Come See Us Fly!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a blog post as other forms of social media have dominated. But as we have a special project launching in Castle Vale it felt right that we bring it back as we’ve got so much to share with you on this and lots of our work over 2022.

To start with, we would love for you to join us at Greenwood Academy this Friday 20 May 4-5pm.

This Friday Highly Sprung are bringing their performance of CastAway as part of the launch of activity leading up to The Festival of Flying, a week-long festival taking place across Castle Vale in September 2022 as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. The project harnesses the creativity, energy, and passion of communities in Castle Vale to produce a unique event, celebrating local history, heritage, and innovation. Encouraging audiences to ‘look up’, to be amazed and inspired and find new ways to express untold stories.

Some of you helped to shape ideas for this project which we started planning for in 2020. We’re so excited that we’re getting started! During the day students from Greenwood Academy are taking part in workshops with Highly Sprung to inspire the next generation of innovative engineers, by giving young people a closer look into careers in engineering and construction. The day will also launch our call out for teams to form as part of our Design Challenge, to take part in imagining, designing, and producing a ‘flying’ machine which will feature as part of the final Festival of Flying event in September.

We can’t wait to tell you more – so come see the start of Castle Vale’s flying project and how you can get involved in the project either as designers, makers, performers, behind the scenes and as audience.

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Posted in Dance, Drama, Events, What's on


Well it’s our Christmas themed Evening of Creativity this evening 6-9pm at Spitfire House

We’ve got a fab line-up featuring

  • Liam Price
  • James Reidy
  • Daniel Blore
  • and Centre Stage
  • plus our fabulous host Terri-Anne Coope

The bar and food will be ready and there’s some Christmas cheer for sure.

Love to see you there – only a donation on the door and persuasion to buy a raffle ticket

And if you fancy getting up we’ve got an open mic slot – just speak to Claire.

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Posted in Drama

The Art of Conversation

For those living in Castle Vale, Tyburn and Sutton you may have seen that there are some events taking place to share plans for a local new development.

Active Arts, Erdington and Sutton Art Forums will be at the events to provide an independent element to the consultation and help gather local voice to feed into thinking about the development.

We would love to see familiar faces at one of the dates below over the next two weeks as well as meet new people. As you’d expect we’ve got a little creative over our role to help get the conversations started.

Dates/times/locations as follows:

Posted in News

Why Make Evenings of Creativity Your Night Out?

If you’ve not asked yourself that question yet then do it now.

And let me tell you why I make it my evening out usually twice a month (and it’s not because it’s part of my job).  In short it’s because I love it and I’m going to tell you why and why you might too.

18 months ago Jobe (my then new Erdington Arts Forum colleague) and I were talking about what we wanted to do next with arts in our community and my gut feeling was that we needed to create a new regular night out. Something we wanted to go to and we thought others would like as well.

Fast forward to today and we’ve got a regular night the 1st Friday at Spitfire House (Castle Vale), every 3rd Friday in Oikos Cafe (Erdington High Street), an Open Mic Night at The New Inns Pub (Erdington) the 2nd & 4th Thursday, plus adhoc events at the New Heights Cafe (Kingstanding).

Why go to one as your night out?
My first one I didn’t work – I ‘popped in’ after working a very long day, on a very long week, after being to another event in the city.  Jobe was on his third month of running the events and I’d not helped out at one at all. But it was important I went to ‘show my support’. To say I was tired and all I wanted to do was get my pyjamas on, is only the half of it. But I went – and it changed my day completely.  I was in a jam packed cafe usually closed on a Friday night – filled with all kinds of people having fun, buying raffle tickets and listening/watching a random bunch of artists with poetry, songs, instrumentals and some sharing their visual art and craft work. Everyone was having a good time and it was infectious. I was no longer tired and I was enjoying meeting up with old friends and making new ones. And how can that not be a great way to spend a night out? Even when pyjamas, a quiet night in and not talking to lots of people is usually the favourite option?

But why LOVE them?
Maybe it’s because there is something really familiar yet alien about it all at the same time? Familiar in a social club or family/house party kind of way. Alien in the collection of artists presenting and performing that you may not expect to choose as your night out. It’s a night of opposites – slightly anarchic and very tranquil. Organised but with a hint of unknown.

And I’ve not even mentioned what a great opportunity it gives to local people to share their talents, get involved in creating a vibrant arts scene and to open doors to more opportunities.  Or the fact it’s suitable for all ages, all backgrounds and whether you”re into ‘the arts’ or you’ve never been to anything remotely similar ever before.

It is the most diverse collection of people and artists sharing 3 hours together and having a good time. No-one attends just one.  It becomes part of your regular plans, just like pyjamas and a quiet night in often does.

There’s always a drink (sometimes alcohol), often good food, always good artists and great company.

But don’t take my word for it – come and try it!

And say hi as Jobe and I will likely be there – even when we plan not to work one!

P.S. if you fancy volunteering or being involved in one just let us know.



