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‘Relax and Chat’ Sessions – Beat It Percussion

Can we help? Beat It Percussion is reaching out to provide free support to people in Sandwell who are being touched by mental health or anxiety issues in this difficult time of COVID19.

Beat It Percussion are offering live Zoom sessions contact them for the zoom joining instructions.

‘Relax and Chat’ sessions offer a live sound relaxation experience using gongs, singing bowls, bells and other beautiful instruments to create a sense of total relaxation and give you some quality ‘me-time’. We work with small groups to give people the chance to chat and share their stories, creating a sense of community and friendship at this time when many of us are still feeling isolated.

Who is this for? Anyone who wants to take a break from the cycle of anxiety, to recharge their emotional batteries and enjoy an informal chat. Get in touch to find out more.

‘It’s like a deep tissue massage for the mind’

Free taster sessions!  Please contact us to get your Zoom invitation:

  • Tuesday July 14th at 12 noon
  • Tuesday July 14th at 2pm
  • Friday July 17th at 7pm
  • Sunday July 19th at 12 noon

Volunteering opportunity. We are looking for people to support the groups by:

  •  Directly by joining the session and taking an active part in the ‘chat’
  • Assisting people with Zoom and helping them build their confidence
  • Helping with phone call reminders and gathering feedback after the session

We look forward to hearing from you by phone: 07875 090946 or email at

The Art Yard Is Reopening!

The Art Yard (TAY) team Thank You for your continuing support during the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down.

When the gallery and studios reopen adjustments will have been made to reduce risk. Our primary aim is to remain an accessible community art space, that is, a place where all artists of any age or ability can exhibit their work safely.

Therefore, as government advice on COVID-19 prevention will change from time to time we ask TAY visitors to always comply with the guidelines and what our volunteers request.

Reopening for Exhibitions
The gallery is re-opening in stages. The front gallery will open first with 2 successive Solo Shows, as follows:

  • 1st week: From 27th July to 1st August an exhibition by ‘Learning4Life’ led by art tutor Tim Jarvis.
  • 2nd week: From 3rd August to 8th August a solo show by Luke Hudson (artist and art tutor).

Opening the centre and rear galleries: 3rd week: Normal exhibitions will resume on 10th August with the Open Art exhibition held over from 16th March – 11th April 2020. That 4 week exhibition will now run to 5th September. We wish particularly to thank all artists who have had their art held in this exhibition for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.

Cradley Heath Green Landscapes (CHGL) project
Meanwhile, CHGL project led by Martyn Harris is continuing but with adjustments. A separate email will be circulated shortly letting you know how you can get involved.

Finally, TAY team appreciate that adjusting to life after lock-down will affect people in different ways. Whenever possible our volunteers will be sympathetic to your needs, especially when you drop off or collect work, and when you visit to show friends about the gallery.

Unfortunately, exhibition ‘opening nights’ are suspended but artists will still be able to showcase work exhibited in the gallery to their friends, subject to prevailing guidelines.

Please contact the team at any time to discuss any concerns you may have on 01384 910968.

Local Musicians Wanted!

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning (SAFL) are taking a leap in to becoming more digital including the production of videos to share across their Website and Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts. In the production of these videos, they thought it would be nice to get the wider community involved in helping them to be more musical in their digital promotions. Whether your an established musician or aspiring one they are interested in supporting everyone.

They are therefore inviting musicians to come along with them on this exciting ride, where they would like to use your music on some promotional materials and in return you would fully be credited and referenced in any material they use. What’s better is you can choose how we reference you whether it be your YouTube, Soundcloud, Website, Facebook, Spotify, etc.

Please remember SAFL are government funded and not a profit-making organisation. The material produced would be to increase enrolments on courses to raise funds that would be reinvested in teaching materials, new teachers and new equipment. By growing as a business, they can help more people in Sandwell, develop their centres and increase the courses on offer.

So, if this is something you may be interested in or want to find out more please email SAFL at

Introducing the Let’s Create Pack

Thanks to National Lottery funding and the incredible hard work of their Bridge organisations and partners, they’ve launched their brand-new Let’s Create Art Packs. They have worked with Teacher of the Year 2018, Andria Zafirakou, to create packs bursting with creative ideas as well as essential art supplies.

