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City of Colours festival boosted by Arts Council grant

Digbeth street art event will definitely take place this summer after £35,000 in funding is awarded to festival making its first return to the city

Birmingham street art by Inkie
Street art by Inkie, a feature of City of Colours which returns in June

Digbeth street art festival City of Colours has received a major boost from Arts Council England after the body awarded it a £35,000 grant.

The cash injection means the festival will now definitely go ahead this summer.

The inaugural event took place in September 2014 since when organisers have struggled to raise the £85,000 running costs to support a return, including a failed crowdfunding campaign.

Arts Council England has now awarded the cash to the one-day event via its Grants for Arts programme, meaning it will be able to take place on the streets of Digbeth on June 18.

Thousands of people from the UK and abroad attended the first event which took place around the Custard Factory and saw more than 140 artists showcase their skills alongside workshops and classes.

Peter Knott, area director at Arts Council England, said: "Arts and culture can have a real impact on how people feel about a place and in 2014 City of Colours made its mark on Digbeth.

"We're delighted to be investing in the festival to bring more people out on to the city's street to be inspired by artistic talent and creativity."

As well as live painting and illustration battles, City of Colours will be adding music stages, spoken word performances, dance, music and photography workshops to the 2016 agenda.

In the run up to the event, the team will also be recruiting more young people to join its youth panel to advise on the festival's programme.

Event organiser Becci Wright added: "We are absolutely delighted to have been successful with our application to the Arts Council - without it the event just wouldn't be possible.

"The festival provides an incredible opportunity for the city's artists and performers to showcase their work, while giving younger people a chance to participate and learn new skills, both in the event planning and through the large numbers of workshops and activities at the event itself.

"City of Colours is about bringing different cultures from across the city together, in one big weekend celebration of urban culture and the arts.

"The event is also important for Digbeth as it supports regeneration, with increased footfall to the area and lots of beautiful artwork on display to the public all year round."

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