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Posted in Events, Music

International and local star to headline CV’s EOC

Andy Wickett holds the reputation for being one of the finest performers and songwriters in the Midlands. Whether you see his mesmerising live acoustic set or catch him playing with his band World Service. Known for writing the world wide hit songs: Girls on Film and Rio when he sang with Duran Duran. He started his career in the 80s singing and playing in TV Eye, Duran Duran, The Xpertz and World Service. He has played large arenas and venues around the world. Support act to: The Clash,U2, Culture Club, Burning Spear, Orange juice, UK tours with Duran Duran and Gregory Isaacs

This Friday 3rd August he will be headlining Castle Vale’s Evening of Creativity – an evening of live music and entertainment suitable for the whole family that is establishing itself on the first Friday of the month.

The event takes place from 6pm-9pm at Spitfire ArtZone at Spitfire House, 10 High Street, Castle Vale.

Food and drinks available at this cabaret style event with a suggested £2 donation for entrance – or whatever you can contribute. Come early to support all our acts and to guarantee a seat as it can be standing room only.

Our outstanding line-up also includes: Dan Blore; Stephen Whitehead; Zain Shah; John Rogers; James Reidy; Steve McVey & Amy Hope; Josh Powell; and our CAFE Arts own Ish and Mac. Between them they will be performing a night of covers and originals in this night of celebration of live music.

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Posted in Events, Music

See you this Friday …

This Friday we have an amazing line up! We will have some amazing performances from a wide range of artists.

On the line up we have solo performances Dan Blore, Stephen Whitehead, James Reidy & Josh Powell. A duo performance from Ste Mcvey & Amy Hope from The Wings Family. We also have Cafe Arts regulars Ishmael Murphy and Nigel aka ‘Mac the Music Guy’ (Went viral on Facebook for singing in a lift! – TRUE FACT).

Our headline act will be announced closer to Friday & we are so EXCITED to share who with you soon. Watch this space & see you at Spitfire Art Zone this Friday 6pm-9pm!


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Posted in Butterfly Effect, Dance, Drama, Events, Music, News, Opportunities, Other, Visual Arts Activities

Our next Evening Of Creativity is set!

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This months Evening Of Creativity saw performances from Liam Price UK (2nd place in Teen Star!) & Brooke Rafferty. We even had an impressive performance from comedy improvisation group Box Of Frogs. We though it was a fantastic evening with an amazing audience.

Not forgetting our amazing sound man Seth Bye, who also put on an amazing headline performance with well known Erdingtian Jobe! Thank you so much guys for amaizngthe audience with a final perfomance and all performers/helpers of the evening.

Starting at 6pm our next Evening Of Creativity is lined up for the 3rd August at Spitfire Art Zone, 10 High Street Castle Vale B35 7PR.

For more information on the lineup check out our Facebook Page for the reveal of Artists.

If you’re interested in volunteering or are looking for a slot to perform please contact Laura.

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Posted in Events, Jobs and volunteering, Music, News, Opportunities, Other, poetry, What's on

Evening’s Of Creativity – Artist Shout OUT!

Calling All Artists!!


Active Arts are looking for more artists to perform at our next Evening Of Creativity.  Maybe you are a solo singer or in a band?  You could be in a drama improvisation group or even write & perform spoken word? Calling ALL artists we want to hear from you!

37543118_2155527551350438_4340526234606764032_nOur events will give you the opportunity to perform in front of big audiences not only in Castle Vale but other places to! This will help to increase personal confidence and also gain more performances/events. Regular performer James Reidy (in the photo) & Liam Price UK will now performing at Solihull Summer Festival on the MAIN STAGE (the same as the celebrities) next month alongside some other Evening Of Creativity performers!!

You might not want to perform but you may want to volunteer instead. Then that’s great, we want to hear from you too!

Contact Laura for more information here.


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Posted in Dance, Drama, Events, Jobs and volunteering, Music, News, Opportunities, Other, poetry, Singing, Theatre, Visual Arts Activities, What's on

WOW, what a LINE UP!

Friday the 6th July will see lots of talent on Castle Vale

Lined up we have an amazing vocal performance from Liam Price UK, as well as acoustic performances from Eloise Tanley & Half a Canal (Jonathan Henderson). There will be a preview performance from comedy improvisation group A Box Of Frogs, as well as a performance from our local choir. Jobe will be playing some beautiful music alongside Seth Bye. There’s more!

Checkout our Facebook Page here, and we will see you on the 6th JULY!

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Posted in Other

Save the 6th July in your diary!

We have our next Evening Of Creativity set up, and wow you are in for a treat with the lineup we have planned!

See you @ Spitfire Art Zone, 10 High Street Castle Vale on the 6th July 6pm-9pm

For more information on the lineup check out our Facebook Page for the reveal of Artists. We have bands, to vocal artists and even a comedy improvisation group!

If you’re interested in volunteering or are looking for a slot to perform please contact Laura.



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Posted in Dance, Drama, Events, Opportunities, Other, Singing, Visual Arts Activities, What's on


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Film Screening

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