About Soul City Arts

Bringing some soul to the city

Soul City Arts (SCA) is committed to developing creative and innovative programmes of work that deliver against our vision of ‘connecting communities and transforming society through creativity’. We create high quality events and programmes that bring people together to explore commonalities and shared narratives across all faiths and none.

Our work is characterised by deep visual spectacle and an immersive environment that engages all the senses. By celebrating our shared humanity we seek to reverse the isolation felt by some communities and thus build pride, civic engagement and confidence.

SCA focus on issues that are pertinent to all minority communities. We present in a way that straddles the interests of multiple groups in society, though retain a sensitivity to the specific of needs of individual communities, designing our events and programmes accordingly. Islamophobia, segregation, poverty, racism, sexism, violence, and classism are, for example, themes that run throughout much of SCA’s work – themes which hold special meaning for some groups, though relevance for all.

SCA’s trademark involves bringing diverse communities together and using the arts to create platforms for all to speak. We capture the stories and themes unique to individuals, though which bind us all together, and we engage our public as co-producers and co-authors in this work: we believe that collaboration and representation are key to building stronger, more connected communities.

Why we're doing this...

The arts have the power to change lives and should be made accessible to all. To be known globally for ground-breaking and provocative multidisciplinary productions that move people in their localities towards new forms of alliance.

What we're about...

Soul City Arts creates powerful artistic encounters to transform people and place. We use the Arts to take audiences on a shared journey towards dialogue and understanding. Art is a catalyst for positive social change and empowering communities.

What do we believe?

A healthy society needs to enable people to express themselves boldly and confidently with authenticity and to enter into open and honest conversation. The arts enable people to celebrate their communities and give a voice to social and political perspectives that are often unheard.

Our History

An organization with a soul

SCA was founded in 2008 by Mohammed Ali, an award-winning Birmingham-based artist who has travelled the world using the arts as a vehicle for social transformation.  He was awarded the ACE Diversity Award at the Southbank Awards in 2009 recognising his work taking art into the heart of communities, bringing together art with faith, identity and social change.

He has been commissioned to work internationally with leading galleries, festivals, arts centres and theatres engaging with audiences within the communities where they work, live and play.

He has worked extensively in places like Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, New York and South Africa, but he is passionate about change in Birmingham, the city where he was born and raised. Mohammed has also ventured into the world of cultural archiving and heritage arts, and he is passionate about capturing and re-telling the untold stories of everyday people.

He is a trustee at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and an associate artist at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Meet the Team

Dr. James Hodkinson

Academic Collaborator - WARWICK -

James is a Reader in German Studies at the University of Warwick. His research specialism is Islam in European history and culture. He works at connecting academia meaningfully with society through arts and outreach programmes.

Helga Henry

Development Consultant - BIRMINGHAM -

A skilled leader of groups, event host and speaker, Helga is a specialist in bringing strategy to life by building communication skills and confidence.

Jez Collins

Board Member - BIRMINGHAM -

The founder/director of the Birmingham Music Archive C.I.C. Collins brings experience in community engagement, academic research, creative and cultural policy & strategy and experience within the built environment, development, planning and regeneration sectors.

Kirsten Forkert

Board Member - BIRMINGHAM -

Kirsten is a researcher and activist, and researches the politics of cultural work and education. She is affiliated with Birmingham City University at the Birmingham School of Media.

Manpreet Darroch

Creative Producer - BIRMINGHAM -

A radio host and youth engagement and communications specialist, Manpreet designs and develops artistic programmes to reach new audiences. He is passionate about arts and social justice.

Matt Reeves

Production Designer - BIRMINGHAM -

An artist in his own right, Matt has supported Soul City Arts to deliver projects from stage design through to constructing sets for our immersive experiences.

Mohammed Ali MBE

Founder and Artistic Director - BIRMINGHAM -

Mohammed conceived and developed the Soul City Arts brand over 15 years ago. He is a world renowned graffiti artist and curator who believes passionately in bringing art to everyday people.

Executive Director - LONDON -

A dedicated senior, arts professional with a highly successful background in Festivals, Theatre, Music and Dance. Rajpal joins Soul City Arts to lead our evolution and expansion as an organization as well as help realize our ‘Elevate’ phase.

Redwan Begh

Board Member - BIRMINGHAM -

Redwan engages senior executives to translate their business strategy into action, by shaping and leading the delivery of the most challenging strategic change. His focus as a board member has been on business planning and performance.

Richard Badderley

Graphic Designer - ISTANBUL -

A design, photography and video specialist, Richard works with Soul City Arts on its marketing and online presence.

Safwan is a young Birmingham based creative, specialising within photography and film. Leading the creation of varied digital content that engages an online audience via website, social media and other digital platforms. He also deals with event pre-planning, logistics and delivery in our Port Hope space.

Our Collaborators

Our Soul City Arts collaborating partners…
Partnered with to support Soul Fire Sundays.
A sister organisation working for across border collaborations
Have supported Soul City Arts projects.
Partnered with us to on overseas collaborations.
Joined our arts projects in Scotland.
Have partnered with us for charitable projects.
Joined us for a charitable arts project.
Partnered with us for a cross border collaboration.
Partnered with us on our dining experiences.
Have partnered with us to host many arts experiences.
Have partnered with us to deliver programmes in the city.
Have partnered with us on several projects and programmes.
Global NGO partnered with us to deliver artistic programming at their event.
Partnered with us for an innovative live stream curation.