Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Thu 1 Aug 2013

    BUDDING writers in Bromsgrove could see their work performed by a local poet at the closing event for the summer Street Theatre – or they could read their poem to the crowd themselves.

    Young people aged 16 and under are being invited to send in their poems on a theme of “Where I live” to Street Theatre organisers in Bromsgrove District Council’s arts and events team by August 12.

    Local poet Lis Berreen, author of ‘Pets Aloud’ and ‘All Creatures Small and Smaller’, will make a selection of entries and the selected authors will be contacted ahead of her comeback appearance at this summer’s final Street Theatre show, which is at the Bromsgrove Recreation Ground on August 14. Street Theatre’s resident poet missed last year’s entire schedule as she recovered from a serious accident.

    The poet said: “You don't have to be a brilliant poet. I want poems that come from the heart  They can be funny, sad or just plain wacky. Poems can be in any form or style and they can be as short as you like but no longer than 30 lines.”

    The council’s arts development officer, Huw Moseley, added: “We want your poems about your street, your local area, the people or pets in your life or even the things you like to do. Remember, it doesn’t have to rhyme at all. It just has to be your expression of where you live.”

    Send poems, including name, age, and parent or guardian's name, email and phone number to h [dot] moseley [at] bromsgroveandredditch [dot] gov [dot] uk by August 12 to be a part of Street Theatre - or anytime after this date to be a part of the children’s poetry booklet.

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser


  • Wed 24 Jul 2013

    A new application process for organisations wishing to apply for Arts Council National portfolio and Major partner museum funding from 2015 to 2018 will open in January 2014.

    The overall budget for National portfolio organisations and Major partner museums is anticipated to be reduced by five per cent in real terms in 2015/16. In order to maintain a dynamic cultural landscape across England, this means - as with the last investment process - that funding for some organisations could go up or down, others may not be funded and applications from new organisations will be welcomed.

    Making an application

    Organisations will be invited to submit applications during a three month window from early January 2014, with further information about the process, timeline and the criteria for making funding applications being made available in late autumn.

    During this time we will set out details of all our available funding, including Grants for the arts and strategic funds, to enable those considering making an application to make informed decisions about whether National portfolio or Major partner museum funding is right for them.

    Successful applicants will be welcomed into the portfolio for three years so they can continue to plan long term, however, we will only be able to confirm levels of funding for 2015/16. Funding levels for 2016/17 and 17/18 will be subject to the grant-in-aid settlement we receive from government for these years.

    Looking at our investment

    Over the coming months the Arts Council will continue to look at how we can make more flexible use of our National Lottery funds while preserving the important 'additionality principle' - that Lottery funding is distinct from government funding and adds value. We are also conducting an on-going opera and ballet analysis which will help us develop a more strategic approach to how the larger organisations in these sectors are funded.

    We recognise that cuts to local authority budgets mean that many are facing tough decisions which may have an impact on arts and culture in their areas. During the investment process we will work closely with local authorities and other relevant partners to make informed decisions about our investment in arts and culture throughout the country.

    Preserving a strong ecology for the arts and culture

    Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “We received an above average settlement from government - a good result in tough times. There will be an impact from our reduced investment - some organisations will lose funding - but we are confident that we can preserve a strong ecology for the arts and culture across England. We will invest in organisations to thrive. Some may even see funding uplifts and we will welcome new organisations in.

    “There is no benefit in ‘salami-slicing’ and spreading the funds too thinly to make a substantial difference to anyone.

    “The arts and culture sector has illustrated time and time again the huge contribution that it makes to the quality of life and the economy of this country. Our message to applicants and to all our partners is that we must continue to be bold, to innovate and to think creatively so that we can continue to keep the work exciting and we can give everyone in England the opportunity to experience arts and culture.”

    New capital grants

    Today we also announce that there will be a fourth round of large capital grants from 2015, following on from the third which opens to applicants in October 2013. You can find out more about our wider Capital investment programme on the funding pages of our website.

    Find out more: a new blog post

    Alan Davey, the Arts Council's Chief Executive has written a post on the Guardian Culture Professionals blog, expanding on today's news. Click here to read it.

