READ the latest edition of AREA GUIDE here….

Pick up a copy of Area Guide from the area’s best coffee shops, bars, galleries and independent stores.

We’ve packed this edition with over 90 summer festival competitions. Read inside to find out how to enter. ALL of the festivals listed are up for grabs.

Read it online here.

March Culture Listings >things to do, see and make

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1 March, 6:30 – 9:00pm (and 3 May, 6:30 – 9:00pm)
PICK UP STICKS – BEGINNERS KNITTING CLASS
Cherry Reds, John Bright Street, Birmingham
Stitches and Hos are a motley crew of enthusiasts for all things knitted, crocheted and stitched. For nearly 10 years they have been creating stitched chaos at festivals, galleries and shindigs. Anywhere they can get out their needles. This class is designed for those who are new to knitting or those who would like to reacquaint themselves with the basics. You will learn how to cast on (using the knit stitch method), knit stitch, purl stitch and casting off.
£30 includes all materials along with a hot drink and a slice of cake.

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4-18 March
FRONTIERS FESTIVAL
Gavin Bryars, Errollyn Wallen, Project Instrumental, Decibel, Anna Palmer, Hans Koller with BCMG, and works by some of the emerging talent from Birmingham Conservatoire’s composition students: these are just some of the experimental, creative and boundary-pushing artists headlining Birmingham’s Frontiers festival of new music (4-18 March).  The two-week Festival, presented by Birmingham Conservatoire, brings together some of contemporary music’s most forward-thinking artists and exciting new projects in venues across the city.

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11 March, 7.30pm – 10.30pm & 12 March 10.00am – 4.00pm
SPRING MAKES ART & CRAFT FAIR
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry
Brush off the snow from your boots and step into spring with our spectacular arts and craft fair. Join us to meet a host of fantastic local artists and makers to help brighten your home ready for the start of a new season.

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11 March – 19 June
DEGAS’ DANCERS – A COURTAULD MASTERPIECE
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry
A unique opportunity to see one of the masterpieces of The Courtauld Gallery’s collection in Coventry. The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry will be showing Edgar Degas’ famous painting, Two dancers on a stage, alongside three other works by the artist. A founding member of the Impressionist group of artists, Degas was fascinated with the ballet, painting dancers at rest, practicing and performing.

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Until 12 March
GERARD BYRNE – 1/125 OF A SECOND
Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre
Renowned for his film installations which re-enact conversations from specific historic moments, Irish artist Gerard Byrne works with photography, video and live art to explore the way we understand the present, through revisiting the past.

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12 – 13 March
THEATRES OF CONSCIENCE
mac birmingham
Women & Theatre in association with mac birmingham have worked with residents across the city to develop Theatres of Conscience, an engaging new production depicting the tribunal experiences of Conscientious Objectors in the First World War.
With 6 interactive performances to choose from over the weekend  Theatres of Conscience offers audiences the chance to experience a WWI community tribunal and observe men of conscription age come to request exemption from “joining the colours”.  Audience members will act as the panel of tribunal members as men come to share their personal situations and reasons for applying for exemption.

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13 March – 2 May
WILLARD WIGAN HOMECOMING EXHIBITION
The Lighthouse, Wolverhampton
Tiny, tiny, tiny art is on display from Wigan who is famous for the art he produces in the eye of a needle.

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17 & 18 March
VAMOS THEATRE: THE BEST THING
mac birmingham
The year is 1966. Sheila is 17, unmarried and pregnant. She is given no choice but to give up her child for a ‘better life.’ Based on true experiences, The Best Thing is a poignant, humorous and gritty story of mistaken morals and the power of unconditional love from Vamous Theatre, the UK’s leading full mask theatre company.
Tickets £14 (£12)

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23 March – 2 April
TRAINSPOTTING
mac birmingham
This punchy, immersive production recaptures the passion and controversy of Irvine Welsh’s cult generation-defining novel. For this 21st anniversary production, the Scottish cast have created a snappy, vibrant retelling capturing the power and humour of the piece.
Tickets £15

Until 27 March 2016
CAGLAR KIMYONCU
Artists’ Studio, New Art Gallery Walsall
Kimyoncu’s residency is informed by his perspective as a disabled person and background as the son of a professional soldier. Previous works have focused on the subject of conscientious objection and ‘being different’ in conflict zones. During his residency, Caglar will extend his research into the issue of the militarisation of youth, and seek to provide a space for those voices he identifies to be excluded or marginalised in society.

JINDRICH STREIT – SOVINEC

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Centrala
Fazeley St, Birmingham, B5 5RT
Until 30 March

Czech Documentary photographer and ex-primary school teacher Jindrich Streit has been photographing the people of his home village Sovinec, in the north of the Czech Republic, for over 40 years.

Imprisoned in the early 80s by the authorities for taking unsettling images of the brutal living conditions, including photographing a party meeting where people were asleep, he lost his teaching job and had to join his friends who worked on the local collective farm.

His photographs reveal the intimate relationship with the villagers and, despite the treatment towards him, he persevered with his photographic work and opened his house to the local community with a  gallery for contemporary art on the first floor. Today it is a remarkable cultural centre that attracts work from around the world.

AREA GUIDE > NEW CULTURE EDITION

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For the third year in a row we have teamed up with New Art West Midlands to present a special culture edition of Area Guide.

Featuring a wealth of new graduate talent New Art WM chooses the best of the graduate shows to present 4 unique curated exhibitions of work that focuses on cross-art forms. This year the exhibitions, which start this month, will take place at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, mac birmingham, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Herbert Museum & Art Gallery, Coventry.

This edition also features upcoming exhibitions, festivals and cultural events taking place from now until May.

Read the edition online here or pick up an issue at the venues mentioned above.

SHOUT Festival 2015, 12 Nov-22 November

AudienceParticipation-RHPSBack for its seventh edition, SHOUT 2015 encompassing the best in live performance, theatre, comedy, music, visual art, talks and film that explores Queer and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and LGBT themes.

Here’s our pick of what to see… Continue reading

AREA GUIDE > November-December issue

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Check out the latest edition of AREA GUIDE – if you haven’t managed to pick up a copy yet you can read it online here.

This issue features the usual mix of Art, music, comedy and film previews alongside festive days out and cocktail features, fashion looks for A/w 2015 and our handy gift guide.

West Midland Degree Shows 2015

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It is a busy time for 3rd year undergrads at the moment as they work hard to present their final year degree shows and hope to get noticed. Always an excellent place to pick up and find new and exciting talent, here are a selection that are open to the public across the West Midlands… Continue reading