Major new funding for Birmingham festival

Published: 25 November 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Fantastic support”: Birmingham 2022 Festival

An in-house team at the Birmingham 2022 Festival which will be part of the Commonwealth Games has raised £12 million to add to funding from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The festival’s chief creative officer Martin Green said, "the fantastic support of our partners and funders has enabled the Birmingham 2022 Festival to become the most ambitious cultural festival ever connected to a Commonwealth Games, animating the city and wider region with a celebration of creativity across the West Midlands."

A programme of projects and productions within the festival will explore LGBTQIA+ stories within Birmingham and beyond. It will be supported in part by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which works towards “a just and equitable society in which everyone, especially young people, can realise their full potential”.

One of the projects will be The Healing Gardens of Bab, a multi-disciplinary arts programme designed by Birmingham's LGBTQIA+ communities in collaboration with artists from across the Commonwealth. More details will be revealed early in 2022.

Throughout the festival, a number of commissions will present new work from international artists from across the Commonwealth. Canada Council for the Arts has granted funding to support a number of artistic projects throughout the festival linking Canadian artists and performers with West Midlands creatives.

The Birmingham 2022 Festival will open on 17 March 2022 with Wondrous Stories created by Leamington Spa-based dance circus company Motionhouse. It will have a cast of more than 300 and will be held in the city’s Centenary Square. The festival will run until September.