Press Release

Archives West Midlands, with the support of Arts Connect, are delighted to announce Strong Rooms: a unique, exciting and original fusion of archives and arts.

Working with globally renowned street artist Mohammed Ali Archives West Midlands will inspire young people, using archives for the first time, to explore their locality and record their discoveries creatively.

Mohammed is delighted to have the opportunity to explore something new and revealed “telling stories in exciting and innovative ways that resonates with new people is what excites me: throwing light onto our past and making it relevant to our future.”

Their journey will create Strong Rooms: a vivid and interactive installation which will tour Rugby, Coventry, Dudley and Worcester. Warwickshire County Councillor Jeff Clarke, Portfolio holder for Environment & Heritage commented “supporting new and exciting initiatives that enhance the lives of the community is something we are always keen to do and are pleased that Strong Rooms does exactly that.”

Strong Rooms will deliver high quality artistic engagement to local communities within the West Midlands and see the archives sector engage with young people in new ways. The mix of graffiti art and archives challenges the perceptions of archives.

Working with young people Mohammed envisages creating an immersive sensory experience allowing you to hear, touch, smell and see archives and form your own thoughts about accessing the stories of the past.

Project lead Justin Hughes enthused “the opportunity to take archives out to the very heart of communities in new and dynamic ways is hugely exciting.”

Strong Rooms will create a showpiece for the region’s unique archival assets, bring communities together in a shared experience and inspire new artistic developments rooted in identity, sense of place and local citizenship.

Ultimately Strong Rooms will place something big, bold and inspiring in the heart of four communities across the West Midlands.

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For further information please contact Justin Hughes via archiveswestmidlands@gmail.com

Arts Connect is an initiative of the University of Wolverhampton, working with Birmingham Arts Partnership, that delivers the Bridge programme in the West Midlands and other activities that improve arts and cultural engagement of children and young people.

Arts Connect works as a service and development agency rather than a producer or funder of arts or cultural experiences and is part of a national network of 10 Bridge organisations, funded by Arts Council England.

Arts Connect works across the West Midlands, including the urban local authorities of Birmingham, the Black Country, Solihull, Coventry, Stoke on Trent and Telford & Wrekin as well as the shire counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

For further information visit www.artsconnect.co.uk

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