Recession-hit Birmingham shopping centre Pavilions has launched the first in a series of collaborative projects with city arts organisations.
During August, Pavilions, which has been left with several empty units after the collapse of tenants such as Zavvi and The Pier, will be hosting Gallery 37 Birmingham, an acclaimed youth arts training programme.
Gallery 37 offers young people from the Birmingham area aged between 16 and 24 the chance to develop their creative talents, work alongside professional artists and gain qualifications.
The project, which is running from August 3-21, will mean shoppers will be able to see the work in progress of 40 aspiring young Birmingham artists who will be collaborating with four of the city’s leading arts and cultural organisations, including the IKON gallery and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, on a combination of visual and performance arts projects.
As part of Gallery 37, Pavilions will be commissioning the young people to make a creative legacy for the shopping centre that will go on public exhibition, with the winning prize of £100 of Pavilions vouchers.
Pavilions marketing manager Sarah Jenkinson said: “It is no secret that there are vacant shop units all over the city as a result of the current economic climate.
“We’ve decided to put this empty space to creative use, embracing what we see as the future for retail – providing shoppers with more than simply a shopping experience.”
Gallery 37 Coordinator, Saira Holmes, said: “Gallery 37 is a unique arts training programme, initiated by Birmingham City Council.
“It really makes a difference to the lives of the young people involved.”