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What’s The Agenda?

What's The Agenda?

Cannon Hill Collective present: What’s The Agenda?

Sat 29 – Sun 30 Mar, 2pm-9pm | Foyle Studio| Free Entry

Launch Party Fri 28 Mar, 6pm-9pm | Please RSVP nextgen@macarts.co.uk

A festival of visual art, performance and debate curated by mac birmingham’s next generation of artists, Cannon Hill Collective (CHC). Working with producer Amy Martin and social provocateurs Stan’s Cafe, CHC have created a unique programme of events at mac fuelled by a united desire to incite positive social change and explore when art becomes a political act.

Archival Activism evokes responses, prompts anecdotes and defies assumptions surrounding heritage and identity, subverting society’s box-ticking mindset. The more we learn about ourselves, the better we can relate to one another. Share the story of your heritage on twitter @ArchivalAct

Bare Bones

A dynamic and thought-provoking evening of spoken word and performance poetry, hitchhiking through the themes discussed in What’s The Agenda?

A hive of activity housing and encouraging creative happenings, the structure will be redeveloped and transformed over the course of the event, inviting audience interaction and investigation by mirroring the possibility for change found within it.

DB84SC is an ongoing discussion platform running both on and offline during What’s The Agenda? culminating in a live debate for you to have your say.

Estranged Voices is an immersive 15 minute spoken word performance exploring the unnatural existence of isolation within a loving relationship.

The Hikikomori
New media provides us with an eternal eye on the world that surrounds us, so why should we leave the comfort of our own walls? Step into The Hikikomori to visualise a life alone.

Side View looks past media influence to how sexual objectification affects everyday interactions and perspectives of the opposite sex. Through film and visual art the project explores responses to sexual objectification and the role gender continues to play in today’s world.

So It Goes
A film that explores whether society’s ‘big’ issues are actually the issues we need to be focusing on and whether history is simply repeating itself.

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#NextGenBrum Cannon Hill Café New collaborative commissions for young people and emerging artists aged 16-24yrs at mac birmingham

Deadline for submissions: 1st March 2014

Cannon Hill Café is a new programme aiming to develop emerging artists by offering young people aged between 16-24yrs the chance to engage and connect with mac birmingham: by initiating, producing and delivering their own events.

The aim of these commissions is to encourage new and meaningful creative collaborations as part of theNext Gen programme at mac birmingham and to create roles for young people as producers, curators, programmers, artists and leaders. Offering young people resources including, space, production support and funds to make creative work, collaborate and test out ideas.

What’s on offer?

• 5 x young people’s commissions for an alternative events programme – the Cannon Hill Café

• £500 on offer per event

• Use of space, technical support and production support from mac staff and associate producer Amy Martin

• Free skills workshops in; events management, marketing, production and audience engagement

This commission is open to:

• Existing youth groups, youth companies and youth charities or newly formed collaborative groups of young people

• Groups based in the West Midlands

• Aged 16-24yrs – led by young people

Location: Arena Café, mac birmingham, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH

Fee: Successful applicants will receive £500/per event to be spent as a programme budget

How to apply:

Application is by proposal via email to nextgen@macarts.co.uk

Your proposal should be on no more than 2 sides of A4.

Your proposal should include:

• The skills and experience of you and your group

• An outline of what you’d like to do – your ideas and how you would create a new one off event at mac for young people

• An indication of who you would like to collaborate with or programme, and how you intend to engage your audience

Please note your event must suit a public space café with limited tech resources. You will have access to a sound and light PA, projector, screen and technician. Your event must be on either 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th May or 3rd June between 5pm-8pm. Your event must be a minimum of 1 hour to a maximum of 3 hours in duration.
Successful shortlisted applicants will be asked to pitch their idea on Saturday 15th March 2014.
We understand that proposals will be subject to change and development.
We are happy to receive proposals as video, audio files, or web-based applications.

To help you to develop your application you can sign up to the following free Cannon Hill Lectures in events management and/or take part in an information surgery. Further information below.


