Birmingham Evening Decorative & Fine Arts Society (BEDFAS) - now The Arts Society - Birmingham Evening came about following three NADFAS at NIGHT lectures at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in 2013.
These had been instigated by Stephanie Faroqui (then West Midlands Area Chair) who felt there might be a demand for an evening society and in February 2014 a meeting of those interested in forming a Steering Group was held.
The Steering Group worked collaboratively to draw up a constitution for the society, establish financial procedures, book lecturers, sign up members, set up a website, create publicity materials and much more, to be ready in time for our first lecture (The Divine Michelangelo by Leslie Primo) at the Barber in October 2014.
Over the past three years we have enjoyed a diverse range of lectures, from Nazi Looted Art, the art of Indonesia, Art Deco, Lunar Society and Grayson Perry. Our members and visitors have had the opportunity to socialise over a glass or wine, and view exhibitions, or items of special interest in the gallery before the lecture.
We invested time and research into reaching a concensus about the type of society we wished to be - open, welcoming and interesting. From this came the development of our Bite Size Brum social programme. These short evening, daytime and weekend events are followed by an informal gathering at a nearby public house - both drawing on the cultural, artistic and crafts heritage of Birmingham - the UK's second city.
Since our inaugural lecture we have actively sought feedback from members and visitors, both face-to-face during events, via Focus Groups and via questionnaires. This is YOUR society - the committee value your feedback and ensure it is built into the planning processes for the continuing development of our society.
Thanks to the hard work, enthusiasm, creativity and energy of our committee we have a successful society, and as we enter a new phase as The Arts Society - Birmingham Evening some of our founding committee members are standing aside to allow new input into the group.
If you would like to become more involved - perhaps on the desk at lectures, meeting lecturers at the railway station or becoming a committee member - just speak to one of us at the lecture or event.
Previous Chair, February 2015 - September 2017