  • Tue 23 Jul 2013

    THERE will be plenty going on across Bromsgrove district and the surrounding areas to keep youngsters busy over the school summer holidays.

    ► Those aged between five and ten can have some space-themed fun at Bromsgrove Baptist Church during the school summer holidays.

    The Space Academy holiday club runs from 10am to 12midday from July 31 to August 2.

    The sessions feature puppets Rosie and Sam who learn along with the children about astronauts, space travel and outer space.

    Then at 5.30pm on the Friday (August 2), mums and dads can join them for tea and after that, between 6pm and 7pm, can find out what their space cadets have been up to.

    For more, or to sign up budding astronauts, call Claire on 01527 882155 or visit

    There will be other activities for younger and older children running at the same time.(pictured)

    At the same times on those days, betweeen 10am and 12midday, there will be Holiday Wonders - a parent and toddler group for those aged between birth and four.

    And, at Upton Warren Outdoor Education Centre, there will be a Youth Holiday Club, also from July 31 to Auguat 2. That is for ten to 16-year-olds and costs £45 per person.


    ► BROMSGROVE District Council's annual summer street theatre programme kicks off at The Rec, near Asda, on Wednesday (July 31) with Extravaganza by crazy circus and acrobatics troupe Le Navet Bete.

    The act will also be performing the same show in Wythall Park on Thursday (August 1).

    Next up is Sassy cigar box queen Pandora Pink and comic juggler Mr Spin who bring their show The Doogans to The Rec next Wednesday (August 7) and Hagley Park the day after (Thursday, August 8).

    Then street entertainers Reckless Invention will combine breakdance and 80s kitsch Turbo Jonez on The Rec on August 14 and in St Chad’s Park, Rubery, on August 15.

    All activities take place between 11am and 3pm and are accompanied by children’s activities, face-painting, displays and demonstrations, circus skills, bouncy castles and more.

    Visit for more.


    ► YOUNGSTERS wanting to keep busy throughout the school summer holidays can take part in a variety of activities being held across Bromsgrove district.

    The council’s Go4Fun programme will enable children to participate in gymnastics workshops, Startrack Athletics with qualified coaches and Summer Splash multi-activity holiday camps.

    Other council-organised fun family event include Austins in the Park and Junk Drumming in the Park, which are both being held at Sanders Park. And there are six days of Street Theatre throughout Bromsgrove district during August.

    All venues chosen are easily accessible by public transport and most have parking on site.

    Coun Mike Webb, whose portfolio covers leisure and cultural services, said there was something for all ages in Bromsgrove this summer.

    “Often parents don’t know how to keep their children entertained over the six week holiday and the Go4Fun programme is a great way to solve that problem.”

    Places are limited so booking is advised.

    For more, pick up a Go4Fun brochure or download one from


    ► YOUNG people aged between four and 17 can have an action-packed school summer holiday by going along to a sports camp and activity sessions at South Bromsgrove High School.

    The new Kings Multi-Active programme offers specialist football (International Soccer Schools) and cricket (International Cricket Schools) programmes, as well as a unique sports leadership course for those aged 14 to 17.

    Kings Camps will be running from 8.15am to 5.45pm between July 29 to August 16.

    Childcare vouchers are also accepted as full or part payment.

    For more, call 0114 263 2160 or visit


    ► SPECIAL packs full of free ideas and activities for children to try this summer have been launched by Frankley Carnival committee and The Friends of Balaam's Wood LNR.

    The guide is available from Frankley Library and the New Frankley in Birmingham Parish Council office, Arden Road.

    The mixture of activities includes things to make and things to do.


    ► CLASSIC bus rides will be on offer as a Wythall museum opens its doors more often during August.

    The Transport Museum in Chapel Lane will be open on Wednesday afternoons, as well as at weekends, throughout the month with rides at 2.30pm.

    Trustee Malcolm Keeley said: "The collection of buses brings back so many memories to older visitors of the days when companies like Birmingham City Transport and Midland Red carried millions of passengers every week."

    Admission is £3 for adults (£5 on Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday) and half price for children. Visit for more information.


    ► A FREE yoga class takes place on Wednesday (July 31) at the nature reserve meadow at Frankley's Balaam's Wood.

