Words by Ed King
10 to 11 is an exciting new arts project from Number 11 Arts, helping people celebrate arts and culture all over the city through the No 11 bus route – presented as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival
Spread over five Sundays, from 26 June to 24 July, Birmingham’s neighbourhood arts forums will be hosting a programme of free arts activities in areas along the popular bus route, operated by National Express West Midlands.
From music to gardening activities, performances to processions, mask making and blossom tree decorating, 10 to 11 presents something for the whole family to get involved in. All ages are welcome, and all events will be free of charge.
Launching in Erdington on Sunday 26 June, the first 10 to 11 event will be an ‘Afternoon of Creativity’ – as organised by Erdington Arts Forum.
Taking place from 12noon to 3pm at the Secret Arts Studio Space in Central Square, on Erdington High Street, the ‘Afternoon of Creativity’ will feature with arts, crafts, and children friendly storytelling
Live music will come from world touring artists, including Roksana Grobelna, Paul Riley, and Stefan Stefanov.
There will also be a special performance from the Village Green Band, who have built a strong local reputation performing live Irish music at the New Inn Traditional Music Sessions – and who recently played in support of Refugee Week at Minerva Works on Fazeley Street.
A second event will continue the 10 to 11 festivities in Sutton Coldfield, taking place at the Holy Parish Church on Mill Street on Sunday, 3 July – as organised by Sutton Arts Forum
Jobe Baker Sullivan, head of Erdington Arts Forum, told Erdington Local: “This is an exciting chance to show off our lovely Secret Art Space Studios in Erdington to other parts of Birmingham.
“The 10 to 11 project is a really cool idea, and I believe after the Commonwealth Games have left the city we should do it again. It’s so important to fund artistic innovations like this, and to find a sustainable model in the future.
“I’m also looking forward to hosting the Sutton Coldfield event on 3 July, at the church where I am music director – though I promise to everyone reading we will have a wide array of arts, music and poetry.”
Travelling the length and breadth of Birmingham, the 10 to 11 project will also be running a special No 11 ‘arts bus’ to take people to each event – in partnership with National Express West Midlands.
While onboard the arts bus, entertainment will come from Birmingham’s comedy ‘cleaner to the stars’ and Britian’s Got Talent finalist Mrs Barbara Nice, Stan’s Café’s out of work sporting critics The Commentators, and singer Mabowunje Harrison.
The National Trust will also be at the 10 to 11 events, encouraging local people to plant their own blossom trees along the No11 bus route this winter – as part of their Blossom Together project.
For more information on Blossom Together visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/helping-communities-blossom
The 10 to 11 project is led by Number 11 Arts, an umbrella organisation that supports and champions a city-wide network of neighbourhood arts forums in Birmingham.
Tom Jones and Gurminder Sehint from Number 11 Arts said: “We’re really excited to be connecting up all the local arts forums in one project together, to celebrate all the wonderful arts work they do in their local communities.
“The number 11 arts bus is also a great opportunity to reach more audiences and transform one of Birmingham’s much loved bus routes.”
The 10 to 11 project has been funded by Arts Council England and is in partnership with National Express West Midlands and the National Trust.
The events will be running on five consecutive Sundays: Sunday 26 June, Sunday 3 July, Sunday 10 July, Sunday 17 July and Sunday 24 July.
Roksanna Grobelna – who will be performing at the ’Afternoon of Creativity’ on Sunday 26 June
The Commentators – who will be entertaining people aboard the 10 to 11 arts bus
For more information on 10 to 11, including details on individual events and the arts bus timetable, visit: www.number11arts.co.uk/10-11