'It fills us with confidence' - Grant boost for Solihull arts group - The Solihull Observer
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17th Aug, 2022

'It fills us with confidence' - Grant boost for Solihull arts group

SOLIHULL-based Art at the Heart is to receive £20,709 as part of the Government’s £1.57billion Cultural Recovery Fund awarded through the Arts Council.

The Olton based group is a community organisation that aims to improve wellbeing, access to arts and culture and get more people engaged in creativity.

Led by Kamaljit Suman and Mukesh Kumar who had a ‘light bulb moment’ six years ago it facilitates workshops and introduces children and young people to specialist arts teachers.

The funding will enable Art at the Heart to maintain their current staff, create more online activity and develop an online Arts Award learning platform.

“It’s fantastic to get the support of the Arts Council and it fills us with confidence that they really do want a diverse arts scene,” said Mukesh.

“We are firm believers that art is an amazing experience and when you have access to it when you are young it will provide you with so much for the future.”

Other organisations in Birmingham and Solihull benefiting from the Cultural Recovery Fund include:

Birmingham Pride (£40,190) is one of the largest LGBTQ+ Pride festivals in the UK.

Black Voices UK (£27,500) a Birmingham-based female a cappella quintet, with an international reach of concerts and outreach work.

China Plate (£176,417) an independent theatre studio that works with artists, venues, festivals and funders to develop, make and present engaging, entertaining and accessible new work.

The Crescent Theatre (£107,000) home to an in-house amateur theatre company that stages productions. The funding will allow the theatre to reopen, initially as a rehearsal space for Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

The Electric Swing Circus (£32,000) is a six-piece band who create a fusion of retro swing and modern electronic music.

Geese Theatre Company (£26,031) is a long-established arts in criminal justice organisation. The funding will allow the company to continue providing life-changing theatre work to some of the most marginalised people in the country.

The Glee Club (£123,201) hosts two comedy venues, one in Birmingham and one in Nottingham.

The Play House (£41,177) a Theatre in Education Company that uses participatory theatre and drama to support children and young people in schools.

Polish Expats Association (£26,000) supports community integration and celebrate Central and Eastern European art and culture.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall (£465,325) Symphony Hall is unmatched in the UK for acoustic excellence and is regarded as one of the top 10 halls in the world.

We Make Stuff Happen (£42,500) is a creative production company that specialises in fabrication, design of props, sets and art installations as well as the production of cultural events.

Secretary of State for Culture, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted the Culture Recovery Fund has been able to offer support to a wide range of arts and cultural sector organisations across Birmingham and Solihull.

“The Government’s package is hugely welcome, providing much of the sector with resources to reopen safely.”

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