Spotlight on…Bournville Rocks

Bournville Rocks is a Facebook group dedicated to the current trend of painting rocks and hiding them for others to find and enjoy. It is worth remembering that a big part of this activity was had it’s origin with one little girl, Isla, who sadly passed away this July. After being diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer, Isla began to decorate stones and hide them, a campaign that soon spread across the world. When the rocks were found people were encourage to post photos online using the #islastones hashtag, and then re-hide them. Rocks communities are activities that everyone can enjoy regardless of age and ability.  I was honoured to speak to founder Lynn Mason about her hard work in organising Bournville Rocks.

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Minutes of Arts Forum meeting 18.07.18…

I am delighted to share with you the minutes, comments and findings of the first Arts Forum meeting of 2018, which was held at Stirchley Baths on 18.07. The event was well attended, and inspiring conversations were had. Feel free to share and comment below. The next meeting will be in September, venue and date TBC…

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Spotlight on…Creative Coffee Hub.

coffee hub


Creative Coffee Hub on Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak is celebrating its third birthday this July. A tremendous addition to the local community, with not just with great coffee, but generations of parents and their children attending its wide range of activities, but also local students have become regulars at its daytimes of sheer creativity.

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New co-ordinator…and new home!

Me for Arts Forum resize

Hi there! My name is James Kennedy, and i’m the new Arts Forum co-ordinator for Selly Oak. I will be looking after arts provision within the Selly Oak constituency, which embraces Selly Oak/Selly Park, Stirchley, Bournville, Cotteridge, Druid’s Heath, Yardley Wood and Billesley.

I’ve lived in South Birmingham for most of my life, and since 2004 have enjoyed supporting and taking part in my city’s varied arts scenes. I organise my own open mic/showcase event, the Sunday Xpress, which currently lives at Centrala in Digbeth, and my favourite piece of cake on a Trivial Pursuit board is definitely Arts and Literature.

I am pleased to announce that Arts Forum Selly Oak has very kindly been offered a home at the Stirchley Baths Community Hub on Bournville Lane. In agreement with the Baths we will be assisting them with their plans for Birmingham Heritage Week and The Big Draw, and also we will be actively involved with the Community Cinema Club which has it’s base there.

A big mission will be to go out and see for myself what’s going on in the area and recommend it…there will be blogs, posters, videos, recommendations…A lot of you will know about them, and some of you won’t – names that spring to mind are Artefact Café (my local) , Bournville Book Festival, Creative Coffee Hub, Sense Birmingham and their home at Touch Base Pears, Friends of Cotteridge Park, Maypole Youth and Community Centre, spaces in libraries, back rooms, churches…individual artists and organisations, bands playing in pubs, noises coming from rehearsal rooms and studios…the list is varied and vast. Eventually it will all re-appear on the Creative Directory link. Spotlights on, interviews, and chances to get everybody involved…I will also be putting on Arts Forum events across the area…more of that anon…

There are loads of established and hard-working people and organisations out there who know their stuff and are doing great things within their community already… If you are one of them and want to get in touch and spread the word of what you are doing – please get in touch with me at

That’s it from  me for the moment – look out for details of the first Arts Forum Selly Oak meeting at Stirchley Baths which will be occurring very soon.

Recruiting a New Arts Forum Coordinator

Arts Forum Selly Oak are recruiting a new Coordinator to programme and promote local arts activity, organise networking meetings and work with organisations across the district to engage local people.

We are working in partnership with Stirchley Baths to relaunch the Arts Forum. The new Coordinator will have access to office space and be able to make use of Stirchley Baths resources, programming some activities there in the school holidays.

Click here to download the Job Description and find out how to apply. If you want to talk to us about the role or find out more information, please send us an email or come along to the networking meeting on Tuesday 27th February, 6.30pm at Stirchley Baths.

Arts Funding Surgery

feltingAre you an artist, community or arts organisation in the Selly Oak district looking to raise funds for an arts or cultural project? Would you like some advice? If so, book onto this surgery with Sabra Khan, an experienced fundraiser with over 20 years experience working with a range of artists and arts organisations.

To book please follow this link to our Eventbrite page and choose a slot.

Art SOAK 2015To get the best out of this 30 minute appointment, please send a synopsis of your project/idea to us by email by 20th March:

Please register by Friday 24th March. If there are still sessions available after this date we will open them out to people from outside the district, please email us to enquire if this applies to you.

Guest Blog: Bournville BookFest is Back!

Tickets are now on sale for Bournville BookFest 2017 – a 10-day celebration of storytelling for children taking place in 15 different venues across Birmingham this Spring.
From Friday 17 March to Sunday March 26, Busy Parents Network has invited vast array of authors, artists, and actors to ignite young imaginations. There will comic-writing, drama, pirates, writing your own adventures, a guinea pig party, singing, dance, animation, toddler under-the-sea adventures, bedtime stories, Fairy Tale trail, and the chance to meet your favourite authors.  From singing sessions for 2 year olds, to writing workshops for 8-12 year olds, there really is something for everyone.
* Draw Harry Potter with award-winning illustrator Jonny Duddle
* Sing along to Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes
* Have a selfie with Winnie the Witch
* Pirates and Pants with Chloe Inkpen
* Write animal stories with Piers Torday
* Draw, sing and make bear masks with David Litchfield The Bear & Piano. 
There’s a host of creative BookFest events for teenagers and young adults too, including:
* Beatboxing with Midé Naike of The Sons of Pitches (Naked Choir winners)
* Everest adventures with climber Matt Dickinson
* Create an Art Deco selfie
Teen takeover at P-Cafe – a spoken word event plus open mic spots.
Bournville BookFest is organised by multi-award winning Busy Parents Network, a community social enterprise based at Bournville Community Hub.  Busy Parents is also the team behind Magical Lands and Bournville Scarecrow Festival.
Director Sarah Mullen said: ” From humble beginnings four years ago, Bournville BookFest is growing fast and going from strength to strength every year. We’re delighted to be able to bring an affordable children’s BookFest to Birmingham with the aims of celebrating and encouraging storytelling in all its many forms. We hope you can join us for one of our fantastic events. We guarantee a warm welcome!”
Tickets from just £3.50. Details of the whole programme and ticket sales are all online at: