Flat Out

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Partners: Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Drum, CBSO, Arts Council, Family Arts Campaign Birmingham Housing Trust, Wilmott and Dixon Contractors

Aims: To research how ‘low engagement’ families engage in cultural activity and how effective cultural intervention can changing people’s perception of where they live. To connect the Drum with local people.

Project description:

This project was one of 10 (from 1050) to be highlighted as a flagship project in the National Family Arts campaign 2014. Flat Out brought The Drum, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham University together with families living in Inkerman House, a high rise tower Aston. This block is home to some of the city’s most disadvantaged families from a range of cultural backgrounds including refugee/asylum seekers and families in emergency housing. Artists (ballet, contemporary dance, music, video) worked with families to create a performance presenting the character, lives and aspirations of families living in the flats in contrast to the hard, grey brutalism of the architecture around them. The project included performances by Royal Ballets Prima Ballerinas in family living rooms, workshops in kitchen and culminated in a performance created with residents on the roof of the block.

‘This is one of the most exciting engagement projects we’ve done’ – Kasia Kraus Community and Schools Engagement Officer, Birmingham Royal Ballet.

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