At the heart of our project lies a deep commitment to supporting the community, helping them access vital resources to elevate their enterprises. Our ongoing initiatives reflect this dedication, offering avenues for growth and empowerment.

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) News

·       We are looking for a UK West Midlands Ownership Hub Coordinator who will be employed by Co-operatives UK – but based at the WMCA culture team. The coordinator will support cultural & creative sector organisations and creatives to set up co-operatives and giving advice on how co-ops work. Guidance and budget will be provided. Fixed term, full-time role for 2 years based at the WMCA, £32,592 per annum + benefits – more info attached. Closes 11 October 2023.

·       There are new people at the WMCA culture team, including our new Project & Marketing Officer Gurpreet Bachu; Project Manager Maria Tirnovanu; Cultural Infrastructure Development Lead Clive Flecther (secondment from Historic England) and Policy Officer Bryony Windsor (secondment from Arts Council England). Everyone says hi.

·       WMCA contracted Curiosity Productions to map support for creative freelancers in the region. The report showed there is quite a lot out there (or was in Feb-Mar 2023 when we did it) and the information has helped us to think about how we can support freelancers going forward. The link includes a list of over 200 support offers. Please note some caveats apply and we cannot guarantee quality of any offer. And thanks to everyone who attended our consultation session last week, it was fab.

·       Our Urban Rooms training workshop on 9 October is now fully booked  – but given high demand, we are talking to University of Sheffield about a potential follow up session. We have a waiting list for the event in Wolverhampton as well so please let us know if you are no longer able to join.

·       And just a reminder you can also access our Cultural Advocacy Toolkits in case you need to advocate for and promote the importance of culture across the region.

·       We will provide more information about the WMCA funding opportunities asap.

Opportunities (like funding, grants, commissions, competitions and bursaries)

·       Last chance Digital Marketing Day 2023 bursaries to help cover the full cost of a Digital Marketing Day 2023 delegate place. Click here to find out more about the event and how to apply for a bursary. Deadline 13 Oct.

·       Applications now open for The New Art Gallery Walsall programme: REFLECTOR. A professional development programme for photographers, artists and curators from non-white backgrounds. Find out more and apply here. Applications close midnight 9 October 2023.

·       Applications to Jameel Prize by the V7A are open from 3 September – 15 October 2023. The Jameel Prize is an international award for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition. It is open to artists and designers of any age, from any background, living anywhere in the world & free to enter.

·       Art Bytes is a national art and EdTech programme for primary, secondary and SEN schools, combining an inter-school art competition with a bespoke virtual gallery. Register now to join a community of schools across England. Fees apply.

·       Find out the essentials in fundraising, digital campaigns and writing bids though Museum Development East Midlands and West Midlands Museum Development who will be working with Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy to offer a suite of fundraising workshops for 2023/2024. Read about the full programme and events hereThey do lots of great stuff.

·       Birmingham City Council Public Health are proud to launch their ‘Creative Public Health Innovation, Partnership and Impact Fund’ worth £40,000 to be distributed to four local community organisations in Birmingham. Sign up to FindItInBirmingham to view this opportunity and to download the information and commissioning application form. Applications close 27 October 2023, 5pm.

·       Connections through Culture Grants by British Council support new cultural collaborations between East Asia & UK. Grants between £5-£10k, more info hereDeadline 23 October 2020.

·       Creative UK have introduced Creative Enterprise Business Builder grants, designed to support companies in film, television, games, animation and immersive industries. Grants up to £2,500 and consultancy support.

·       The next round of Warwick District Council Arts Grants are now live together with the second round of Digital Creative Recovery Grant scheme. A total £350,000 funding is available, geographical restrictions do apply, various deadlines. 

·       Tate Modern launches new commission for experimental artists, more detail to follow.

·       Art Fund has a number of existing funding opportunities including their ‘Going Places’ initiative, find out more information here.

·       Cultural Bridge supports intercultural exchange and dialogue in the field of participative arts and culture between Germany and the UK find out more here. Applications open 11 October 2023.

·       Aston University are looking for performances to take place at the Festive Fair during 11-14 December 2023 and there is a budget up to £1k. To find out more, please contact Rosa Amato at .

·       Selly Manor Museum is offering four paid artist commissions in celebration of Black Tudors. Find out more information hereApplications close: 16 October 2023.

·       Asylum Art Gallery are looking for artists and makers to undertake a two-month residency each to undertake the research and work needed to realise their proposal. Find out more information hereApplications close: 18 October 2023.

·       Find out more information here about Birmingham City Council’s Sanctuary Grants Scheme.

·       New projects for Jerwood New Work fund plus Developing Artists Fund news, find out more here. They support a LOT of different art forms.

Events, courses, conferences and training offers

·       DESIblitz Literature Festival, UK’s leading book festival celebrating British South Asian writing is now in its 7th year, taking place across venues in Birmingham between 20 – 29October. View thefull programme & book tickets here.

·       Gazebo Theatre launch their 2023 national tour of WANTED with two shows at the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton on and 5 October 2023. Tickets can be booked here.

