The executive producer of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, Raidene Carter, is promising a brilliantly original, six-month bumper programme of legacy-creating arts and culture that will wrap around the Commonwealth Games
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
My previous roles have involved producing and programming theatre and performance, developing creative projects with children, young people and emerging artists, and leading strategic projects in areas such as outdoor arts, the case for diversity and community engagement. Prior to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the Birmingham 2022 Festival, I was executive producer for Theatre Centre, one of the country’s leading producers of contemporary theatre in schools. I am a trustee for the Paperbirds Theatre Company, National Theatre Wales and on the board of Mem Morrison Company.
IT’S WHAT I DO
I’m the executive producer for the Birmingham 2022 Festival. Running from March through to beyond the conclusion of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in September 2022, the festival will feature hundreds of creative commissions across the region including art, photography, dance, theatre, digital art and more.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE
Right now, my ambition is to deliver the Birmingham 2022 Festival next year and for it to be a success! Success can be measured in reaching and achieving hard targets, outputs and outcomes, etc – but it’s also about working well with collaborating partners, inspiring more and better arts and culture in the West Midlands, having fun and learning from our mistakes. It’s these things that will create a tangible lasting legacy. On a more personal level I’ve always been grateful for my physical and mental health and don’t ever want to compromise this for any professional ambition.
I find it difficult to clarify single moments of success, as they’re all usually small things that lead to good/better things. I think still working in roles I love and with brilliant people is a huge marker of success. I’ve recently found out that I am being awarded an Honorary Fellowship from my university which hasn’t sunk in yet!
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
It took me a while to accept my natural working habits and patterns – I’m a night owl, like my mum, and not a very good morning person. It might be the reason why I work in theatre – evenings are important! I think I understand my parents much more now than I did 20 years ago so if I could rewind I’d tell myself to be more patient with them and myself.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM
I lived and worked in Birmingham between 2008 and 2012, so coming back didn’t feel like a big deal and I don’t think I had any first impressions. There are things about the city that drive me up the wall – the amount of people that drive big cars, for example, and lack of cycle lanes. I know a green plan is unfolding but it’s long overdue. I think my favourite thing about Birmingham is Brummies – the warmth and time most people give you in a shop or in the street.
I used to swim before work, but have recently moved house where there’s no local pool, so I’ve just got back into yoga and it’s a lifesaver. I speak to my dad most mornings to do the crossword and this helps reset anything unhelpful working through my mind.
I would love for everyone reading this to come to the Birmingham 2022 Festival next year – loads of it is free and in multiple locations – it should be hard to completely avoid it! If you’re only into sport and don’t think culture is for you, look and think again and consider taking a risk on something new. You can find out more at birmingham2022.com/festival.