Artsfest sent through their newsletter as a Word document. Which was… nice. The thing is, it’s got a shedload of really useful and interesting information that really should be up on their website. So in the interests of public service (and to get myself some quick and easy content) here’s their roundup of what some of the artists who’ve been involved with Artsfest are up to with links added. And then at the end I’ll explain why Artsfest should do this on their site.
Birmingham Printmakers Have Moved
Birmingham Printmakers are pleased to announce their move to brilliant new premises in the heart of Birminghamâ€™s creative quarter. Previously based at Lee Bank Business Centre, you can now find the Printmakers at their new home on 90 Floodgate Street, Digbeth.
An Evening of Russian & British Romance â€“ with proceeds to St Maryâ€™s Hospice & Church
Stella Sims (mezzo-soprano) & Phillip Ypres-Smith (piano/organ) invite you to join them for an evening of exotic Russian & inspiring English songs punctuated by piano solos & atmospheric poetry, with proceeds going to St Maryâ€™s Hospice & St Maryâ€™s Church. The concert will take place on Saturday 8th March, with Russian food served from 6.30pm, and the concert starting at 7.30pm at St Maryâ€™s Church, Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29. Tickets are priced at Â£8 (Â£6 concs) with advanced tickets available by calling 0121 472 1839.
MDCC Theatre Company â€“ New Plays by Local Writers
MDCC Theatre Company warmly invites you to their first production of 2008, â€˜Family Snapsâ€™. â€˜Family Snapsâ€™ features two new plays, â€˜Tidyâ€™ by local writer Martin Drury and â€˜Forgive Us Our Trespassesâ€™ by local writer Elizabeth Parkes. Performances take place at Oldbury Rep on 22nd & 23rd February and at MAC Hexagon Theatre on 29th February & 1st March. For more information please visit mdcctheatre.com
Poetry in Wednesbury
On the last Thursday of each month Poetry Wednesbury will be meeting from 7.30pm at their new venue The Old Post Office, Holyhead Road, Wednesbury for poetry readings, open mic, occasional workshops and even a little music! Admission is free and all are welcome to go along and participate or just to watch.
Capoeira Conviver are pleased to announce their first UK grading ceremony on Saturday 22nd March. Taking place only once a year the Batizado features Capoeira students receiving their belts and a whole day of performances. This promises to be a chance to see some truly amazing martial arts with Capoeira masters from all over the world confirmed to attend. For more information please visit capoeira-conviver.com
International Dance Festival Birmingham
Birmingham is set to secure its position as an international dance capital with the announcement of the inaugural International Dance Festival Birmingham. A joint venture between DanceXchange & Birmingham Hippodrome, the month long festival will take place from 28th April to 24th May 2008. The festival will encompass all styles of dance and express the youthful, diverse and energetic spirit of Birmingham while bringing outstanding dance from across the globe to the city.
Local indie-esque rock band Mexicolas have just announced their February/March UK tour dates. Due to play Birminghamâ€™s Bar Academy on February 15th (full tour dates available at myspace.com/mexicolas), the band will also be performing as special guests to legendary rockers The Cult on Saturday 23rd February at The Forum in London. The bands debut album X is due for release in February with the tracks Come Clean & Shame being used on EA Games Burn Out 2008 and UEFA Soccer 2008.
Local indie band computerclub must have been delighted to see their debut limited edition single â€˜Snobsâ€™ sell out in a week. Following this the band are due to record their debut album from February and their second single â€˜Electrons and Particlesâ€™ will be released on March 16th. Computerclub will tour the UK in March with tour dates available at myspace.com/iheartcc.
Since ArtsFest 2007 James has been invited to play live on BBC Radio WM and has been featured in the New Talent section of the BBC website. James first released single â€˜So Sceneâ€™ is currently at No. 4 in the birminghamusic.com charts. James is due to support Dodgy on a series of dates across the UK during March including March 25th at the Academy 2 in Birmingham.
Band of Brummie Brothers go Stateside
Having been getting widespread airplay in the U.S, brummie brothers UXL have been invited to play at this years Canadian Music Week in Toronto in March. Canadaâ€™s largest entertainment festival, this is fantastic news for the band!
Rainbow Voices, Birminghamâ€™s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered choir are through to the area finals of Radio 3â€™s Choir of the Year show at Warwick Arts Centre on 9th March. Rainbow Voices also perform with Edinburgh counterparts the fabulous â€˜Loud and Proudâ€™ on Saturday 15th March. Rainbow Voices first CD can be ordered from Pam on 07841 755379 at the price of Â£10 plus Â£1 p&p. The choir rehearse from 8.15pm each Tuesday at The Hub, 318 Vicarage Road, Kings Heath, B14 7NH.
Birmingham Bassoon Choir will be holding a bassoon day on 24th February for all ages at King Edwards School on Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham. The bassoon choir will also be performing as part of the Women in Music Festival at Birmingham Town Hall on 1st March.
On 26th & 27th February from 8pm DanceXchange presents Rubberbandance Group from QuÃ©bec performing Elastic Perspective, a work investigating human relationships through a marriage of explosive hip hop and subtle contemporary dance styles. Following this, on 13th & 14th March from 8pm, the company presents Maresa von Stockert & Tilted Productions performing Glacier, an emotionally charged work exploring global warming and environmental change. All performances take place at DanceXchange, Birmingham Hippodrome, Thorp Street, Birmingham, B5 4TB with tickets available by calling 0870 730 1234 or visiting dancexchange.org.uk/shows.
3estates Kings Norton
An exhibition of past and present public art projects that have taken place on the 3estates in Kings Norton will be held at The Custard Factory from 27th February to 1st March. Organised by local photographer Rita Fletcher, the exhibition will also feature â€˜A Film of 100 Verses for 3estatesâ€™ by Ravi Deepres and Gavin Wade.
Birmingham Festival Choral Society is Making History
On Sunday 13th April at 7.30pm in Birmingham Town Hall, BFCS will present Mendelssohnâ€™s Elijah with the English Hayden Orchestra on period instruments. This performance will capture a time in 1846 when the then newly formed BFCS participated in the â€˜Elijahâ€™ premier in the Town Hall, and then again in 1847 with Mendelssohn himself conducting. Being hailed by BFCS as the highlight of their 2007/8 concert season, tickets are priced at Â£6.50, Â£10, Â£16.50 & Â£20.
Open Mic for Women
L.I.M.E â€“ Yelitza & Friends (Ladies Institute for Music & Entertainment) invites all female artists to take control, share their music, and come and be part of this open mic night held once a month at CafÃ© One, Five Ways, Birmingham. For more information please visit myspace.com/yelitzauk.
Now that’s a fantastic resource right there. Admittedly it’s all over the place but that’s the beauty of it. Artsfest is in the unique position of having contacts in all sorts of areas of the arts in Birmingham from little community groups to organizations with an international profile. Turning this into a resource is such a no-brainer I can’t believe it’s never occurred to me before. The above is pretty much made up of press releases with no critical voice added, which is not an issue. It probably took me an hour to source all the links in using Google. Even allowing for the small number of staff running Artsfest during the rest of the year I think turning this into a blog shouldn’t be too hard. Each morning check through the emails, copy any news items into a new post and add links. This should take about half an hour if that. And bingo, you’ve got a website that has value throughout the year and promotes Artsfest in ways a poster campaign can’t hope to reach.
(I am, of course, available for chats and tea on these issues…)