Art Soak – a Birmingham festival

Art Soak – a free arts festival bringing a feel good factor to south Birmingham – 23rd – 26th March 2013

Art SoakVenues throughout Stirchley, Cotteridge, Billesley, Selly Oak, Bournville, Walkers Heath and Druids Heath.

All events free but some pre-booking required.

Plays in pubs, hair salons and supermarket car parks, string quartets and jewellery workshops in sport centres and circus skills workshops and choirs in local parks are all part of a packed programme of free and interactive arts activities taking place on the weekend 23rd– 24th March 2013 across the wider Selly Oak area.

Developed by Arts Forum Selly Oak, Art Soak, the community based arts festival returns to Oak for the second year running, providing a tempting array of performance and participation for local people.

Designed to breathe life into local High Streets and providing a much needed boost for small businesses and neighbourhoods by engaging with the local community, Art Soak, is being backed by a number of organisations including Lifford Business Association which is behind a number of initiatives to bring trade to businesses in Stirchley and Cotteridge.

Its chair, Rob Grosvenor is proprietor of Cotteridge hair salon, Headmasters, which is hosting  ‘Fades Braids and Keeping It Real’, a new play written and performed by Birmingham-based Debbie Tracey on Saturday 23rd March at 6pm and 7pm.

He said: “ Art Soak is a fantastic event, awash with arts activities for all ages, from local history walking tours to drawing workshops and music sessions.  It’s a great chance for people to get out and about in their local neighbourhood  at the same time generating  a feel good factor for our area and helping to support local businesses. “

Festival organiser Sabra Khan of Argy Bhaji said: “It’s great that so many businesses and organisations in Selly Oak are hosting events in the festival, There’s a real energy for thinking outside the box amongst traders in the area and we hope their enthusiasm will be repaid by public support for Art Soak. “

Other festival highlights include:

Saturday 23rd March

‘Drawing the City’, workshop with University of Birmingham artist-in resident, Sarah Taylor Silverwood,  Druids Heath Library, 10am – 12 noon, 1pm – 3pm

Premiere of ‘Something Out of the Ordinary’ by Women in Theatre in the Coop Stirchley car park, 11.30pm, 1.30pm and 4pm

CBSO So Vocal Community Choir performance, Walkers Heath Park, 12 noon

Hinterland, a site specific installation by Tom Cahill-Jones of Stirchley Happenings constructed from materials reclaimed from local streets. Come and add your memories of the area.1pm – 6pm, the verge next to junction of Hunts Road and Hazelwell Lane, Stirchley

Sunday 24th March

Silks in the Park – an aerial silks workshop for all ages by CircusMash, Cotteridge Park

Max Merrick Wren,  singer songwriter at Leverton & Halls café, Maryvale Rd, Bournville, 11.30am

Pint Dreams by Tin Box Theatre, The British Oak, 3pm and 4pm

Selly Oak, Traces of the Past, Still Walking – join local historian Ben Waddington on a 90min walk through Selly Oak, meet 2pm University of Birmingham South Gates, Bristol Rd.

Art Soak 2013 has been backed by Birmingham City Council, Lifford Business Association and is supported by public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

For full programme details go to:

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