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Hip Hop Heritage

Tell us about yourself and your affiliation to the organisation you are involved in.

My name is Martin Jones, and I’m currently the Treasurer of Hip Hop Heritage. My main claim to fame is that I was an entertainment agent in the 1980s, and actor/musician/celeb Goldie’s manager and agent from 1984-90.

Tell us about your organisation and what it does for your local community.

We are an unincorporated charitable association. Our mission is to document and promote the work of Hip Hop’s early pioneers in the UK.

We ran a successful Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Our Heritage’ programme in 2014-15, called ‘The Early Years of UK Hip Hop Archive Project’, based on my photo collection from the 1980s.

What is your organisation’s proudest achievement?

We created and catalogued a 1,500 image record called the ‘Zulu Dawn Archive’, which is based at Dudley Archives and can be viewed at blackcountryhistory.org

In our early days we staged two exhibitions at The Public arts centre in West Bromwich.

Our dancers also hold the Guinness World Record for the most performers motion-captured in real time (19), surpassing the previous record set during filming for Lord of the Rings (15).

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in your local community?

It took us a while to find the right people for our committee. It’s not easy, and takes time to find people who are genuinely committed to your goals and who are in it for the right reasons – however now we have an excellent committee.

What is your experience of support received from SCVO?

We were delighted with the help and advice we received from the SCVO Small Groups Advisor when we were setting up the organisation.

What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?

Our plans include an exhibition called ‘Afterlife’, which we hope to stage at Wolverhampton Arena Theatre’s Artsfest. The show uses the motion capture files of top B Boy breakdancers of the 1980s that we recorded in 2015, and turns them into animated avatars, which will then form part of our archive.

We will also document the technical design process of how the dance figures are modelled and animated.

They will become a permanent, detailed record of the dancers’ trademark moves from the early era of B Boying, recorded while the dancers were still able to perform their moves.

How can SCVO help support your organisation in the future?

We have found the SCVO Meet the Funders events very useful, to identify potential funding sources and to meet others who are in the same position and encountering the same issues as us.

Spotlight on Creative Black Country

1. Tell us what you do.

Creative Black Country (CBC) is a three year campaign, funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places project, which aims to make the most of creative talent in the Black Country.

We work with local people to discover, explore and grow an exciting and meaningful programme of arts activity in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. We have a range of projects where we engage with communities putting them at the heart of each idea. In 2016, two of the major projects included Imagine That! and Desi Pubs.

Open Access Awards
We have Open Access awards which supports activities that build audiences and is open to individuals, groups and organisations in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. If a project builds audiences, connects local people with professional artists and brings great performance, art and creativity to the Black Country, Open Access could help make that project happen.

To apply or for more information click here.

Groundwork Groups
We work with community groups as ‘Groundworks‘ which offers local community groups the opportunity to start an exciting creative journey, supported by an Arts Advisor to help develop and shape the groups creative ideas and a Development Worker who offers support in areas such as:  governance, funding, training and information.

Groundworks groups, as part of the journey, have the opportunity for their members to Go and See a wide range of performance and visual arts to spark off ideas of their own.

2. What is your proudest achievement?

In our short time, CBC has had many proud moments but programming and organising the 2016 Sandwell Arts Festival was a brilliant one!  Two fantastic days of performances, workshops, pop up cinema, music and the famous Ceramic Garden were offered to the Sandwell public. We worked with volunteers whose enthusiasm helped to make the festival really special!

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO

CBC makes the most of SCVO’s connections particularly around knowledge of local relationships which connects the voluntary, the arts and cultural sector.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?

One of the most valuable lessons has been listening to what people wish to see in their area and working with Sandwell individuals and groups to help turn their arts and cultural ideas into reality.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?

We have an exciting year ahead, keep an eye on our website, as we are currently firming up future events or better still sign up to our newsletter.

The challenges are no different to other organisation i.e. around funding and sustainability.

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?

SCVO can carry on supporting groups that CBC connects with and help us to spread the word about what’s happening in Sandwell which are linked to the activities that we are developing in partnership with others.

For more information on how to get involved please contact Creative Black Country on 0121 525 1127 or alternatively drop us a line via email at info@creativeblackcountry.co.uk

Made in Oldbury: Opening the Archives

Made in Oldbury: Opening the Archives is a fantastic opportunity to see some rare archive materials selected by independent photographic curator Pete James along with Maureen Waldron and Ian Gray from Sandwell Community History and Archives Service. Dr Terry Daniels from Oldbury and Langley History Societies will be on hand to share some of his personal archive of the area.

