Bromsgrove Arts News

  • Thu 1 Mar 2012

    A joint three-year programme between the British Council and Arts Council England which will support individual artists based in England to work internationally opens for applications today.

    The Artists' international development fund will provide grants of between £1,000 to £5,000 for artists to travel, explore and collaborate internationally while carrying out professional projects.  

    The £750,000 fund aims to support artists who have carried out little or no work internationally, and is designed to help artists build on their domestic success and develop markets and audiences overseas for their work.

    Arts Council England and the British Council are each providing half of the total funding available.

    Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said:

    'The Artists' international development fund is practical, flexible support for artists who wish to expand their practice by working internationally. It will help develop the careers of individual artists and create new links between the art community in England and their international colleagues. 

    'It has been created in response to the strong message we've received from artists that working internationally and exchanging ideas is of great importance to them.

    'The opportunities, aspirations and ambitions the fund will support will also drive the creation of new and exciting work which will benefit audiences in this country.'

    Graham Sheffield, Director Arts, British Council said:

    'Our relationship with Arts Council England has in the past months moved into a new phase and we are delighted to be announcing this fund together. Helping young and emerging artists is an important part of the British Council’s arts work. It is vital that the UK’s creative sector has the chance to develop an international perspective and a global network at a young age and this scheme will facilitate that.'

    Author Neel Mukherjee added:

    'An international exchange is one of the greatest gifts that can be given to a writer. It does two seemingly contradictory things: while optimising the essential solitude that is vital for any writing by freeing her into pure, undistracted work for the period, it also positions her in a bigger map of the networks and global community of writers. Magic!'

    All projects must include one or two periods spent working abroad by the artist.

    There are three funding rounds in each financial year the programme will run. The deadline for applications to be received for the first funding round this year is 31 May 2012.

    The fund will be managed by the Arts Council. Successful applicants will be chosen jointly by Arts Council England and the British Council.

    The grants are to be used towards covering travel costs, daily needs, some material costs, and accommodation. 

    For more information, and to apply, visit

  • Thu 1 Mar 2012

    Turning Point West Midlands (TPWM), the network that works to strengthen the visual arts in the West Midlands, has been awarded a grant from Arts Council England to deliver TPWM Projects over the next two years.

    The network has been awarded £220,000 National Lottery funding by Arts Council England through its Grants for the arts scheme.

    This major award, the first of its scale for the TP network in England, will be channelled to deliver TPWM projects including a number of artist residences and writing bursaries to promote new thinking and ideas, and engage with new audiences. 

    TPWM will work with partner organisations, groups and individuals to deliver a new model of professional development for artists, and run a series of events to initiate new conversations and critical debate about the visual arts.

    Professor John Butler, Head of the School of Art at Birmingham City University and Chair of TPWM, said: "We are delighted to have received this investment which will be used to strengthen infrastructure in the visual arts, create more opportunities for artists, address gaps and campaign for growth and change." 

    Kate Pryor-Williams, Relationship Manager (Visual Arts) for Arts Council England in the West Midlands, comments: "This award will allow Turning Point West Midlands to continue the great work it has been doing uniting and working to strengthen the visual arts sector in the region. We look forward to seeing the future opportunities for artists and exciting projects that will result from this grant. The West Midlands contains a wealth of artistic talent and this needs to be profiled and celebrated more widely"

    In addition to delivering new projects, TPWM will continue its work in nurturing new talent and supporting artists across the region, their placement and promotion on a national and international scale, and its role as an advocate for the visual arts in the West Midlands.

    To mark the investment announcement, TPWM has launched a campaign to encourage people to Love the Visual Arts.

    For further details about TPWM visit or find TPWM on Twitter @TPWestMidlands and Facebook - Turning Point West Midlands.

  • Thu 1 Mar 2012

    Arts Council England and the Local Government Association have awarded £230,000 to fund 13 library projects through the Libraries Development Initiative (LDI).

    Writing West Midlands (WWM) is a successful applicant.
    WWM is a literature development agency for the region that exists to develop engagement with literature across the region.

    They will partner with the West Midlands Readers' Network and the Independent Publishers' Network to pilot a programme of integration between libraries and publishers in the region.

    By providing the partner libraries in seven local authorities with a range of free resources, including book stock, marketing materials and access to authors, the project will develop strong links between libraries and library users and create lasting relationships from which both groups can benefit.