    Everyone is welcome to the session which starts at 11am on the area off Arden Road and is being held as part of Love Parks Week.

    Children must be accompanied by an adult.

    For more on the event, call 07902 903558.

    For more on Love Parks Week, visit


    ► PARENTS can also get their children playing in the traditional way by visiting our Let's Get Bromsgrove Playing Facebook page.

    The page, launched last year, has instructions to a host of games, including Hopscotch, Tracking, Stuck in the Mud and What's the Time Mr Wolf?

    Reproduced by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Sat 23 Mar 2013


    A BROMSGROVE open air museum is being invaded by Viking warriors this Easter.Open air museum: Peter Caffrey, six, prepares for a Viking invasion at Avoncroft Museum this Easter. Ref:s

    Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, in Redditch Road, is being invaded by Vikings who will be showing off their combat skills as part of the museum’s events this Easter.

    As well as Vikings, on Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, (March 31-April 1), Tudors and Victorians will be giving demonstrations in historical buildings at the Stoke Heath museum.

    To keep all the family entertained activities have been organised for children including archery, pony rides, swing boats, miniature train rides and a wild goose trail.

    Chocolate prizes will be handed out to those who can wallop the striker hammer and knock them for six at the coconut shy.

    There will also be a traditional Easter service being held at the Mission Church, a chick making craft activity, and an egg and spoon race.

    From Tuesday, April 2 through to April 4, youngsters can put their survival skills to the test.

    A forest school leader will be appearing to teach children essential bushcraft skills, how to hunt minibeasts and cook food needed to survive in the wild, on an open fire.


    In the second week of the Easter break, between April 9-11, children can get creative using nature, including making woodland jewellery.

    Tracey Ayre, from the museum, said: “Our seasonal activities are a great alternative to the usual Easter activities.

    “Kids love forest school, it’s great for them to get out into the fresh air, embrace the natural environment and at the same time have loads of fun.”

    To pre-book for the forest school sessions call 01527 831363.

    For more information about Avoncroft’sEaster events visit

  • Thu 21 Mar 2013


    BROMSGROVE Festival, now in its 53rd year, makes a welcome return to the town this April.Festival highlights: Bromsgrove Festival, in its 53rd year, is making a welcome return to the town this month. Ref:s

    The annual festival, which brings talented musicians to the town, begins with the return of the International Young Musicians Platform on April 18.

    Lasting four days, the event showcases promising talent including outstanding violinists, pianists and singers.

    The early rounds are free to attend at New Guesten Hall, Avoncroft Museum, with the finalists’ concert taking place from 7pm on April 21.

    The 100th anniversary of the birth of composer and pianist Benjamin Britten is being marked with the screening of two movies at the Artrix Theatre on April 27.

    Both films have been made by Tony Palmer, and he will be attending to specially introduce both.

    At the New Guesten Hall on April 24 a recital entitled A Celebration of English Song is being given by Dame Felicity Lott, accompanied by Sebastian Wybrew.

    International award-winning harpists 4 Girls, 4 Harps return to the festival on April 28 with a performance at the Artrix from 7.30pm.

    On May 3, from 7.45pm, Patricia Routledge, probably best known for playing Hyacinth Bucket in the television series Keeping Up Appearances, will be appearing at the Artrix to talk about her successful career in musical theatre and film.

    There will be a special festival orchestral concert given by the English Symphony Orchestra on May 11.

    The concert, being held from 8pm at the Artrix, is preceded by a talk on Warlock by conductor Dr Donald Smith, as he recently completed a book on the composer.

    Concluding this year’s festival are Timothy West and the Pavao String Quartet, who will be appearing at the Artrix from 7.45pm, on May 24.

    To book tickets for this year’s festival events call 07824859572 or email bromsgrovefestival [at] btconnect [dot] com [dot] Bromsgrove Festival chairman Mary White said: “We aim to appeal to many different interests and, in difficult economic times, hope you find an event you will not wish to miss.”

    Tickets are also available from Artrix’s booking office either in person at the School Drive-based venue, by calling 01527 577330, or visit

    For more details on this year’s festival see

  • Tue 12 Mar 2013


    ART lovers are invited to the next meeting of a town society.

