Friday, 29 March 2013

More number crunching

Following on from yesterday, we've visited nearly every shop and venue on the High Street ready for Car Culture tomorrow.  Below, some more of the road numbers in shops, and an ever growing list of thanks to all the shops and people supporting the project:

415 Number of road accidents reported every day in UK (also number of games in photo, Buzztech)
195 number of children at KHP who never bike to school (also number of phone  cases, Celltech)

7 Number of children killed or seriously injured on UK roads every day (also number of chickens , Johnstans)
46 Number of under 15 cyclist casualties in Birmingham 2008 (also wig models, Bella)
60 Number of under 16s killed on UK roads in 2011 (also Ginseng herb jars) 

229 Number of cyclist casualties in Birmingham 2008 (also handbags in Cinderellas)
280 Number of under 15 pedestrian casualties in Birmingham 2008 (also socks in  Baby & Toddler)

49 Number of  Cars for every bike on Kings Heath High Street (also specs  Portland  Eyecare)
13,875 Total number of vehicles on High Street every day (also number of keys on this wall, Timpsons) 

27 Number of children who would like to ride their bike to school for every one child at KHP who does (OXFAM)

232 Number of cyclists on KH High Street every day (also cards in British Heart Foundation)

Shops involved:

Appologies for anyone I may have missed off the list - looking forward to #carculture big day tomorrow!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Road statistics on KH High Street

In the build up to our main #carculture event this Saturday 30th March, we've been finding a few more road statistics along the High Street. Please send your own in when you see them to add to our gallery!
KH Community Centre

KH Community Centre

KH Community Centre

KH Community Centre

KH Community Centre

Sue Ryder

Barclays Bank

All Saints Cafe

KH Square

All Saints Cafe

Leap of Faith

Rehearsals and workshops have been taking place over the past few weeks in respect of RoguePlay Theatre's forthcoming performance Leap of Faith, which is inspired by the mural created by Mohammed Ali of Soul City arts at the back of Sparkhill swimming baths, Stratford Rd. 

We are now busy perfecting the performance in time for the  scheduled  events on Saturday 13 and  Sunday 14 April. These performance will be complimented by opportunities for members of the public to have a go at some of the circus and acrobatic skills on display. In addition through our partnership with Soul City Arts there will be an opportunity to create exclusive graffiti designed baseball caps. There will be a limited amount of  caps  so if you want to ensure you walk away with your own design, bring your own "white baseball cap" to create your design.

We are looking for a few volunteers to assist us with the delivery of workshops and activities on the day, so if you are interested or know of anyone that would be keen to help out please contact RoguePlay Theatre:

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One Mile Away - Exclusive Screenings @ The Drum

The Drum is proud to present an exclusive screening of Penny Woolcock’s documentary film One Mile Away, an affecting tale of peace and reconciliation across the frontline of the B6/B21 Birmingham gang war.
Fri 29, Sun 31 Mar & Thu 4 Apr, 7.30pm
Penny Woolcock's Hip Hop musical 1 Day broke new ground for British film making, drawing attention to the social reality of warring gangs in inner-city Birmingham. The documentary film One Mile Away is an affecting tale of reconciliation across the frontline of the B6/B21 turf war. Shabba, a young man affiliated to the Johnson crew, works with Dylan Duffus, the lead actor in 1 Day and affiliated to the Burgers, to recruit supporters from both sides into projects aimed at transforming the entrenched social problems in their communities.
Twitter: #OneMileAway
Box Office and Information: 0121 333 2444
The Drum is the premier Black-led arts centre, dedicated to developing and promoting contemporary art and culture of British African, Asian and Caribbean communities.
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Monday, 25 March 2013

A story behind every statistic

We've started a quick guerilla art exhibition at Kings Heath Library for you to contribute your road statistics to, as part of Car Culture project and event on Saturday 30th March.

Kings Heath Library working with HGA are representing statistics with books in support of Car Culture.  You know the saying a story behind every statistic?  Well at Kings Heath library, we're taking that literally and representing our statistics with books.  On 30th March be prepared for more statistics represented creatively in shops and other venues along our High Street.

If there is a road statistic you want representing at Kings Heath Library, or at Car Culture event, please forward to us to add to ours, or visit Kings Heath Library and talk to staff about where and how you want to present your statistic.  Please remember the Library is not just an art gallery, and there will be people wanting to read books and things.  Also staff are friendly but as stretched as ever!  If you do add a statistic at the Library, or anywhere on KH High Street, we want to see it - please photo and send to us.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Ort Gallery open for business

The wonderful Joanna Greenhill opened her art exhibition last night at Ort Gallery - the first exhibition to be held there as part of the 12 month 'Emerge' project funded by the Arts Council.

