We’re lucky people, me and you. How can I tell?
Because we’re spending a few moments here together, over coffee (preferably Jamaican Blue Mountain) and biscuits, instead of scouring the office for things we can sell on eBay. It’s hard times out there.
But for some things are looking greener.
JLR is making new cars, Dancing for the Games is spreading the Olympic vibe to people around the Midlands. And we’ve just helped to introduce UK Bass Culture to discerning Texans at South By South West – in Austin.
And new people have gone on to connect with these projects online (props to Mr Mark Zuckerberg) and ultimately bring us back to real business.
What began as art shows soon became trade shows, helping to sell this region’s kicking and connected culture all over the UK and internationally.
But Birmingham’s so called tastemakers still can’t feel any work that’s drawing from diverse communites or the real lives of people in the region.
When they read “black” they think “community outreach project” and move on to the next tweet.
But what they can’t see trending is that Brummie artists, photographers, dancers and performers are getting paid by others. People across the UK want to see new faces, hear Brummie voices – even with our accent – and watch us do our thing.
Contemporary artists like Lady Leshur, C4, Preditah, RoXXXan and RT are finding large receptive audiences along new avenues working social media for themselves, they no longer need the system that has let them down for so long.
We’re interested in taking a fresh look at new touring this year.
In London we’re seeing projects like www.edgwareroad.org running at the Serpentine Gallery.
This community is producing artworks and a cultural narrative for themselves. It’s not about dropping in a photographer in to live off the land for six months, before returning to Moseley to develop his prints.
I care how music and arts is programmed in an institution. But what really matters is who is welcome around the table pre, during and post.
And that might be your boardroom table, your office table or, most importantly, your kitchen table. Because these are the places where people get together to kick back with the good times and to roll up our sleeves for the bad ones.
* Ammo Talwar MBE is chief executive of Punch Records