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CreativesWeAre – A FreeTimePays community

Creatives We Are is community of passion that recognises that creativity is in all us. Here we provide a space where people can share their passion, showcase their creativity and inspire others to explore their creative self.

Launch date: March 2020
Combined FreeTimePays following: 101K


Community sponsors:

Art, culture & creativity
Displaying until 31 Dec 2020 - FreeTimePays
Featuring

Birmingham Gems (incl. Culture Trail) - the biggest ever collaboration with community starts!

https://www.youtube.com/embed//jU7twXMkVSA

With help of young people on the National Citizens Service run by Sport 4 Life and with the full support of WM Police, we're starting to build the largest digital Culture Trail ever attempted by a City's community.

The Trail promoting our wonderful Birmingham Gems will be fully populated ahead of the Commonwalth Games in 2022.

Thanks also the great UB40.

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Birmingham Gems (incl. Culture Trail) - the biggest ever collaboration with community starts!





With help of young people on the National Citizens Service run by Sport 4 Life and with the full support of WM Police, we're starting to build the largest digital Culture Trail ever attempted by a City's community.

The Trail promoting our wonderful Birmingham Gems will be fully populated ahead of the Commonwalth Games in 2022.

Thanks also the great UB40.


The vision

The project ACT Community will deliver as ‘a curator’ the most inclusive, digitally accessible art and culture trail ever created by any city, bringing together, for the wellness of society, all of community in a massive celebration of place with events held throughout the year and an annual celebration taking place in the banqueting suite of the Birmingham City Council.

Schools, community groups, charities, faith groups, clubs, societies across all districts will be engaged through the art and creative contacts and partnerships already established across every district in Birmingham, bringing together people regardless of disability or mental health.

Building on community ‘spirit’

There is no better time for engaging community in ACT Community and it will offer a great opportunity for the creatives and those passionate about culture to shine.

This bottom up engagement will promote the values delivered by a connected, engaged and cohesive community and build on those values and strengths shown by people during the fight against Coronavirus.

The project will feed off and into the “spirit” shown by community during this difficult period and every year a showcase of community, culture and creativity will be held in celebration of what is being showcased and delivered on the digital trail.

Delivery and logistics

ACT builds on the work already started and funded by philanthropists. This work over the past 2 years has led to the growth of a large and co-ordinated community of people who are passionate about their place and their culture.

ACT also builds on the huge success of an event held at Birmingham’s Council House in January 2020 which showcased the work (art and culture) of over 100 #PeoplewithPassion #BirminghamPassion from across community.

Digitally, the work of our #PeoplewithPassion is followed by over 100,000 people across the UK. Many of these passionate contributors are known to face mental health challenges and for many our platform has become a positive outlet and a form of ‘medicine’ for their wellness.

Through a mix of digital and traditional engagement, we will expand and bring together in one digital space over 1,000 people from across community to promote, share and showcase their place, culture and the creativity of community.

This community will be hosted at www.CreativesWeAre.com

A minimum of 100 people/organisations per district will be given free access to use digital tools and collaborate in populating and maintaining the Art & Culture Trail.

Once restrictions over travel and social distancing are fully lifted, we will utilise drone technology to map and pin the creative and cultural places of interest in key locations.

Mapping software already used for another linked project ‘Birmingham Gems’ and VR technology (see www.BirminghamGems.com) is also available.

The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery will operate as the physical city centre hub where creatives from the districts can come together, inspire and be inspired. Here creatives can pitch their ideas, attend wellness workshops and meet potential funders .

All of our community artists and creatives will be invited to join in the annual celebrations at the Council House banqueting suite and will have the chance to display their work.

Benefits of participating

People and organisations involved and participating in the trail and all the associated events and celebrations will benefit in so many ways.

Health & Wellbeing. People will be given the digital and physical opportunity to share their passions and develop their skills.

Belonging. By collaborating in something that has clear social value across the community people take pride in contributing to something with real purpose and value that can be measured.

Digital skills. Our digital workspace with free access to tools will help people grow their digital competencies.

Overriding it all is community wealth and employment by providing a space where new faces are given the opportunity to shine and develop careers.

Evaluating our progress

A quarter by quarter evaluation will cover 3 targets.

First, the development of the trail district by district. With a target of 100 contributors per district, we will monitor how we are progressing against our target of mapping all art, creativity and culture.

Second, the number and coverage of events and participation across community will be monitored to ensure representation, irrespective of ability, skill or location.

Third, and overarching everything, is the social value added from the combined contributions of individuals, alliances and corporate sponsors.

Location

In partnership with over 50 organisations with a direct interest in promoting the city’s culture and with support from the City Council’s neighbourhood team, we will roll out the digital trail across all districts.

Note: This model, with similar support from other Councils, can be expanded to include the whole region.

