Transforming Narratives: Our Partners

Transforming Narratives is a project managed by Culture Central, Birmingham and being delivered in partnership with The British Council and 12 Birmingham-based cultural partners. It has been made possible through funding from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence programme.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group 

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group is one of the world’s foremost new music ensembles. Over three decades, BCMG has developed the music of today for the audiences of tomorrow. The ensemble has commissioned over 175 pieces of music from the world’s finest composers and emerging international talent. Many of the works have been commissioned through its innovative pioneering Sound Investment crowd-funding scheme to which over 500 donors have contributed more than £300,000; many of these works have subsequently found their way into worldwide repertoire. BCMG also supports the next generation of exceptional young composers through its Apprentice Composer in Residence scheme in partnership with Sound and Music since 2007.

Birmingham Museums Trust

Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) is a registered charity and responsible for governing and managing the nine museum sites and museum collection of over a million objects owned by Birmingham City Council, the most important civic museum collection in England. BMT’s charitable objectives are to advance education by the operation, maintenance, development and promotion of museums, galleries and libraries in Birmingham, together with associated facilities and related programmes of outreach and research; fostering knowledge, understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the arts, history, science and technology by residents and visitors to the city of Birmingham. BMT’s vision is to reflect Birmingham to the world, and the world to Birmingham.

Our nine sites are as follows:

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) first opened in 1885. It is housed in a Grade II* listed city centre landmark building. There are over 40 galleries to explore that display art, applied art, social history, archaeology and ethnography.

Thinktank is Birmingham's award winning science museum. From steam engines and talking robots through to gurgling guts and a chocolate wrapping machine, Thinktank has over 200 hands-on displays on science and technology.

Aston Hall is a grade I listed building, the hall is restored to its former Jacobean splendour and is situated in a picturesque public park on the north side of Birmingham. It was built between 1618 and 1635 for Sir Thomas Holte and home to James Watt Junior from 1817-1848.

Blakesley Hall is a timber-framed house built in 1590 by Richard Smalbroke, a member of one of Birmingham’s leading merchant families. The house is furnished using an inventory taken in the 17th century and reflects the lifestyle of a wealthy family of the late Tudor and Stuart period of English history.

The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter offers a unique glimpse of working life in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter and Birmingham’s renowned jewellery and metalworking heritage. When the proprietors of the Smith & Pepper jewellery manufacturing firm retired in 1981 they simply ceased trading and locked the door, unaware they would be leaving a time capsule for future generations.

Sarehole Mill dates to the mid-18th Century. It has connections with Matthew  Boulton, who leased Sarehole Mill between 1756 and 1761 and used it as a ‘flatting mill’, producing sheet metal used for button manufacturing. The mill and rural surroundings inspired JRR Tolkien, author of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy in is writings of Middle-earth.


The Birmingham Repertory Theatre 

Birmingham REP Theatre is one of the UK's leading and largest producing theatres. It is the longest-established of Britain's building-based theatre companies and one of its most consistently innovative. We produce contemporary drama  across our 3 auditoria which encompass an 840 seater, a 280 and 140 seater.

Culture Central

Culture Central are a collective voice and development agency for culture and the creative industries in Birmingham and the wider region. They are committed to developing and leading projects, alongside other leadership bodies in the city region, that have the potential for a positive impact on the sector – and on the region.

Fierce Festival

Fierce Festival is one of the UK’s most respected festivals of Live Art & the leading organisation for Live Art in the West Midlands. It has an international reputation for agenda setting curation & intelligent commissioning that has seen Fierce commissions tour worldwide. The festival embraces theatre, dance, music, installations, activism, digital practices and parties. Fierce fills the city with performances in theatres, galleries and other out-of-the-ordinary spaces.

Ikon Gallery

Ikon is an internationally acclaimed art gallery situated in central Birmingham.

Housed in a magnificent neo-gothic school building, it is an educational charity and works to encourage public engagement with contemporary art through exhibiting new work in a context of debate and participation. It offers free entry to all.


Kalaboration is a Birmingham based arts development agency, which is dedicated to developing, presenting and celebrating the arts and cultures of Asian, African, Caribbean communities for the benefit of all.  

Kalaboration programmes, commissions, and produces high-quality arts programmes and engagement projects in a wide range of art forms. This includes events, tours, international work, programming for festivals, digital exhibitions, artist development and education activities.  As an inclusive organisation, Kalaboration actively engages diverse intergenerational family audiences as participants in a meaningful intercultural dialogue to break down barriers, foster a common understanding and contribute to community cohesion. 

Legacy West Midlands

Legacy WM is a registered charity that has its roots in celebrating the heritage of post-war migrant communities in Birmingham. Our work highlights their relationship to the industrial, architectural, and cultural heritage of the city. Early projects included tracing migrant journeys through food, and developing a local heritage trail.

Midlands Arts Centre

First opened in 1962, Midlands Arts Centre – also known as MAC – is a pioneering arts complex for everyone. MAC’s mission: to make art an important part of people’s lives.  

Located in Cannon Hill Park, just two miles south of the city centre, MAC attracts over 1,000,000 visits every year, drawing audiences from across the UK and beyond. 

Specialising in contemporary work, we offer a busy programme of theatre, dance, independent cinema, music, spoken word, comedy, exhibitions and special events, as well as a wealth of practical classes in all aspects of creativity, from playing musical instruments to ceramics and jewellery-making. mac is a national leader in developing work with children, families and young people of all backgrounds.


SADAA started life as SALIDAA, the South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive. It was formed in 1999 by a group of concerned academics, experts and practitioners of South Asian literature and arts in response to a growing concern that priceless works by South Asian writers and artists, work that informed the development of the creative arts in the UK after Partition, were disappearing or becoming inaccessible.

From books and scripts, to dance and music, to painting and poetry, the work of displaced or relocated South Asian practitioners is vital to Britain’s historical narrative. SADAA’s role is to collect, preserve and utilise that work. Our collection is a rich and irreplaceable resource for anyone studying a seminal chapter of British history. The multi-layered experiences of the South Asian diaspora reflect and challenge, deflect and transform, the evolution of contemporary British art.


Sampad's mission is to connect people and communities with South Asian and British Asian arts and heritage and to play a cutting-edge role in the creative economy. 

Sampad believes in the power of arts and heritage to impact widely on all communities – breaking down barriers, raising important issues, amplifying unheard voices and bringing people from all walks of life together.

Now in their 28th year, Sampad continue to play an instrumental role in promoting and encouraging British Asian arts, so that they progress, break new ground and enrich mainstream culture in the UK.

Sonia Sabri Company 

Sonia Sabri Company is a dynamic company which has established an international reputation for presenting Kathak dance in a contemporary context.  The company creates work relevant to modern audiences, that is inspired by Indian and British culture, and the rich possibilities that arise when they meet.

Soul City Arts/ Aerosol Arabic

Led by visual artist and producer Mohammed Ali, Soul City Arts produces innovative and unique artistic collaborations using the arts as a vehicle to engage and connect with different communities.  Working with internationally acclaimed artists, producers, educationalists and social activists Soul City Arts has developed a range of artistic platforms for artists to express their creative voice and create the conditions for social change.