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A bespoke development programme for those looking to further experience, skills and knowledge in outdoor arts and festivals producing.

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We love bringing people together through shared cultural experiences in cosmopolitan cities and neighbourhoods. We champion do-ers and planners and want to train future producers to create these experiences for their communities.

Collectively, the OPUS team are driven by a shared set of values to support and provide opportunities for other Producers - particularly for womxn and those from the West Midlands. As our work grows and the company expands, we hope to build our resources through creating stronger regional and national relationships, in turn providing further work opportunities for our associate team of outdoor arts and events producers.

As part of our commitments to developing diverse Producing talent in Birmingham, OPUS have recruited seven passionate and proactive Neighbourhood Producers. As part of the Commonwealth Games Festival Sites team, the Producers will be supported through a bespoke development intervention which includes training and skills development sessions, 1-2-1s, How I Did It Sessions with cultural leaders and two public masterclasses - all tailored to support them as they move through the cycle of developing, curating and delivering an event. 

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emPOWer is delivered in partnership with Helga Henry and Lara Ratnaraja.

Aims of the programme

The programme is for those looking to develop their experience in Outdoor Arts and Events.  

emPOWer is at its core a delivery and training programme for developing local Producers. OPUS will curate and build developmental sessions, designed specifically for Producers, which are rooted in practical examples linked to the event delivery including anticipating issues and troubleshooting.


Whilst also creating space for meaningful conversations, the programme is designed to support the breadth of voices across the city. Each Producer is based within a short distance of our seven Neighbourhood Festival Sites, and will lead on the site closest to them, enabling both themselves and OPUS to build sustainable relationships with community partners built on integrity and empowerment.


Producers will be supported to facilitate and encourage residents who live next to the festival sites, and visitors to the area, to explore and experience the idiosyncrasies of each neighbourhoods and communities reflected in the programming.


The programme also includes development of a literal toolkit that will equip them in their future projects/career development. We hope to develop projects in the future that will see the region’s creative talent grow meaningfully, supportively and successfully.

Meet The Team

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Castle Vale

Lateesha Johnson

Lateesha is passionate about celebrating diverse artists in Birmingham and exploring how art helps us to heal.

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Rachel Vargas

With a focus on imagination, Rachel sees festivals as a place to play, roam and experience curiosity no matter your age. Rachel is committed to community engagement and bringing people together in a joyous way.

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Dee Manning

An established visual artist, Dee also works for Active Wellbeing Society, where she builds trust with the local people and stakeholders to encourage more social cohesion.

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Chloe Deakin

Chloe's work focuses on youth culture, community programming, and digital media. Outside of producing she runs an organisation called New Global, which platforms new talent, and trains the next generation for future opportunities.

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Sylvia Chan

A freelance Art Producer, Sylvia specialises in curating art projects that bring the community together. Her experience has taught her that creativity is a great tool to open conversations and break down barriers.

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Ward End

Omar Hanif

Omar is an independent producer, writer and activist who champions diverse stories that need to be told. He also chairs the Kashmiri Arts Forum supported by Birmingham City Council

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Sense Touchbase Pears

Channi Dorset

When not working at Sense Touchbase Pears as Facilities Coordinator, Channi (pronounced sh-ar-nee) runs her own inclusive illustrative art & fashion company called Cr8tive Wallflower Inc,.

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emPOWer Associate

Tinisha Williams

Tinisha in a Creative Producer and joins us on the emPOWer programme to build on her portfolio career working across both the events services and festival industry in both operational and creative roles.

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