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Staying Cool has always supported the arts since we opened in Birmingham in 2008. However, from May 2018 we made this even more of a focus to mark a decade of success. We organised a series of penthouse events called Creative Heights.

Art

Our launch event featured the live creation of an artwork on the huge glass windows at Rotunda by Birmingham artist Amrit Singh in front of an intrigued audience.

Amrit Singh working on this artwork at the Creative Heights launch

Food

Next came art as food with a lavish feast overlooking the city in a pop-up restaurant from The Wilderness for ten lucky competition winners.      

Wilderness dinner as part of Creative Heights Birmingham
Wilderness pop-up restuarant

Cinema

Birmingham’s independent Electric cinema transformed a 20th-floor penthouse into an exclusive venue for a screening of director (and past guest) Ben Wheatley’s cult movie High Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston. The pop-up cinema was a highlight of the Electric’s annual Shock and Gore festival.  

High Rise screening as part of Creative Heights Birmingham
Electric cinema screening

HERITAGE

In cahoots with BMAG (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery), we hosted the launch of their new range inspired by the iconic packaging designs of Bird’s Custard. (Bird’s is a historic Birmingham brand and the old factory is now a creative hub for the city called… The Custard Factory)

The Canal House rustled up some delicious custard-themed cocktails too.

Creative Heights BMAG Birds Custard launch
Some of the Bird’s Custard goodies from BMAG

Music

Local musician Philippa Zawe
Local musician Philippa Zawe

TV/Books

Our kitsch Columbo-themed afternoon was a great success. It was hosted by Jenny Hammerton, author of Cooking with Columbo. Guests enjoyed food and drink loved by the famous TV sleuth aka actor Peter Falk and all funds went to local charity Love Brum to help homelessness.

Cooking with Columbo as part of Creative Heights Birmingham
Jenny Hammerton

Christmas Grotto

Christmas brought one of our team’s favourite Creative Heights events. We invited families who had fundraised for Birmingham Children’s Hospital to our Santa’s Grotto. The children received presents and rustled up some fantastic Christmassy creations while meeting Father Christmas.

Santa's Grotto as part of Creative Heights Birmingham
Santa’s grotto

Poetry

Finally, we hosted our first-ever Writer in Residence in conjunction with Writing West Midlands. Richard O’Brien, Birmingham’s current poet laureate, stayed in one of our serviced apartments for a week writing poetry.

Richard said, “Staying for a week at the Rotunda has been a remarkable experience. Even when you think you know a city, the shift in perspective viewing it all from the eighteenth floor, above the towers and trains, has been unbelievable. I’m so pleased to have been able to kick off my time as Birmingham Poet Laureate with such a panoramic view of life in the city for inspiration.”

We finished off Richard’s residency with a Poetry in the Penthouse event featuring four Birmingham poets.

Poetry in the Penthouse as part of Creative Heights Birmingham
Poetry in the Penthouse performers

It was an immense privilege to share our penthouse space with such talented people during Creative Heights. We’ll continue supporting the arts in Birmingham going forward and we have already planned some legacy events for 2019 and 2020 with our Creative Heights artists as well as in discussions with new visual and performance artists. If you would like to get involved please email [email protected]