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Democratising Culture and Creativity Weekender, Sat Sept 26

A new spoken-word film exploring Black Lives Matter, keeping in touch during the pandemic and a digital drag show feature in this youthful third weekender by West Midlands Culture Response. Unit.

NEXT Saturday (Sept 26) some of the brightest young creatives from across the West Midlands will be showcasing their talent.

Democratising Culture and Creativity Weekender is the third and closing weekend event organised by the West Midlands Culture Response Unit (WMCRU) over the lockdown in September.

From 1pm to 7pm, artists from across the region will perform in four brand new pieces created and commissioned for the Weekender and a variety of pre-recorded work – all hosted by Switch Radio presenter Ashlee Elizabeth-Lolo and BBC WM presenter Rakeem Omar.

Celebrating young creatives in the West Midlands, the weekender features a collection of performances, films, dance, poetry, stand-up, where the region’s young talent will share their art and issues affecting them including lockdown, health, Black Lives Matter, and the power of communities.

Coventry-based independent artist-researcher Melissandre Varin investigates how we all keep in touch during the pandemic in a newly commissioned poetry film and Birmingham artist Kiesha ‘KSsense’ Sadler explores the Black Lives Matter movement in a brand-new spoken word film.

As part of Stoke-on-Trent born artist Holly Johnson’s work people can vote at each stage of a hat making process including the colour, size and style with a random winner receiving the finished design.

Multi-disciplinary artist Chloe Deakin will also delve into the theme with a new documentary portraying young creatives’ experiences with the cultural sector and asking the viewer ‘how can I play my part in democratising the culture and creativity sector?”

And Birmingham drag hostess, Yshee Black will celebrate West Midlands key workers with a fabulous digital drag show, plus there’s interviews with artists throughout the day and a special closing party DJ set from Switch Radio from 6pm – 7pm.

Aksana Khan, Co-Producer of the Weekender, who has worked with programming teams in Culture Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre, Wellcome Collection, and the London Transport Museum, said: “We can’t afford to be neutral…if things were alright, we wouldn’t have Black Lives Matter. We wouldn’t have had the fear that ethnic minorities were losing their lives because of Covid and I think what is great about the arts is it encourages people to think differently and to empathise and to see people as your own.”

Erica Love, Director of Culture Central said: “The West Midlands Weekenders are a great way to showcase the diversity and innovation of the region’s arts, creating culture in new ways to keep the West Midlands on the map.”

Other confirmed artists taking part in the weekender along with Coventry professional break dancer Marius Mates, are: Hannah Taylor, Arun Kapor, Sam Malley, Charis Esther Kibble, Adaya Henry, Yshee Black, Lorna Nickson Brown, Amber Gollay, Jakub Konaszczuk, Femi Themen, Evan Covacevich, Toni Sansara, Kiesha Sadler, Chloe Deakin, PotBoiler Theatre, Kwanza Collective, Ruthless Magazine, Sampad, B’Opera.

The full line-up and running times will be released in the coming days on makeitwm.com/wm-weekender.

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