The Public is now closed, Sandwell Arts Trust, a registered charity, managed The Public - a creative place, inspiring art and changing lives – on behalf of Sandwell MBC from April 2009 to November 2013.
The Public was a gallery, entertainment venue, learning hub, café and work space.
A gallery for the future– celebrating the vitality, diversity, humour of art, using technology to put the visitor at the heart of the experience.
“A playground for adults” Guardian
Entertainment venue– bringing comedy, music, theatre to West Bromwich and celebrating Sandwell talent with performances and activities from variety shows to tea dancing
“Wonderful venue”Al Murray
Learning Hub – for adults and children, for schools and holidays, a place to study and a place to gain valuable work experience
“You certainly brought out the best in them with the fun packed imagination and creativity tasks and also it was so nice to see them engaging more with each other to work as a team especially when building the castle!” Primary School
CaféBar – Was a place to meet up and enjoy a wide selection of drinks and snacks at great value for money
“The café was friendly and very reasonable, and may I say, the carrot cake was the most delicious I have ever tasted!!”Trip Advisor
Work space– 29 companies were based in the building doing everything from digital design to photography to employment advice.
“You can come in for an hour, a day, or a lunch break. It doesn’t matter. The Public is the perfect name for this space, because it welcomes everyone, it’s there to be used, by us; the public.” Arts Award student ______________________________________________________________
Described as a world class building set in the heart of Sandwell – today one of the most deprived areas in the UK but with a long history of creativity, innovation and community pride which changed the world.
Everything that took place at The Public was about responding to these factors to be a force for the better in the community. The core of the business were committed to using the arts to raise aspirations – to bring the world to West Bromwich and take West Bromwich to the world; to open doors and provide opportunities that would not exist without The Public.
To do this, The Public also had a role in making the arts more accessible to a community which traditionally has low participation in the creative industries. A place where people who don’t normally feel comfortable in arts venues could enjoy themselves, feel welcomed and were confident to experience new things.
In essence, The Public was a creative place, inspiring art and changing lives.
Having welcomed more than 1 million visitors since 2009, The Public established itself as a valuable community space welcoming everyone, as well as a place that supported local, new and young talent through the generous host programme and raiseed aspirations through work with established, nationally known artists and performers.
As a charity, The Public required investment to support its key priorities so that the doors that opened and the new opportunities afforded to the people of West Bromwich and the wider region could continue.