Birchfield Big Local and Welsh House Farm Big Local celebrated the launch of the Creative Civic Change project at Church Vale, Handsworth, on Sunday 19th May.

Thanks to Birmingham City Council and Amey, the road in front of the shops was closed off and this small public space at the junction of Wilton, Hutton, Robert and Church Vale Roads was transformed for the day.

Activities included: Family arts and crafts with Claudette Holmes, Adlin Shorter, Scylla Parkyn and Danny Webster; live music with Seikou Susso and Phil Bowers; Tree dressing with Faith Pearson; and a specially commissioned exhibition of photographs taken by Vanley Burke. Pete Chaplin was on hand to take free portrait photographs of families on the day.

Creative Civic Change aims to use art and creativity as both a means and catalyst for transformation – connecting the gifts and talents of local people in both communities. It will involve artists in residence working with schools and young people in both areas, providing much needed opportunities to engage with arts and creativity – linking the curriculum with the community.

It will help to enrich home grown initiatives such as the Welsh House Farm Carnival and Birchfield Jazz Festival and enable the two communities to come together and share their experiences.

The two communities will make and share stories through a film club and children’s library and work towards community art commissions aimed at reclaiming and transforming public spaces in the two areas.

Creative Civic Change is a three-year programme funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Local Trust.

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