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Help Creative Black Country find our funny roots!

The Black Country has a reputation for its unique sense of humour and local people aren’t short of a few jokes. Creative Black Country is preparing to make a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2018 for its project ‘Finding Our Funny Roots’ which will uncover what people find most interesting and funny about their humour heritage.

CBC is asking members of the public to help the Black Country find its funny roots by completing a short survey with the results being used towards the project’s application.

The survey will only take a few minutes and by contributing you will be helping to shape how we preserve Black Country heritage.

By sharing what has made different generations of Black Country people laugh – the regional ‘in jokes’ – CBC can track how living in the area has changed over time, make connections between past and present and celebrate the diverse cultures that make up the Black Country. The Black Country accent and dialect is often at the root of its comedy, associated to regional pride and identity, showcasing Black Country language will be key to understanding comedy culture and traditions.

CBC hope you will take part in the survey and will share the link with your family and friends.

 The survey will close on Sunday 5 November 2017.


The Art Yard – Call for Artists

The Art Yard would like to invite local arts to register their interest in being apart of their Open Media Exhibition. This is an opportunity for the artist to showcase their work regardless of the medium (i.e. paint, photography, ceramics, sculpture, film metalwork, crafts and much more).

Artists should complete the enclosed Submission form. Listing all works you would like to exhibit stating. Media, size and selling price, please include any digital images of each work. Fees are to be paid when delivering your works.

For more details see the links below:

• Cover letter
 Submission Form – to be completed and returned via email by 6th October 2017

We very much look forward to seeing your work and hope you enjoy what we believe will be a successful and exciting Exhibition.

For more information or to submit your completed form please email The Art Yard directly at or call 01384910968.

Spotlight on Midland Film and Art

1. Tell us what you do.
Midland Film and Art (MFAA) was established 2014 with the aim of advancing the education, understanding and appreciation of all aspects of art, film, craft and allied techniques.

In August 2017 MFAA took on The Art Yard in Reddal Hill Road, Cradley Heath; with a view of improving public access to art and creating three distinct multi-purpose art and craft galleries.

Our first monthly exhibitions commenced in September 2017 showcasing the work of local artists and others. MFAA’s exhibitors demonstrated a wide range of skills, abilities and experiences all adding to the eclectic mix we are keen to encourage.

MFAA relies on volunteers to run the galleries during normal weekly shopping hours and plans are underway to introduce Life Drawing and painting classes led by former college tutors and experienced professional artists.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
Our proudest achievement to date is that by using funds donated by Cradley Heath Film, MFAA members and sponsors, together with volunteer time, the demise of The Art Yard was prevented and the premises refurbished, access to art increased and the first pubic exhibition was opened within one month of MFAA taking over the premises.

The anecdotal evidence from visitors and exhibitors alike is that The Art Yard is a welcome facility that is providing new life within the surrounding community and a much required outlet for artists to publicly showcase their work.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
The Art Yard is new to SCVO and what it however, SCVO have been extremely interested in what The Art Yard can offer within the community and have agreed where possible to help MFAA going forward.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
The most valuable lessons MFAA has learned is that Sandwell is made up of one of the most diverse blends of communities in the West Midlands which taps into and maintains links with a wide range of arts and crafts that emanate from such a diverse range of people from all walks of life.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Moving forward, MFAA intends to ensure that The Art Yard remains financially independent of its patrons’ support.

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
MFAA (at The Art Yard) would welcome any support SCVO can provide to help move the project forward; help obtain resources; assist in promoting The Art Yard to the wider public and help to establish the organisation within Sandwell’s communities.

If you are interested in exhibiting in the Art Yard  please refer to our e-bulletin post entitled ‘The Art Yard – Call for Artists’ or would like further information on how you can get involved at the Art Yard please email Warren at

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre Surgery Sessions

Do you have an idea for a project, but you just need that extra little bit of support to get your application at its best or to get your project idea off the ground?

Do you need advice or support with your project planning or business plans?

SCVO in partnership with The Dorothy Parkes Community Centre will be commencing fortnightly surgery sessions at the centre, located on Church Road, Smethwick, B67 6EH.

Libby Mahoney, SCVO’s Small Groups Development Officer, will be available fortnightly on Tuesday’s from 1.30pm till 4.00pm at the Dorothy Parkes Centre for booked appointments.

This is your opportunity to discuss your project ideas, business plans or funding application(s) and receive practical support, advice and tips on how to improve the success of your project/application and much more.

The first session will take place on Tuesday 7 November 2017 from 1.30pm for booked appointments and will be fortnightly there after.

Future dates for the surgery sessions include:

  • Tuesday 21 November 2017
  • Tuesday 5 December 2017
  • Tuesday 9 January 2018
  • Tuesday 23 January 2018

Watch this space for more dates of when our surgery sessions will be taking place.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity and want to book your time slot with Libby please email at or call on 0121 5251127 to avoid disappointment.

To see what other services SCVO provides please visit our website at

Black Country Business – Low Carbon Networking and Funding Event

Is your organisation looking to reduce energy consumption, lower costs and enhance its reputation? Find out about grants, technologies and approaches that will help lower energy bills and carbon emissions, and improve triple bottom lines at this half day workshop.

Please join Low Carbon Workspaces for breakfast to explore funding opportunities and sustainable energy solutions that will help you and your clients: become more energy efficient, reduce your climate change impacts and save money.

The workshop is aimed at SMEs in the Black Country and is free to attend.

