HUGE free arts project which aims to inspire, excite and give people across the borough the chance to have a taste of the arts is set to launch this month – with 12 weeks of free taster sessions to give people the chance to have a go at something new.
I Am Tamworth is the biggest and most ambitious arts project ever to take place in Tamworth, and is the culmination of two years of hard work by the borough council’s Arts & Events team.
Its aim is to encourage people of all ages who may never have attended arts events or taken part in anything creative to get involved, by trying out different things for free, including dance, drama, visual arts, music and writing – and even a ground-breaking dance performance by one of the country’s top dance companies.
And to launch the exciting programme, everyone in the borough is being given the opportunity to join in free taster sessions, taking place in venues throughout the borough from January 12 to April 5.
The sessions include drama workshops, songwriting, guitar playing, singing, street dance, tap dancing, ballroom and Latin dancing, creative writing, theatre, painting, upcycling, dress making and crafts.
Venues for the sessions include St Francis’ Church in Leyfields, Tamworth Rugby Club, Tamworth Library, Amington One Stop Centre, Wilnecote Library, Tamworth Community Fire Station, St Martin’s Church in Stonydelph, Glascote Library and Tamworth Assembly Rooms.
All the sessions are completely free of charge, and people can join in with as may as they like. No experience is necessary, as the idea is to give Tamworth residents the chance to try something new.
Full details of all the sessions, including times and venues, are available by visiting the I Am Tamworth website at www.iamtamworth.co.uk, where the full brochure can be downloaded.
The I Am Tamworth project has been funded by Arts Council England, which has awarded the Arts & Events team a £78,000 grant. It will involve accomplished artists from across the genres bringing their skills to Tamworth and working with the public.
It is split into 15 areas, each celebrating a different form of the arts. Projects throughout the year-long festival include:
- I Am Dance – including a spectacular outdoor performance using Tamworth Castle and the Castle Grounds by award-winning dance company MotionHouse and Tamworth Dance Company.
- I Am Visual Art – shops and empty spaces across Tamworth being turned into pop-up art galleries, creating a portrait trail across the town.
- Trotters Trail – a trail of pigs throughout the town, inspired by the famous Tamworth Two. Pigs will be created by local artists, community groups, schools and local businesses.
- I Am Music – raising the profile of the existing local music scene and encouraging new and emerging musicians.
- I Am Words – creative writing and poetry project, encouraging the people of Tamworth to tell their own stories in their own words. It will include the publication of a book and the creation of poetry trails.
- I Am Drama – a number of drama groups to be established across the borough to cerate short pieces about their areas. This will be brought together in a summer showcase called Tales of Tamworth.
- I Am Heroes – inspired by the stained glass windows in St Editha’s church which were funded by the people of Tamworth to honour those who died in the First World War. Residents, working with artists, will be encouraged to create their own artwork based on the windows, which will be displayed in the church and Tamworth Library.
- I Am Development – a series of events and workshops to support local artists and give them the chance to share their knowledge and skills.
- I Am the Beat – giving families the opportunity to learn a new skill together.
- I Am Art – the finale of the year-long festival will be a huge celebration which will put the community of Tamworth centre stage.
Cllr Steve Claymore, Cabinet member for Economy, said: “I Am Tamworth is the most ambitious arts project which has ever been put on in the borough and will give every single person in the borough a chance to have a go at the arts and try something different.
“I would urge everyone to try out at least one of the free taster sessions – they may enjoy it so much that they decide to take up a new arts activity or join a group as a result.
Children under eight must be accompanied by an adult to take part in the sessions. Children under 16 must provide a consent form completed by a parent or guardian to join any of the sessions.