Since we started it in 2013, Artsmile has become Artscoop’s annual flag-ship activity. We borrowed the name of a traditional local pub crawl (The Harborne Mile) and created Artsmile as a ‘culture crawl’ for families. On a Saturday in early Autumn. shops, cafes, bars, pubs, coffee shops and other businesses along Harborne High Street host artists offering free creative workshops. We invite families to stroll along and dip into craft work, painting, drawing, music-making, story-telling, dance, photography and a variety of more hybrid and unnamed art forms. In collaboration with artists and their hosts, we like to design workshops that reflect the businesses in which they are located (see below for examples). Artsmile consistently attracts over a thousand active participants. Our primary purpose is to encourage people from widely differing and often isolated local communities to mix together, explore and get to know each other as they sit side-by-side enjoying creative activities in their shared local High Street . We see strategically developing Artsmile into a more widely known but uniquely local arts festival as supporting Harborne Village in its campaign to become recognised as a Business Improvement District.
Over the years, Artsmile has involved many great arts fusions including; doll-making in in vintage furniture shops, photography in opticians, painting windows in pubs, embellishing chairs in pizzerias, storytelling in cafes, sculpture making in restaurants, youth quartets outside coffee house… to name but a few!
You can pick up a map from any of the venues or download from our link above.
But for now mark ‘ARTSMILE Day’ on your calendar for a free ‘mile of smiles’ .
Funded and supported by:
Birmingham City Council Innovation Fund