Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Urban Fusion

With good news of good audience numbers filtering up from Melbourne we’ve been working in the office making sure the future is as busy as the recent past.

Monday was the deadline for Birmingham City Council’s Urban Fusion fund. Word on the street is that the hefty sums involved have lured everyone whose anyone, and many who aren’t to chance their arms. Applications sound like they are flying in from all angles.

We’ve pitched for support in staging a World Version of Of All The People In All The World in Birmingham. A home town gig on this scale has always been a dream – tying it in with a possible London staging would bring economies of scale and cross marketing potential.

Originally money for Urban Fusion came as a consolation prize for not being European City of Culture in 2008. The latest batch has come from Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency. This means that criteria have shifted, there seems to be a strong emphasis on the economic outputs and educational opportunities alongside breadth and bulk of audience attendance. Beans have to be counted more scrupulously than ever.

Our application feels strong. The show has a proven international pedigree that Birmingham could buy into. It will support a local company develop its profile at home. It can potentially be seen by thousands of people. Research for the show will put it in front of folk from all kinds of groupings within the city. If, as we plan, a venue can be secured in Eastside then it will promote this as the city’s Cultural Quarter to a wider audience.

Still, it’s impossible to second guess what machinations are at work in the selection procedure, or who we’re up against, or what the big hitting Brum art Behemoths are proposing. If I was them I’d give it to us. Surely the time has come for Stan to return home in style.


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