My name is Stephen Spinks, and I am delighted to be joining the Moseley Road Baths team on this amazing partnership led project. Having spent 17 years in the heritage sector, firstly at English Heritage and subsequently the National Trust, I have spent the last eight years as General Manager managing a complex set of properties in the Warwickshire region – Baddesley Clinton, Coughton Court and Packwood House. This included everything from the visitor side of the business, welcoming in over 600,000 visitors a year, to looking after the conservation of the historic collection and the 400 acres of estate; as well as many projects in between. Being a ‘Brummie’ and living in Moseley, I feel the enormous privilege of being able to help lead this project at such an important time for the Baths and the Library. I look forward over the coming months to meeting you where I can, be it through the newsletter, in person at get togethers, or in passing at the Baths. Do say hello if you see me out and about.
Over the last 10 years I have worked predominantly within the arts, culture and heritage sector. Throughout this time, I have had the opportunity to see the evolution of a range of projects, all of which have had communities at their heart. Most recently, I provided heritage project management consultancy to clients nationally. Many of the places I supported had achieved grant funded for their projects, particularly via the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The in-depth knowledge gained during this time is a key area I will be bringing to Moseley Road Baths. I have a genuine passion for bringing places to life, ensuring a project achieves the greatest impact and maintains its value within the community. Social history has always fascinated me, why things have taken place, who was involved and the impact this had. Moseley Road Baths has a multitude of this and I want to ensure that partnership and co-creation is central, resulting in true meaning full impact which is sustained for years to come.
The project most simply put, can be divided into two areas: capital (building works) and non-capital (activities/audience development). As Project Manager, my role is to form a creative team and oversee the delivery of a range of pilot activities and ensure a plan is produced which sets out how Moseley Road Baths will engage with its communities today, tomorrow and into the future.
Moseley Road Baths and Balsall Heath Library are the places to be- you already know that! I am super excited to get stuck in and support the amazing work that has been integral to ensuring MRB is a vital home for wellbeing and expression of community.
Over the next 18 months the creative team will be delivering bold and innovative projects that will centre collaboration and be a great chance for many people to get involved and explore the baths and the library in different ways.
I started working as a Receptionist at Moseley Road Baths, back in 2003 when I moved to Balsall Heath, and I fell in love with the building. For almost 20 years I’ve maintained that connection – through the Friends of Moseley Road Baths, collecting oral histories, filmmaking, as a swimmer and now as a parent of young swimmers.
I’ve worked as a freelancer in community media and community arts for 18 years. This summer I delivered several projects with local residents in my role as Coordinator of ‘Art Works’, the Local Arts Forum for Hall Green, including ‘Our Social Fabric’ at Moseley Road Baths.
I really feel that the Baths is nothing without its people. It has met the needs of an ever changing community for over a century – as a dance hall, a casualty department during the Blitz, a place to wash, a place to socialise, a place of work. ‘Diving In’ gives us space to creatively and playfully explore how we may all use these beautiful buildings so that they continue to serve the needs of local people, as well as attract visitors from farther afield. I can’t wait to see how it develops.
As part of the Heritage Fund supported ‘Diving In’ project, I will be helping to deliver a number of exciting pilot activities at Moseley Road Baths and the neighbouring Balsall Heath Library. We know that both buildings are just bricks and mortar without the community around them. ‘Diving In’ will see lots of opportunities to invite people to come and play and explore how these buildings can continue to serve our community.
I’m a Queer Storyteller, Producer and Proud Brummie. l Iove to hear people’s stories and explore ways we, collaboratively, can make activities and spaces safe, inclusive, accessible – and most of all FUN!
I’ve worked for a range of Birmingham based organisations such as Don’t Settle, Flatpack Festival, Stage2 Youth Theatre and Fierce Festival and I can’t wait to get started on yet another project that showcases the fantastic talent in the local community.I’m also a huge football fan and have written for CONIFA – the football federation for all associations outside FIFA – helping to platform stories from The Karen Refugee Community and the Sapmi community.
I’m incredibly excited to co-create with new audiences, local makers and creative minds to develop and literally build installations and activities that make them feel represented, valued and empowered. The legacy and long-term impact of each activity is also crucial to have in mind from the get-go. We want to ensure everyone involved feels heard, has the opportunity to take part in bespoke consultations and can trust that the future programmes will continue to serve their communities.
I’ll be working on all things creative in developing and producing the exciting pilots and activity plan as part of the ‘Diving In’ project. We’ll be building on the fantastic programme currently at MRB and working collaboratively with a range of partners and audiences to explore new models of engagement.