BIMM Cities

Minerva Works – Birmingham’s Hidden Creative HUB

18th April 2019

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Sitting beside Digbeth’s Grand Union canal, Minerva Works is not exactly hidden in plain sight but you could argue that it’s certainly lesser-known than its creative counterparts like the Custard Factory.

From this you may think that Minerva Works is tucked away and difficult to spot, but you’d be ever so wrong; it’s grand in size and located on Fazeley Street, just a stone’s throw from its neighbour The Bond, and boasts the city centre skyline as its backdrop. It’s also around the corner from popular haunts like Dig Brew Co‘ and of course, the legendary Brummie treasure trove that is Latifs.

Minerva Works is one of Birmingham’s brightest outlets; it’s a real gem in the bustling creative network that resides within Digbeth. Housed within this hub you’ll find a vintage shop, record store, cafes, music venues, arts spaces, shops and much more.

Take Centrala for example: a place where “social enterprise and community meets the arts”. Presenting art from central and Eastern Europe, this not-for-profit space triples up as a music venue, gallery and cafe, while you may also be surprised to know that it’s the only publicly funded gallery for central and eastern European arts in the UK. Certainly worth a visit.

Fazeley Park Studios is a real stalwart in Birmingham’s music scene. Comprising of a series of practice rooms and a larger space for hosting DIY gigs (including a recent SXSW fundraiser for Cherry Pickles,) some of Brum’s best underground bands practice here, including Table Scraps and Black Mekon. Head there on the first Friday of each month for Fazeley Park First Friday between 8pm-1am, featuring live music, cheap beer… oh and it’s free entry.

Art is on offer in abundance at Minerva Works, with Grand Union leading the way in terms of support and space for artists. Both artists and art lovers are catered for here with custom-built spaces and a shop on offer, both of which offering a fantastic platform for local artists to show their worth. Grand Union, a not-for-profit organisation, believes that a strong artistic community is an essential part of an integrated city – and we couldn’t agree more.

Similarly, Stryx also offers opportunities to artists through its female-founded studio and exhibition space. They seek to “initiate and develop regional and national artistic collaborations in order to promote and strengthen an accessible and vibrant network of ideas and practices.”

All tenants at Minerva Works celebrate and encourage innovation within media and the arts – and that’s a message that Vivid Projects also carries. They provide a collaborative performance and exhibition space for creatives in the wider Birmingham community to use. Since launching in February 2013, they’ve delivered more than 250 performances and 120 new pieces of work.

Author

Richard Franks

Richard Franks - Editor of Counteract Magazine. Counteract Magazine is an online magazine dedicated to local music for Birmingham and the West Midlands.