Birmingham’s Big City Culture goes international

By on 19/02/2010 in Culture, News

PHOTO/FILMING OPPORTUNITY: Birmingham's Big City Culture Goes International!

  • The Chamberlain Memorial Fountain, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH
  • Tuesday 23 February 2010, 1pm
  • Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chairman of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, will be available for photographs with the recipients of international grants along with a flag representing each country to be visited
Click to view City of Culture e-card

Click to view City of Culture e-card

Eight of Birmingham's most inspirational cultural organisations have been given an opportunity to showcase their talents around the world.

The group has been awarded grants totalling £200,000 from a new innovative programme to enable home-grown talent, as diverse as ballet, Baroque, choral singing and contemporary jewellery, to take their offering to countries including China, the USA and Sweden.

The successful organisations include South Asian arts provider, Sampad; the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Punch Records;  the Sonia Sabri Dance Company; Stan's Café Theatre Company; choral singers, Ex Cathedra; Fierce Festival and the  Birmingham City University School of Jewellery.  Each organisation will receive funding from the International Partnership Programme (IPP) following a competitive bidding process.

The IPP Programme, which has been established by the Birmingham Cultural Partnership (BCP), aims to improve visitors' perceptions of Birmingham as a top tourist destination by raising the international profile of the city's cultural offering. 

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chairman of the BCP said, “There are many very talented and innovative organisations in Birmingham that can take the city's name and reputation for culture across the globe.

As well as the cultural exchanges that will result from this programme there will also be huge economic benefits for Birmingham promoting the city as a great place to live work and visit, attracting increased inward investment, business and tourism.

”It also helps us to showcase what Birmingham is capable of producing as part of our bid to be UK City of Culture in 2013.”

Jack Cunningham, Dean of the School of Jewellery said, “This exciting opportunity will not only profile the School of Jewellery, but is an excellent vehicle for cultural exchange and will promote the rich heritage of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, the city, and its creative industries.” 

Jeffrey Skidmore, Ex Cathedra's Artistic Director, said: “We have been delighted to represent Birmingham on the European stage over a number of years, but have never before had the opportunity to take our work to the United States.  Thanks to our CDs we already have fans there and, thanks to this grant, we will be able to raise our profile and promote Birmingham as an international centre of choral excellence.”
Christopher Barron, Chief Executive of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, added, “Overseas touring for Birmingham Royal Ballet not only highlights the performance and outreach work of the company but also demonstrates the first rate dance and creativity in the City of Birmingham today.”

Each project was assessed against a set of strict criteria as part of the selection process including the innovative nature of the proposal; the quality of the partnership/relationships being created; the likely potential for the project to lead to further joint work and the extent to which each programme will promote Birmingham's profile internationally.


Further information can be obtained from Lorraine Donovan on 0121 303 0458 or Deborah Smith on 07881 500 557.

Notes to Editors

The full list of awards is as follows:

Birmingham Royal Ballet will take part in a major dance festival in Norfolk, Virginia, USA in May 2010.

Sampad will go to India for a collaborative production of In the Further Soil which will coincide with the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in late summer 2010.

Punch Records will take The Soho Road to the Punjab – From the Five Rivers to the Five Boroughs, a visual arts exhibition and programme of arts, music and dance activities, seminars and business events to America.  They will promote Birmingham as a hub for UK South Asian business and cultural enterprise and will focus on the South Asian communities of New York.
The Sonia Sabri Company will take their dance training and performance project to Abu Dhabi in association with the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation in early 2011.

Stan’s Café is one of five international ‘best practice’ companies chosen by the multi-art form venue Domaine d’O in Montpellier to create new work.  The Cardinals is a new production which will be created and premiered in Montpellier at the Domaine d’O Festival in March 2011.

Ex Cathedra's A Whole New World will see them take their world-class choir and early music ensemble on their first tour to the USA (East Coast including New York).  Their work will focus on contemporary British and American composers building on the choir’s reputation for performing Latin American Baroque in March 2011.

Fierce's Symphony of the Missing Room will take their site responsive performance involving sound art, digital art and choreography to Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland in 2010.

The School of Jewellery's Paradigma Exhibition of contemporary jewellery will go to Beijing, China in 2010.

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