Ort have already established themselves locally as an important arts venue, supporting a range of activities for local people by local people, many of which are free or very cheap - see sunday workshop programme below.

The Emerge programme supports exhibiting work reflecting the diversity of the area. It will deal with issues on a human level, like unemployment and poverty - issues important to many residents locally.

The programme, and the Ort mission, will go further in reflecting all in our local community, promote debate about issues important to us, and take action to nurture and develop our community.

We are delighted to be associated with Ort, an impressive art venue with a growing reputation. Hope to see you there soon!

For more Ort stuff, visit:

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Arts Activity

Just wanted to share some information with you about arts activity taking place in and around the city that may be of interest to HGAF members, communities and anyone reading the blog.

The Drum Arts Centre launched its new season with a sold out show on Saturday 16 March with the Legends of Legends reggae show. The forthcoming season boasts an array of film, music, comedy, dance, exhibition, theatre and much more. So click on the link to see what we have to offer. 

Some other arts events and activities that may be of interest

Vivid Projects 33 Revolutions is a multi-media season of screenings, digital sound and visual material addressing ways in which film makers and artists from a diverse range of cultural situations and societies have protested -- through political, social and economic themes. This season presents a broad audience with a number of works hitherto unseen in the UK alongside rare and archive material that takes up the statement that "Only the audience can change the world - not performers". It is a timely and dynamic programme of work which will respond to the current international cultural and economic climate. Revolution 02 - Dirty New Media  and Revolution 03 Oh to be in England 

Flat Pack film festival launches on the 21 March for 11 days of screenings, exhibitions events and activities. 

Hope you are able to attend some of these activities over the coming weeks and months. Back soon with more

Ian Sergeant, Arts Champion Lead for The Drum Arts Centre

Hall Green District Arts Strategy

'Presenting officers' Ginnie Wollaston and Marcus Belben at Hall Green District Committee meeting, Council House!  Thanks to the wonders of technology the whole 3 hour meeting can be accessed online at Birmingham City Webcasting.  I think the automatic cameras in the middle sensed when a microphone was switched on (you'll notice ours glowing red) and spun round to capture the speaker. Very clever.

But if you want to avoid the hour or so informative debate on wheelie bins, then skip straight to Hall Green District Arts Strategy for ten minutes of me and Ginnie presenting each of our reports - mine was based on our main year report, also available on our site:

Short version

Full version

Great to see how much support we have for work from the Council and all looking good for future of Hall Green Arts forum - Councillor Lisa Trickett formally took responsibility for arts and culture in HG.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Car Culture with Outstanding Queensbridge

Today we are working with (the recently OFSTEDed outstanding !)  Queensbridge for our second car culture workshop, visiting King Heath High Street to build on our interviews, take photos, videos and to trial a survey we are preparing for our main event, Saturday 30th March 2013.

Queensbridge workshops follow on from a series of 6 workshops at Kings Heath Primary with all 90 children in year five.  We are putting together plans with young people to find out how safe people feel on Kings Heath High Street, and what we can do to improve it, using a range of creative means to document what young people think, and give young people the opportunity to question adults about our High Street.

The project leads on from concerns from Highbury Youth Parliament and KH residents forum and is funded by Community First, in partnership with Sustrans.  On the 30th March artwork and art installations leading from workshops will be displayed at Kings Heath Square,  and we will be continuing work to find out what people think we can do to improve our High Street.

The project has been well received by young and old alike, with all shops, venues and organisations including schools approached so far wanting to take an active role.  We are on the front cover of My Kings Heath and support from the council gives us every hope the project will better represent our views and lead to improvements on our High Street.

Keep an eye out on our site for more information on this event, and opportunities to contribute to discussion about Kings Heath High Street.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Balsall Heath Cultural Programme

Hi All
I'm Matt Daniels and I came to the Hall Green Arts Forum Convention a couple of weeks ago. Apologies it's taken me so long to get around to emailing my details to you all.
As I mentioned at the meeting, and for those who were unable to attend, I've been appointed by the Birmingham City Council Cultural Team to undertake some research and development around cultural engagement and activity going on across Balsall Heath, with a view to creating a Balsall Heath Cultural Development Programme.
I've had a number of really useful and constructive meetings so far with artists, cultural and community organisations, and people from within the local authority, and had some wide ranging discussions around existing and planned cultural activities, proposed activities, or potential opportunities for work in Balsall Heath over the coming year.
The idea is that I can build a wider sense of priorities and partnerships to bring together for the cultural programme 2013-2014, so I'm now putting a general call out to anyone who would like to drop me a line about any work they are doing, or planning, so we can build a more comprehensive map of cultural activity for the area, and/or if you're interested in being kept informed and maybe engaging in the process from April 2013 onwards.
You now have my email address, and my other contacts details are below, so please feel free to get in touch if you would like to contribute your plans, thoughts and ideas.
Best wishes
Matt Daniels
Managing Director
Midan Limited
P: 07966 418 713 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 07966 418 713 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Monday, 4 March 2013

