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Grand Central Embraces Local Talent

By Grand Central 6 Apr 2016

March 2016

Six months on since the launch of Grand Central Birmingham, one of the cities most talked about developments in decades, the centre provides a nationwide platform for young, talented filmmakers.

In a recent partnership, Grand Central has been working with The Year of Arts & Young People in Birmingham (YAY 16), to help engage more young people to take part in opportunities offered by theatres, galleries and concert halls.

Through Maverick TV, MAIA Creatives, the West Midlands High Sheriff and Birmingham City Council the ‘Through Your Eyes Project’ has enabled talented young creatives to try their hand at film making and animation to create a short 10 second film capturing Birmingham through their eyes. All films were submitted to an esteemed judging panel for the chance to win their digital shorts being exhibited at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

Partnering with the project which has been funded by Birmingham City Council, Grand Central will be providing 10 of the winning entries with a public platform to showcase their film via the three media eyes located at the entrances of Grand Central and New Street station.

Grand Central’s marketing manager, Danielle Bozward who was invited to sit on the judging panel, said: “It was an honour for Grand Central to work closely with the YAY 16 project. Birmingham is a city that boasts some of the finest creative talent, especially in the arts so being able to provide a platform for young people to showcase their work to the rest of the nation, is very exciting.

“The dedication and talent displayed by these brilliant individuals really demonstrates the potential that young people from Birmingham can offer our city, which we avidly encourage at Grand Central.”

The £150m five-year transformation of Grand Central Birmingham has, since opening, welcomed more than 9.5 million visitors, and has surpassed expectations by delivering not only a premium shopping and dining destination, a home to an aspiring range of retailers and restaurants, but also creating a centre that has truly become the heart of the city.

During the past six months, Grand Central has had a strong investment in the local community, not only through the thousands of jobs created in the centre and the economic growth the project has generated for the region, but also through the engagement of local people supporting the development of community arts and culture by embracing local talent and igniting young people’s imaginations and passions.

The recent partnership with YAY 16 echoes the desire of Grand Central to support and invest in the artistic and cultural energy of the city, an ethos which has been embedded in the centre since day one.

When Grand Central Birmingham finally opened its doors to shoppers late last September, the launch was rooted firmly in the Birmingham local community by collaborating with young performers from across the region. 66 performers from Aston Performing Arts Academy aged from 7-24 delivered 6 ‘flash mob’ performances across the venue. The performers sang and danced 6 musical numbers. From contemporary hits such as ‘Uptown Funk’ by Bruno Mars, to pop classics like the Jackson Five’s ‘I want you back’.

Tru Powell, Creative and Events Director from Aston Performing Arts Academy, was thrilled to be part of the launch commenting; “The Grand Central launch was the biggest performance we have ever had the opportunity to be involved. Since our involvement, it has boosted the confidence of our young performers and given them the encouragement to want to continue dancing in front of national audiences.”

Bozward concluded, “Six months on since opening, these are the investments we want to continue to make in our city, dedicating time and skills into generating opportunities in the arts and culture of Birmingham and creating a community destination which everyone can enjoy.”

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