At regular events (every 3 months), district artists and galleries have the chance to pitch their work and their ideas at The Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery to an audience they would not ordinarily have the chance to meet.

Wellness workshops held by the Gallery will give creatives much needed support to help them on their journey.

All of these community artists and creatives will be invited to join in the annual celebrations at the Council House banqueting suite and will have the chance to meet corporates, funders and investors of art, design and creativity.

The events will be an opportunity for all those contributing to the art and culture trail to shout out. It will provide the chance for creatives through the ongoing engagement we have with schools, community-based galleries, community groups and charities to connect without physical or geographical barriers.

Our selection of partners and associates will ensure representation of all community and all people irrespective of ability, wealth or location. Giving schools and community groups free access to our community workspace, as partners and stakeholders will ensure the participation of people of all ages in a secure and access rights environment.

The roll out will be inclusive as it will be supported by a range of stakeholders that represent the interests and needs of all groups irrespective of their physical or mental challenges.

Over 50 organisations.across community are being approached to participate in the project and assist in introducing ACT to their community. With these organisations, we will jointly run events to promote the project and bring people together promoting the values and strengths of a cohesive community.

This is just the start!

Funding

This will be a process of matched funding from 3 sources.

First, in order to inject support during and immediately after the coronavirus, we are approaching multiple organisations for funding and grants, including philanthropists. Our target is £150,000 in funding from these sources each year for the next 3 years.

Investors and sponsors, include corporates that keen to see their brand associated with the growth of creatives in the City, will contribute a further £150,000.

The commercial activities conducted at the gallery and the advertising revenue brought in through commercial advertising on the associated Birmingham Gems platform will generate a further £150,000.

The on-line home for all sponsors and supporters will be www.CreativesWeAre.com and the physical home for events, socials and creative pitches will be The Contemporary Art Gallery at the Indoor Arena.

This will cover all costs associated with the delivery and maintenance of two complementary digital ventures including all services, products and administration.

1. Act Community - Art and Culture Trail

2. Birmingham Gems – the City mapped and tracked for visitors

Contact for further details and to arrange a tour of the digital platform: Jonathan Bostock Jonathan@CreativesWeAre.com m: 07432 637322

 

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40 passion points
People & community
15 Sep 2020 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges

It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!

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Lockdown Photography Competition: Top 20 photographs chosen by our judges





It's not been easy but wih the help of our judges (see end of article), we've managed to select 20 photographs from over 200 submitted and entered into our Lockdown Photography Competition.  

The standard of the photography and the thought that has gone into all of the submissions has been quite amazing.

Take the article to view all 20. Enjoy!


In 20th place ....

Photographer: Daniel Tonks

In 19th place ....

Photographer: Maria Reaney

In 18th place ....

Photographer: Fiona Probert

In 17th place ....

Photographer: Joy Batchelor

In 16th place ....

Photographer: Karen Elizabeth Bucknall

In 15th place ....

Photographer:  Jay Mason Burns

In 14th place ....

Photographer:  Damien Walmsley

In 13th place....

Photographer: Liam Nicholls

In 12th place....

Photographer:  Mac McCreery

In 11th place....

Photographer: Rachel Dean

In 10th place....

Photographer: Stephanie Jackson

In 9th place....

Photographer: Julia Moyse

In 8th place....

Photographer: Sylwia Ciszewska Peciak

In 7th place....

Photographer: Goodfella

In 6th place....

Photographer: TellyVision

In 5th place....

Photographer: Phil Hook

In 4th place....

Photographer: Tony Mayo

In 3rd place....

Photographer: Kevin Maslin

In 2nd place....

Photographer: Charlie Tomlinson

And the winner is:

Photographer: Jack Crook

Our Judges

Many thanks to our judges who helped with the extremely difficult task of selecting our top 20 photographs.

  • Nicola Beckford, Presenter/Journalist, BBC News
  • Anita Bhalla, Chair, Performances Birmingham Limited
  • Councillor Ian Ward, Leader, Birmingham City Council
  • Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
  • Rebecca Woods, BBC Online
  • Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham
  • Earl Falconer, musician, UB40
  • Robin Campbell, musician, UB40
  • David Furmage, Creative & Cultural Lead, GBSLEP
  • Ruth Millington, art historian, critic & blogger
  • Albert Wallace, owner, the bmag

Exhibition and video of photography

When restrictions ease we hope to run an exhibition of the photography.  With the wonderful UB40 providing the backing music, we will also be pulling the brilliant images together in a video and memory of times during Lockdown. 

