Building a community of practice in the city that ensures Muslims are fully represented in the artistic and cultural life of Birmingham as artists and as communities
Birmingham is even more ethnically diverse than London and this diversity is reflected in its Muslim communities.
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Birmingham is the largest city in the UK outside of London and the seventh most deprived local authority in England.
More Muslims live in Birmingham than in any other local authority, making up 30% of its population. There is a strong link between deprivation and high Muslim population areas, with six of the 10 most deprived wards in the city having a Muslim majority. In these circumstances, levels of engagement in creative activity are inevitably low as a result of financial and other barriers which Amal has documented in consultation with Muslim communities.
Birmingham is even more ethnically diverse than London and this diversity is reflected in its Muslim communities. National and international media portrayals of Muslims in Birmingham often misrepresent them, making the structural inequalities they face harder to overcome. But the shared pride Muslims and non-Muslims felt in their city at the time of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games provides a foundation for growing opportunities for Muslims in Birmingham to realise their creative potential and to change the narrative about themselves and their place in the city.
We established Birmingham as an Amal hub location in 2021 to enable us to work to build a community of practice in the city that ensures Muslims are fully represented in the artistic and cultural life of Birmingham as artists and as communities.
We do this by consulting Muslim communities closely; connecting communities with artists and arts organisations to grow creative opportunities; enabling communities to visualise the creativity they want to explore through taster activities; supporting high-quality arts projects that are co-created by Muslims and creative professionals and showcased within the wider community; and convening our stakeholders to share learning and good practice and build mutual trust and understanding. It is through your donations that Amal is able to continue this important work.
How your donation will help
£50 can contribute to Birmingham hub general operating costs
£75 can enable communities, artists, and arts organisations to share learning and develop skills
£250 can give a community a workshop to help them understand their creative potential
£625 can provide young Muslims with quality co-creation opportunities
£10 can help support more co-created projects
£25 can help support our hub work
£30 can strengthen our advocacy and impact
£50 can support monitoring, evaluation, and learning
Creating a fairer Birmingham story
In our work in Birmingham, we have found communities with a great appetite for creative engagement. Muslim artists and communities see that we exist specifically to serve them and know that their work and priorities will be understood by us when they are not by others. Through our programmes of support, we incentivise and enable them as well as arts organisations to do work that is unlikely to happen otherwise. The result is that Muslims come into mainstream arts spaces they did not previously see as theirs, as well as into faith spaces exhibiting creative work they can interact with; diverse audiences are attracted to Muslim-inspired art forms for the first time;
and opportunities grow for positive cross-community encounters that embrace difference. More Muslim stories are told and are heard. The arts sector becomes more representative and inclusive of Muslims. And the story around Muslims in Birmingham and the UK changes to one that is more confident, diverse and just. Your support will enable more stories and more encounters to take place. Please join us in changing the narrative.