Sparkbrook Games and Family Fun Day

The Sparkbrook Neighbourhood Forum (SNF) is a resident led Voluntary organisation that is run and supported by local volunteers.  They have resident groups, youth forum and many other organisations that are a part of SNF to promote a better living environment for local residents.

On Sunday 1st September they will be hosting a games and family day taking place from 11am-3pm at Farm Park.

Join them for a day packed with lots of fun activities, sport, food, music and entertainment!

Let Freedom Ring

Our World, His Dream: Freedom – Join Us and Make it Happen!

The annual Official Launch of Birmingham Black History Month at The Drum in partnership with Birmingham City Council seeks to celebrate achievements, contributions and struggles of African, Asian and Caribbean people within the context of their diversity and heritage.

This year’s launch programme commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. On August 28 1963 Dr King addressed over 250,000 Civil Rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”. The speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement and is regarded as the most iconic American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.

The Drum will be taking part in a global celebration coordinated by The King Centre in Atlanta, Georgia to help culminate the 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. We would like to invite you all along with family members and friends to “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing event at 2:30pm on Wednesday 28 August 2013, (a half-century to the minute after Dr King delivered his historic address).

We have partnered with members from across the local community including local church leaders, mosques, University of BirminghamPunch Records, and groups from Hall Green District Arts Champions Scheme to attend the bell ringing ceremony, which will be led by the Reverend Canon Pitt, Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Rd, Birchfield, B6 6AG  (we will commence promptly at 2:30pm). 

The event is a befitting occasion at which the participating partners will highlight their programme of event and activities including short performances by specially commissioned artists for Black History Month 2013.


Nu Century Arts is a performing arts company that brings creative ideas to the heart of Britain’s Black community.

Now they are about to launch a new and innovative performance space – THE BACK YARD – right in the back garden area of their offices in Hamstead Road, Handsworth!

The new venue will be officially unveiled with a celebration of music, dance, drama and spoken word on Saturday September 7
th, from 1pm-8pm.
Entrance is free but due to limited space, seats will be by first come, first served only.

Soweto Kinch, the multi-award winning saxophonist will headline the event – and will join with rapper Jonzi D as MC for the launch. Headline artists also booked to appear include Afro Mio and  David Grey.

 BACK YARD is the latest addition to a stable of Nu Century projects that have grown audiences and have assisted the development of artistic communities in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.
Established Nu Century initiatives include the popular LIVE BOX and the internationally successful Flyover Show at Hockley underpass, which has attracted artistes the calibre of Speech Debelle, Goldie and Maxi Priest to perform there.
Artistic Director Don Kinch has high hopes for the new venture; and he believes that small, embedded, neighbourhood-based performance spaces may well be the creative answer to continuing austerity.
THE BACK YARD will stand out as a venue in the heart of the community,” says Don.  “It will carry a big sign at the front of the building. It will be clear what it is and will say what it does. It will let local people know what’s on and when it’s on.  It will also let people know how they can get involved.

 was named to have a special significance and appeal to people from African Caribbean backgrounds.   According to Don, Jamaican heritage audiences in particular will connect with it at two levels (1) The garden and (2) Back-A-Yard as in back home in Jamaica. Others will connect with the idea of personal ownership and the sense of playing in one’s very own back yard or garden.”
Plans for the creative space reveal a boldly executed concept, influenced by the performing arts, that is both aesthetic and functional. The dimensions are approximately 30m x 15m of the entire garden.  It will feature a Truss Roof covered stage 4mx4mx3m with timber decking, gravel and paving for the audience areas. Attractive mosaic stepping stones are being used to decorate the flooring and cabaret style seating is meant to emphasise the uniqueness of the occasion.
Access to the venue would be through Henderson House, the main building that houses Nu Century Arts, and there will also be a side entrance and exit from Hamstead Road.
The aim will be for a vibrant and yet intimate setting that allows for creativity and freedom of expression. The space can be also utilised as an area of peace, tranquillity and relaxation.
Development of new audiences and local talent will be key priorities for the new venue – as well as providing greater access for local people who want to get into the performing arts.

 is a BACK YARD idea designed to encourage community members to come and take part in activities ranging from attending  meetings to learning to play  instruments or to leading classes.

Jennifer Riley
, of Nu Century Arts says:  “We will be saying to local people ‘don’t wait for us to organise an activity for you, take the key and organise activities yourselves and we will facilitate’.   This we believe will impact on both local artists and the community at large and create a personal connection and interest in artistic activity at the venue and across the city.”
The new neighbourhood-based venue will link with a considerable network of international artists developed by Nu Century Arts. The venue will add a national and international dimension to its programme by drawing on connections with internationally renowned Birmingham-based artists such as Julie DexterSoweto KinchLaura MvulaShabaka HutchingsNeil Charles and others such as EmpiricalFemi Tomowo, Eska Mtungwazi, Invisible and Ayanna Witter who have all grown through and benefited from our Live Box project.

 will also draw on international links with L’Acadco Dance Company (Jamaica) Stage One Theatre Company (Barbados) The South African State Theatre (South Africa) Ghana National Theatre (Ghana) Nordic Black Theatre (Norway). The aim will be to broaden the experience for local artists and residents and at the same time offer new ground and new opportunities for local artists to expand their work

THE BACK YARD,” says Don, “Is the child of austerity.  It ‘s going to be a  small and inviting artistic space, and one whose aim is to have an international reach.”


R Leonard Bartholomew is Director of Seriously Good Publicity
Facebook: sgpcomms
Mail: sgpcomms@gmail.com
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Re-blogged from:

Arts Champion Scheme – I Have a Dream

Spoken Word Workshop and Performance

“I Have a Dream” is a public speech delivered by American activist The Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Fifty years later Dr King’s speech is pertinent as ever, his words have a global resonance in countries and nations where citizen’s human and civil rights are violated or denied.

Birmingham’s Black History Month theme commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of what has been regarded, as the most iconic American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.

We are inviting young people 13-19 years of age in the Hall Green district (Hall Green, Sparkhill, Balsall Heath, Kings Heath, Moseley, Sparkbrook and Springfield) to take part in a series of spoken word workshops leading up to performances at community libraries across the Hall Green district, during Black History Month in October 2013.

The workshops will be led by experienced spoken word artists and performers. They will support young people to develop their own interpretation of “I Have a Dream” speech, making it relevant to them, other young people and society today.

If you are interested in taking part or know of any young people who would be interested in taking part in this exciting historical performance project please contact:
Ian Sergeant Arts Development Outreach Manager, The Drum Arts Centre, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, B6 4UU – email: ians@the-drum.org.uk Tel: 0121 333 2418

This project is supported by the Arts Champions Scheme, a ground breaking arts initiative that gets Birmingham arts organisations working with residents in their local area.

HGA I have a Dream Press Release