Takeover Birmingham is a pilot programme, running through the 2016-17 school year, which will work with at least 200 young people aged 11 – 14 who have not had significant engagement with the arts before. 20 organizations spanning the whole range of Birmingham’s cultural landscape will form a Takeover Birmingham Club. Each Club will have a bespoke programme of activity that will offer the young people meaningful, decision-making roles in organisations, which will give them greater buy-in to culture as part of their lives.
Examples of how young people will take on real-life roles include: Flatpack, whose Club will programme and present an evening of short films at their annual film festival in April 2017; Yardley Arts Forum, who will work with a local after-school club to help create an Open Day at Blakesley Hall; and Birmingham Royal Ballet, who will work with young people to develop their social media channels and website.
Each Takeover Birmingham Club will also attend performances at venues in the city; take part in back-stage tours to learn more about the city’s cultural landscape; and visit other Takeover Birmingham Clubs, giving them the opportunity to find out more about each others projects.
The Cultural Citizens Pilot Programme was one of the key proposals from the government’s Culture White Paper, published in March 2016. The programme is being piloted in three areas: Barking and Dagenham, Birmingham, and Liverpool and Blackpool, with the Birmingham programme managed by Kids in Museums.
Members of the Takeover Birmingham Team, from Rockwood Academy, visit Birmingham Royal Ballet. Photo: Paul Stringer