About Culture Forward

Culture Forward takes its name from the City of Birmingham’s dynamic motto; it takes its cue from the University of Birmingham’s renewed commitment to its civic mission, and the success of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Skyline photo of Birmingham by Soul City Arts

Culture Forward is co-defined, co-owned and co-delivered with local partners, and will rationalise and intensify University contributions to civic culture by:

  • Establishing and promoting a network of partner artists / organisations in the City, who will collectively devise a new strategy for the University’s cultural engagement with the region.
  • Delivering a highly visible activity programme that brings together the University’s academic strengths across education and research with the city’s diverse cultural organisations.
  • Strengthening the relationship between the University and the City by addressing urgent issues of inequality and representation for Birmingham’s diverse communities.
Jayne Francis

Jayne Francis

Cabinet Member for Digital Culture, Heritage and Tourism

“I am so pleased to be involved with Culture Forward – the University of Birmingham is one of our key partners in keeping our city at the forefront of thinking in respect of arts and culture projects. Culture Forward is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when real partnership and collaboration take place – Birmingham City Council is proud to work alongside such committed colleagues at UoB.”

Professor Andrew Stockley

Professor Andrew Stockley

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Arts and Law

“We are delighted to launch Culture Forward, a new partnership between the university and cultural organisations across the City. The name Culture Forward takes its cue from the dynamic motto of Birmingham, its flourishing cultural scene and the momentum following the 2022 Commonwealth Games. We hope to bring the University of Birmingham’s research and teaching into even richer conjunction with the life of the City, and to help Birmingham make an impact locally, nationally and internationally.”