Competitions, programmes and initiatives and celebrations of Creativity, Culture and Community

To find out more about our ongoing initiatives and our forthcoming events and festivals, please contact Jonathan Bostock on 07432 637322 or email jonathan.bostock@freetimepays.com 

 

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60 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
02 Sep 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Rainbow stripes and roadside outdoor seating around Southside

The Southside BID was able to make a deal with Birmingham City Council, so they could close off roads on the remaining weekends of August 2020. As well as the painted rainbow crossings, they have also had rainbow stripes put up, such as on Hurst Walk and on Kent Street. Outdoor seating to encourage social distancing outside while enjoying a drink.

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Rainbow stripes and roadside outdoor seating around Southside





The Southside BID was able to make a deal with Birmingham City Council, so they could close off roads on the remaining weekends of August 2020. As well as the painted rainbow crossings, they have also had rainbow stripes put up, such as on Hurst Walk and on Kent Street. Outdoor seating to encourage social distancing outside while enjoying a drink.


The Southside BID was able to get Birmingham City Council to agree to road closures over the last couple of weekends of August 2020. So Hurst Street, Bromsgrove Street and Kent Street were closed (no cars allowed). Tables and chairs were set up, and barriers placed at both ends. You will also find recent installations of rainbow stripes. First was on Hurst Walk at The Arcadian (above the second rainbow crossing) and more recently above Kent Street.

Hippodrome Square

Thursday 20th August 2020 (not at the weekend). A few more views of the Cross with Pride rainbow crossing, and people sitting on the picnic benches on Ladywell Walk. Between the Mapstone Building and The Arcadian.

Hurst Walk, The Arcadian

On Saturday 22nd August 2020, in The Arcadian. There is now rainbow multicoloured stripes above Hurst Walk. Between Las Iguanas and The Dragon Inn. It was raining that day.

Bromsgrove Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. Heading up Bromsgrove Street from Pershore Street. Then onto Hurst Street near the Missing Bar.

I later got these views of Bromsgrove Street, while crossing from Essex Street to Lower Essex Street to get to Kent Street. Road closed, drivers had to find an alternative route.

Safety barriers for pedestrians on Bromsgrove Street, and in the car park on the right.

Hurst Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. The Missing Bar on Hurst Street.

Looking towards the (closed) Hippodrome past The Arcadian. Tables and chairs outside.

Later after checking out Kent Street, got this view towards Tesco Express and the Missing Bar.

Then down towards the Village Inn. With these security barriers.

Saw some new rainbow banners at The Village Inn near Skinner Lane.

Kent Street

Seen on Sunday 30th August 2020. Kent Street was closed between Lower Essex Street and Hurst Street. Seen near the Nightingale Club.

Rainbow ribbons / stripes had been installed over the last week, just in time for the Bank Holiday Weekend. Looks nice.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Squares and public spaces
27 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter

One of the newest public squares in Birmingham is located in the Jewellery Quarter between Vyse Street and Warstone Lane. The Golden Square was developed on land that used to be a car park in 2014. The Jewellery Quarter Festival has been held here regularly since 2015. At one corner is the Rose Villa Tavern. Both The Big Hoot and Sleuth were here in 2015 and 2017. Floral Ballerina as well.

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The Golden Square in the Jewellery Quarter





One of the newest public squares in Birmingham is located in the Jewellery Quarter between Vyse Street and Warstone Lane. The Golden Square was developed on land that used to be a car park in 2014. The Jewellery Quarter Festival has been held here regularly since 2015. At one corner is the Rose Villa Tavern. Both The Big Hoot and Sleuth were here in 2015 and 2017. Floral Ballerina as well.


THE GOLDEN SQUARE

In Birmingham's World Famous Jewellery Quarter is now The Golden Square. It is located between Vyse Street and along Warstone Lane in front of The Big Peg. Originally the space was parking for the office tenants, it was developed into a public square during 2014. At one corner is The Rose Villa Tavern, and until August 2020, the Chamberlain Clock stood at the roundabout near Frederick Street (it's been removed to be fully restored off site at Smith of Derby). See this post here. The square was one component of Birmingham's Big City Plan.

The square combines three spaces: the Orchard, the Promenade and the Plaza.

 

Jewellery Quarter Festival, July 2015

My first time visiting the Golden Square since it was completed was on Saturday 18th July 2015, while the Jewellery Quarter Festival was on.

There was this Lighthouse Helter-Skelter that kids could slide down.

Some excited kids probably climbed up it multiple times to ride it again and again!

New building on Warstone Lane. Part of the Diamond Quarter.

The Stage Bus, providing musical entertainment for the day. For more info about them, go to www.thestagebus.com

The bus had the licence plate no of D920 NDA. Was a former Metrobus last used by Travel West Midlands in 2004. It had previously been a West Midlands Travel Timesaver bus.

I mainly popped to the Golden Square to see The Big Hoot owl. Jewellery Owl, by the artist Sue Guthrie. Sponsor was Birmingham City University.

