This page has been created in support of FOLIO’s Art Council Application (Project Grants) Applicant No: 55016930

FOLIO Sutton Coldfield is a Registered Charity (No. 1175929, registered in England and Wales). We are a community group of Sutton Coldfield residents who want to see our public libraries not just survive, but thrive at the heart of our community.

In the 9 months since the library re-opened and we have been programming events we have already made a big difference and a tangible contribution to community life. In particular we have already started to see the power that artistic experiences have to bring the community together, whether that be through our drama workshops which utilised augmented reality to create a mystery, scripted, acted and filmed by young people, the creativity that has found an output through our craft workshops, the skills developed at our creative writing and comics workshops or our dance-themed storytimes and activity sessions.

2018 saw us work in collaboration with Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council’s Concerts in the Park for the first time. We held a variety of outreach events in the library featuring creatives taking part in the weekend programme of Concerts in the Park. We hosted craft sessions, reading of stories and oral storytelling themed to match the themes of Concerts in the Park, namely dancing, music for dancing and our local park, Sutton Park.

Royal Sutton Coldfield’s Concerts in the Park’s free tickets were allocated in 4 days and FOLIO worked with the Caroline Davis as Concert Producer to ensure there were further free opportunities for audiences to engage with well-respected local storyteller Gavin Young in the library setting. Gavin was very popular with Concert attendees and as a result we saw great attendance back at the library. This is the type of partnership we are hoping to replicate in this application.

Here is just a small selection of photos from some additional events we’ve held in Sutton Coldfield Library in the past 9 months:

A chamber music concert with the Artume String Quartet
A creative writing workshop for teens with performance poet Steve Camden

A story and craft session
A pokemon competition

Storyteller Gavin Young
Messy play for babies

A talk by a local park ranger
Our lego club

Local community groups’ networking meeting
Drawing to music with local schools

The above video gives a good flavour of the work we’ve done and what library users think of how FOLIO now supports Sutton Coldfield Library.

Here’s a representative sample of feedback from a variety of events held over the past year:

Here’s some recent coverage of FOLIO’s forthcoming children’s book festival:

B’Opera creates beautiful music for tiny ears through interactive performances for babies, toddlers and their grown-ups.

A recent newspaper article about B’Opera: Why Opera for babies is taking Birmingham by storm (Birmingham Mail, 21 January 2019)

“They had a fantastic ability to almost mesmerise the children when they performed”
From a review by Small House Big Trips of our first relaxed concert. Read the full review here.

Facebook Reviews:

“Easily the best kids’ show I’ve seen”
“A fantastic performance today of sing a rainbow the cast were incredibly gifted in the way they engaged with everyone.”
“What a wonderful and different way to spend a morning with my children”
“It was perfect entertainment for both my 3year old and 6months old ‐ which isn’t always easy to find! ”
“What a wonderful idea and the ladies acting and singing opera were brilliant. We will definitely be going again.”
“It was engaging and entertaining, professional and fantastic. My son loved every minute”

Feedback sent by email following B’Opera’s most recent production in December 2018:

OPUS stands for Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (Limited) and is the name of a new company formed in 2018 by Birmingham-based Independent Producer Caroline Davis. OPUS offers Event Management and Producing Services focussing on large-scale, multi-stakeholder, combined Arts Events and festivals. We create cultural and artistic interventions in place based settings that connect people to each other and the space.

OPUS works with its clients across the arts, sport and leisure, government and corporate sectors, to plan and deliver events in everything from civic spaces, shopping centres, train stations… to Greenfield, woodland sites to the public transport system…. with a firm belief that People make Places. We connect sponsors, creatives, media partners and stakeholders to create events that resonate with local communities and visitors alike.

As a Birmingham based company, we utilise local supply chains wherever possible to benefit the people and businesses in the immediate area and we promote the city and it’s possibility wherever we can.

OPUS Project images