Aspire4U are proud to support the Flyover Festival in Birmingham this summer. Taking place in Hockley Circus, no such conventional venue is used for the purpose. Instead, we see opportunity and impact created in the choice of location. The event’s held under a motorway flyover and comprises a vibrant blend of dance and visual artists showcasing talent.
Impact and Opportunities
It seems there’s no danger of the show discontinuing either, as it’s now in its tenth year. The festival celebrates black cultural traditions. Although its purpose is also in affirming positive associations with communities. It’s about tackling misconceptions and categorisation. Soweto Kinch, an award-winning saxophonist and jazz musician, leads and organises it all.
In a previous interview, Soweto has stated “The only time we ever made the headlines here in Hockley was for gun crime, knife crime and unemployment. I wanted to re-brand my own area and make spaces like this more habitable for different generations-jazz musicians, people over fifty and teenagers, to try and counteract a lot of the postcode rivalry, the postcode narrative that’s in our area.”
With closures of arts organisations, certain areas could be regarded as lacking in positive spaces for creativity. The Drum Arts Centre is an example. After 22 years the venue was closed down due to a funding crisis. But inspiration and ideas can thrive anywhere. The Flyover experience provides a healthy outlet for rising talents. Soweto’s aim is in injecting freshness and new perspective in certain areas; rather than being deterred by the breaking-down of communities. The place you would absent-mindedly walk through on your way to work now is a spot utilised by atists. It’s a spot well chosen. The open space of the flyover is the base for a resounding boom. And the raw energy of music syncronises with the chaos of traffic overhead.
Previous figures to have emerged through the Flyover movement have included Maxi Priest, Lady Leshurr and Laura Mvula. They represent something of the ethos behind the show; of recognising potential in communities and making use of challenging spaces.
What to Expect
On Saturday, 18th August 2018, you can expect plenty of variety on multiple platforms. Spoken word, graffiti art, activities and food vendors will accompany live music. And there’s no charge upon entry. Families or groups of friends are free to absorb the vigour of sounds, colours and smells of the event combined.
A confirmed artist for this year’s event is Ayanna Witter-Johnson. She combines cello-playing with silken vocals. More acts are to be announced soon: https://bit.ly/2w3aqs9
Aspire4U has been working with Uprize CIC and Soweto Kinch to develop sustainable ways to keep this event adding value to communities. It’s also an important platform for emerging creatives. Our working communities include business development, project management and community engagement. This year other partners have included Simmer Down Festival and Afroflux.
Piece written by Kate Dodwell
11th April, 2018
Aspire4U Social Enterprise
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