At Birmingham Hippodrome, we recognise the brilliance of the creative community of our city and the wider West Midlands and are committed to building forward differently, more openly and equitably.
Ahead of a virtual planning day with our Board of Trustees, where we will examine our purpose, what we have learned in the last year and what the city and region needs us to offer for the future – we are keen to meet with West Midlands artists, producers and creatives, from all disciplines, who would like and feel able to join a conversation with us.
Over a series of online sessions, facilitated by Midlands creatives, and joined by Fiona Allan (Artistic Director & CEO) and Chris Sudworth (Director of Artistic Programme), we will be exploring the following questions:
- What is missing in Birmingham and the West Midlands for artists and creatives to thrive and choose to stay here to fulfil their ambitions?
- What might Birmingham Hippodrome offer or provide to help support this?
- What is needed most by our city and region’s creatives at this moment in time and moving forwards?
We will enter the space with no assumptions, and Fiona and Chris will listen, engage in conversation, welcome challenge and answer questions openly and transparently. We see this as a space for learning and to plan for a better Birmingham for artists and creatives.
We recognise that identities are nuanced and intersectional and we understand that not everyone’s needs are the same. Some conversations will be best in open, mixed sessions and others might be easier in smaller groups with those who identify in specific ways or with specific communities. Artists are welcome to attend more than one session and engage in this process on their own terms.
We will host two open and four specific sessions and all will be BSL interpreted:
Tuesday 9 March, 6.30-8.30pm Open Session, facilitated by Amerah Saleh
Wednesday 10 March, 6.30-8.30pm Open Session, facilitated by Amerah Saleh
Thursday 11 March, 6.30-8.30pm Session for South & East Asian Artists & Creatives, facilitated by Sonia Sabri
Monday 15 March, 6.30-8.30pm Session for Disabled Artists and Creatives, facilitated by Alan McLean
Tuesday 16 March, 6.30-8.30pm Session for LGBTQ+ Artists & Creatives, facilitated by Adam Carver
Wednesday 17 March, 6.30-8.30pm Session for Black Artists & Creatives, facilitated by Adaya Henry
We will report back in May after this initial process with the Board. This is the start of ongoing open and transparent conversations between artists and the Hippodrome.
We know that the last year has been more challenging than ever for artists and creatives, and that some people may not feel able or want to contribute to these group conversations. We understand this.
We look forward to meeting everyone who can join the conversations, and to building a fairer and more equitable Birmingham – and Hippodrome – for artists and creatives together.