    Tony Muckly will be demonstrating techniques in pencil and charcoal at the meeting of Bromsgrove Art Society, taking place on Tuesday, March 19.

    The meeting, being held at St John Ambulance Centre, in Barnsley Hall Drive, Birmingham Road, starts at 7.30pm.

    There is an entry fee of £2.50, 50p for members, which includes tea or coffee, and biscuits.

    For more details go to

  • Mon 11 Mar 2013


    Councillor Campion with one of Worcestershire's mobile libraries.Councillor Campion with one of Worcestershire's mobile libraries.

    Councillor Campion with one of Worcestershire's mobile libraries.A BRAND new mobile library bus is set to take to the streets of Worcestershire by the end of the year, adding to the five buses already in circulation.

    As well as the usual library services, the new mobile library will also allow library members to access and engage in some of Worcester County Council’s other services while they are browsing the shelves.

    Currently the mobile library service covers hundreds of miles around the county, making 300 stops, and reaching more than 3,000 customers.


    The library buses work as a smaller version of local libraries, and members can browse the collections, pick up reserved books, or return books they’ve already borrowed.

    Councillor John Campion, Worcestershire County Council's cabinet member with responsibility for the libraries and earning service, said: "This is an exciting time for development of the mobile library service. The bus is great for the local community and gives more residents across Worcestershire access to the libraries services. Working in partnership with county council colleagues will get more council services on the road and available in your local area."

    For more information on the mobile library service and where it stops, visit

  • Tue 5 Mar 2013


    Award winning: Bromsgrove School student Paige Corcoran received a special certificate for her portrayal of Granmama in The Witches. Ref:sAward winning: Bromsgrove School student Paige Corcoran received a special certificate for her portrayal of Granmama in The Witches.

    TALENTED students from a Bromsgrove school have been recognised for their performance of a Roald Dahl classic.

    Year nine and 10 pupils from Bromsgrove School, in Worcester Road, performed five shows of The Witches in four days.

    Birmingham Festival of Acting and Musical Entertainment awarded the school the title of Best Youth Play, following a performance at Solihull’s Dovehouse Theatre.

    The school also received a best script award, pupil James Prince received a best actor award for his performance of Chef Carbonelli, while Paige Corcoran was awarded a special certificate for her impressive portrayal of Granmama.

    Bromsgrove School’s deputy headteacher Philip Bowen commended the cast and said everyone played their part in the production’s success.

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Fri 1 Mar 2013


    Michaela Strachan in her touring show ‘Really Wild Adventures’POPULAR children’s television presenter Michaela Strachan is coming to the Artrix as part of a national tour.

    The show, Really Wild Adventures, is suitable for children from three upwards and has been adapted from her own book of animal verse, taking families on a journey through an alphabet jungle of animal rhymes from antelopes to zebras.

    Members of the audience will get the chance to join in with the performance in different ways, from finding out more about a snake’s horrible habits, to playing a polar bear, or even taking part in Animal Pop Idol

    Ms Strachan has been a feature of children’s television from 25 years, as presenter of the Really Wild show, and more recently the BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes.

    The show is coming to the Artrix during the Easter holidays on Tuesday, April 2. For more information, or to book tickets visit

  • Thu 28 Feb 2013


    AN international prize-winning pianist will be joining Birmingham Chamber Orchestra for a concert at the Artrix on Sunday, March 24.

    David Quigley has given solo recitals in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in the Vienna Musikverein, for the Salzburg Mozarteum, as well as in Carnegie Hall.

    He brings to the orchestra Haydn's G-major piano concerto, with its well-known Hungarian finale.

    Conductor Martin Leigh said: “David follows Martin Roscoe and Simon Callaghan — great pianists performing with Birmingham Chamber Orchestra.

    “He is a wonderful player, with whom I have aspired to work for many years, and the Haydn promises an unmissable treat.”

    Birmingham Chamber Orchestra will also perform Beethoven's first symphony and works by Michael Haydn and Albert Schnelzer.

    This afternoon performance starts at 3pm.

    Tickets are priced at £10 (£5 under 16) and are available online by visiting or by calling 01527 577 330