5 min read

0121 Trending- Culture Central Youth Arts Communications Pilot

By Hannah Busst Monday 23 April 2018

BMAG Drink and Draw, Birmingham Weekender 2017

Photo by Verity Milligan


Culture Central (CC), Birmingham’s collective voice for arts and culture, is commissioning a youth-led peer-engagement pilot, with both print and online elements as an initial activity of the Birmingham Cultural Education Partnership (BCEP).  This will be a wholly new platform where:

  1. Suitable activities across all artforms produced by Birmingham’s creative community can be promoted by young people to young people, encouraging and enabling them to review events they attend. Additionally, young people will be able to promote and review suitable events from their own communities in a carefully managed manner.
  2. BCEP will have access to the project’s figures - although no editorial influence - enabling members to improve their engagement with young, diverse and differently-abled audiences and non-attenders.



 Evidence shows that while many young people in the city access a wide range of arts and cultural activities, and are actively involved, this is not the case for many others. We will test a new model to address these issues, which privileges the ideas and agency of a diverse range of young people, allows them to authentically write and promote it, and backs it with a budget.



 0121 TRENDING (working title only) should be both a strikingly designed, periodically published print edition, backed by a safe, managed online / social media component. The print edition should have an “upcoming” calendar as its key component, and should feature interviews, articles, galleries of young Birmingham artists.

  1. The print edition will be distributed free to CC members, youth hubs and to partner venues across the city, where it will be displayed.
  2. All CC members will contribute to the calendar, with potential crowdsourcing of youth audience reviews and community youth arts events online. (This could be through existing social media platforms)



 CC will provide a budget of £4k to a youth-led, culturally diverse development and delivery team to make this happen. The team will be independent of existing CC members, who will however provide free advice, mentoring and support to this team throughout the project. Additionally:

  1. Press / guest list status can be awarded to legitimate reviewers of cross arts events; also free tickets can be provided to the team for prizes / special offer promotions
  2. CC members may have capacity to offer practical support to the project team; in-kind, financially or with time, space and resources (such as printing and distribution)
  3. CC members can offer behind-the-scenes access when appropriate, as well as interview opportunities with artists.



 At this stage, CC is not looking for examples of previous work, portfolios or references, etc. What we want to see is the following, from interested groups of young people, in less than three sides of A4:

  1. What are the key features of your proposal - how often will it be published, how many copies / outlets will there be? How will you launch it and how will you keep interest high, going forward? How will you use online and social media as part of your comms strategy?
  2. Who is in your team - what roles do they have, who is responsible for what elements, what will you do if things go wrong? What support do you need from CC and its members?
  3. How will you manage the budget - what are the risks and how will you manage them, how will you report back to CC?
  4. How will you ensure accessibility - especially for learning disabled / neuro-diverse young people - and cultural diversity?
  5. What are the key milestones of the project - eg copy deadlines, design, distribution, review, etc?



  1. Applications must be received by 7th May, email as a pdf to Amy Dalton-Hardy amydaltonhardy@culturecentral.co.uk
  2. Shortlisting is on 11th May; you will be informed if your idea has gone forward.
  3. Interviews will be held on the 17th May
  4. For more information, please contact Amy Dalton-Hardy at amydaltonhardy@culturecentral.co.uk

Culture Central is the collective voice and development organisation for culture in the Birmingham City region. Culture Central has been created by a founding group of cultural organisations with the purpose of placing culture and creativity at the centre of economic and social future of the region. Dance Hub Birmingham (DHB) is an initiative of Culture Central, working to amplify and further develop the region’s position as an international centre of excellence for dance.

 Culture Central work closely with a growing range of anchor institutions including universities and the business sector alongside an increasingly wide group of cultural and creative organisations to deliver exceptional cultural projects.

 Culture Central members include: Ampersand Projects; Aston University; Birmingham and Midland Institute; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Birmingham City University; Birmingham Hippodrome; Birmingham Museums Trust; Birmingham Opera Company; Birmingham Repertory Theatre; Birmingham Royal Ballet; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Culture Card; DanceXchange; Ex Cathedra; Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce; Ikon; mac Birmingham; NEC Group; New Alexandra Theatre; Sampad South Asian Arts; Stan’s Café; Town Hall Symphony Hall; Open Theatre Company; University of Birmingham; The Old Rep


Culture Central: www.culturecentral.co.uk

This project is supported by Arts Connect