Birmingham Art and Culture

Birmingham is the UK’s second city and it is becoming increasingly more famous for its art and culture. Some critics have said that Birmingham has the most eclectic arts scene, spread across the cultural spectrum. In recent years Birmingham City Council has invested in some of the best venues around and these inevitably attract the best artists, writers and performers. The galleries, theatres and rock and pop venues provide diverse and quality arts and entertainments, and this is boosting the international cultural profile of the city.

The city’s art galleries exhibit a wide variety of work, from the old masters to some of the most acclaimed up and coming artistic talent in the country. Birmingham is home to some of the best in entertainment, arts and culture and the city regularly hosts events and festivals throughout the year.

Birmingham Museum and Arts Gallery is noted for having the world’s largest collection of pre-Raphaelite art housed in its Victorian buildings along with articles relating to the social and cultural history of the area. Birmingham is also home to the Ikon, one of the leading contemporary art venues in Europe today, while there is a balance of the old and the new artistic works at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. The city’s unique jewellery quarter houses Europe’s largest school of jewellery and the quarter has a number of galleries showcasing the work.

Performances by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra can be enjoyed at the Symphony Hall, which has gained international recognition as one of the best symphony halls that has ever been built. The Birmingham Royal Ballet Company, which was once the Saddlers Wells Ballet Company, is internationally famed and the performances attract large audiences whenever they perform at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre.

The Alexandra Theatre and the Birmingham Hippodrome together is the backdrop for some of the finest plays, comedies, musicals and other live performances. The performances at both venues regularly attract large and appreciative audiences. Many new artists and playwrights have reason to be thankful to the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for its great performances of contemporary drama. The theatre brings the work of new names to the public’s notice, establishing Birmingham as the city for new and up and coming writers and performers.

The city regularly showcases live music from internationally famous rock and pop bands at a number of venues across Birmingham. Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena or NIA and its popular Exhibition Centre, the NEC are regular venues for exciting musical performances, concerts and exhibitions. Birmingham also has a lively club and bar scene, and the Birmingham Academy has an annual programme of live shows and jazz festivals.

The city of Birmingham has a rich cultural heritage dating from the middle ages, to its Victorian nomination as the workshop of the world. Commonwealth immigrants who began coming to the city in the nineteen fifties and sixties have added their own culture and heritage, making the social and cultural aspects of Birmingham into a colourful and eclectic mix.