The event includes film footage from Albright and Wilson from the early 1070’s, artist interpretations of archive material from Jain Mckay and Josh Whitehouse, and special performance by Black Country poets Billy Spake Mon and Brendan Hawthorne, offering their own unique reflections on industrial history in word and verse.

The event will be taking place on:
Saturday 25th February 2017, 2pm till 4.30pm at Zion Methodist Church Hall, Langley Green Road, Langley, B69 4TP

Come along and share some of your stories and personal memorabilia or if you are interested in researching some of the archives, please get in touch. For further information please contact Kate Jackson – Project Coordinator either by email at kate@katejacksphoto.co.uk or call 077203 28116

The World’s First Punjabi Pub Signs

desi-pubsThe World’s first Punjabi pub signs will be hung at seven Desi pubs across the Black Country this month celebrating 18-months of artist and landlord collaboration for a landmark project.

When Avtar Singh Johal of the Indian Workers’ Association invited Malcolm X to Smethwick to highlight the segregation faced in pubs and bars little did he know that some 50 years later many of those very pubs that had refused entry to the workers would actually be saved by the entrepreneurial community.

The civil rights campaigner (who visited on 12 February 1965 and was assassinated just nine days later) came to the region because he was “disturbed by reports that coloured people in Smethwick are being treated badly”.

This significant event is just one that has been captured by Creative Black Country commissioned artists and Desi Pub landlords in the Black Country over the past year producing a new body of work that tells the stories of migration from the Punjab to the region.

Via the stunning stained glass windows at The Red Lion (West Bromwich) featuring the Punjabi Workers Association and Malcolm X in the 60’s; a beautiful large-scale mosaic mural depicting dancers and dhol drummers for the Prince of Wales; portrait photography at the Ivy Bush, The Fourways, The Sportsman and Island Inn; and a large oil painting of the landlords and staff at The Red Cow, the extraordinary stories about migration, survival, love and food are told.

Landlords Beera, Jinder, Jeet, Dal, Slack and Amrik, have opened their pub doors to six artists sharing their personal life stories and experiences over a pint. The pubs have helped shape bespoke creations which capture the heart and soul of each venue and their punters.

Alongside the artwork will be the World’s first bespoke Punjabi Pub signs produced for permanent display at each pub.

Creative Black Country collaborated with Nottingham’s New Art Exchange (NAE) to enlist Smethwick-born visual artist Hardeep Pandhal to create the images for the signs, which were then given to specialist pub sign painter Andrew Grundon to produce.

“The handcrafted pub signs are not only works of contemporary art but they are bold landmarks that unify the pubs and narrate this remarkable story.” comments Creative Black Country’s Artist Director Parminder Dosanjh. “The landlords have been very much involved in the process of creating the work.”

Desi pubs is an ongoing art project in partnership with New Arts Exchange, BBC English Regions, Midland Pub Association, Southbank Centre  supported by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places.

To read this article in full click here.

Sandwell Celebrates Heritage Open Days


Amazing historic buildings in Sandwell will be sharing some of their secrets and stories when they open their doors to the public as part of national Heritage Open Days.

From September 8 to 11 lots of events and activities are lined up showcase the borough’s fascinating past including the childhood home of one of the most famous historical characters in American history.

Visitors can learn what West Bromwich was like in the 1650s, enjoy live music, talks, walks, open days, food tasting, canal heritage and much more.

“It is a great opportunity to tell the stories of the people and places around us and for visitors to get a glimpse behind the scenes at buildings or areas not usually open to the public or even just enjoy a great family day out with some of the events on offer’ said  Councillor Richard Marshall, cabinet member for leisure.

“‘It is fantastic for Sandwell’s Heritage to be showcased alongside the heritage of other areas around the county – we have some amazing places to be proud of which are as fascinating and as important as historic buildings and sites anywhere in the country and we really want people to appreciate their own inheritance and the importance of these sites, what is great about all these activities is it’s free to explore.”

You can find out where you can discover or what activities you can enjoy across the Sandwell by clicking here

Writing Competition for Young People

West Bromwich Local History SocietyWest Bromwich Local History Society are producing a new book, focusing on the impact of the Second World War on the town and surrounding area. They are holding this competition in association with West Bromwich Youth Council.

The Society invite all local young people in Sandwell in the age categories of 10-13 and 14-18 to submit a short piece of writing on the theme of ‘West Bromwich at War’ to this competition.

The entry can be in any literary form; a fictional story, poetry, or a journalistic piece based on historical research or interviews (i.e. war time air raids on West Bromwich, local factory war time production, the aspects of the contributions of members of the Commonwealth countries in supporting Great Britain, many of whom settled here after the conflict). It could be a story from your family history, or an imaginative piece based on a photograph, or it may be a short essay reflecting your personal thoughts and feelings on the impact of conflict on our lives today.

