6 DAYS TO GO: Arts, craft, and street games – free Little Amal workshops at Erdington’s Central Square 

Words by Ed King / Images supplied by Good Chance Theatre and Active Arts

Erdington’s Central Square will be hosting free arts, craft, and street games workshops this half term – running between 1pm and 3pm on Saturday 23 October, then at the same time on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week.

A creative and exciting way to kick start the half term holidays as a family – or to meet new people and make new friends – the Saturday 23 October workshop will be about making friendship brackets, in sessions run by Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham.

Also on Saturday, and then from Monday to Wednesday next week, Autin Dance Theatre will be teaching street games from countries and communities across the world.

People are invited to simply drop into the Secret Art Studio Space, based at the Central Square Shopping Centre on Erdington High Street, or email [email protected] for more information.

Part of the Kaleidoscope events, getting people ready for when Little Amal visits Erdington on Thursday 28 October, the workshops are free to attend and open to adults/children of all ages.

With only six days to go under her Erdington arrival, Little Amal will be welcomed by a carnival of street games, arts, craft, and live music – starting at 1pm on the High Street, by the Co-op, before making its way to Central Square.

Little Amal

Little Amal is a 12ft ‘living puppet’ that has been travelling the world to raise awareness about the plight of refugee children – based on a young Syrian girl, separated from her mother as her family try to find food.

According to UNICEF, the United Nations’ child support agency, 33 million children had been ‘forcibly displaced’ at the end of 2019 – accounting for over 50% of the world’s refugees and displaced people.

Travelling over 8000km before arriving in Erdington, Little Amal started ‘The Walk’ on the Syria/Turkey boarder in July – visiting countries including Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and France, before crossing the Channel to the UK.

A globetrotting symbol of peace and compassion, Little Amal even had an audience with Pope Francis in early September 2021.

Little Amal and her worldwide walk have been organised by Good Chance Theatre, inspired by stories from the Calais refugee camp. The 12ft high ‘living puppet’ was built by the Handspring Puppet Company, the creative team behind War Horse.

Local arts charity Active Arts is leading Erdington’s Little Amal event on behalf of Birmingham City Council and Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Further partners include Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham, Centrala, Open Theatre Company, Mama Dojo, Surge Forward Music & Arts, Vortex Creates, Autin Dance Theatre, Everyone Erdington, Oikos Café, Six Ways Baptist Church & Food Bank, Erdington BID and Godwin Development.

Active Arts Project Director Claire Marshall told Erdington Local: “Little Amal coming to Erdington is a once in a lifetime opportunity for local people to be part of a beautiful worldwide event.

“The Kaleidoscope workshops have been amazing so far, with lots of friendly faces coming together for an afternoon of art and conversation – it’s been a really joyful way to get involved in preparation for the Little Amal visit.

“As things get more and more exciting, with Little Amal’s visit only days away, we’d love to welcome even more local people to the Kaleidoscope workshops – running this Saturday, then again from Monday to Wednesday next week.

“Little Amal’s visit on the Thursday is going to be a fantastic event, with Central Square transformed for the occasion – a really special occasion that will show the world just how wonderful and welcoming Erdington can be.”

Adult volunteers are also being sought to help welcome Little Amal to Erdington and to support the build-up to the October 28 event.

Kaleidoscope arts, craft, and street games workshops will be held between 1-3pm at the Secret Art Studio Space on Saturday 23, Monday 25, Tuesday 26, and Wednesday 27 October – at the Central Shopping Centre on Erdington High Street.

Little Amal will visit Erdington on Thursday 28 October, with a one day event from 1pm.

For more on the Kaleidoscope event and Little Amal’s visit to Erdington visit www.activearts.wordpress.com/little-amal or email [email protected]

For more on Little Amal and ‘The Walk’ visit www.walkwithamal.org

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