Free travel for aspiring artists in Chelmsley Wood

Rail company helps local artists in summer school programme.

West Midlands Railway is supporting a group of aspiring artists from Chelmsley Wood, as they complete an exciting summer school programme in the city.

The train operator is providing free travel for a group of young people between Marston Green and Birmingham New Street on Saturday 8th and Saturday 15th September. The group will be taking part in the final two sessions of the Many Worlds summer school programme, run by Eastside Projects. The six-week course has been supported by Arts Council England and produced in partnership with community art organisation B37 Project, which develops projects across arts, food and the environment in Solihull.

The scheme has brought together aspiring and practicing artists through six creative workshops. Over the summer, Many Worlds participants have been exploring pathways into creative careers during practical workshops in art, architecture, photography, illustration, spoken word, graphic design, printmaking and publishing.

They have been working with artists and designers Louise Byng, Jo Capper, Mike Dring, Holodeck, Sarah Taylor Silverwood, Bethany Slinn and Stuart Whipps.

West Midlands Railway is also funding a series of artist residencies and artist-led walks in the area, which are due to launch later this year. Titled Link and Shift, the programme aims to develop high quality arts opportunities for communities served by the region’s railway.

Fay Easton, head of stakeholder and community at West Midlands Railway said: “Working with Eastside Projects we have been able to help open up new opportunities for young people in Chelmsley Wood. Supporting travel for the summer school participants is just the start of our ongoing work with the charity, and we are excited to look at new and unique locations for artist residencies on the rail network through the Link and Shift programme.”

Gavin Wade, director of Eastside Projects added: “Support from West Midlands Railway has allowed us to expand our existing partnership with B37 Project and realise our shared vision of bringing excellent artists and artwork to Chelmsley Wood. We are excited about the potential Link & Shift and Many Worlds have to impact on the creative lives of the communities, young people and artists that take part in them.”