I’m a big advocate of amplifying the good stuff – examples of connection, creativity and kindness – there’s a lot of it about. Not only is it important for showing positivity and celebrating the best of what is happening, it can sometimes be that chance bit of information which is the spark for change in someone’s life.
Over the past few years, I have been developing a local media website into a resource for both residents and community organisations in Balsall Heath and Sparkbrook. Balsall Heath Neighbourhood News Online lists local events, a Directory of community organisations and a news page featuring items that will be of interest to local residents.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the site has supported volunteers from Balsall Heath Mutual Aid through sharing timely and accurate information from trusted sources on a Covid-19 Support page. This has enabled them to signpost people in need of support to the correct service.
Content can be added directly by anyone, before it is moderated and posted live. Posts are also shared widely through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you, or someone you know, lives locally, please take a look and make use of the site. Plans are afoot to develop the project into a broader community media project, so do get in touch at email@example.com if you are interested.
More recently, I have been appointed as the Co-ordinator for Hall Green Arts Forum. I’m really keen to champion the Arts and Artists across the Hall Green Constituency, so in a similar vein, I have developed a website, www.artworkshallgreen.co.uk to list who is doing what across the constituency (covering the neighbourhoods of Hall Green, Sparkbrook, Springfield, Balsall Heath, Moseley and Kings Heath).
The hope is that the site will develop into a useful resource for Artists to link directly with one another and with local residents. There is also room for interviews, features, reviews, links to events, opportunities or funding and anything else which may help to fill an information gap as Artists develop their practice and networks.
Within the next couple of months, you will also begin to see Art Works commissioned and supported work appear on the site. There are some lovely projects in the pipeline which we’re looking forward to starting as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow.
As with Neighbourhood News Online, this website will be the sum of its parts, so do contribute generously if you have content that you can share. You can add details to the Arts Directory or Events page by following links to a simple form on each page, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a monthly newsletter featuring a wide range of news and paid opportunities that I’m aware of. Sign up here.
It’s so important at the moment, when arts and culture is struggling, that we nurture our creative community, celebrate one another’s achievements and give each other practical support. Let’s be cheerleaders for one another.