    Jonathan Davison, Chief Executive of WWM, said: 'We are delighted to be in partnership with the West Midlands Readers' Network and the Independent Publishers' Network (West Midlands) to pilot a programme of integration between libraries and publishers in the region.

    'We hope that this will encourage readers to get involved in the programming of creative events for their local libraries involving high quality literary writers from the region and that there will be stronger links between the public library sector and writing industry professionals.'

  • Tue 28 Feb 2012

    Worcestershire County Council has announced the winner of this year's coveted Word Up! competition – the search to find the county's Young Poet Laureate.

    Entrants were asked to write one poem on the subject of Games and another on any other topic. Well over 50 entries were received by the judges. The short listing process was described as being 'even tougher than last year.'

    The winner, Rowan Standish–Hayes, aged 17The winner, Rowan Standish–Hayes, aged 17,  attends The Chase School in Malvern. His performance of poems  'The Best Kind of Game' and  ' A Street Called Worry' impressed the judges in style and content. They also felt that Rowan would be a superb role model for other young people in the county.   

    The runner up is Heather Still, aged 18, a student at the University of Worcester with poems, 'I'm Bloody Wilson Pickett!', and 'The Lie of Youth'. 

    Coming third, Georgia Chambers, aged 14 who attends South Bromsgrove School with  poems, 'Benchball' and 'Apathetic Attitudes'.

    Highly Commended is Beth Edwards, aged 17 who attends Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College, Worcester with 'The Haunted House' and '4:37 a.m'.

    The prestigious grand final event took place at Number 8 Theatre in Pershore on the evening of Friday 27 January, where the fourteen finalists performed their poetry in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.

    The judging panel, made up of Ruth Foster, Steve Wilson and Julie Andrews from the County Council and professional poet Matt Windle had the unenviable task of deciding who had the unique talent for poetry which embraces the role of Worcestershire's Young Poet Laureate.

    Natalie McVey, Libraries and Learning's Service Development Co-ordinator for Young People 13-19  said: "Once again we received an enormous range of entries which explored all sorts of styles, themes and topics.  The judging process has been very tough but reading them all has been a joy.

    "The success of this competition has once again proved that this is a great way to encourage young people to explore their local library, get creative, improve their writing and hopefully, inspire others."

    As well as taking the prestigious title of Worcestershire's Young Poet Laureate 2012, the winner will have their own poetry mentor for the year to support them through their role. Duties throughout the year will include acting as a poetry champion to encourage and inspire others to enjoy poems, writing poems to celebrate special events in Worcestershire and performing at literary events.

  • Thu 15 Dec 2011

    THE CLASSIC tale of Beauty and the Beast was brought to life at Bromsgrove's Artrix in another superb pantomime put on by All and Sundry and directed by Alison Berrisford.

    In truth, there were too many highlights in this show to mention them all - from the charismatic cast and colourful costumes to the magnificent music and delightful dance routines.

    No panto would be complete without good old-fashioned audience participation and plenty of double entendres and this production also had those elements in abundance.

    The pick of the comedic performances came from Kat Cashmore as Polly Potts and the two panto dames, Nigel Buckley and Mick Randle, aka Lambrini and Chardonnay - the rapport and on-stage chemistry between those two was wonderful to watch.

    The best bits of audience interaction were provided by the performances of Andrew Hill as Crouton and Emma Hobday, who rightfully earned plenty of boos and hisses with her portrayal of the evil Victor Vandare and his ever increasing sword.

    But, although this show had the audience in hysterics throughout, it wasn't just about the humour - there were some very touching moments too. The most notable of these were the scenes in the grand ballroom where the prince / beast (Jamie Grant) and Belle (Arali McGrath) performed their slow dances. Another highlight from Arali was her amazing voice which never failed to reach a note.

    The reputation of All and Sundry, since its formation in 2003, has grown and grown in Bromsgrove, Redditch, Birmingham and beyond and this year's panto is yet another peak for the group's performers.

    Beauty and the Beast is on at Artrix at 7pm tomorrow (Thursday), tonight (Friday) and at 2pm and 7pm tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday (December 18). Tickets are £13.50 (£12 concessions) or £41 for a family ticket. They are available by calling 01527 577330 or visiting:

    Reprinted courtesy of The Bromsgrove Standard

  • Fri 18 Nov 2011

    A NEW music project in Bromsgrove is set to entertain townsfolk for the first time next month.

    The Orchestra of St John’s Church invites local players and members of youth music projects to participate, and is designed to prepare them for the church’s main orchestra.

