Free Radical announced as new National Portfolio Organisation

We are delighted to announce that Free Radical has been selected as a new NPO by Arts Council England on Wednesday 27th June. Formerly Beatfreeks Arts, Free Radical exists to give young people space, both mentally and physically, to tell stories about themselves, their communities and what they care about in the world - and has included projects such as ‘The Social Exchange’ and ‘At What Cost?’.

We’re humbled and excited to be one of the 183 new organisations that have been welcomed into the portfolio. Becoming an NPO (National Portfolio Organisation) will mean that we will receive funding from Arts Council England over the next four years - allowing us to do more, be even better, make a lot more noise - and more importantly it means that we will be able to devote more time to giving young artists and activists the skills and platforms that they need to make their voices heard.

Over the last 4 years, The Beatfreeks Collective has blossomed, grown and as of earlier this year, restructured - into The Beatfreeks Collective, Young Giant, Free Radical and Doink. Being selected to join the National Portfolio is a massive achievement and step forward for Free Radical. As quoted by Arts Council, those in the National Portfolio “represent the best art practice in the world". From 2018 we will be developing brand new projects including workshops to artist development programmes but as always, we want to make sure that you are coming along this journey with us. General Manager of Free Radical, Bohdan Piasecki, is hosting co-design sessions on 26th July 5:30 – 7:30pm and 2nd August 2 – 5pm, at iCentrum, Innovation Birmingham. We want to offer this time for you to have your say in how we develop; as well as allow space for you to find out more about Free Radical, ask burning questions and hear about the plans for the next few years.

A note from Anisa Haghdadi, Founder & CEO of The Beatfreeks Collective: "I'm elated, we all are, that Arts Council has decided to invest in Free Radical, our art activism platform for young people, which is a part of The Beatfreeks Collective. We're hugely encouraged by the opportunity to develop new core strands of work in line with our recent strategic review leading to our restructure from Beatfreeks Arts to Free Radical in April this year. It's going to be a monumental four years ahead." 

And it's not just us that has joined the portfolio - 73 organisations from the West Midlands have also been selected including Arts Connect, Birmingham City University, Birmingham Museums Trust, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, BOM Lab, Craftspace, Fierce Festival, Flatpack Projects, Grand Union, IKON Gallery, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, mac birmingham, Nine Arches Press, Punch Records, The RSC, Stan’s Café, The Mighty Creatives, Vivid Projects and many more incredible organisations that we’re really excited for. See the full list.

We want to thank our YSC, Board, Arts Council England, and of course, all of the young people we have worked with over the last few years that have made this all possible. 

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For more information on the National Portfolio Organisations - and to let us know that you’re attending our co-design sessions, please visit the below links.

Free Radical: http://beatfreeks.com/free-radical

Eventbrite: https://freeradicalcocreation.eventbrite.co.uk

Arts Council England: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/NPO

Birmingham Mail: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/arts-culture-news/birminghams-90million-arts-council-funding-13244528