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 artsforumsellyoak@gmail.com.

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: artsforumsellyoak@gmail.com

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: www.bournvillebookfest.com.

Threats to Local Libraries

There are four public libraries in Selly Oak District and as an Arts Forum we have used them all for workshops, exhibitions and performances. They help us to reach out into communities with few other public buildings available to hold events and they are a vital resource for the communities they serve, holding regular events, hosting groups and other services such as the Neighbourhood Office in Druids Heath Library.

The recent consultation which ended last week shows a bleak future for Birmingham’s libraries with cuts to hours and staffing, building closures and transfer of services to community organisations, taking libraries out of local Council control.

A tiered system has been used to categorise the libraries and suggest which will close, which will have the most hours cut and which will be transferred to interested community groups. Only one Library in the district, Yardley Wood, is categorised as Tier 1 meaning it will remain in its existing building, open for 35 hours a week.


Many of you will already have heard a lot about the threat to Stirchley Library which, along with Druids Heath falls into Tier 2. The current suggestion is that Stirchley Library will close and the services it offers will be relocated to Stirchley Baths. Selly Oak faces the worst cuts in Tier 3 with building closure and transfer to an as yet-unidentified organisation with the Council offering some books and PCs as compensation. All the libraries face cuts to staffing, replacing them with self-service machines.

The loss of library services will devastate the communities they serve; they are a vital source of information and often internet access for communities which are underserved in other respects.

You can read more about the proposed cuts and changes to services across the whole city here. In the meantime, there is still plenty going on at your local library, as well as organisations like the Arts Forum who use the libraries for one-off events, they run weekly and monthly arts events of their own.


Druids Heath Library:

Crafty Sew ‘n’ sews`: every Saturdays 10 – 11am


Selly Oak Library:

Monthly Craft Session: 2nd Saturday of every month 11am – 12m

Weekly under 5s story time every Monday 10.15 – 10.45am


Stirchley Library:

Monthly craft sessions: 1st Saturday of every month 2 – 3pm

Weekly pre-school fun sessions: every Tuesday 9.45 – 10.15am


Yardley Wood Library:

Under 5s Story time: every Tuesday 09:45 – 10:30am

Open Project Nights with No. 11 Arts and Impact Hub


Number 11 Arts, the new umbrella organisation advocating for Birmingham’s network of local Arts Fora is teaming up with Impact Hub Birmingham to deliver a series of informal discussions and workshops at their regular Open Project Nights.

The first of these will be on Funding and Project Development held on Monday 23rd January 6.30-8.30pm.

Come and share your plans for projects, ask advice and discuss any issues or challenges you’re are facing with other like-minded people.

To register for the event, click here. 

Roxie Collins – Relish What You Have Achieved

P Cafe, 28th September- 22nd October 2016.

From September to the end of October visual artist Roxie Collins presents a series of workshops and sessions at P Cafe in association with Stirchley Happenings.

Friday 30th September: Relish What You Have Achieved. A private view of Roxie Collins’ new series of work. 18:00- 22:00.

The exhibition will also be kicked off with a Macmillan coffee morning (with mostly vegan delights) running on Friday 30th September from 11:00 – 14:30, children are very welcome.

Saturday 8th October: Synthesiser Workshop. 18:00- 21:00

Saturday 15th October: ‘SSSH’ (Saturday Stirchley Sonic Haven). A evening listening of an ambient, synthesizer album. BYOYM… Bring Your Own Yoga Mat. If you do not have one, soft furnishings shall be provided for any length of reclining.