Well, what a year 2017 turned out to be for Creative Black Country. We started with plans for a new comedy festival, asking people to nominate talented individuals who were great and what they do and beginning to pull together a book featuring the work we’d commissioned with our Desi Pub landlords.
Throughout the year we worked with hundreds of artists and community groups on a range of fun, innovative, daring and successful projects through our Open Access and Groundworks programmes. The project’s supported meant that thousands of people across the Black Country were able to experience cultural and creative events of all kinds throughout the year.
We collaborated with Black Country Touring on the South Asian festival, Alchemy as well as their wonderful new performance Life’s A Beach. We supported Sandwell and Birmingham Mela to bring performance and art to their huge event once more, and supported Multistory who worked with Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas on the project A Room of Their Own.
We ended 2017 having launched the Black Country’s newest bi-annual comedy festival, Funny Things; finding our 100 Masters and representing each one of them at the Festival of Masters, and being awarded a further three years funding from the Arts Council to continue our work as a Creative People Places programme.
2018 promises to be equally as exciting. We’ll be continuing our work on 100 Masters working with The Space to tell more stories about our inspirational Masters via shot videos, photography and events. We will also be hosting some of our Masters at an event at this month’s Wolverhampton Literature Festival.
Working alongside Multistory once more, as well as the British Council, we will be bringing a new photography project; Girls, Girls, Girls! to the Black Country (and Delhi). We’ll help Black Country Touring to develop an exciting new project in the Summer that will have community stories at its heart once more.
Following on from last year’s collaboration with The Singh Twins and Wolverhampton Art Gallery during Alchemy we will be helping to produce a participatory programme to run alongside an exhibition taking place at the gallery during the Summer.
Something we are very excited to share will be the launch of the limited edition Desi Pubs Book that brings together stories of our landlords and the artworks we produced with them during our project in 2016.
We’ll be supporting more artists and community groups through our award programmes as well as working with the Wolverhampton Business Festival, Sandwell & Birmingham Mela and helping to host a special event in the Summer that will be announced this month.
We are delighted to continue to work with a number of our wonderful cultural, artistic and venue partners on many of our projects this year and hope that we will bring you more quality projects to enjoy during 2018.