NEWS: Love Erdington arts festival at Central Square running from 10-15 May

Words by Jobe Baker Sullivan

Celebrating creative talent this spring, Arts All Over the Place (AAOTP) have planned five days of poetry, music, and art in Central Square on Erdington High Street, running from 10 – 15 May.

The completely free Love Erdington festival is a culmination of the Creative Catalyst workshops, held every Thursday at the Secret Art Studio Space (SASS).

The weeklong programme starts on Tuesday, 10 May with a VIP launch lunch from 12pm – featuring Erdington based conservatoire graduate Edwin Podolski playing violin.

Open to members of the public, anyone wanting to attend the Love Erdington festival VIP launch lunch should email: artsallovertheplace@yahoo.co.uk

Wednesday, 11 May will see two sessions with Birmingham poet Kiran ‘Kiz’ Manley, from the collective Hip Hop HEALS. “We do creative workshops with a well-being twist,” explained Kiz.

“We use scientifically evidenced calming techniques from expressive arts research to settle people into sessions. Then we energise people’s expression and connection with others through fun prompts to bring about a creative buzz.”

Thursday, 12 May will host a craft workshop with Margaret Murray, an art facilitator who ran the regular AAOTP Creative Catalyst workshops. Her plan is to create models of birds with movable wings, which members will flap as part of a procession used in the festival’s grand finale.

“Creative Catalyst has really lived up to its name,” said Margaret. “It has been providing opportunities for participants to revisit or learn new skills and to share their creative talents. It has provided a really friendly place to chat and even laugh.”

Arts All Over the Place (AAOTP) work with people who have experience of dealing with mental health issues. “We care for carers, as well as care for people who need caring for,” told Cathy Crossley, head of AAOTP.

Friday, 13 May is set to be a ‘carers day with information stalls’ from Home, a group with a contract through Birmingham City Council that provides support for carers. “They will be giving out information in the afternoon,” added Cathy.

Also on the Friday, from 2pm there will be a workshop with professional model maker Trevor Boddington. AAOTP previously ran Creative Catalyst workshops in Castle Vale where Trevor and the participants created a model of The Sanctuary on Tangmere Drive.

Trevor will be teaching people how to create models out of junk material such as tin cans and cardboard boxes. “Trevor is fantastic at creating things out of other things that are too nice to throw away,” said Cathy.

Saturday, 14 May, the final day of the festival, will present a procession in Central Square and music from three bands, including the Village Green Band – founded in 2022 as an offshoot of the Erdington Traditional Irish Sessions.

“We can’t wait to be part of this festival. Anything that’s a chance for me to bang my drum, both literally and figuratively, celebrating Erdington,” said Robert Tanley, co-founder and Bodhran player for the Erdington Traditional Sessions. “It also gives us a chance to advertise our third Sunday sessions at the New Inns.”

For more details on the Love Erdington festival email: artsallovertheplace@yahoo.co.uk

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