Everything to Everybody 2023:

We Make Brum

This project aims to reframe Birmingham’s Civic Gospel for its young, diverse demographic and make culture accessible to all. 

We Make Brum hopes to explore, decolonise and reframe Brimingham’s Civic Gospel key message “Everything to Everybody” (E2E) for today’s super-diverse city. Young creative practitioners and Year 12 students at George Dixon Academy in Edgbaston will coproduce poetry, moving image, music and use applied drama to refresh E2E and create an original art piece.

The project will create an accessible entry point to the Shakespeare Collection and its wider resources for all generations and residents of the city. The project will see Bertz Associate practitioners work with young people who have been displaced to put down roots and actively engage and shape the cultural landscape of Birmingham. 

The project will cumulate with an exhibition at Library of Birmingham, a pop-up shop in the Bullring and screenings via multiple digital platforms. 

We Make Brum exhibition, Library of Birmingham, September 2023

E2E was established by George Dawson (1821-1876). Dawson formulated the ‘everything to everybody’ ethos, which was a significant movement for public welfare and cultural participation in nineteenth-century Birmingham. 

The steep history calls into question how inclusive Dawson and the project was, focusing only on the elite families such as the Chamberlains and the Cadburys.  Dawson said, ‘The time has come to give everything to everybody’, but that ‘everybody’ does not apply to Birmingham as it is today. 

In collaboration with George Dixon academy we have reinterpreted everything to everybody to celebrate the city of Birmingham. We showcase the unsung success and lives of ordinary brummie folk doing amazing things that we just don’t get to hear about. We are really thinking about what makes Birmingham special.

The exhibition has been led by a group of sixth formers at George Dixon Academy in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Inspired by the Civic Gospel and conversation about attitudes surrounding Brum. The aim of the exhibition is to encompass our vivid communities and celebrate the figures and collectives that create our community and culture.

Featuring new work by Poet Simone Word Smith & Designer Sharonjit Kaur Sutton in collaboration with students of the schools.