·       The Beautiful Futures Festival (19 – 21 October) is a three-day celebration and rallying cry, shining a spotlight on new creations by Black artists and envisioning and shaping the future of culture and creativity in the 21st century. This year, Culture Central joins forces with More Than A Moment on October 20th, presenting the Beautiful Futures Summit — an intersectional critical dialogue for the sector.

·       Register here to Birmingham’s Black Business Conference at Legacy Centre of Excellence taking place on 14 October 2023.

·       Quality Dis/Abled seminar on Tuesday 24 October 2023, 11am – 4pm explores how quality within visual art practice is judged between people who identify as D/Deaf disabled and non-disabled. Hosted by artist Amanda Lynch, seminar has been funded by the British Art Network and Paul Mellon Centre.

·       National Gallery is looking for 200 Digital Creators to celebrate Bicentenary, find out more Closes 8 October.

·       STEAMhouse Studio opens its doors! Discover an incredible co-working space at Birmingham City University’s STEAMhouse. The Studio offers dedicated workstations in a convenient central location. For just £150+VAT monthly, creatives access not only the Studio but also a bustling line up of events, workshops, and socials. Upgrade to access the advanced STEAMhouse Production Space, a cutting-edge fabrication workshop perfect for experimenting with various materials and technologies. 

·       Sign up for the Purpose, Practice, Pizzazz conference by West Midlands Museum Development for museums onWednesday 25 October 9:15am-7pm at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Coalbrookdale, Shropshire TF8 7DQ. Bookings close 9am, Monday 9 October.

·       West Midlands Museum Development will also be running a Disability Essentials eLearning programme  available to West Midlands museums, freelancers within the museums sector and their training partners. Or you could sign up to their Mental Health Awareness Workshop for Leaders on 28 November.

·       New Trans-Inclusive guidance for museums and heritage sector has been developed by University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG).

·       Join Helga Henry for a webinar about sectoral change “fitting in” verses standing out, and real-life stories where coaching made a difference in people’s lives. Helga is sharing her learning on how coaching can empower individuals from different backgrounds to develop leadership styles that break free from the traditional binary choices of assimilation or segregation. Book your FREE online webinar place here, for Tuesday 24 October 2023, 5pm – 7pm.

·       Interested in turning your business into a Social Enterprise? Social Enterprise UK are hosting an online social lunch on 4 October 2023, 12-1pm which will look at the top things to consider when transitioning to a social enterprise model. Click here to register for the social lunch and learn.

·       Head to Futurelearn to enrol on Centre for Cultural Value new FREE on-demand online course looking at Evaluation for Arts, Culture and Heritage: Principles and Practice.

·       You can still book tickets for the online version of Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance national conference, 11-13 October.Book your tickets by 6 October. Fees apply.

·       The next National Centre of Academic and Cultural Exchange Evidence Café session is looking at University and Local Authority Cultural Partnerships. 12 October 2023, 2pm online

·       Discover what’s next for the Cultural Compact for Northeast Worcestershire on 27 October 2023, 3.30pm – 5pm at Heart of Worcestershire College, Redditch Campus.Book here.

·       Date for the diary – Spark: Ignite 2024a brilliant, one-day symposium for Warwick District’s creative sector will take place at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington on 15 February 2024. They are looking for people and organisations to take part in the programme, email Ticket bookings open November 2023.

·       Based in Digbeth? Do work in creative & digital sectors? Creative Alliance is launching a new Creative Circle networking event, first one on 26 October 2023, 8.30am – 10am.

·       Digbeth folks may also want to join Miguel Hincapié from Birmingham City University for a participatory photography workshop on 13 October at STEAM house BCU City Centre campus from 9 – 1:30pm. The workshop will inform a new research project on the value and significance of the blue, green and grey infrastructure of the canals and canal sides in Digbeth. Miguel wants to engage practitioners, artists, or residents to explore the multiple values associated with these environments and discuss how these can be integrated more effectively into current regeneration and conservation efforts.

·       Need a helping hand calculating your carbon footprint? Join Julie’s Bicycle for a webinar on 11 October 2023, aimed at people interested in their new Carbon Calculation platform.

·       BBC Academy presents a hybrid Climate Creatives Conference 2023. The third event of its kind will explore questions around authentically incorporating climate into our content.  It will bring the industry together to explore the role of the imagination in inspiring a low carbon future. Thursday 19 October, 10am – 4:45pm.

·       Reflect, share, inspire Digital Skills for Heritage,join the free hybrid event taking place on 18 October 2023 at British Museum, London. This event is for anyone working or volunteering in a UK heritage organisation.

·       Live & Local will be running a training day for artists who interested in being involved in rural touring, taking place on 18 October 2023 at the Brewhouse in Burton on Trent. Bursaries of £150 also available.

·       Want to know how to make YouTube, TikTok or Instagram videos your audience will love? A FREE 60-minute webinar by the Digital Culture Network on 25 October 2-3pm will tell you how. 