Date and Time
Thursday, 21 September 2017: 8 am to 12.30 pm

Molineux Stadium, Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton WV1 4QR

Via Eventbrite

Volunteers wanted to take part in a public art project

Creative Black Country is looking for volunteers to be part of the Joke Exchange at the Funny Things Festival, by holding up placards that tell jokes that have been collected from the people of Wolverhampton.

The Joke Exchange is a public art project by Redhawk Logistica, commissioned by Creative Black Country as part of the Funny Things Festival, a new comedy festival for Wolverhampton and the Black Country which takes place on 23 October to 7 November, in venues across Wolverhampton.

There are plenty of other opportunities to volunteer to be part of the Funny Things Festival, handing out flyers during the month before the festival, stewarding events and supporting participatory activities. All volunteers will get their travel expenses covered and get the opportunity to attend events for free or at special reduced ticket prices during the festival.

Click here to find out more and to sign-up to be a volunteer.


Question Time for Neurology: Continuum of Care

Continuum of Care is organised by the Black Country Neurological Alliance (BCNA) and is for anyone in the Black Country with an interest in neurological or neuromuscular conditions.

A panel of health and community care professionals from Wolverhampton and Staffordshire will speak of their roles in supporting people with long term and complex needs.

Admission and parking is free. There are spaces for blue badge holders and the venue is fully accessible. A light lunch is included for registered attendees.

Booking is essential via Eventbrite or for further information email Closing date is 29 August 2017.


Army Reserve To Host Job Fair In West Bromwich

237 Squadron based in West Bromwich will be hosting a Job Fair on 24 Aug 17 to better the relationships with the local Community and help decrease unemployment in the local area.

The event will start at 10:00 hours and run until approximately 15:00 hours. Employers outside of the Armed Frorces include, but are not limited to; National Express, Mercury Security, Avon and Tesco’s. The event will be held on MOD property namely Normandy House, B70 9LP.

The event will hope to bring in circa 150 people in the local areas seeking new opportunities. The Reserve Army job can be in addition to any full time careers and this will serve as a great opportunity to explain the new changes in entry standards to possible candidates.

As a reminder the training offered by the Regiment to its members is second to none and currently we have soldiers on car, HGV & forklift driving courses as well as offering logistics, chef and medical courses all of which complement Civilian employment.  All of the training is paid and initial training attracts a number of financial bonus.

Reservists are paid for attending any training they undertake and also gain an annual tax free bounty for meeting a minimum training commitment of 27 days. For further information on the Squadron or joining the Army Reserve, email or search

For more information please contact Captain Samantha Floyd on 02476 854953.

Home Community Event

Creative Academies Network is an integrated multi-layered charity which delivers inclusive programmes, bespoke services and enrichment activities for children, young people and adults within the Black Country. Our alternative learning provision and enrichment activities increase confidence and aspirations and advance independent life skills. Our core mission is to engage, educate and empower the local community through arts, sports, education and employment.

HOME: Heart of Sandwell (Routes to Roots) enables local young people aged 12 – 25 to research the untold stories of multi-cultural communities that have settled, creating homes for themselves within the area of Sandwell. The project highlights the history of Sandwell by discovering the hidden gems of rich culture that are deeply embedded within it’s roots by capturing your stories! We are always seeking to hear new, untold stories to celebrate heritage and we invite everyone within the community to get involved!

If you would like to get involved as a young person or to tell your story for the HOME project, please email

Don’t miss our FINAL upcoming Home Cultural Exchange Event in West Bromwich!

We have hosted 5 Cultural Exchange Events within 5 areas of Sandwell as part of our HOME: Routes to Roots programme. We brought you free fun, food and games while providing a great learning experience of local cultures within the community. “These events have been fantastic for the community and have been a fun new experience for me and the family”.

We have our FINAL 6th Cultural Event upcoming at the YMCA, West Bromwich. Bigger, better and with even more cultural sharing! We invite all local people, places and organizations to attend the FREE offer of engaging activities and the opportunity to embrace the rich multi-cultural landscape of Sandwell. For more information, please visit:

Location: YMCA, 38 Carters Green, West Bromwich, B70 9LG.
Date & Time: Saturday 26th August 2017 @12:00 – 16:00

For more information please contact Daniel Lal,Development Officer, on 0121 524 3232 or via email at

HOME is proudly funded and supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Big Lottery Fund.

#100Masters – Express and Star Collaboration

Creative Black Country in collaboration with The Express and Star have printed their second article showcasing local talent within the Black Country as part of the 100 Masters Project; an arts campaign to identify contemporary skilled people from the Black Country  and help inspire future talent.

The Black Country was forged at the hands of men and women from all walks of life who had honed their skills to the highest levels. It was through their craftsmanship and diligence that the region became renowned as the industrial heartland of the UK. 100 Masters aims to inspire and offer local people a fresh perspective about the strengths, skills, talent and expertise surfacing from their own locality and community.

The feature concentrates on four of Creative Black Country nominated masters; award-winning cactus breeder Stan Griffin, master of typography John Neave, the UK’s first Breakdancing B-girl Hanifa McQueen Hudson and amazing animator Drew Roper.

To use, simply download the ‘Layar’ app on your smart device; open the app and let it access the camera on your phone; hold the phone 15-20cm above the anvil image on the front of the postcard and then tap the screen to scan. You won’t believe your eyes as video’s and images dance across the page.

“This is what the future of media looks like and, as ever, the Black Country are leading the way in revolutionising the way we make, see and do things.”

The 100 Masters project is now closed for nominations however, the Masters nominated are currently being shortlisted with official announcements to following towards the end of July 2017.


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