Artscoop Central (usually known as ‘Artscoop’) aims to support and grow local arts in ways that make sense to us all. Membership is open to practitioners, educators and organisers, and to any adult who simply enjoys localised creative activities. Living and/or working in SW Birmingham, we regularly create arts events, exhibitions, performances and workshops in collaboration with other residents with the aim of enhancing a shared sense of well-being and quality of life.

We started informally in 2010 as Edgbaston Arts Contact Group and are now well-established as Artscoop, a registered not-for-profit company. We work closely with residents of all ages, types and backgrounds to create cultural experiences in ways that connect directly with where people live and work, and how they see themselves. Artscoop does this this through co-design and co-production: we negotiate with community groups to ensure that the resulting art activities are not only rewarding experiences for everyone involved but are also cultural expressions of residents’ personal, social and cultural concerns.

Artscoop has grown from small beginnings and enthusiastic volunteering into a distinctive feature of cultural life in SW Birmingham. As such, we are well-placed to play an active and positive role in the far-reaching social and cultural changes taking place in Birmingham and the West Midlands, now and in the foreseeable future.

This is a significant and continuing feature of Artscoop’s work. It takes the form of an annual commission from Birmingham Council to manage one of the city’s ten District-based Local Arts Forums. Artscoop has evolved the Forum in Edgbaston as a network of interests that reflects the characteristics of widely ranging local communities. All ten Local Arts Forums have now came together to form No 11 Arts, named after the famous bus-route because it connects the Districts together. No 11 Arts works with Culture Central, a network of all the major city-based arts organisations, and this offers valuable opportunities for wholly new approaches to culture in Birmingham. In continuing to manage the Local Arts Forum in Edgbaston District, Artscoop is proud to play its part in these exciting initiatives.