To kick things off, they’re sending 25,000 packs to children and young people across England who are most in need of the support. We think creativity should be available to everyone and this is just one of the ways that we’re trying to make that happen.

There’s also a digital version available, so you can join in with young people in your life too. Share your creations on social media using #LetsCreate!

Download the pack by clicking here.

Source: Arts Council

Call Out – Build A Community Cinema for Your Venue with Black Country Touring

Black Country Touring are launching an exciting opportunity for 3 community organisations, venues and volunteers in Sandwell who want to use cinema and film to bring people together in their community. In response to Covid-19, this activity will initially take place online through the creation of the Black Country Film Club and will transition to live screenings when we can all return to our wonderful local venues!

What is a Community Cinema?
Every Community Cinema we support is different, as it’s designed by the local community. From classics and golden oldies to family favourites and blockbusters, it’s all about bringing people together to enjoy great films together, with a chance to socialise before and after the screening.

Each Community Cinema will receive a subsidy to screen at least one film per month in their venue or online.

How Does it Work?
By taking part in this project you will be part of a collaborative network of community cinema promoters until 2022*. You will have access to online training, preparing you for community cinema events both online and when gatherings are possible again at your venue. You will also engage with your community online and have the opportunity to:

– Build an audience for your Community Cinema and organisation’s wider offering
– Recruit a volunteer panel to help programme your community cinema
– Help those who are isolated both now and in ordinary circumstances
– Bring people together in a safe, interesting and fun way
– Develop skills in events, promotion and film exhibition knowledge
– Have free access to BCT’s mobile cinema kit for live screenings

By 2022, we will support you to become self-sufficient and able to run your own Community Cinema long-term, with advice on fundraising provided by BCT and SCVO.

The Black Country Film Club
As a Sandwell Community Cinema, you’ll also be part of The Black Country Film Club, a place online where new and existing Community Cinemas from across Sandwell and the Black Country will work collaboratively to reach people in their homes and connect with film in exciting and engaging ways. This will be through online screenings, watchalong parties, q&a sessions with film professionals – the possibilities are endless and we want YOU to be involved in shaping it from the beginning. It’s a great way to continue to bring local people together at a time of social distancing.

If you are interested please contact saying who you are, your organisation (if applicable) and where you are based with the subject header ‘Sandwell Community Cinema’.

The Sandwell Community Cinema is supported by SCVO’s EPIC Fund and Film Hub Midlands.

Content Editors Wanted at Creative Black Country

Creative Black Country is looking for four Black Country Content Editors to work on a short-term project to create content both on and offline for their ongoing ‘creative documentation.’ The Content Editors will help to spread some ‘Bostin’ News during these extraordinary times.

They will be commissioning stories, features and articles that highlight the work and creatives from the Black Country (Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall).

Maybe you have been writing a story or some poetry? Maybe you’ve taken a series of pictures during your daily exercise? Maybe you’ve learnt a new skill that you’d like to share? Or know people that do these kind of things and can write about them?  Click here for further information

Deadline to apply – 4th May 2020.


World Art Day – Let’s Celebrate!

As we round the corner into the thick of Spring, it’s time once again to celebrate World Art Day. The global event directs our attention to the world of fine arts, emphasizing the importance of the cultural touchstones which have been and will be created through visual art, music, and the theatre.

Art has the power to connect communities, enabling the learning and appreciation of new skills and acting as a transformative force in the lives of adults and children alike. Though celebrations of World Art Day take on a different face this year as we all practice responsible social distancing, the open-ended nature of arts education makes it a perfect fit for kids during this unique time.

Learning about and engaging with the arts extends quite handily beyond the classroom, and arts learning both in school and at home are poised to offer an impressive multitude of benefits to our kids. As we encourage their healthy mental and emotional growth and development, it’s a testament to the power of art that its study can do so much for young people.

Through experimenting with new colours, mediums, techniques, and skills, children become more comfortable with trial and error, risk-taking, and exploration, making them naturally more interested in and comfortable with engaging with their surroundings, trying new things, and taking normal, age-appropriate risks. It also helps some kids to find their motivation, as results-based learning where tangible improvements can be seen may make them significantly more interested in refining their skills. That’s not all — kids who receive formal arts education in school also tend to venture further into civic engagement and demonstrate a lower rate of dropping out, as one study by the California Alliance for Arts Education notes.

