Fierce Festival and Stan’s Cafe are excited to announce new shared city centre premises. Through the support of East Street Arts, the two Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations will move into Albert House, on Albert Street in Birmingham City Centre, from their former locations in Digbeth, and the Jewelry Quarter, respectively.
The move offers a boost to the local performing arts ecology which has a lack of provision for performing arts rehearsal and office space. Fierce and Stan’s Cafe will occupy a floor each of the building, which is located just behind McDonald’s on the High Street. A further floor, comprised of smaller offices, has been allocated to independent artists in the region.
East Street Arts is a Leeds based charity that pairs arts charities with empty buildings, in guardianship type arrangements. Since 2010 East Street Arts have developed a strategic approach to linking temporary or empty spaces to artists and other creative practitioners through their In Situ Programme. East Street Arts has moved in and out of a wide range of spaces across the country including Grade-A offices, night clubs, warehouses, retail units and post-civic spaces.
Fierce’s new penthouse space has a separate room which the organisation will offer as a rehearsal space for the local performing arts community. The move for Stan’s Cafe is significant as it sees them leave their much-loved Jewelry Quarter offices and theatre space @AE Harris, which they’ve occupied for 10 years.
To celebrate and mark the end of a decade of performances in the re-purposed factory space @AE Harris will host two performances as part of this year’s Fierce Festival, allowing audiences a final chance to experience the venue before the site is redeveloped.
Tania El Khoury’s immersive The Search For Power will occupy three of the venue’s large warehouse spaces, while the theatre space we be home to Voicing Pieces, a performance installation by Turkish-Flemish artist Begüm Erciyas.
This is the general public’s last chance to see these much-loved spaces which have seen many extraordinary performances over the years from Stan’s Cafe and many other local companies. The venue was where BE Festival was born and grew up. It has also played host to many famous Fierce performances and parties over the years including the likes of Kira O’Reilly, Preach R Sun, Anne Rochat, Dickie Beau, The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein, SJ Norman and countless others.
To launch the new shared premises Fierce will also host artist Brian Lobel’s BINGE on the 4th floor at the upcoming festival on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October. BINGE, an interactive installation, creates the space to slow down, disconnect from the noise of everyday life, reconnect with the comfort of a duvet and a listening ear. BINGE is a collection of one-to-one and intimate conversations based around your favourite box sets, that exist somewhere between radical self-care and playful self-indulgence. It’s also totally free!
Artistic Director of Fierce Aaron Wright said:
“We’re excited to be finally moving in with our friends Stan’s Cafe after a very long engagement. Our new premises offers huge potential for the local performing arts ecology, which is lacking in infrastructure in the city. As well as offering meeting, rehearsal and devising space, we also hope to foster a sense of community with hot desks available for local performing arts freelancers as well as quarterly discursive dinners to bring the community together. We can’t wait to see what might arise.”
Roisin Caffrey, Executive Producer of Stan’s Cafe commented:
“Residency on the AE Harris & Co site has benefited Stan’s Cafe enormously and we are grateful for their generous support over the past decade. This experience has taught us that fantastic artistic projects develop when artists work alongside each other so we are therefore excited to be moving in with new artists and with Fierce, who have always provoked us to think in new ways. We have big plans for the future and this is the start of an exciting new chapter.”