·       FABRIC is offering a series of FREE monthly workshops for 11–17-year-olds, hosted by Centre for Advanced Training. These ‘GetSet’ sessions are for young people curious about dance and will be delivered as a series of workshops created to help you gain confidence and experience in dance. You can also check out FABRIC’s Critical Mass Dance Collective video…..

·       Did you know FABRIC also offers FREE studio space for dance artists as part of their Blank Space programme?

Jobs, Vacancies & Volunteering

·       Powered by Can, a new NPO based in Sandwell are looking foran Enterprise and Employability Coordinator, Partnership & Community Coordinator and a Service Delivery Coordinator. All close 9 October.

·       Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council is looking for a freelance Project Manager to support the delivery of the Arts Council funded Creative Explorers Project. The contract is expected to last 17 months. Closes 19 October.

·       Ikon Gallery have partnered with Birmingham City Council Public Health to establish a Public Health Research Officer to explore the value of galleries on public health. Click here to view and download the job description and application form. Deadline midday 31 October.

·       Creative Health and West Midlands Alliance and GEM are working together on a new 2-year National Lottery Heritage Fund project and are looking for an Evaluator. Closes 16 October.

·       Centrala is looking for a Finance Officer.

·       CBSO is seeking to appoint a Principal Tuba to its lower brass section. Closes 6 October. I’m blown away (sorry could not resist).

·       CBSO is also seeking a Learning & Engagement Officer to work across the Learning & Engagement Department and support the delivery of their talent development and community work. Closes 16 October.

·       Ikon Gallery is recruiting a Commercial Curator, Closes 17 October.

·       Birmingham Hippodrome are seeing a passionate and efficient Festivals and Sites Producer.
Closes 22 October 2023.

·       Birmingham Open Media (BOM) are recruiting a Chair for their Boarddownload the recruitment pack to find out more. Closes 6 October.

·       The GAP Arts Project is looking for a Chair of Board of Trustees.  

·       Curiosity Productions are planning to set up a sister charity (CIO) with the working title of Curiosity Projects. They are looking for people to join, initially as a voluntary advisory group that will hopefully become the first board for the charity. Closes 17 October.

·       Keneish Dance looking for people with senior experience across Law and / or Finance to join their board of trustees. Email for more details.

Policy, research and other news

·       We all have to work together to ensure young people find out about creative careers. One way to do this is for your organisation to sign up with the Discover Creative Careers week  13-17 November 2023. Register by 6 October.

·       The secretary of state for culture, media and sport Lucy Frazer MP has announced that an independent standards body to help fight bullying and harassment in the creative industries will be launched next year.

·       UK Music have released a manifesto urging the next Government to develop a comprehensive, medium to long-term music strategy for growth. The blueprint sets out a five-point plan for political parties and calls for swift action to implement these key policies. Other recommendations include protection of venues and studios and promote diversity.

·       Arts Council England, Creative PEC and RSA are teaming up to establish how the creative industries can hit the government target of contributing £50bn by 2030. Read here.

·       Arts Council England is also doing a freelancer survey as part of their commitment to increase support – especially in understanding the contribution of freelancers make in the sector, advocating opportunities & challenges and building a more equitable, accessible and sustainable future for the creative and cultural workforce.

·       Join world-leading researchers, makers, investors, business leaders, and thinkers at Beyond 2023 conference in London between 21-22 November. This year’s theme is global creative economy. Fees apply.

·       Creative UK and Triodos Bank have launched a new £35 million growth fund for the UK’s creative industries.

·       View the vision paper from Centre for Cultural Value on Culture, health and wellbeing.

·       Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance has published a Creative Health Quality Framework, which is a ground-breaking tool that clearly articulates what “good” looks like for creative and cultural initiatives that aim to support people’s health and wellbeing.

·       Read the A Greener Future report here, which provides new insight into environmental impact of festivals.

·       Pupils from London (75%) are significantly more likely to have visited a museum in the past year compared to those living in the Midlands or Wales (57%).  This and other rather depressing stats can be found from the new research by Art Fund.

·       The results of the Black British Voices Project, which spoke to over 10,000 Black Britons shows that:  87% of Young Black Britons do not feel employers and businesses are doing enough to address the employment gap for them; 93% of Young Black Britons do not feel supported by the government in the challenges they face 98% of Black Britons have “compromised self-expression and identity to fit into the workplace – by adapting speech or hairstyles, for example.

·       Guidance for applicants has been published for National Lottery Project Grants so the process of applying is clearer, easier and more accessible. Find out more about the changes here. Proof will be in the pudding though as they say….

·       Help shape the future of fundraising with the Fundraising Regulator who are running a consultation into the Code of Fundraising Practice. Find out more here. Closes 1 December.

·       National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange are developing a publication sharing guidance on ethical practice in Cultural Knowledge Exchange, to inform the advancement of work in this area and to signpost and platform some of the exiting best practice and relevant resources. Visit Call for Papers to find out more. Deadline 12 noon 9 October.

·       Centre for Cities has a new report out mapping on innovative and growing clusters across the UK, and some timely recommendations for policymakers looking to grow their own through the Investment zones.

·       Ahead of party conference season, a coalition of creative and higher education organisations launched their #ArtIsEssential