These are only a few of the many benefits that arts education is poised to offer our kids. We The Parents have put together a handy infographic detailing these claims and more, as well as the research that backs them — have a look by going to

Source: We The Parents


The Digital Culture Network Series of Webinars

The Digital Culture Network is generating a series of resources to help you and your organisation respond to the current crisis, and enhance your organisation’s digital standing on a permanent basis.

From working and collaborating with others remotely, to continuing to engage with your audiences and generating income for your organisation, the Digital Culture Network is on hand to help you become more digitally engaged. These learnings will not only benefit you now, but continue to offer your organisation renewed energy in the digital realm for many years to come.

Thursday 16 April 2020 at 2pm Google Analytics for absolute beginners

Heard about Google Analytics but don’t know where to start?

What, why and how Arts and Culture organisations can use Google Analytics for greater insight.

Register now

Thursday 14 May 2020 at 2pm How to audit your Google Analytics account

Learn how to improve the data quality in Google Analytics and customise your account to unlock actionable insight for your organisation.

Register now

Thursday 18 June 2020 at 2pm Google Tag Manager for absolute beginners

What is Google Tag Manager?

How is it different from Google Analytics?

Find out why Arts and Culture organisations should be using Google Tag Manager.

Register now

Source: Arts Council England

The Big Book Weekend – Online

Join The Arts Council and BBC Arts for a free online literature festival from 8-10 May 2020. The Big Book Weekend will broadcast interviews, discussions, and conversations over the first May bank holiday weekend. Developed and curated by authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt and hosted by publishing start-up MyVLF, they’re currently on the lookout for literature festivals of any size to join the project.

The Big Book Weekend is a three-day virtual festival that brings together the best of the cancelled British festivals, with a range of events ‘sponsored’ by the relevant festival, featuring the authors and other artists that would have appeared. It has been co-founded by the authors Kit de Waal and Molly Flatt, is supported by the BBC and Arts Council England, and will be hosted by startup MyVLF.

As well as keeping book lovers in touch with the artists and festivals they love, it offers an opportunity to engage with a whole new audience who may have previously been unable to attend a literary festival due to geography, access or cost. We are deeply committed to ensuring that the BBW reflects all of the communities across the UK, and the widest choice of reading tastes.

Where will it happen?        

The MyVLF website acts like a ‘real’ venue but is infinitely more flexible and expandable. It is a virtual event space with a 2D site overlay for easy navigation and use.

The event space will be totally free to enter, with just an email required for sign up. This is used to allow people to have their own ‘bookbag’, from which they can download free book excerpts and other assets. It is also a safeguarding mechanism for the chat room monitoring of members.

As part of the venue, there is a virtual Exhibition Hall. Here every festival ‘sponsor’ can have its own stand to showcase information and content, and link to its website and social presences.

MyVLF also has a virtual Bookshelf. Here, we can load images of digital books from the authors being featured on each day. These can link out to pages on the festival or author websites, on which the festival or author can nominate a local independent bookshop from their region where attendees can buy the books.

Find out more by clicking here.


People Invited to Take Part in Art Project – From Their Homes

People from across Birmingham are being invited to use their time at home to unleash their creative energy and be part of a unique artwork to celebrate the 110th anniversary of John Taylor Hospice.

Fleeting Moments will be staged at Library of Birmingham in November and December 2020 and will feature work from people of all ages and backgrounds.

The hospice is asking everyone across the city to make their own fabric birds to be included in the artwork, alongside pieces created in community settings.

The birds will then be brought together as a flock in a special artwork in the foyer of the Library of Birmingham where Fleeting Moments will be free to view and visit.

Birmingham-based artists Jane Thakoordin and Margaret Murray have created instructions which are downloadable from John Taylor Hospice’s website so that anyone who wants to participate can make their own birds at home.

Fleeting Moments is being created during the 110th anniversary year of John Taylor Hospice which was founded in the city in 1910. One of the oldest hospices in the country, John Taylor teams have been caring for generations of local families through two world wars, economic hardships and numerous changes to health care.

Founded by philanthropists in Birmingham and led by pioneer Mary Darby Sturge, the hospice is named after leading doctor and gynaecologist John Taylor who worked in the city and died in 1910. More than a hundred years later the hospice still relies on donations from the public to provide care.

To read the full Charity Today news story click here.

Source: Charity Today

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