Four of Birmingham’s busiest public squares will come alive with arts and culture to celebrate the opening of the Library Of Birmingham later this year.
The city’s leading arts organisations are joining forces to stage the outdoor events and performances to welcome the new library, which opens to the public on Tuesday, September 3.
The 4 Squares Weekender will feature free shows by UK-based and international artists in and around Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Chamberlain Square and Oozells Square in Brindleyplace from September 6 to 8.
The celebration weekend culminates on Friday and Saturday evenings in the large scale show As the World Tipped by Aerial Theatre in Victoria Square.
4 Squares Weekender will feature pop-up performances by the CBSO, acrobatics by No Fit State Circus, appearances by Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Drum’s music showcase Simmer Down, plus street theatre, dance, live music, exhibitions and interactive shows.
Most of the events will be outdoor with additional free attractions inside venues such as the Town Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the new library building itself.
Ikon Gallery’s Slow Boat – a narrow boat measuring 72ft and converted into a floating art gallery – will be moored at the canalside in Brindleyplace and open to the public.
Speaking at the 4 Squares Weekender launch event held at Birmingham REP’s new 300-seat studio theatre, Paul Kaynes, director of creative programmes at Birmingham Hippodrome, said: “We have the most extraordinary public squares in Birmingham that look great when art is taking place in them.
“They show off that activity to its very best. All of those things were taken into consideration when creating 4 Squares Weekender.
“4 Squares Weekender is a weekend of free, high quality family-friendly arts activity that really celebrates the richness of arts in Birmingham.”
The celebration weekend is produced by Birmingham Hippodrome in association with Birmingham Arts Partnership (BAP), a collection of 14 major arts organisations and venues in the city and is the first event conceived, programmed and promoted by BAP as part of its growing role in helping lead Birmingham’s cultural development.
The weekend is supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and the European Regional Development Fund through its Investing in the City Region Project managed by Marketing Birmingham.
Emma Gray, director of marketing services for Visit Birmingham, said: “Birmingham is a dynamic and diverse cultural centre, home to more than 50 festivals that attract visitors from across the globe each year.
“The 4 Squares Weekender will be a fantastic new addition to the city’s events calendar, promising an exciting programme of world-class culture and creativity.
“The hotly-anticipated launch of the Library of Birmingham and reopening of the Birmingham REP will further cement the city’s reputation as an artistic hotspot.”
Initial information about 4 Squares Weekender can be found at www.4squaresweekender.com. Programme details will be released next month.