Northfield Arts Forum, also well known as NAF, is an artistic group based in Northfield where anyone is welcome to come along and help out with artistic events or simply take part and have fun.
You can work on your artistic skills no matter what those skills or interests may be, no matter how good you are with art. Everybody is welcome to come along and try whatever they are comfortable with. If you have a specific talent or interest, NAF can work into that and try figure out experience, for instance I had a friend who liked working with 3D art and NAF said they could come along and try some things out.
I am 18 years old and a beginner photographer, I study photography at Halesowen College and find a great amount of interest in the subject. I was helping out at NAF before I started work experience with them, with events such as The Northfield Beach. They have helped me gain experience by bringing in professional photographers from whom I am able to shadow and learn from. Anybody is welcome here at NAF, and I told a girl called Heather (another photographer on my course at college) about NAF and she is now also taking part with shadowing professional photographers and completing her work experience.
NAF aren’t only helping me with experience alone, I will also be working on an arts award with them which when is completed it is the equivalent to an A-level. Weekly I will come in to the Northfied Arts Forum building, and help them by writing articles as I also work with B31 Voices. With this I can learn about the journalistic side of photography and also work on my terrible grammar!
I had the chance to interview some of the main people at NAF who make it all happen.
I asked Olly Armstrong a few questions about NAF.
“Where did NAF begin?” was my first question, and Ollie replied with “Birmingham city council invested some money to each district to set up a local arts forum for each district and Northfield Arts Forum called there’s NAF as it sounds funny and it just happened to stick. NAF has existed for 8 years.”
I then went on to “Where is NAF now?” Olly replied “We have now got a base in Prices square Northfield High street, where we started to run some events such as pop up events, we don’t have paid staff so NAF pop up events kind of exists just when we get funding but other than events we still go on keeping things together and working behind the scenes.”
My final question was “Where do you see NAF going within the near and far future?” Olly replied “Our short term plans are to do more work in and around prices square, it’s on the second floor so one of the things we are keen to do is work out disability access and better access to the floor. We hope to to go on with an arts trail in Kings Norton Park, we are also keen to do more art linked with gardening which will be linked up with the community.”
I plan on having a future with NAF, and I will eventually be entering the world of freelance photography, and NAF can teach me a lot to do this. Even when I start a photography business, I know they will still be there for help. They know what they’re doing within the arts industry and they are perfectly capable of making things happen.
By Albie Taylor.