Image by 'Dr Craig' on Flickr

A new arts forum has been established for the Northfield constituency, to include Northfield, Longbridge, Kings Norton and Weoley. Artists (painters, poets, performing artists, sculptors, dancers, photographers, any art form!) and art lovers are invited to join in. I asked the coordinator of the Northfield Arts Forum, Laura Yates, a few questions about the forum:

Where did the idea originate?

The Constituency Arts Forums are being set up by Birmingham City Council. Each constituency will have a forum that is coordinated by a local arts organisation or person, in the case of Northfield constituency that person is me!
Each constituency also has an Arts Champion, who will be part of the forum. Our Arts Champion is The Ikon Gallery.

Who can join in?

Any artist or arts organisation living or working in the constituency, in which are the four wards of: Weoley Castley, Longbridge, Kings Norton and Northfield. Also, in more general terms, community members with an interest in local arts provision are also welcome to attend.

What do you hope to achieve?

Firstly, the council would like to know what kind of artists and organisations are in the area – what kind of arts provision already exists for the local community.

It is hoped that the forum will act as a network of support for its members. I know that ‘network of support’ is a fairly woolly term but this is because the various forum members haven’t actually met yet, and therefore have not had any input into what they want from their forum. In Northfield the consensus might be that people feel they want support in showcasing their art form, or perhaps they would like to find other artists to collaborate with. After the first meeting we will have a much clearer idea as to the aims of the forum.

How often will you have meetings?

There will be four meetings over the next 10(ish) months. The first is this Thursday, the 19th of May at St Laurence Pastoral Centre at 1.30pm. When and where the subsequent meetings will be held will be discussed on Thursday.

There will also be four events with the aim of supporting the forum. Again, what form these events will take will depend on what people want. Perhaps a showcase, perhaps a training event, perhaps a trip to The Ikon to introduce constituency members to the Arts Champion.

Who should attend?

Again, the people who should and can attend the meetings are the artists, arts organisation and interested community members, as well as representatives from the council.

Where else can people find & contact you?

On this email address please, as well as the Northfield Arts Forum group on Facebook and Laurster on Twitter.

If you are an artist or a member of the public with an interest in the arts locally, you can attend the first Northfield Arts Forum meeting on Thursday 19th May at 1.30pm at St Laurence Pastoral Centre in Northfield. If you can’t make the meeting but are interested in contributing or need more information, contact Laura for more information.

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