Since I started this blogsite a few weeks ago its been getting a handful of hits per day (plus a few peaks now and again) and has started to become useful for getting interest and collaboration in the various things I get up to.
Much of that modest initial success feels down in no small way to the website Created in Birmingham which is the brainchild and project of Pete Ashton. Its a fine site dedicated to providing a focus for, as it says, creative activity in Birmingham and is one of the sites I subscribe to and read daily via RSS – gaining much insight from it into what everyone else in the city is up to.
So this post is motivated partly to thank Pete, without who’s support writing this blog – whilst deeply cathartic for me – might feel somewhat like writing a letter and then posting it directly into the bin, rather than the post box. So – thanks Pete.
Unfortunately my gratitude towards Pete’s site feels partly due to my feeling that the service he provides is so desperately needed in this area. Birmingham doesn’t feel short of creative and active people – how can it be really, when its such a big place? But what it does seem to badly lack is a really cohesive community of creators and initiators, participants and audience.
I cant help feeling that the recent disastrous closing of the music and artistic/community facility at the Epic Skate Park is a victim of this lack of collective purpose, and that there is a genuine lack of support from establishment organisations despite much proaganda and discussion about creativity being the future of the city.
Still, there are always reasons to be cheerful – new venues do spring up – the Hare and Hounds has had a refit and boost, The Que Club is apparently on its way back, Keith Marsden of Skate Park fame is now in charge at The Prince of Wales – tho guess what, they’re not allowed music in the garden – also stand up comedy, whilst consistently struggling in the city centre (the mainstream clubs aside) is establishing a foothold in Kings Heath and Moseley and whilst there are sites like Created in Birmingham giving impetus to the ever growing networks of creatives and artists, there remains enough encouragement for me to keep on plugging away.