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Creative Black Country project gets £200,000 boost after funding joy

A total of £200,000 has been awarded to Creative Black Country to create a new, inclusive art and culture project linked to the Commonwealth Games.

Parminder Dosanjh, creative director at Creative Black Country

The participatory performing arts project, entitled Shine A Light, aims to build bridges between deaf, disabled and non-disabled people using theatre and mime to tell stories of people around the Commonwealth.

The project will include live taster activity sessions and workshops for 280 people, with 165 adults going on to participate in regular performance workshops which will culminate in a touring performance and set of films to share across the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.

Partners include Deaf Explorer, Black Country Touring, Disability Arts in Shropshire (DASH), Zebra Access, Deaffest and Deafscope.

Creative Black Country, based in West Bromwich, works closely with local communities to discover, explore and grow an exciting and meaningful programme of cultural activity in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

The organisation is one of three to receive a share of £600,000 from the West Midlands Challenge Fund.

Parminder Dosanjh, creative director of Creative Black Country, said: "Disabled communities have been disproportionately affected by the impact of lockdown, so it is really exciting to be able to plan a series of workshops with hundreds of people across the Black Country over the next two years, as well as a touring performance and series of films to share during the Birmingham 2022 Cultural Programme.

"Arts and culture will be absolutely central to our recovery as a country, and funding like this will help us to do some inspirational work with deaf, disabled and non-disabled people across the Black Country just when it is needed most."

Eddie Hughes MP for Walsall North added: "This is a fantastic cultural project for the Black Country and an example of how Birmingham 2022 will bring together communities in the West Midlands. The Commonwealth Games is an incredible opportunity to champion and showcase the inclusive initiatives taking place in our region to the rest of the world."

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