West Midlands Railway is supporting a group of aspiring artists from Chelmsley Wood, as they complete an exciting summer school programme in the city.
The train operator is providing free travel for a group of young people between Marston Green and Birmingham New Street on Saturday 8th and Saturday 15th September. The group will be taking part in the final two sessions of the ‘Many Worlds’ summer school programme, run by Eastside Projects. The six-week course has been supported by Arts Council England and produced in partnership with community art organisation B37 Project, which develops projects across arts, food and the environment in Solihull.
The scheme has brought together aspiring and practicing artists through six creative workshops. Over the summer, ‘Many Worlds’ participants have been exploring pathways into creative careers during practical workshops in art, architecture, photography, illustration, spoken word, graphic design, printmaking and publishing.
They have been working with artists and designers Louise Byng, Jo Capper, Mike Dring, Holodeck, Sarah Taylor Silverwood, Bethany Slinn and Stuart Whipps.
West Midlands Railway is also funding a series of artist residencies and artist-led walks in the area, which are due to launch later this year. Titled ‘Link and Shift’, the programme aims to develop high quality arts opportunities for communities served by the region’s railway.
Fay Easton, head of stakeholder and community at West Midlands Railway said: “Working with Eastside Projects we have been able to help open up new opportunities for young people in Chelmsley Wood. Supporting travel for the summer school participants is just the start of our ongoing work with the charity, and we are excited to look at new and unique locations for artist residencies on the rail network through the ‘Link and Shift’ programme.”
Gavin Wade, director of Eastside Projects said: “Support from West Midlands Railway has allowed us to expand our existing partnership with B37 Project and realise our shared vision of bringing excellent artists and artwork to Chelmsley Wood. We are excited about the potential Link & Shift and Many Worlds have to impact on the creative lives of the communities, young people and artists that take part in them.”
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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