Arts Council England recognises ACE dance and music with major funding uplift as part of the National Portfolio 2023 – 2026

ACE dance and music, Birmingham’s internationally recognised centre for black-led contemporary dance, has today been awarded a further investment from Arts Council England towards its vision of embedding their role as global leaders in black dance culture.

Working together for a quarter of a century ACE dance and music (ACEDM) has played a significant role in the UK’s arts ecology as one of the few, Black-led dance companies. Promoting the quality, diversity and range of black and ethic contemporary dance, ACE dance and music, supported by Arts Council England, have developed a range of outstanding performance work, alongside outreach and educational programmes for adults and young people, that have gained a world-wide reputation for excellence.

This latest investment in strengthening Birmingham’s arts industry, totaling £250,000 per annum and spanning from 2023 until 2026, will reinforce the infrastructure of ACE dance and music’s touring company, which acts as the spearhead and mentoring focus for over 5,550 students and children in the West Midlands region and a further 9,000 around the UK through community and educational programmes.

ACE Dance and Music’s Artistic Director, Gail Parmel MBE, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to be a National Portfolio Organisation again. This funding will mean that we are able to continue to champion cultural exchange; create distinctive, contemporary dance rooted in dance of the African diaspora, and nurture the next generation to achieve their potential.”

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England said:

“We’re delighted to be increasing our investment in ACE Dance and Music allowing the company to grow and evolve. Their ambitious productions and extensive training programme for young dancers are helping creative talent to thrive in the heart of Birmingham’s Dance Hub and develop their learning and development programme with schools.”

ACE Dance and Music’s Chair, Paul Udenze, said:

“I am immensely grateful for Arts Council England’s continuing support for our organisation and the wonderful work we do and the opportunity we now have to grow.”

In a climate of global turmoil and financial uncertainty for audiences and continuing fiscal pressures on the arts as an industry, ACE dance and music and Arts Council England have, with this latest initiative, continued to strengthen investment in the arts, one of the most vital and key industries in the region – bringing educational support, grass roots community engagement and world class professional dance to Birmingham.

ACE dance and music are currently touring Unknown Realms, their first public performance of new work since before the pandemic.