Elizabeth ‘Zeddie’ Lawal and Mukhtar Dar join the Festival team as Artistic Associates

Elizabeth ‘Zeddie’ Lawal and Mukhtar Dar join the Festival team as Artistic Associates

Birmingham Festival 23 announces Mukhtar Dar and Elizabeth ‘Zeddie’ Lawal as Artistic Associates funded by Arts Council England

Following the announcement of Birmingham Festival 23, and confirmed funding from Arts Council England, we are pleased to reveal that local artists Elizabeth ‘Zeddie’ Lawal and Mukhtar Dar joined the Festival team as Artistic Associates.

Mukhtar and Zeddie have been working closely with Creative Director, Raidene Carter and the wider producing team to bring their broad experience, perspective and knowledge of the city’s cultural communities to help ensure a varied and exciting Festival programme that is relevant to the city’s diverse audiences.

Both artists were involved in Birmingham 2022 Festival activities last year and their role this year has already seen their direct involvement in decision-making and influencing how the festival shapes up, with a particular nod to supporting new talent. Each will also present specially curated work in the programme which will be revealed in late June.

There is huge potential in this city, we are one of the youngest cities in Europe, we are super diverse, and the creativity in Birmingham is incredible. As an Artistic Associate I aim to ensure the programme is diverse, inclusive and welcoming to all.


It’s been almost a year since the Commonwealth Games came to an end in the city, and now is the time to ask ourselves, ‘what does the future look like?’ How do we make sure that this festival is about Birmingham and honours the talent that is right here? How can we speak to our global communities that are linked by our past, present and future.


I’m really excited about Mukhtar and Zeddie – with them we’re already unlocking new networks and fresh ideas that push things forward. Having Artistic Associates helps ensure that the voices of freelance artists remain an important part of cultural decision-making in the city, and it’s also about sharing leadership of events of this scale. Both Mukhtar and Zeddie are well-known in the city for their work which spans music, live events, digital art, poetry and festivals, and I can’t wait to see how their influence features in the Festival programme.


Commissioned and supported by Birmingham City Council to celebrate the city’s creativity, and as a sign of its ongoing commitment to funding culture, Birmingham Festival 23 will take over Centenary Square from Fri 28 July – Sun 6 August.