‘The common denominator in the communities were the similarities, and not the differences, between cultures in Caldmore; an enjoyment of food, the arts and music.’
Caldmore is a culturally diverse area in central Walsall. The Caldmore Village Festival project was a massive undertaking to involve all communities to celebrate the area. The creation of it was a team effort involving scores of people.
There were two people in particular who saw the potential of using the arts as a cohesive force in the Caldmore community: Mark Webster and Mohamed Arif.
Mark, a Caldmore resident for over twenty-five years and a founder member of Walsall Community Arts Team, approached the Team and suggested the idea of looking into a multi-cultural festival.
The chance to make it real came when Arif, a Walsall Councillor representing St Matthew’s ward, worked with the Team on a Council- led, borough-wide evaluation of the Local Committee process. After an initial evaluation, Arif asked the Team to come back and take a much more in-depth look at Caldmore’s social problems and see if they could, working with local people, find a way forward.