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We had a very busy weekend at the ZEE Sandwell and Birmingham Mela this weekend. With plenty of hands-on workshops and performance over 10,000 people visited us at the Arts Village during Saturday and Sunday. With the main stage blaring out plenty of bhangra beats we had people using print techniques, making cute adornments, having their caricatures drawn and placing their wishes on our tree. Joe produced a stunning live piece of art over the weekend of Anarkali and Nutkhut and the Mela Partnership brought us some madcap fun with Chappal. Here’s a few of our favourite pictures from the…

Slaves of fashion: New works by the Singh Twins An exciting new collaboration between Wolverhampton Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and Creative Black Country sees hit exhibition Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins head to the city this month. From current debates around ethical trade and consumerism through to satirical political portraits, the artists’ latest body of work, that recently featured on the BBC’s Civilisations stories: The Empire, offers an exploration of the history of trade in Indian textiles as a global story of Empire, conflict, enslavement and luxury lifestyle that has modern day parallels. Combining the…

The largest Mela festival in Europe heads to Sandwell on the 14th and 15th July with Creative Black Country hosting a weekend of creative fun as part of the new Arts Village. Engaging art workshops, live painting, a TukTuk photo booth and brand new madcap performance ‘Chappal’ are all taking place for free, alongside the Zee Sandwell & Birmingham Mela music and dance acts. On Saturday 14th July the Mela Partnership (an initiative to bring great quality outdoor performance to the seven UK Mela’s in the network) will present the Midland premier of its latest show ‘Chappal – The Case…

The new Desi Pub Catalogue has arrived and we’re offering a small number for a price of £5. The catalogue features stories and archive images from the Desi Pub landlords about their lives and journey to the Black Country as well as images of the commissioned artworks and the Desi Pub project that has been running since 2016. Produced in collaboration with Rope Press the 152 page catalogue, which has a gold foil cover detail and is perfect bound, is a limited edition with only 1,000 copies in circulation. The catalogue also includes an illustrated desi pub map to help…

On Friday 13 & Saturday 14 April 2018 the Women’s History Network Midlands Region will be hosting the Voices of Women in the Great War and its Aftermath conference at the Black Country Living Museum. The conference seeks to explore the multiplicity of women’s voices during the war and in the years that followed. It will look at the mundane and the extraordinary, the domestic and working worlds, the political and private, in order critically to examine elements of continuity and change and to consider what was to become the legacy of the Great War for women. Keynote speakers for…

From 25 May to 2 September 2018 a new major solo exhibition of the figurative portrait painter Andrew Tift will be showing at New Art Gallery Walsall. Having grown up in Walsall, where he still lives, Andrew has continued to find inspiration through the Gallery’s collections and exhibitions. Regular visitors to The New Art Gallery Walsall will be familiar with many of his works including his extraordinary portraits of Kitty Garman. immortalise will present a range of paintings, drawings, photographs and sketchbooks which combine Andrew’s love of portraiture with more recent experimental works. Consistent throughout all of his work is…

Creative Black Country, alongside Multistory and the Nazar Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of Girl Gaze: Journeys Through the Punjab & The Black Country, UK a photographic exploration of the Punjab and diaspora communities in the West Midlands through the voices of young girls and women. Bringing together newly-commissioned work by four women artists: Jocelyn Allen (UK), Jennifer Pattison (UK), Andrea Fernandes (India) and Uzma Mohsin (India), the exhibition explores diverse themes regarding gender, identity, patriarchy, tradition, culture, memory, place, belonging and difference that shape the lives of women in both countries.  The project, part of Arts Council England…

Allan Ahlberg, the renowned and much loved children’s author, is a former pupil of Rood End Primary School, Langley. He’s the inspiration behind an exciting new augmented reality poetry project. Friends of Langley Library, the lead organisation, secured an Open Access award from Creative Black Country to explore the authors work and explore where he grew up. The work is part of ‘Within Walking Distance’, a wider project mapping local landmarks in Langley. Pupils and teachers from Rood End Primary School and the Q3 Academy Oldbury worked alongside award-winning poet, Emma Purshouse, Blue & White Creative and Reel Access. They produced…

The Canal & River Trust are holding back the waters and opening the gates for their open day at Parkhead Locks on the Dudley canal on Sunday 4 March 2018, 10am – 4pm. The trust’s skilled team of experts will be on site to welcome visitors, who’ll get to step down into the rarely seen and exposed chamber of Parkhead Lock, where canal mysteries are revealed and locks, un-locked. The open day includes Lock chamber visits Virtual reality experience of canals Pop-up museum of old canal items and weird and wonderful finds from below the waterline Boat trips from Dudley…

Creative Black Country has been nominated by members of the public for the Promoting Cultural Diversity award at the Creative Academies Network HOME Symposium event. The event celebrates the communities of Sandwell and will feature free food and drink from around the globe, performances, exhibitions and of course the awards ceremony. HOME: Heart of Sandwell (Routes to Roots) researches and captures the untold stories of multi-cultural communities that have settled in creating ‘homes’ for themselves within the area of Sandwell. The project gives a voice to underrepresented cultures by capturing their stories in audio and film in order to produce a heritage montage…

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