Wythall Park, Wythall, Robot Titan
    • August 10, Recreation Ground, Bromsgrove, Bruce Airhead
    • August 11, Hagley Park, Hagley, Bruce Airhead
    • August 17, Recreation Ground, Bromsgrove, Black Eagles
    • August 18, St Chad’s Park, Rubery, Black Eagles
  • Wed 27 Jul 2011

    FAMILIES with three or more generations are being urged to contact Bromsgrove's Artrix for an exciting film project which will take place next month.

    Families on Film will be centred around the different generations talking about a range of topics, which could be anything from their favourite colour to explaining the roles of politicians.

    Filming will take place at Artrix and two other community venues on August 13, 14 and 27, and the coversations will then be edited by film-makers Catcher Media, with the completed piece being screened at Artrix in September. It will also be available to view online from then.

    Artrix's education and outreach co-ordinator TC Peppercorn said the project was a real coup for the School Drive venue.
    “This is going to be a really fun way of getting lots of local families of all different types involved in making a film in the style of TV favourites ‘Creature Comforts’ and ‘Outnumbered’.

    "I think it will also be an interesting exploration of how different generations view some of the topics they will be discussing.

    "I’m sure the process and the finished film will be very entertaining," she added.

    Anyone wanting to be involved should call 01527 572707 or email: artrixoutreach [at] ne-worcs [dot] ac [dot] uk

    Reproiduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sat 11 Jun 2011

    GLAMBA'S Nick and Karen Ledbury have been working with young people from Bromsgrove's St Basils on a Trash Samba drumming performance which will be showcased at the town's annual carnival next weekend.

    The workshop, orchestrated by the local theatrical percussion group, taught the 16 to 25-year-olds how to play a variety of authentic Samba instruments, which it is hoped will bring a Rio Carnival feel to this year's event.

    Leigh Hesketh, from St Basils, said: "This provided a wonderful opportunity for our young people to explore a different type of music, work together as a percussion group and enjoy getting their groove on."

    She added the young people were now looking forward to performing their new skills at the carnival next Saturday (June 18).

    St Basils, based at the Foyer project in New Road, works with young people to help them find and keep a home, build their confidence and provide them with skills and opportunities to stop the cycle of exclusion and homelessness.

  • Sat 11 Jun 2011

    Residents to be kept informed on future of library service

    RESIDENTS have been reassured that they will be kept up to speed on the future of the county’s library service.

    Worcestershire County Council has made the pledge after it launched a public consultation last month looking at how the service was run.

    The county council confirmed that whilst it is not looking to close libraries, it cannot be ruled out at this stage. Opening hours will also be reduced.

    This has led to concerns amongst some residents, many of whom are visiting their local libraries to ask for updates.

    Kathy Kirk, Worcestershire County Council strategic libraries and learning manager, said: "We have no doubt that the people of Worcestershire care passionately about the library service and it's great to see so many people taking an interest in their local library.

    "Understandably, residents are really keen to know exactly what's going on and make sure they get their voices heard through the consultation.

    "We will work with communities, and our colleagues in parish and district councils, as well as the voluntary sector to develop proposals for each library area and then carry out full consultation with the public on those proposals.

    "This is a three year programme and we do not have dates for each of these individual consultations yet.”

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser


  • Tue 17 May 2011

    Digital Technologies to Engage Audience in New Way

    Arts Council England and NESTA are developing a programme that aims to help arts and cultural organisations use digital technologies to engage audiences in new ways and create opportunities for new business models.

    The programme aims to support projects that can be adapted and implemented by other organisations. As such, rigorous research methods will be used throughout to provide transferable insights for the benefit of the wider sector.

    The investment in programme activities for the arts and cultural sector in England will be worth £500,000 over 2011/12.

    Timetable for applications

    The programme will comprise three parts:

    1. May 2011 - scoping exercise to engage with arts and cultural organisations to determine the areas and themes of most importance

    2. June-September 2011 - call for applications from arts and cultural organisations for project proposals

    3. October 2011 - selected projects will be announced

    Help shape the programme

    In order to ensure that the programme is fit for purpose, Arts Council England and NESTA are undertaking an initial scoping exercise until 27 May 2011 to help develop the themes that the programme will focus on. We're looking for your help and feedback. If you'd like to vote on ideas or contribute your own, please go to: It should only take a few minutes.

    If you have any questions please contact Angela Pugh at angela [dot] pugh [at] nesta [dot] org [dot] uk.

  • Thu 12 May 2011

    Bromsgrove Art Exhibition Proves Popular

    THE organiser of Bromsgrove Art Exhibition says the event is proving to be more successful than previous years.

    The exhibition, organised by the town’s art society and which traditional forms part of Bromsgrove Festival fringe, encourages budding artists to submit their creations.

    Paintings go on display at All Saints Church, in Birmingham Road, with a portion of the money from sales going to the church’s restoration fund.

    Organiser Tony Turpin said one of the reasons for the success may be down to standard of demonstrations at the arts society’s recent monthly meetings, helping to create fantastic art on display in the exhibition.

    In April, a demonstration of portrait painting in oils was given by artist David Johnson, which was well received by the society’s members.

    The society’s next meeting is being held on Tuesday, May 17, and will include a demonstration of Chinese brush painting of flowers in watercolour.

    The demonstration and talk is being given by Peter Millward, who paints in oils, pastels and watercolour and is the current chairman of the Midland group of Chinese brush painters.

    The Bromsgrove Art Society meets every third Tuesday of the month, and always welcomes guests. There is an entrance fee of £2 a meeting for non-members.

    Anyone interested in joining the society can call Tony on 01527 876659, or email  anthony [dot] turpin [at] btinternet [dot] com (subject: Art%20Exhibition) .

    The exhibition runs until this Sunday, May 14, and is open between 10am-4pm weekdays, 11.30am-4pm on Sunday.

    Reprinted from Bromsgrove Advertiser