For the fourth year, Creative Black Country is partnering with the annual Ola Sandwell & Birmingham Mela to bring its biggest Art Village to date to the event, which returns to Victoria Park, Smethwick from 20-21st July.
As creative partner to the UK’s largest Mela, CBC have organised a hive of activity for the whole weekend. Visitors can participate in a range arts workshops in Yurts in the Arts Village; have a go at mosaic crafting; make modroc people sculptures; try some Indian chumki making; and even be 3D cloned and printed.
Artist in residence, Joe Miles, will be creating a new piece scanning 8 meters long and 3 metres high that you can see taking shape live. Social media sensation, Fidpal, brings his dynamic flare and a new form of artistic dance performance to the Mela audience whilst Vakhri Tohr, a Bhangra dance team with ages from 9 to 28 years-old, will be educating communities about their culture using movement.
On Saturday The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band (supported by Birmingham Hippodrome), welcomes audiences to enjoy a spectacular celebration of vibrant colour and sound, bringing the living embodiment of the Indian landscape to Smethwick. Their music and dance will provide a heady, exciting and hypnotic reflection of South Asia. Creative Black Country’s Director of Operations and Developments, Sajida Carr, said:
“We’re delighted to be working with the Ola Sandwell and Birmingham Mela once again to bring a packed programme of performance, dance, arts, craft and creativity to Smethwick.
"This year we’ve really pushed the boat out to include as much activity as we can thanks to the success of past years. It’s wonderful to see the Mela crowd has such a huge appetite for the Arts Village.”
Thousands are expected this year at the UK’s biggest Asian music festival for a weekend of family entertainment, tasty food and Bollywood stars. Now in its ninth year, the Mela is an established highlight in the UK’s cultural calendar, celebrating new work, showcasing international talent and providing a platform for emerging British artists as well as bringing visual art forms to a wider audience.
This year’s event is also complemented by the mouth watering Tastes of Asia Food Market which includes a cooking demonstration from renowned Chef Tony Singh and the chance to blend your own smoothie on a smoothie bike.