We have been awarded £200,000 to create a new, inclusive art and culture project linked to the Commonwealth Games, following a collaboration between Olympic legacy funder Spirit of 2012 and Birmingham 2022.
The project, entitled Playing Out, focuses on community development and cohesion in Canley in Coventry, using play to deliver a listening and storytelling project that brings together disabled and non-disabled people. Regular play workshops hosted at community venues will engage around 400 participants, including those with long-term illness and disability. The project will culminate in the production of two spectacular carnivals as part of the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme, inspired by the unique moment of the Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme is a world-class arts festival running from March to September 2022, alongside the sports programme. It will include new work, installations, exhibitions, performances and major events across the West Midlands.
We’re one of three organisations to receive a share of £600,000 from the West Midlands Challenge Fund, a collaboration between Spirit of 2012, the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Legacy Funder, and Birmingham 2022. The fund is designed to help build strong communities, improve wellbeing and empower inclusive participation in the arts.
Susie Rodgers MBE, non-executive director, Spirit of 2012 and Paralympic gold medallist, said:
“Large scale sporting and cultural events have the power to bring people together in hope and celebration; I know this through my own personal and professional experience as a Paralympic athlete, competing in and experiencing both London 2012 and Rio 2016.
“It is a privilege to be able to fund Warwick Arts Centre to deliver this fantastic project that will create opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people to come together to celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, their Commonwealth stories and be part of the biggest celebration of sport and culture in this country since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“I know the true value that sport has, particularly in changing attitudes, unlocking what is possible, and demonstrating how we are all interconnected. That is why I am excited to see these brilliant projects innovate in bringing people from all parts of the community together to create something truly special.”
Doreen Foster, Director of Warwick Arts Centre, said:
“This funding is a fantastic opportunity to expand our proud history of working closely with people in our neighbouring communities, especially Canley. I am constantly inspired by the ability of arts and culture to unite diverse groups, and I am excited by the potential of this project to firstly bring together hundreds of people over a two year period, and then to put on two amazing carnivals in 2022 and 2023.
“Coventry is already hosting rugby sevens, judo and wrestling competitions at the Commonwealth Games, so it’s fantastic that the city has a key role in Birmingham 2022’s cultural programme, too.”
Raidene Carter, Executive Producer of the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme, said:
“This fund will support three inspirational organisations and, importantly, bring a much needed financial and moral boost to the cultural and charity sectors through uncertain times.
“Warwick Arts Centre’s project demonstrates the power of the arts in giving voice to underrepresented communities, bringing together hundreds of disabled and non-disabled people to create a series of exciting performance moments for the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.
“Our collaboration with Spirit of 2012 is a wonderful example of Birmingham 2022’s ambition to create a Games for everyone. We’ve loved being part of the journey so far and I can’t wait to see how the creative ideas and incredible ambition for inclusion come together for the wider public to enjoy in 2022.”
About Spirit of 2012
Spirit of 2012 previously used the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a catalyst for change, funding legacy projects that focused on participation. They worked with Big Big Sing to get people across the UK singing before and during the games, culminating in a mass singing event in Glasgow Green during the games. They also worked with Streetgames to deliver a UK wide pop up sport programme in disadvantaged communities and brought a 1,000 young people to Glasgow to attend the games and experience the city. Similarly, they worked with Volunteer Scotland to support people from across the UK to volunteer in the opening and closing ceremonies. This included financial support to take part and overcome barriers.
Finally, at the end of the Games, they launched their flagship programme, Fourteen. This was a 3-year (£3.5M) community development programme which worked in 14 communities across the UK, with 3 in Glasgow. Each community was given a pot of £250k to manage and invest in participation in sport, arts & culture and volunteer projects. Many of the communities set up at steering groups and managed to grow the pot, with some communities still going today. Spirit’s total investment in the 2014 Commonwealth Games programme was £5m. As a result, they are still working with the Scottish Government to support people to become, and stay, active.
About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region and its people on the global stage.The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.
Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022. Find out more at birmingham2022.com
For more information, please contact James Bovill, Lead Communications Manager at Birmingham 2022, on 0751 336 0634 / firstname.lastname@example.org