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  1. Chris Halpin

15 times more invested in Arts in London than Midlands

Between 2010 and 2015 the Midlands saw the biggest fall in local authority funding to arts and culture in the country, with councils cutting cash many museums, theatres and galleries had relied on for decades.

But during that time a major review found that per person, 15 times more public money was invested into arts and culture in London than in the West Midlands. The Arts Council here says it's working to spread that money more fairly, but as local organisations struggle, some think the arts in the MIdlands still isn't getting its fair share. Here's Chris Halpin with the final part of our series, Culture Shock - the Future of our Arts.

  1. Chris Halpin

Could 'Culture Levy' on hotels help fund Birmingham arts?

A significant reboot - that's what's needed for the future of funding for arts and culture in Birmingham according to a report out today.

It's calling on greater collaboration and investment by businesses and universities as many cultural institutions struggle with funding after years of cuts from local government.

Ideas include organisations taking loans from businesses, borrowing on buildings, through to more radical ideas like Dragon's Den style pitches for particular arts money making ideas or putting a culture levy on hotel rooms.

Around 65 thousand people are employed in the sector in the Midlands, but without reform it's feared a lack of funding could put the region's world class culture at risk. Chris Halpin reports in the second part of our special series, Culture Shock: The Future of our Arts.

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  1. Chris Halpin

East Midlands arts working hard to keep people healthy

The arts and cultural sector in the East Midlands employs 56,000 people and contributes tens of millions of pounds to the economy, but also to health and well being.

However over the last few nights we've been hearing how funding cuts to culture are presenting one of its biggest challenges yet.

In the final part of our special series Culture Shock: The Future of our Arts, Chris Halpin has been finding out how the arts really can change lives.

  1. Chris Halpin

15 times more invested in Arts in London than East Midlands

Between 2010 and 2015 national funding for arts and culture fell by 16.6%. Councils in the East Midlands also cut cash to many museums, theatres and galleries which they'd relied on for decades.

During that time a major review found that per person, 15 times more public money was invested into arts and culture in London than in the East Midlands.

The Arts Council says it's working to spread that money more fairly, but as local organisations struggle, some think arts and culture in the East Midlands is losing out. Chris Halpin reports.

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  1. Maya Patel

Weekend Picks: The Big Read

The Big Read: Sat 16th July - 13th September (Birmingham)

The Big Read book bench trail will run until 13th September Credit: Wild in Art

Over 170 BookBench sculptures, decorated by young people in the West Midlands as part of The Big Read, a unique arts project to promote literacy development, will be on public display in Birmingham.

There is also a whole host of literary-themed events and activities taking place around the displays to spark everybody’s interest in reading and writing.

Locations for the summer-long BookBench displays are widespread: Birmingham city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, Solihull, Walsall, Sandwell and Coventry, with venues including Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Library of Birmingham, Grand Central, Waterstones, Foyles,Sarehole Mill, The Core and Coventry Central Library

Every decorated BookBench tells a special story and, together with a jam-packed summer of book-themed events and activities, we hope The Big Read encourages all generations to rekindle their passion for reading and writing.”

– Ben Reed, Development Director at Wild in Art

For opening times and more information visit: http://www.thebigread.org.uk

  1. Maya Patel

Weekend Picks: Arts Festival

Wollaton Arts Festival: Thurs 14th - Sun 17th July (Wollaton Park, Nottingham)

A range of events will take place over the two day festival Credit: Nottingham City Council

The first Wollaton Arts Festival, a brand new event by and for the people of Wollaton, will take place this weekend.

The festival will celebrate the vibrant local community in Wollaton, with free events for everyone to take part in. It’ll include events such as a ‘Big Picnic’ in Wollaton Park on Sunday 17 July.

Festival events include:

Festival Gathering - 16 July - Take a trip down memory lane and find out about the history of Wollaton (and share your own photos and memories) plus enjoy live music

Wollaton Arts Festival Bake Off - 16 July - Enter a showstopping cake in one of two categories, under 18 and over 18

Wollaton Big Picnic - 17 July - A chance to enjoy food and drink, live music and entertainment with other local people. There'll also be free storytelling and activities for children, creative workshops, tours, walks and exhibitions.

I want to encourage everyone living and working in Wollaton to join us at the first Wollaton Arts Festival.

We need you to make the event a success and hopefully an annual event in Wollaton’s calendar.”

– Neighbourhood Development Officer for Wollaton, Lylse-Anne Renwick

For opening times and more information visit: http://beta.nottinghamcity.gov.uk

  1. Maya Patel

Weekend Picks: Carnival of Giants

Carnival of Giants: Sat 16th July (Telford Town Park, Telford)

A GIANT parade will take place from 2pm Credit: Telford & Wrekin Council

This Saturday Telford Town Park will come alive with prehistoric dinosaurs as they take over the QEII Arena for the Carnival of Giants event.

A GIANT parade will take place from 2pm featuring 500 people, dino paraphernalia and unique dinosaurs.

The community stage spot will be host to local dance, music and performances. There will also be a dressing up box, a craft marquee, sports, activities, food stalls, a large fun fair, and carnival games.

The interest in Carnival of Giants has been phenomenal and it’s easy to see why.

There is so much to do for all the family and everyone is sure to be amazed by the spectacular dinosaurs”.

– Councillor Liz Clare, Cabinet Member for Culture

For opening times and more information visit: www.discovertelford.co.uk/giants

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