From Set Up to Clean Up, a crash course in Events Management Pt 1 with Amy Martin

Thu 30 Jan, 6pm-8pm | Free | Hexagon Theatre

Planning an event, exhibition, party or workshop? Need help getting started? Then this crash course in Events Management is for you. You will explore the planning process, going step by step through the different elements, along the way creating a useful timeline. You will look at how to get people to attend your event and how to manage the process from set up to clean up.

From Set Up to Clean Up, a crash course in Events Management Pt 2 with Amy Martin

Thu 6 Feb, 6pm-8pm | Free | Hexagon Theatre

Building on from Pt 1 this lecture offers a practical guide to Events Management. You’ll leave with a toolkit that will help you organise future events, the confidence to get started and the skills to manage the process from set up to clean up.

Information surgeries

Tue 28 Jan, 4pm-5pm | mac birmingham café drop in

Thu 30 Jan, 4pm-5pm |  mac birmingham café drop in

Thu 6 Feb, 4pm-5pm | mac birmingham café drop in

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Cannon Hill Collective 2013/14

Starting in October 2013, and running through to April 2014, the Cannon Hill Collective offers young people aged between 16 and 24 the chance to engage and connect with mac birmingham: from initiating, producing and delivering their own projects to advising on mac birmingham’s wider work with young people.

This year’s collective will work with producer Amy Martin, and Stan’s Cafe. Stan’s Cafe is a group of artists from a variety of disciplines, though primarily theatre practitioners, working under the artistic direction of James Yarker. The company consists of a core of long-term collaborators and a range of associated artists. More information about Stan’s cafe can be found here. In addition the collective will be joined by creative industry professionals to explore the idea of where art becomes a political act – how creative expression can act as a means to affect social change and how art can challenge many of society’s deepest assumptions.

As part of the collective, young people will be encouraged to develop new ideas and projects from scratch, putting their own creative stamp on mac birmingham’s arts programme. Over the course of the six months, they’ll work alongside arts professionals, be introduced to top-notch creative work, be invited to mac birmingham’s events, and devise original work to share with young people across the region and beyond. In the process, the collective will sharpen their project coordination, leadership and teamwork skills and gain confidence in decision-making and creative abilities.




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Next Gen Fest

Illustration by Louise Byng

Cannon Hill Collective will be hosting Next Gen Fest on Friday 19th April at mac birmingham from 6.30pm.

A free festival of art, music and performance curated by mac birmingham’s next generation of artists the Cannon Hill Collective. This group of young creatives has been working on a unique programme of events at mac, by and for young people.

Next Gen Fest will include;

Much Beta

Much Beta is a participatory installation that brings digital image sharing into the physical world. Original artwork from local creatives will be exhibited and become subject to a process of copying and exchange, reminiscent of the re-blogging and sharing of images around the World Wide Web.

Get involved… We’re looking for images, to be included in the installation, inspired by the very internet itself – its origins, its current state and its future. All 2D media are welcomed (painting, drawing, collage, photography, stitch etc) but submissions must be no bigger than A4 in size. From Leonardo da Vinci to LOLcats, we’re looking for imaginative interpretations of the brief, but please be aware we will not accept sensitive or harmful content. For more information check IdeasTap. This brief closes on Tuesday 9 April at 5pm and is open to Midlands-based IdeasTap members aged 16 – 24.

Not a member of IdeasTap? Sign up: It’s free and anyone can join.


Visit: whatsthisstory.tumblr.com and you will find an online story that you yourself can contribute to. Submit your 150 words and it may be the next part of the story. Feel free to also submit your videos, music, art, and illustrations, and the best parts will be exhibited at Next Gen Fest.

Off Print

An ancient Czech folk tale of love and war is reinvented with a blend of spoken word, dance and live music.

5MINUTES is an open mic night like no other, 5 Minutes invites performers from across different disciplines to do something. That’s it. Something. There are only two rules. The first is that we respectfully request performers refrain from doing something they have ever performed on stage before. The second is that the performance must be encapsulated within the performer’s five minutes. One stage. One audience. One chance. What would you do with yours?

Open Decks

Get involved… Cannon Hill Collective have a unique opportunity for emerging DJs, music producers and beatmakers to perform at Cannon Hill Collective’s Next Gen Fest on Friday 19th April.

