In a world teetering on the brink, rife with divisions and grappling with unparalleled challenges, the time is ripe for unity, understanding, and transformation. This urgency gave birth to the Beautiful Futures Festival 2023.
Beautiful Futures is a 3 day celebration shining a spotlight on new works by Black artists, where we collaboratively imagine and shape the future of culture and creativity in the 21st century, with our voices, our journeys and our stories, advocating for a world that leaves no one behind.
Born amid the surging movements for racial equality and justice, the More Than a Moment Pledge has evolved from a promise to an awakening, and now into a full-fledged movement.
Day 1: The Heartbeat of Black Creativity in the West Midlands
Black artists, creatives and those working in the arts and cultural sector are invited to an afternoon of talks, workshops and networking, designed to nurture the Black creative ecosystem within the arts industry.
This session is open to Black artists and creatives working in all areas of the arts and creative industries. MTAM have adopted the Black Ticket Project‘s definition of ‘Black’: as of Black African, Caribbean, Afro-Latinx and African-American heritage, including those of mixed-Black heritage who identify as such.
Day 2: Beautiful Futures Summit – A Loom of Interconnected Stories
In partnership with Culture Central
Day two is a rallying point. The annual summit unites MTAM pledge organisations, and those who are interested in assessing progress over the past year. We’ll come together to host a critical dialogue and explore how we can envision a thriving cultural ecosystem for the next 100 years. It’s a day for examining our journey, holding ourselves accountable, and dreaming and planning the future.
Day 3: The Takeover – Our Region, Our Talent
The final day belongs to the artists, the creators, the visionaries of our region who started this movement. This will be a showcase of the amazing Black creative talent from our region featuring original film, poetry, music, drama and conversations. Expect performances, networking, stalls, and positive vibes throughout the event.
See tabs for details of events open to the public and to book.
Cassy’s Comedy Corner
A brand new comedy show, set to put the best of the UK’s underground and established comedians at the forefront. This uproarious showcase of wit and humour, hosted by the incomparable Cassandra Maria, took the city by storm in June 2023 with its first sell-out show.
Fri 20 Oct, 7.15pm
Tickets £5 in advance, £8 on the door
More Than a Moment Takeover
Join us for a Hippodrome takeover, showcasing some of the amazing Black creative talent from our region featuring original film, poetry, music, drama and conversations. Expect performances, networking, stalls, and positive vibes throughout the event.
Sat 21 Oct, 12 – 7pm
Tickets for individual events – £5 in advance, £8 on the door
Book three sessions and get two additional sessions free
Book all six sessions for £19.98 (discount applied at check out)
Session 1: Film Birmingham Takeover
12 noon – 1.15pm
MTAM Presents: SHORTS
We are collaborating with Film Birmingham to present the next generation of Black storytellers. Come and take a moment and discover new narratives that are born out of the Midlands and that are shaping the future.
Session 2: MTAM presents The Next Level
1.30 – 2.30pm
Join us in conversation with Nathan Queely-Dennis and Ashlee Elizabeth-Lolo. Hear from two writers from Birmingham who have taken the Edinburgh fringe by storm with:
BLUEPRINTS, a new show about beginnings, knowledge, and ancestral inheritance follows Adam & Faith, a black Caribbean couple who undergo a blueprints experiment to learn what behaviour/trauma/mindsets they’ve inherited from their ancestors.
Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz
An award-winning new show about Black friendship and love and tender masculinity.
Session 3: Dreams of a Beautiful Brighter Future
2.45 – 3.45pm
Join Casey Bailey and Adjei Sun exploring Out of Frame: These renowned poets will cut through the noise to tackle pressing issues like serving the needs of the community, the education system, mental health, and social justice, all set against the backdrop of today’s complex world. Whether you’re a theatre regular or a complete newcomer, you’ll find real talk on topics that matter to you.
Session 4: Empower Poetry Takeover
4.15 – 5.15pm
Start your enriching journey with a riveting panel discussion featuring Danai Denga of Penguin Books. Together, we’ll uncover actionable steps for entering the publishing world and celebrate the influential contributions of poets, writers and storytellers from the African and Caribbean diaspora. We will close this session with an open mic takeover seize the microphone during our Open Mic segment, part of the Empower Poetry Takeover. It’s your opportunity to share your voice, whether you’re a seasoned spoken word artist or taking the stage for the first time.
Session 5: Girl Grind UK Takeover – CANCELLED DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES
5.30 – 6.30pm
GIRL GRIND UK was founded with a fierce determination to systematically empower and support Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Women, Girls, and Non-Binary individuals at crucial stages in their personal and professional development. Girl Grind UK takes over the stage in a groundbreaking performance showcase! Dedicated to empowering women, girls, and non-binary individuals from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities, we bring our ethos of audacity, bravery, freedom, and honesty to the limelight
Session 5: I am WM Takeover
7 – 9pm
The ethos of IAM is simple. To celebrate the individual through creating safe spaces for artists to share. As a radical response to the toxic landscape of the music scene, Madi’s Lean Up Ting was created, where artists came first. Each event showcased three artists from the underground scene in the Midlands and saw them paired with a live band. Since its launch in March 2018, IAM has provided numerous opportunities to creatives from intimate events, festival stages and even artist development programmes. IAM has even caught the attention of UK R&B star Mahalia and Dr Martens, who partnered with the platform to deliver the development sessions. The aim is to create a more safe environment for artists to just be themselves unapologetically and to give them the tools to feel like they can thrive in an already unstable industry. The next few years are set to be ground-breaking for the non-profit platform, so get ready.
- Imagination session: How we can use poetry and paint to design a thriving future?
- Imagination session: How the built environment impacts our wellbeing
- Imagination session: Afrofuturism workshop
- Imagination session: How we can create in times of crisis?
This is about people power – all walks of life are invited to explore how we can come together to build a better, beautiful and thriving future.