£6million for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival

Two people striking a dance pose in front of a 'Commonwealth Games' sign
Credit: Birmingham 2022
The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England have awarded £3million each to showcase the West Midlands' rich culture and heritage.

A worldwide audience

The Commonwealth Games takes place between 28 July and 8 August 2022, welcoming 6,500 athletes from 72 Commonwealth nations and territories.

Over 1.3million ticketed spectators will experience the Games, while the broadcast audience is expected to be 1billion.  

The Games provide a fantastic opportunity for Birmingham to show off its distinctive cultural heritage – and that’s where the Cultural Festival for the Games comes in.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Cultural Festival brings a new dimension to the games."

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Bringing Birmingham’s communities to the fore

The festival will run from March to September 2022 and will showcase and celebrate all art forms, interweaving heritage throughout the programme.

It will include:

  • 29 headline artistic commissions showcasing the West Midlands' distinct creativity and diverse communities. Projects will range from the intimate to the spectacular.
  • Open calls seeking ideas from local artists and organisations, leading to a further 28 commissioned projects.
  • A Creative Communities programme for Birmingham, offering at least 100 grants to bring artists and communities together across every ward of the city.
Group of 18 young people dressed in bright colours with face paint
The festival will explore a diverse range of cultural heritage. Credit: Birmingham 2022

Celebrating the region’s unique character

Ros Kerslake CBE, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The Cultural Festival is a fantastic opportunity to showcase to the world the rich and important stories and heritage that give Birmingham and the West Midlands its unique character.

“This national celebration will explore a diverse range of cultural heritage including music, nature, migration, food, LGBT+ history and industrial heritage through a wide range of activities including dance, music, theatre, film, oral histories and visual art.   

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Cultural Festival brings a new dimension to the games. The celebrations will engage 2.5m people from Birmingham’s diverse communities, creating at least 400 volunteering opportunities and bringing people together in a shared moment of pride and celebration that is set to create a lasting cultural legacy.”

Find out more

Full details of the Cultural Festival programme are due to be announced in late spring. To stay updated about this and other news of our Midlands & East funding:

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