HGA Convention @ Ort 21 Feb

It was good to see such a good turn out at Ort Cafe for the convention and both Mukhtar Dar (Director of Arts and Marketing) of the The Drum Arts Centre and I were pleased to represent as Arts Champion for the Hall Green constituency. In the many conversations we had that night, we heard and saw that there is a commitment to collaborate, produce and deliver a wide range of arts, social and cultural activities for the communities and visitors to the wards, throughout the coming year.

We hope that planned projects that were shared at the meeting come to fruition. As Arts Champion lead hope we can assist in realising some of these initiatives. In the mean time we would like to thank Marcus Belben for organising the convention and delivering the forum for the past twelve months. It is a mammoth task administratively and geographically, so well done Marcus and all the groups that have contributed and volunteered so far.

If you would like to contact me about Arts Champions for 2013-14 please email Ian Sergeant

Leap of Faith

RoguePlaytheatre are creating a new piece of circus theatre for outdoor performance at the site of Sparkhill swimming baths. The project, entitled Leap of Faith, is funded by the Birmingham City council as part of their “Culture on your doorstep” scheme and in partnership with Soul City Arts. The performance, entitled Leap of Faith, will use the huge mural painted on the back of the building, by Mohammed Ali of Soul City arts, as the inspiration for the piece.

We are holding open rehearsals accessible to people 19+, followed by free workshops to give you an opportunity to have a go at Silks and Static trapeze, as well as Capoeira and acrobatics. The full performances in April will be followed by participatory workshops including graffiti provided by Soul City Arts

Open Rehearsals / Workshops @ Unit 8, Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, B5 5RT 
Tuesday 5th  March 3pm-5pm, Wednesday 20th March 3pm-5pm

Performances @ Sparkhill Park, Stratford Rd: 
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th April @ 12pm & 3pm both days

For further project information, press information or images and taking part please contact:

Jo Gleave, Marketing Manager, 
Mob: 07746 327284 

Ian Sergeant
Project Co-ordinator 

As a company, RoguePlay are dedicated to the development of Circus Theatre- primarily concerned with the combination of a text based narrative and the use of both ground and aerial circus. We have been most recently involved in an Arts Council funded project entitled 'If Only I Could', an outdoor circus theatre performance which was also supported by the Birmingham's Hippodrome, MAC Birmingham, Sandwell Arts Festival and mentored by NoFit State Circus.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Friendlier adults, good conversations & Kings Heath Hight Street

The Children's society's Good childhood conversations results for Kings Heath were out for adult discussion on Thursday night.  Based on The Good Childhood Inquiry the conversations gave around 70 local leaders and people from the community the opportunity to come together to discuss and understand the challenges of childhood today.

The Good news is, Kings Heath Youth are slightly happier than the national average.  The bad is that they don't feel safe and they view adults as more 'unfriendly' than the national average.  Bus drivers and shop keepers were seen as the worst offenders:

'People in shops don't trust kids'

Tim Boyes from Queensbridge rather generously suggested that the divergence of many bus routes and many big schools meant the High Street was saturated with young people at certain times of the day, many using the shops, and shear numbers were bound to cause problems (even if, as Laura Watts from Dens of Equality pointed out, it also means young people are some of the biggest spenders on our High Street!)

However, anyone who has observed young people and interactions with all adults in Kings Heath will know that young people in general are not listened to in the same way as adults, and that we (all adults) are not as friendly as we should be to young people.

Safety is recognised by both adults and children as one of the most important issues (see Acting Global, thinking local), and as we have been working on 'car culture' project since January, we (at HGA!) aren't surprised to see youth voice and safety issues being seen as important by both children and adults.

Our car culture workshops have already run at Kings Heath Primary and we are now in the build up to our main event on 30th March.  On Friday I also found out we've made it onto the front cover of My Kings Heath for March/April 2013 - great article in there too!

Now, more than ever, is the time to bring young and old together to look at how we use our High Street and all roads, to make them safer and happier places.  Please see full report here.