talk from the heartFriday 1st April saw a live panel debate entitled ‘Talk from the ART’ discuss issues currently affecting Birmingham’s arts scene. The event that occupied the mac Birmingham, Hexagon theatre attracted 70 young people, arts practitioners and artists who are all keen to make a difference in the creative sector in Birmingham.

Talk from the heart

The event featured a panel of experienced arts professionals and artists who shared their experiences and wisdom to encourage and inspire the audience. The panelists included Mukhtar Dar, Artistic Director at Kalaboration, Theo Johnson, Actor, Jemima Waltho, Operations Manager at Arts Connect and Soweto Kinch, Musician and MC.  The event was chaired and hosted by Justice Williams MBE who chaired the debate brilliantly. The event was the first of some much-needed discussions for APAA that addressed topics such as ‘making sustainable careers in the arts and barriers the arts sector are faced with in Brum’. Alima aka Affie-Jam entertained us during the event. The former APAA students’ stunning vocals and flawless performance delivery had the entire theatre mesmerized. She is definitely one to look out for…

Audiences had an additional opportunity to have their say through a live interactive digital voting system that was featured throughout the night on the big screen giving people the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions on subject matters. One attendee mentioned, ‘Art matters because when words fail, art speaks’.

APAA used this event to launch their #ArtMatters campaign. #ArtMatters is a new campaign to hit Birmingham that will be used to highlight the importance of art to our young people in Birmingham. It will be used to mark Aston Performing Arts Academy’s 10th Anniversary by giving young people a platform to express what the arts means to them.

Talk from the heart

The debate was the first event to kick of a month long string of events, in what APAA has coined ‘Artspril’. Other events will include, the return of #InspiringBrum, a purposely built show that addresses some issues young people in Birmingham face daily through performing arts, Talented Tuesday’s, an open mic event that will provide a platform to showcase individual talent and a comedy night to showcase upcoming budding commits. Amongst other fantastic events, the month long celebration will end with a glitzy Recognition and Fundraising Ball at the Aston Villa FC on the 29th April 2016. Within the 30 days in April, the activities are set to see APAA work with up to 200 young people on and off stage with attendance from 2500 people from the local and business community.

Talk from the heart

APAA is a community interest organisation committed to empowering the lives of young people through performing and creative arts. This is mainly achieved through offering music tuition and performance opportunities to the next generation of emerging talent in Birmingham. Currently working with up to 100 young people at one of the UK’s most prestigious music school Birmingham Conservatoire, the academy continues to grow and recruit more budding stars at a rapid pace.

Talk from the heart

Alicia Daniels, APAA’s Development Manager said,

 It was really enjoyable working on this event and seeing the attendees get much needed information about the industry they are desperately trying to enter and improve. What was more remarkable was the willingness of the speakers wanting to help by sharing their experiences and wisdom. More discussions like this are necessary to see improvement in the sector that is important, in fact plans have now started for the next event.

The event images can be found here.

Please find information on all events taking place in ‘Artspril’ here…

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