Entries will be judged on which are the most original, interesting, entertaining, as well as historically relevant – writing which can capture the reader and hold their attention.

The overall winning entry will be awarded £150, the second £100, with two prizes in the 10-13 category of £75. Winning entries will be featured in the new publication ‘West Bromwich at War’ and/or on a dedicated web site the Society are producing in July 2016.

The deadline for entries is Friday April 8th, 2016.

GET WRITING!  Please note competition terms and conditions.

Entries to be emailed to Rich Franks, Project Co-ordinator at  westbromlocalhistory1974@gmail.com.

Chance Glassworks – Everybody’s Story

MADEChance’s Glass in Smethwick closed in 1981 but its legacy along with the building is fading.  MADE and Heritage Lottery are looking for extraordinary tales of everyday lives at Chance Glass 

MADE is holding a launch event to celebrate the start of a project called Chance Glassworks – Everybody’s story.   The project will explore the heritage of the remarkable, groundbreaking glassworks that, from its base in Smethwick, created products that had an impact across the globe.  Stories from the cleaner to the office junior are all valuable in building an honest picture of a global innovator.

This is for anyone with an interest in the project and their local heritage: members of the local community, schools, colleges, and community groups.  People do not need to have any particular connection with Chances (though if they do MADE would love to hear from you).

This event will be at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick B66 1BA, on Tuesday 24 November from 6 pm to 7 pm. MADE will explain their plans for the project and how you can get involved.  There will be a series of short presentations and then an opportunity to have a chat over refreshments.

A soup supper will be provided.  Please RSVP to pooja@made.og.uk.

More project information can be found here.




Duke To Open Barns at Oak House

NewsHRH The Duke of Gloucester is to officially open the newly transformed historic barns at the Oak House Museum at West Bromwich this week.  The Duke is to see the £1.4 million transformation of the historic barns into a new visitor centre at the Jacobean Grade II listed house owned by Sandwell Council.

The barns which date back to the 17th Century are in the picturesque grounds of the attractive house donated to the townspeople by Alderman Reuben Farley, the first Mayor of West Bromwich.

The two old barns have been transformed into a new centre – backed with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – which will provide new facilities for visitors, schools and the local community.  A new shop, café, classroom and a community meeting room have been created.

Further Development Opportunities for the Heritage Sector

Resources & ToolsDon’t miss your chance to book onto the many learning and development opportunities for the heritage sector

FREE 1:1 Support and Consultancy Sessions: If you have a particular fundraising issue, would like to discuss development areas or would like any other type of support for your fundraising then this is for you! These one hour sessions can be accessed either face to face at the IoF offices, or remotely via telephone/Skype making them available to everyone no matter what their region. Those who wish to book a place should send an heritage@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk

Workshops at £20: Further topics in the Giving to Heritage Programme are now ready for bookings! We have already received huge interest in our full day training workshops and many have already booked their place – have you?! A variety of topics are being delivered across a number of regions. Find a workshop near you.

Free Mentoring Programme for the Heritage Sector: The programme is free to both mentors and mentees, and designed to enable more senior heritage fundraisers to mentor and support other fundraisers with less experience. Mentoring training is provided for mentors that are selected for the programme. Application forms can be found on the Giving to Heritage page. All applications must be returned by 13th October to: heritage@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk


Opportunity to lead Creative People and Places Project

Jobs and Opps - MazeThe Black Country Creative People and Places (BCCPP) Consortium is seeking a Creative Director to manage and deliver the exciting new BCCPP Programme, funded by Arts Council England.

BCCPP is a 3-year programme to enable more people to experience and be inspired by the arts. BCCPP will invest in the talent, appetite and potential of the people of the Black Country to engage in the arts through innovative and highly creative arts and community engagement that will combine public events, commissioning, local arts seed funding and community development. The programme will take place across the three local authority areas of Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

Reporting to the core steering group, the Creative Director will be responsible for the development of the programme, effective delivery, monitoring and day-to-day budget management of the programme.  This is a high profile and cutting-edge initiative with the potential to affect real long lasting change in the area. We are looking for a Director with creative vision, knowledge of the professional arts and community sector and a wide breadth of experience and expertise in managing large programmes of work.

Contract: Fixed Term until end of August 2017 – based on a 6 month probation

Salary: £34,894 – £40,254 per annum

Deadline for applications: Monday 8th September, 10am
Presentations: Thursday 18th September
Interviews: Wednesday 24th September
Application pack downloadable at: www.blackcountrycpp.com
For more information contact: Debra Hill, SCVO, on 0121 525 1127
PLEASE NOTE – This post is a re advertisement – previous applicants need not reply


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