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Stay Connected & Keep Creating with MAC​: Blog 6

Tue 5 May 2020

For our sixth edition of Stay Connected & Keep Creating, we're diving into the wonderful world of music. 

We take a look at The Influence Project, an exhibition celebrating prominent Black artists and musical history, with a free art-making pack for young people, and an exclusive interview with curator Lorayne Crawford. 

We're also encouraging you to take part in our music making challenge with MAC Makes Music - something the whole family can get involved with!

MAC Associate Artists Johnny Autin and Jaivant Patel celebrate Positively Q, whilst Colour Box from Flatpack Film Festival goes digital. Find out more below...


In Focus: The Influence Project

Featuring portraits of over 100 artists, including a selection of photographs shown publicly for the first time ever, The Influence Project celebrates the impact that leading Black musicians have had on contemporary sound and culture. 

The exhibition is a collaboration between photographer Alexis Chabala and curator Lorayne Crawford, exploring pioneering musicians' enduring creative, social and political influence on new generations of artists. 

Bringing together stories of artists from across the globe, including those with strong Birmingham connections, The Influence Project chronicles musical trailblazers from the mid-to-late 20th century. 

Alexis and Lorayne have captured the characters of these artists through beautiful portraiture, film, and sound, offering visitors a unique and important interpretation of musical history. 

LISTEN HERE: Tune in to The Influence Project playlist on Spotify

Featuring handpicked songs from Lorayne Crawford, with soulful and funky vibes. 

The playlist is made up of songs created by some of the artists featured in The Influence Project exhibition, and is the perfect way to discover classic and new tracks during lockdown.

READ HERE: An interview with curator Lorayne Crawford

Lorayne Crawford gives insight into the stories behind the exhibition and how it took shape in MAC's First Floor Gallery.

"We wanted to tell the stories of these artists and highlight their musical importance in a way that would connect people and encourage them to explore the music they listen to... making these important artists more visible."

"The space at MAC also gave us the opportunity to include all of the musicians in our project for the very first time."

WATCH HERE: The Influence Project Exhibition Walk-through

Experience The Influence Project from the comfort and safety of your home by watching our free exhibition walk-through. 

DOWNLOAD HERE: Free Art-making Pack for Young People

Keep creating at home with our free downloadable digital art pack inspired by The Influence Project. Find top tips for practising photography and writing your own song lyrics! 

Send us your creations: info@macbirmingham.co.uk @mac_birmingham


Flatpack Festival 2020: The Home Entertainment Edition

Although we can't welcome audiences into our Cinema for Flatpack's popular Colour Box series, we have some good news! As part of this year's online festival, Flatpack are sharing a bumper crop of short films for family audiences.

Launching on Sat 2 & 9 May 2020, these Colour Box programmes will include playful animation from around the world, along with activities you can get involved with at home and a chance to vote for your favourite film.

READ HERE: Flatpacks family-friendly blog 'Snails, cats and toilet rolls' for some creative brain-food

FIND OUT MORE: Colour Box 1: Short Hop

FIND OUT MORE: Colour Box 2: Full Swing

Join in with Flatpack Festival's online events and acclaimed, BAFTA-qualifying short film competition from 1 - 17 May 2020.


Celebrating Positively Q with MAC's Associate Artists

Today would have marked the unique bringing together of dancer-makers Jaivant Patel and Johnny Autin in Positively Q - a mesmerising triple bill celebrating them as MAC Associate Artists. 

The event would have platformed an extract of YAATRA entitled Awakening (Jaivant Patel Dance), and Square One (Autin Dance Theatre). The evening would have ended with a special duet (work-in-progress), bringing together Jaivant and Johnny in collaboration following a short R&D process.

We interviewed both artists to hear more about the story and creative process behind their performance.

READ HERE: An interview with Jaivant Patel & Johnny Autin


Become a Member

Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) is the place to experience world-class art, iconic films and exciting performances that inspire, educate and amaze. 

As a registered arts charity, we transform 1,000s of lives through our ground-breaking learning programme, free exhibitions, and important outreach projects. Without you, our vital work just wouldn’t happen.

You can play an important role at making sure MAC can be there for everyone, always, by joining MAC's Supporters' Circle from just £25 a year

As a thank you for becoming a member of the Circle, you'll receive exciting opportunities to meet our artistic and programming team, invites to special behind-the-scenes events and be part of socials with fellow supporters.


We want to hear from you

Let us know what kind of digital content you'd like to see from us to help you to #StayConnected and #KeepCreating

Send us your thoughts on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

To make a donation and invest in creativity, visit our Support MAC page. Your acts of kindness, no matter how big or small, help us to continue to make transformative experiences for our audiences. Thank you.