The Jewellery Owl was quite close to the railings up the steps.

There was also a Dalek from Doctor Who wondering about! Exterminate! Exterminate!

Kids and parents alike followed the Dalek around.

On the green was Circus Mash. With a juggler.

The square was full of people enjoying themselves at the time.

July 2017

Two years later, I was back in The Golden Square to find The Big Sleuth bear there. A look at the refurbished entrance to The Big Peg.

A Ballerina from Cofton Nursery. There used to be an annual Floral Trail around the City Centre, but once The Big Hoot and Sleuth were on, didn't feel like they had a trail any more. Non the less, they still put pieces out in the summer.

The reason for my visit. The Big Sleuth bear known as Gummy Bear, by the artist Deven Bhurke. Sponsor was Jewellery Quarter BID.

Gummy Bear was much further back and close to an ice cream shop called Scoop.

Davenports was going to open where Jewellery Quarter Police Station used to be, but don't think it ever happened. Instead the proposed Davenports space became the Diamond Factory in 2019.

A view towards The Big Peg from the path in the Golden Square to Warstone Lane.

2019

In January 2019, the side of the Rose Villa Tavern was painted with a You Are Birmingham advert from HSBC UK, who had recently opened their regional HQ over at 1 Centenary Square. This wall painting has since been removed / painted over.

Later that year in July 2019, the Ballerina Floral Trail feature had returned to The Golden Square.

As you can see below, the Diamond Factory was where Davenports would have been.

The view over to Lunchi and Urban Coffee.

August 2020

On Saturday 22nd August 2020, while I was in the Jewellery Quarter to see the Chamberlain Clock come down, took advantage to get some new photos of the Golden Square.

This view of the Rose Villa Tavern and The Big Peg from Warstone Lane. The Diamond Quarter is on the right.

The square was empty and a bit wet. Evidence of the earlier rain.

The Diamond Quarter from the other side.

The view back towards Vyse Street with the Rose Villa Tavern on the left and The Big Peg to the right.

Some of the The Big Peg was under scaffolding. Also appears that they had installed new wooden cladding in parts.

Further back, a view of The Golden Square from Warstone Lane. Most people were watching the Chamberlain Clock come down near the Rose Villa Tavern (to the left).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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50 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
19 Aug 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Cross with Pride in the Southside Business District

In the middle of August 2020, two rainbow crossings were painted in the Southside BID. The first in Hippodrome Square, where Hurst Street meets Ladywell Walk. The second on Hurst Walk in The Arcadian. Part of Cross with Pride. Sharing the Chinese Quarter with the Gay Village.

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Cross with Pride in the Southside Business District





In the middle of August 2020, two rainbow crossings were painted in the Southside BID. The first in Hippodrome Square, where Hurst Street meets Ladywell Walk. The second on Hurst Walk in The Arcadian. Part of Cross with Pride. Sharing the Chinese Quarter with the Gay Village.


CROSS WITH PRIDE

 

Click here for the renamed Twitter account of the Southside BID. Now Southside District Birmingham (formerly Enjoy Southside, so links to their old Twitter handle no longer works).

 

Delayed due to the pandemic / lockdown, two sets of rainbow crossings have been painted in Southside. One on Hurst Street near Ladywell Walk (Hippodrome Square), and the other one in The Arcadian, located on Hurst Walk.

According to our friends over at Brum Hour they were painted the artists James Gavina Cowper and Matthew Stephens. The 2020 Birmingham Pride Festival should have taken place in May, but was cancelled for obvious reasons. Hurst Street will be closed for 6 weekends from the 15th August 2020, so that local businesses can put out tables and chairs, so people can eat and drink outside.

Hippodrome Square

The Rainbow Crossing seen on the 11th August 2020 in Hippodrome Square. At the time still behind barriers, but they were removed later that day. Located at the end of Ladywell Walk at the junction with Hurst Street. Traffic no longer goes around here since it was closed off years ago and bollards installed.

Popped back to Southside on the 13th August 2020, now that I was aware that the Rainbow Crossing wasn't behind barriers any more. They also put picnic tables on Ladywell Walk in Hippodrome Square.

The hashtag #CrosswithPride was painted on the crossing towards the Hippodrome and The Arcadian.

#CrosswithPride has much interest and is already a focus on some inspired photography in a similar way to Abbey Road became with the help of The Beatles. 

Photo courtesy Southside BID. 

Photo courtesy Rewired PR

Photo courtesy Birmingham City Council 

The Arcadian

The second rainbow crossing was painted on Hurst Walk at The Arcadian. You can get onto it from Hurst Street. Seen on the 13th August 2020. Remember this is still the Chinese Quarter, so many Chinese businesses around here.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown unless where acknowledged. 

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70 passion points

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Elliott Brown
CreativesWeAre points: 1450
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