Open Decks provide a stage for new and emerging DJs to showcase their musical talents, all artists first submit some of their work for the team to listen to and are carefully selected to ensure a wide range of musical styles are explored throughout the night.

Each DJ will receive £50 for their performance (up to 20 minutes).

Are you an emerging DJ aged 16-24yrs looking to showcase your musical talent? If you would like the chance to play a set at Next Gen Fest please apply through IdeasTap and send a mixtape or sound/mixcloud link plus a short bio by 9th April.

This brief closes on Tuesday 9 April at 5pm and is open to IdeasTap members aged 16 to 24 from the West Midlands.
Not a member of IdeasTap? Sign up: It’s free and anyone can join.

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Theatrical Three Days

I’ve been really lucky to have seen some amazing theatre this week. On Thursday night I went down to @AE Harris with Emma to see The Cardinals by Stan’s Cafe. It was a farcical puppet show exploring those forbidden dinner party topics, religion and politics, and I thought I had it pinned, but an almost imperceptibly slow build-up took it from hilarious to shocking. It left us both speechless, and took a while afterwards to think over. The aesthetics were beautiful, with some really stunning images, and it was executed with the amazing precision it takes to create what looks like total chaos.

On Friday, I went to Warwick Arts Centre on my university campus to see Ubu Roi by Cheek by Jowl. It was another farce; the story of tyrannical ruler King Ubu, told in the context of a refined French dinner party. But despite the battles and torture being reenacted with kitchen utensils and lamps, I found myself really engrossed in the story as well as in fits of giggles.

With all this in mind, we began the first rehearsal for Off Print Tales, the project Emma and I are co-directing. We brought together Cannon Hill Collective members and other performers and jumped straight into devising. We’ve got poets, actors, dancers and musicians and are bringing them together to make a storytelling style which incorporates them all. We got together in a beautiful mac studio and asked them to respond to the first part of the story, and we got some amazing material to begin creating the piece with. We had a lot of fun, and the piece is really promising so I’m looking forward to devising with the group. So it’s been a very inspiring and theatrical few days.

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Mark Thomas – A lesson in multi-dimensional storytelling

A couple of weeks ago a few of us CannonHill-ites were invited along to watch Mark’s show; Bravo Figaro, a moving depiction of his relationship with his father and opera. Mark had kindly spent some time earlier in the evening talking to us and answering some questions about his career, his political views and anything else we wanted to know. This was an interesting insight into comedy and performance as a form of political activism. Mark is a really charming guy with a lot of important things to say and just listening to the thought process surrounding his work was great inspiration to look at art in a new light. For me personally it has always been important to work on projects that hold more than just one meaning. As appose to just being about aesthetics or reviews, exposure or money it could also be about social change, progress and the the experience of something new. Mark, with his tales of success, re-affirmed my desire to work with these goals in mind. We were also told about the way projects can develop further the more you look into them. Following leads that you think are interesting can often provide us with something that is completely different to the point that we started at and can deliver more depth, experience and value to our work. The show that followed was entertaining from start to finish but, because of what was mentioned previously, I felt as if I could spot where certain realisations and changes to the projects had come. I could see beyond the jokes and stories and understand the thinking behind them. This gave the show a feeling of ‘wholeness’. We were seeing the culmination of what Mark had told us about before. The story had countless messages about social class, politics and the structures that surround family life, all of which were communicated through heartfelt humour, passion and story telling. It made me want to see more of Mark’s work, but perhaps more importantly, to find a way for my own work to follow a similar vein of intrigue and to provide more dimensions than may be apparent at first glance.

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The Internet Has No Edges.

Internet believer and all-round modern maverick Andy Field visited the mac today. He spoke to us about how to make the most of representing ourselves idiosyncratically online and the www’s potential for dynamic collaborations. Here are the notes I made, including his wise words that the internet is limitless and ‘not finished yet’, an interesting thought that lead me to see the internet in a new way – a vast, albeit unregulated, universe of information that we can find our place within.

Inspiring stuff.

Plus a drawing for good measure.


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