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How to fail…

The first in the new series of the ‘Creative How To’ sessions starts on Tuesday 14th October and is entitled ‘How to Fail’. These free sessions for 16-24yr olds offer professional development for emerging artists and offer ideas that may support you to navigate your creative career. They are produced by mac birmingham in partnership with Amy Martin & Bearheart.

How to fail 

Steve Jobs was a loser, well he lost a company and countless opportunities before gaining big time as the boss of Apple. In this session we’ll look at the positives behind failure and how to pick yourself up after a bump in the road.

Starting Tue 14 Oct 2014 | Hexagon Theatre | Free | 6pm-8pm

Each session will feature a keynote by creative producer Amy Martin and a guest lecturer from the creative sector. Our guest for the first session is Matt Nation from PROVIDE.


Image taken from PROVIDE blog.

Matt Nation has been fighting a fear of failure for as long as he can remember, but in recent years has been trying to embrace failure as an integral part of life, and something that’s essential to success. Opening himself up to the possibility of failing has led him to create PROVIDE, an independent clothing brand and lifestyle store based in Birmingham.

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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

New Image
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. www.muchbeta.tumblr.com

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
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.

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. Each DJ will receive £50 for their performance (up to 20 minutes). Apply through IdeasTap and send a mixtape or sound/mixcloud link plus a short bio by 9th April. Not a member of IdeasTap? Sign up: It’s free and anyone can join.


Illustration by Louise Byng.

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Show and Tell

Nothing like a last-minute challenge. Tonight’s Cannon Hill Collective session challenged the group to bring with them something that they could share, in a speed networking styley. This could be a skill that can be taught or something that shows off their work and/or something that represents them. With 21 in the group and only an hour to do it, this was a challenge. But with such a diverse group of talented people there was an amazing array of skills to share. Such as; demonstrations of 3D design software, books, portfolios, poems, a collage, websites, a music track and even an example from Nathan of the correct way to ‘Dougie’.

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Critical Mass

Tonight was our first Cannon Hill Collective meeting and we did a ‘Show me your numbers’ exercise. Each of the collective considered their total number of followers & friends from  twitter, Facebook, G+, WordPress, Instagram, blogger & Tumblr, we then pooled these numbers together to get a social capital of over 20,000. Now that’s what I call a critical mass.

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Applications have now closed.

If you applied to be part of Cannon Hill Collective with mac, Birmingham, please keep an eye on your email, we will be inviting shortlisted applicants to a recruitment workshop on Friday 28 September from 4 to 6pm.

For mac’s full programme and further opportunities check the IdeasTap partner’s page – mac, Birmingham.

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Apply to be part of Cannon Hill Collective…

Calling all you young makers, creators, movers and shakers!

How would you like to work with the Midlands’ liveliest arts centre?

mac birmingham is looking for a group of 20 young people, aged 16 to 24, to be part of mac’s cannon hill collective. You can be from any creative discipline but you must be based in the West Midlands.

As part of the collective, you will come up with new ideas and develop projects from scratch, putting your stamp on mac’s fantastic arts programme.

During six months spent working alongside professionals from the field, you will be introduced to top notch art, have access to mac’s events and artists, and devise original work to share with young people across the region and beyond.

In the process, you will sharpen your project coordination, leadership and teamwork skills and gain confidence in decision-making, boosting your creative abilities.

The collective will run from 1 October 2012 to April 2013, meeting one evening each week (with a break over Christmas) and at additional events as required.

The cannon hill collective is part of the Next Generation strand at mac birmingham, which celebrates work made by, with and for young people, to discover and nurture the Next Generation of creative talent. The cannon hill collective is supported by the Monument Trust and IdeasTap.

Interested? Fill out the application form and tell us why you want to be part of the collective! Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an open interview at mac birmingham on Friday 28 September, 4 to 6pm.

Apply through IdeasTap- here