West Bromwich B70 7PG United Kingdom
T. 0121 533 7161
Sandwell Arts Trust is a registered charity set up to run The Public - an exciting creative, community, cultural and business space in the heart of West Bromwich.
It is a world class building set in the heart of Sandwell – today one of the most deprived areas in the UK but with a long history of creativity, innovation and community pride which changed the world.
Everything we do at The Public is about responding to these factors to be a force for the better in the community. At the core of our business we are committed to using the arts to raise aspirations – to bring the world to West Bromwich and take West Bromwich to the world; to open doors and provide opportunities that would not exist without The Public.
To do this, The Public also has a role in making the arts more accessible to a community which traditionally has low participation in the creative industries. We are a place where people who don’t normally feel comfortable in arts venues can enjoy themselves, feel welcomed and are confident to experience new things.
In essence, The Public is a creative place, inspiring art and changing lives.
Designed by renowned architect Will Alsop and Julian Flannery, even our building is a work of art. Our free gallery featuring interactive digital artworks is popular with all ages, including those who choose The Public as a venue in which to do business, hold community activities, host performances and events or just relax. Our unique building and its versatile spaces is a perfect environment to open imaginations and stimulate creative-thinking.
“The space, the fluidity of the building and architecture, colours, noise and interaction of the exhibits are wonderful, as are the helpful and knowledgeable staff members.”
Customer, April 2010
We programme works and exhibitions which have both local appeal and which interest a national audience such as Mnemosyne by John Akomfrah and Martin Parr’s Black Country Stories, but always with excellence at their core. Our partnerships with other galleries and arts organisations help us to achieve inspiring art but also demonstrate our community focus, both in terms of the region and the arts more widely. Alongside professional artists we support young and emerging artists, providing a place where not only can they showcase their work but which they can use as a testing ground to gain feedback and develop their practice.
People’s lives are already changing as a result of the opportunities for interaction that The Public offers. Local young people now have the chance to gain experience and skills in the creative industries which previously didn’t exist: nearly 100 young people have benefited from work experience, posts created through Future Jobs Fund and internships at The Public in the past year.
Regular participation in the arts is used to improve individuals’ health and wellbeing, our innovative schools’ programme using the artworks in the building helps stimulate creativity and more simply, The Public now offers a place for people to enjoy cultural activities on their doorstep – from live music and comedy to touring theatre and cultural festivals.
“When I first heard of The Public, I thought it was just an art gallery, but now I’ve been here I know that it is a performance space and much more. It has been a great experience and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here.” - Work experience student, Holly Lodge High School, Smethwick
Having welcomed more than 110,000 visitors and users in its first full year of operation, The Public is establishing itself as a valuable community resource, as well as a place where visitors can interact with the arts and view artworks of local and national significance. As a charity, The Public needs investment to support its key priorities so that the doors which have been opened and the new opportunities afforded to the people of West Bromwich and the wider region can continue.
For more information The Public visit www.thepublic.com or call 0121 533 7161.
Current and forthcoming events
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