Artist & community organising for equitable, creative ecosystems
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The MAIA Weekender 2019

We’re bringing together artists, activists, visionaries and gamechangers for a 3-day event celebrating creativity and resistance.

THE MAIA Weekender 2019

Graphics: Andre Reid Photography: Thom Bartley

Graphics: Andre Reid
Photography: Thom Bartley


The MAIA Weekender brings creative minds, practitioners, activists, artists and makers together to celebrate creativity & resistance. taking place at impact hub birmingham, 20-22 october. tickets available.

Day One: Reframing Development

In our ever-changing cities where many vulnerable communities are at risk of displacement, we will be reflecting on traditional definitions of 'development'. If we understand our history, we can imagine and design healthy approaches that relate to our communities, neighbourhoods and places. 

Day Two: Challenging Systems

A full day exploring systems and power structures at play - the systems that affect our day-to-day and our abilities to live full, creative lives. We want to experiment with and amplify the radical interventions that are happening all around us, through design, artistry, environment and cultural contexts. 

Day Three: Championing Wellbeing

On Sunday, we rest. Inspired by the Rest as Resistance movement and artists including niv Acosta, Fannie Sosa and Tricia Hersey, this day is dedicated to collective and individual wellbeing, health and care.




18:30 – 21:00 The Developers’ Dinner

The Developers’ Dinner is back! We’re bringing together visionaries, architects, creatives and gamechangers from across the country, who are actively reframing the meaning of ‘development’ and how this relates to places, spaces and communities. Join us and some invited guests as we discuss the ever-changing structures in our cities, belonging, design, ownership and alternative visions for the future. 


11:00 – 13:30 Blank Space – Street Wisdom Walk

A walking tour. Two routes. Street wisdom.

We see it time and time again, in cities across the world - abandoned buildings, derelict land, you know the drill... but many neighbourhoods are experiencing a locally-led renaissance, redefining how we use public and private space.

Blank Space asks us to connect with what was and what could be - what stories could we tell with our vacant sites? What would we do with our city’s abandoned buildings instead? Where are the current opportunities for community-led change and how could we begin to mobilise by learning from our other local assets? 

14:15 – 15:15 Beats, Rhymes & Cities

Bad planning and architectural decisions directly necessitated the birth of some of our most global genres of music and culture: hip hop, grime and drill. What if we used these genres as teaching tools, to create new architectural forms and narratives about the places we live?

15:15 – 16:00 No Permission Fund: an Intervention

In an immediate call-to-action, MAIA invites you to invest whatever you have in a co-operative fund. As part of a brand-new experiment, members will pool resources, information and expertise to make a collaborative investment in equitable creative projects. 

The No Permission Fund addresses the reality that the country’s current funding structures aren’t necessarily fit for purpose and they certainly aren’t accessible to everyone. Racialised risk, funding jargon and nepotism are just a few barriers which block many important projects from receiving support. Instead, the fund asks us to change the metrics, investing in creatives who are most proximate to social justice challenges, trusting those to do the deep work without the expectation of outcomes as the current landscape expects them.

For the first round, investments will support The Portable Land Project.

16:00 – 17:30 Artist Roundtable – Systems

The Artist Roundtable brings together creatives from various industries and styles of working, to share experiences and ideas, ask questions and answer provocations. Together we will explore how we navigate systems, shaping our environments to live, work and thrive.

Facilitator Aliyah Hasinah will introduce a series of provocations from the speakers on the theme of ‘systems’, as contributed by invited creatives. As the conversation develops, the audience will be invited to offer their own questions and responses. 

17:30 – 18:30 Dreaming Whilst Black – Viewing

The brainchild of Adjani Salmon, Dreaming Whilst Black is a 9-part series following young Jamaican-British filmmaker, Kwabena, as he navigates between dreams and reality. The show explores the day-to-day challenges of being an independent creative trying to survive in London, while highlighting how race impacts that struggle.

18:30 – 20:30 The Scratch Night

After a 3-year hiatus, The Scratch Night returns celebrating creative processes in their sometimes messy, imperfect glory. Four artists share works-in-progress and early-stage experiments with a supportive audience, followed by an open mic session. 


11:00 – 16:00 The Nap Ministry

The Nap Ministry is a movement pioneered by artist, activist and theologian Tricia Hersey ( As conversations about mental health and wellbeing become more entrenched in our every day, there is still room to dig deeper. In a time where capitalism has forced society to be ‘anti-rest’ by asserting that working hard leads to progression, we see rest as an integral form of resistance. 

“The luxury of relaxation is usually reserved for the wealthy and fortunate. If anything, reparations need to be not just an economic ask, it also needs to be an energetic ask. We need to repair.” – niv Acosta.

Sleep deprivation is a social justice issue, rooted in the idea that some can rest, while others succumb to exhaustion by labour. Sleep inequity is structural. So, we’re reclaiming our time and dream space. Come nap with us.

Please note, in the interest of carving necessary, safer spaces, there will be two allotted slots; one where The Nap Ministry becomes a ‘Womxn-Only’ space and another as a ‘Black-Only’ space. This is inspired by niv Acosta and Fannie Sosa‘s initiative ‘Black Power Naps’.

11:00 – 16:00 Zine library

Zines are living archives, political tools, creative expression. Historically, they have been alternative outlets for subcultures and niche topics ignored by mainstream media, a form of catharsis for many makers. Given the publishing industry is still largely governed by white, male voices, zines in all their DIY, independently-made glory are resistance by their very nature.

The amazing team behind Brum Zine Fest have kindly made their growing zine library available to us. Delve in and be inspired, or give making a try in the afternoon workshop.

11:00 – 12:30 Artist Roundtable – Wellbeing

The Artist Roundtable brings together creatives from various industries and styles of working, to share experiences and ideas, ask questions and answer provocations, around the theme of ‘wellbeing’. Together, we will explore radical rest and how we take care of our health in all its forms, as individuals, collectives and communities. 

Facilitator Aliyah Hasinah will introduce a series of provocations around this theme, as contributed by invited creatives. As the conversation develops, the audience will be invited to offer their own questions and responses. 

12:30 – 14:30 Sunday Sessions

- Working with Anxiety

Drop in 1-2-1s with practitioner Theresa-Elizabeth Caldwell. In this session, learn how to manage and work with anxiety, getting to the root of our individual needs. Use imagination, intuition and inspiration, leading with self-empowerment in order to take care of business.

- Zine Making

Zines are self-made publications. A space for your words, art and expressions to exist in the world. They combine the therapeutic element of craft and the freedom to shout about what you want, how you want to on the page. Zine making, in essence, is radical.

- Mindfulness

Join Toni-Anne Butterworth Myers, co-founder of Wellbeing SOS on a series of mindful and meditative sessions.

- Massage

Massages with experienced masseuse, accredited trainer and facilitator Stevie Brown. Need we say more? Sign up on the day – slots are expected to go quickly.

- Bath Bombs & Boundaries

We often assume that people will know how to treat us, that respect, patience and understanding is common knowledge. But in reality, everyone is different. Setting boundaries in our relationships is a way to ensure the people we care for, can care for us in a way that feels right. Come and make yourself a beautiful treat and engage in self care that sinks deeper than the skin. 

14:30 – 15:30 Rest is Resistance:

To close The MAIA Weekender, we will collectively reflect on previous sessions and discussions, thinking critically about our next steps and the future we’re designing for. Join us for a cuppa and time to decompress in The Nap Ministry.

16:00 CLOSE.

Tickets: Available here.