A share of £600,000 has been awarded to three West Midlands organisations to create inclusive arts & cultural projects linked to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

The award has come about as a result of a collaboration between the London Olympic & Paralympic Games legacy funder Spirit Of 2012 and Birmingham 2022.  

The successful projects awarded £200,000 each from the Spirit Of 2012 West Midlands Challenge Fund span Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry. Collectively they will work with more than 1,600 disabled and non-disabled people ‘to explore links between communities and Birmingham 2022, maximise the impact of the Commonwealth Games and leave a lasting social legacy’.

The projects will culminate in a series of performances during the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme, a ‘world-class arts festival’ running from March to September of that year alongside the sports programme. 
The cultural programme will include new work, installations, exhibitions, performances and major events across the West Midlands.

The organisations which will receive funding are: 
Creative Black Country: to deliver a project called Shine A Light, building bridges between D/deaf, disabled and non-disabled people to tell stories of people around the Commonwealth. Workshops will be delivered to 280 people, culminating in a touring performance and a series of films to share across the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.  

Caudwell Children: to deliver a project called All Roads Lead To Alexander, featuring music workshops for young disabled people and their families in Birmingham (Ladywood, Sandwell, Sutton Coldfield and Perry Barr). One thousand people will take part in the workshops, and around 80 will tell their story of links and ties to Commonwealth nations and territories, culminating in a performance during the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme. 

Warwick Arts Centre: to deliver a community cohesion project called Playing Out In Canley, Coventry, using play to deliver a listening and storytelling project engaging with around 400 people, including those with long-term illness and disability, at community venues. The project will culminate in the production of two ‘spectacular’ carnivals, inspired by the unique moment of the Games.  

Commenting on the news, Raidene Carter, executive producer of the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme, said: “Each project demonstrates the power of the arts in giving voice to some of our underrepresented communities across Birmingham and the West Midlands.  

“Our collaboration with Spirit Of 2012 is a wonderful example of Birmingham 2022’s ambition to create a Games for everyone. We’ve loved being part of the journey so far, and I can’t wait to see how the creative ideas and incredible ambition for inclusion come together for the wider public to enjoy in 2022.”