West Midlands Weekenders – Democratising Creativity & Culture – Sat 26 September

Sat 26th September, 1pm to 7pm

Watch On YouTube from 1pm-6pm

Then from 6-7pm Please join our special DJ set with Tim Senna via https://www.mixcloud.com/live/switch_radio/


Online event celebrating young creatives in the West Midlands, hosted by Switch Radio presenter Ashlee Elizabeth-Lolo and BBC WM presenter Rakeem Omar.

Artists from across the region will respond to the theme of Democratising Creativity & Culture, with four brand new pieces created and commissioned for the Weekender, and a variety of pre-recorded work all hosted by Ashlee Elizabeth-Lolo and Rakeem Omar.

2020 has demonstrated more than ever the need for cross-over and collaboration between the screen content sector and the traditional cultural sector. That’s why Create Central, the industry-led trade body for the creative content sector, is collaborating with West Midlands Culture Response Unit on this event. With so much amazing talent and energy they want to showcase what is possible in the home of original storytelling: the West Midlands.

Celebrating young creatives in the West Midlands, the weekender features a collection of performances, films, dance, poetry, stand-up, where the region’s young talent are put centre-stage to share their art and highlight the issues affecting them including lockdown, health, Black Lives Matter, and the power of communities.

Birmingham based artist Kiesha ‘KSsense’ Sadler explores the Black Lives Matter movement in a brand-new spoken word film, and independent artist-researcher Melissandre Varin investigates how we keep in touch with each other during the pandemic, and how this is reflecting our relationship with the natural world in a newly commissioned poetry film for the weekender.

The theme of the weekender is explored with the chance for audiences to have their say in Stoke-on-Trent born artist Holly Johnson’s work where the public can vote at each stage of the process of making a hat, including the colour, size and style, with a random winner receiving the finished design.

Multi-disciplinary artist Chloe Deakin will also delve into the theme with a never-before-seen documentary portraying young creatives’ experiences with the cultural sector, and asking the viewer “how can I play my part in democratising the culture and creativity sector?”

Birmingham’s ever-entertaining drag hostess, Yshee Black will celebrate West Midlands key workers with a fabulous digital drag show, plus there’s interviews with artists throughout the day and a special closing party DJ set from Switch Radio from 6pm – 7pm. The festival will also include text captions for all performances, with live BSL interpretation accompanying the hosts.

Confirmed artists taking part in the weekender are: Hannah Taylor, Arun Kapor, Sam Malley, Marius Mates, Charis Esther Kibble, Adaya Henry, Yshee Black, Lorna Nickson Brown, Amber Gollay, Jakub Konaszczuk, Femi Themen, Evan Covacevich, Toni Sansara, Kiesha Sadler, Chloe Deakin, Holly Johnson, Melissandre Varin, PotBoiler Theatre, Kwanza Collective, Ruthless Magazine, Sampad, B’Opera.

The full line-up and running times for Democratising Creativity & Culture Weekender is now available at makeitwm.com/wm-weekender.

Please note this festival is suitable for viewers 16+ (some content may contain explicit language, physical violence and references to mental health, cancer and Black Lives Matter)

Support is available if you are affected by anything in the Democratising Creativity and Culture Festival stream. Talking to other people can be very helpful – whether this is with a family member, friends, a doctor or an organisation. Here are some organisations you can contact for advice and support in the UK.

Mental Health:


Lead Collaborator – Create Central

Sponsored by – Birmingham Chamber of CommerceCompton Verney and generous donations from individuals via West Midlands Young Creatives Fund.

Partners – MakeItWMSwitch Radio