Amerah Saleh, Head of Campaigns and Experiences at Beatfreeks, talks to us about encouraging the young people of Birmingham to get involved in the creative industry.

NEXUS: Digital is a very unique and interesting concept. Sum up what it’s all about in a few sentences:

Nexus is a chance for 20 digital and performance artists (ranging from musicians to spoken word artists) to collaborate. The event will allow artists to come up with something fresh and creative in a short space of time. It’s a little bit of fun but it will be interesting to see how the artists work together to create a new piece of work.

The blind pairings are such an unusual idea. How did you match the performers? What did you look for?

The pairings will be revealed on the day but we looked for multiple things…

  1. How different they are
  2. How exciting and diverse the performance could be
  3. How challenging it could get
  4. Whether they have done anything like this before

Nexus is an application process, so for us, this gives us a glimpse of the work they create and how they would work in a pair. We get to have fun, and the artists get to collaborate and have fun also!


Do the young people involved have a brief for their performances or is it entirely up to them what they create?

It is entirely up to them. We have themed them before but this is the first time we are bringing performance artists and digital artists together – so exciting!


Beatfreeks works to involve the young people of Birmingham in the creative arts industry. How will this event benefit young people?

We’re all about collaboration and networks, and this event allows artists to meet new people and potentially explore new ways of working. When you have two performers from two different art forms, they are working at different paces – it will be interesting to see how the artists work together.


Beatfreeks has collaborated with Millennium Point on a number of events in the past. Why do you think the two go hand-in-hand so well?

It is important that people are seeing Millennium Point as more than just a physical space. We are trying to engage artists with Millennium Point’s spaces – especially through the digital aspect where Millennium Point is growing.

Millennium Point has the chance to be pioneers of supporting digital arts across the city. We hope Nexus: Digital is just the beginning!

What facilities does Millennium Point have that can really add to the artists’ ideas and performances?

A big question! First of all, the tech support we require is crucial when planning an event like Nexus. Millennium Point’s digital screens allow artists to showcase their work in new and creative ways.

Secondly, in the hour before show time, the artists collaborating have the whole space to use and rehearse/create. In particular, Millennium Point’s Atrium gives artists the chance to share ideas and engage with others.


How has Beatfreeks grown over the last few years and what are the next steps?

Beatfreeks adapts to the community and what is needed – we are constantly working on improving and developing new ideas. We’re currently working on Doink – a programme that collects and communicates data creatively to help people make better decisions. We’re also piloting Beatfreeks Barbados. This is our effort to prototype the transferability of the Beatfreeks ethos, philosophy, principles and brand into a different community and content.


Don’t miss Nexus on Friday 11th November from 7.30pm - 9.30pm at Millennium Point.


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