With less than 100 days to go until Birmingham’s biggest arts festival, Birmingham Weekender 22 – 24 September, Birmingham’s communities and citizens are invited to get involved either through becoming part of the programme or by joining our team of volunteers.
The three day festival will feature performances and events from the city’s major arts organisations, independent artists and especially invited international artists as well as from communities across the city. Community groups and creative individuals are invited to get involved with two projects Culture Catwalk and Rangeeli – Colours of Birmingham Parade, both of which will transform the city centre.
Culture Catwalk returns following its successful outing in 2015 to celebrate art at the heart of the city. Culture Catwalk is produced by Southside Producers in partnership with The Old Rep and Beatfreeks and will shine a light on Birmingham’s finest community creative talent, capturing the vibrancy and diversity of the city. Artists from across the city are invited to take to the red carpet to sing, dance, slide and perform. Culture Catwalk is a celebration of everything that makes us Brummie!
Rangeeli – Colours of Birmingham Parade will be a spectacular city-wide parade and with the input of the citizens of Birmingham, the parade will celebrate and share the heritage of Birmingham with a South Asian twist – Utsav (festival) style! Community groups, dance troupes and marching bands are invited to get involved forming part of the parade.
Participants will meander their way through the city with unique and distinctive flags, hand-held puppets, masks and costumes accompanied by Harminder, an amazing, life-size, mechanical elephant. Colours of Birmingham culminates with a crescendo of sound including dhol and Brazilian beats, exhilarating kathakali, Bollywood, bhangra, bharatanatyam, African and contemporary dance and a colourful kaleidoscope of South Asian patang kites.
Birmingham Weekender relies on an army of volunteers to welcome visitors and audiences to the city. People interested in getting involved can find out more at the next Volunteers drop in event on 19 July at Cherry Reds in Birmingham.
Grace Smith, Southside Producers said:
“We are delighted to be curating Culture Catwalk 2017 for Birmingham Weekender. We can’t wait to see what Birmingham’s creative communities put forward and will be working with groups to help them shape their performances for the Culture Catwalk stage. Birmingham Weekender audiences should expect to be wowed by the talent and skills in our city!”
Festival Directors, Graham Callister (Birmingham Hippodrome) and Piali Ray (Sampad) added:
“We want the citizens of Birmingham to make Birmingham Weekender their own, showcasing their skills on the Culture Catwalk stage, performing as part of the Colours of Birmingham Parade – either with their own group or through joining in one of our activities to create the parade, and signing up to help us make the weekend happen as an event volunteer. What a way to experience Birmingham Weekender – enjoying music, dance, culture from within our city and beyond as well as through becoming part of the Weekender themselves!”
Groups and individuals interested in signing up to strut their stuff on Culture Catwalk, perform as part of Colours of Birmingham or volunteer across the Weekender should visit birminghamweekender.com for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Birmingham Weekender is brought to the city by Culture Central, the cultural development agency for Birmingham.
Birmingham Retail BID, Colmore BID, Bullring, Mailbox, Bull Ring Markets and BCU have confirmed as event sponsors alongside funding support from Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England. Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce at confirmed as Business Partner, Midland Metro are Travel Partner and What’s On are Media Partner for Birmingham Weekender 2017.
Culture Catwalk is supported by funding from Arts Connect.
Birmingham Weekender 2017 is proud to be part of Utsav, Birmingham’s Year of South Asian Culture.
For more information, contact Helen Annetts, PR on behalf of Birmingham Weekender, on 07779026720 or email HelenLAnnetts@hotmail.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
About Birmingham Weekender:
The award-winning Birmingham Weekender promises a packed weekend of free outdoor theatre, music, art installations and performance from Broad Street to Eastside, including the city’s retail heart. With opportunities to take part and watch as the weekend unfolds, the city’s streets, shops and squares will come alive with something to entertain and delight all the family.
About Culture Central:
Culture Central is the collective voice and development organisation for culture in the Birmingham City region. Culture Central has been created by a founding group of cultural organisations with the purpose of placing culture and creativity at the centre of economic and social future of the region. Culture Central work closely with a growing range of anchor institutions including universities and the business sector alongside an increasingly wide group of cultural and creative organisations.
Culture Central members include:
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Opera Company
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Birmingham Royal Ballet
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
Sampad South Asian Arts
Town Hall Symphony Hall
Photo: Mihani Malhorta