In spring 2020 we will be transforming an empty unit in The Square Shopping Centre, Birmingham city centre, into a new non-profit space for art, shared working spaces, gatherings and screenings. This space will be called Public House, and will be collaboratively run by us, Seán Elder and Emma McKinney, two individuals passionate about Birmingham and supporting the creative people who live here.
The space will host both a programme devised by us, in the form of screenings, discussions and other art events contributing to Birmingham’s visual culture, as well as being an open resource for the city’s creative community, available for hire in a city where a majority of artist-run spaces suffer from a lack of accessibility and public transport links. We are collaborating with local architects, Intervention Architecture, to create furniture for the space that will enable a multi-functional working space that can be taken with us to future homes.
Our name, Public House, comes from our idea to create a space for conversation, discussions, and informal gathering. Our programme will seek to bring more artists’ film, discussions, and artists books to Birmingham, collaborating with a number of amazing artists, organisations, and creatives in the West Midlands and beyond.
Your donations, whether little or large, will allow us to contribute more culture to a city which we love, and create a new multi-functional creative space for people to use.
What we’ll deliver:
- Redesign the interior with Intervention Architecture, transforming it into a multifunctional arts space, work space and Birmingham’s only open access dedicated library of artists' books.
- A year-round programme of artists’ talks, events and film screenings
- Provide affordable working space for freelance creatives, focussed on community and care instead of commercial ventures and profit.
- Provide a comfortable and functional space for event hire, enabling space for more local creatives to have their work seen and connect with each other.
Why it’s a great idea:
The community will benefit from affordable work space, affordable event space and a programme of screenings, talks and events. We want to:
- Put Birmingham in conversation with organisations nationally that are supporting the development of artists’ film, art writing and other art forms.
- Contribute a new accessible space to the city’s relatively small visual arts ecology.
- Provide space for students and graduates to engage with the city’s creative scene and contribute to graduate retention in the West Midlands.
- Allow cross-city collaborations with similarly minded organisations across England, Scotland, NI, Wales and internationally.
- Address the lack of fully accessible independent art spaces in Birmingham.
What we need to do to make this happen and how the money will be spent:
- Redecorate the interior and exterior of the unit, including removing old fixtures and fittings, sanding the walls, filling holes and repainting the entire space.
- The design and fabrication of multi-functional furniture by Intervention Architecture.
- Furniture to make the space comfortable for visitors and users of the space, including chairs, heaters, lamps and soft spaces.
- Kitchenware and cooking equipment for the creative freelancers using the co-working space and for any events with catering. This will include purchasing a fridge, mugs, an electric hob, a tea urn, plates, cutlery, glasses and a way of making nice coffees.
- AV equipment to show artists' films and facilitate events, including a projector, a TV, speakers and computers for public use.
- Reconnect the internet providing free Wifi for visitors and users of the co-working space.
- Marketing materials to be distributed to local independent businesses, arts organisations, libraries and public buildings to help spread the word about Public House.
If you can donate and want to help us create a new space for creative people in Birmingham then please do. If you're not in a position to donate but still want to help, please share this page with anyone you think might be interested - it's really important we get the word out to as many people as possible. We will also be taking donations of artists' books so if you'd like to contribute to our library please do get in touch.
Big thank yous to Hammerson, East Street Arts and Intervention Architecture for their support with this project.