    The new venture is the brainchild of Bromsgrove residents Alastair and Cathy Moseley, Sue Peters and Colin Butterworth and is designed to extend the church’s already significant musical activity.

    The first performance of the project is to be conducted by Richard Jenkinson, principal cellist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, (CBSO), and will be taking place at the Kidderminster Road-based church on Saturday, December 3.

    The vicar of St John's Church, Chris Wingfield, and musical director, Jonathan Kingston, are giving their full support to the project, and are hoping as many people as possible can attend the event, taking place from 7.30pm.

    The concert will include favourites such as the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings and Elgar's Introduction and Allegro for strings.

    Charlotte Moseley, daughter of Alastair and Cathy, is a member of the quartet performing at the event, together with three other players from the CBSO Youth Orchestra.

    There will be a festive slant with Corelli's Christmas Concerto, in addition to a well-known Handel Organ Concerto performed by Paul Charman, the former organist at the church.

    Tickets cost £10, which includes a programme and refreshments. Tickets are available from the Parish Office on 01527 878801, or on the door.

    Under 16s go free, but should be accompanied by an adult.

    For more details on the orchestra see

    Reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Wed 12 Oct 2011

    CREATIVE young people from Bromsgrove are being urged to enter a brand new arts competition.

    Launched by the Artrix in partnership with county councillors, Go Create has four age categories from four to 25 and four media categories; photography, film making, animation and creative visual arts.

    The theme for entries is Here I Am, which is open to wide interpretation.

    It could be work based around the environment, on the entrant’s home or school or the people they see on a daily basis.

    It is open to young people living in the electoral divisions of councillors Anthony Blagg, Sheila Blagg, Maddy Bunker, June Griffiths, Emma Moffett and Kit Taylor.

    Closing date for entries is January 31.

    For more information, visit or email artrixoutreach [at] ne-worcs [dot] ac [dot] uk

    Reprinted courtesy of Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Mon 10 Oct 2011

    BROMSGROVE residents can get involved in this year’s Black History Month at a series of events, being supported by Bromsgrove District Council.

    Amongst a programme of events marking Black History Month, a full evening of entertainment at Artrix on Thursday, October 20 concludes with an 8pm performance of "Rivers to Cross" by the Gazebo Theatre Company, with an African Caribbean buffet free for ticketholders.

    Tickets for this powerful new multimedia play spanning 174 years of true stories of great accomplishments in the face of imperialism and segregation right up to modern day are £12, £10 concessions, or £8 for block bookings of 10 or more tickets, with food included.

    The buffet, provided by the Wildmoor Oak’s award winning chef Lorenzo Richards, is from 6.30pm.

    Contact Artrix Box Office on 01527 577330 or see

    Bromsgrove District Council’s portfolio holder for Legal, Equalities and Democratic Services, Councillor Mark Bullivant, said: “We are proud to be supporting Black History Month for another year.

    “The events are invariably fun and entertaining, as well as being educational and helping to bring together different parts of our community. This year’s programme looks excellent.”

    Chairman of Bromsgrove Black History Society, Trevor Rigg, said: “The time for celebrating Black History Month is here again. We applaud the involvement of our partners, the district council, Artrix, Bromsgrove Library, and North Bromsgrove High School for helping towards our aims through these events.”

    On the same evening the foyer at Artrix will also host Bromsgrove’s first glimpse of The History Detectives’ exhibition “Black People in the West Midlands 1650-1918", from 6pm. It’s free of charge and includes a free prize draw for other event tickets.

    For the full list of events and activities taking place in the district during Black History Month 2011, see the district council’s brochure at

    Reprinted courtesy of the Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • Sat 17 Sep 2011

    WORCESTERSHIRE County Council is once again offering grants to local voluntary and community sector organisations.

    The eighth round of the council’s grants scheme is seeking applications from organisations which develop diversity in the community, provide community based activities for older people or are involved in the provision of community arts.

    Coun John Campion, responsible for localism and communities, said: “We are really pleased to continue supporting activities in the community in this way.”

    Anyone interested in applying for a grant should visit and follow the link for ‘VCS Grants’. Application forms are available from gwills [at] worcestershire [dot] gov [dot] uk (subject: Grants%20for%20volunteer%20and%20community%20groups) (gwills [at] worcestershire [dot] gov [dot] uk )or 01905 766864.

    The deadline for applications is 4pm on Friday, October 28.

    The above reprinted by kind permission of The Bromsgrove Advertiser

  • 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.