Connecting Communities through Cultural Co-Design is an initiative funded by Birmingham City Council, Arts Council England and the Department for Communities and Local Government aimed at bringing communities together by showcasing and supporting good practice in arts and culture. The project aims to allow people from all background the opportunity to participate in the arts and to build on shared values and aspirations.
In the first year of the programme Arts Forum Selly Oak worked in Druids Heath with Some Cities, a community interest company, to deliver a series of workshops that ask questions about the local environment and encourage participants to look at their area through new eyes.
In year two we will be working in the same area running felting workshops with groups at Bells Farm with artist Sarah Leigh and working with Reel Access to develop some work with groups at Manningford Hall and Malachi.
Our workshops for the second year of the Connecting Communities project have begun at Bells Farm; we have been working with a mums group making pieces of felt to turn into jewellery, bag decorations or just pieces of art on their own. Some of the women made pieces to sell at the Christmas Fun Day and others just made work to keep for themselves. The workshops, let by artist Sarah Leigh have been great fun and lots of hard work as well!