The Black Country was forged at the hands of men and women from all walks of life who had honed their skills to the highest levels. It was through their craftsmanship and diligence that the region became renowned as the industrial heartland of the UK.

‘100 Masters’ is an arts campaign to identify contemporary skilled people from the Black Country  and help inspire future talent.

This year long regional campaign aims to inspire and offer local people a fresh perspective about the strengths, skills, talent and expertise surfacing from their locality and community.

Did you know that the Playstation font was designed by twins from Wolverhampton? Or that a local cactus-breeder has received gold at RHS Chelsea for the last 7 successive years? Ever heard of the person whose book, written in evening class, was turned into a Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman?

We successfully recognise the great industrial heritage of the region and repeatedly celebrate historic achievements through education, publications, heritage projects, and journalism. Whilst it is important to commemorate the past, we believe that people in the present-day who have been making tremendous strides have been underrepresented.

The rest of the world is taking notice of the work being made by the people of the Black Country and it’s time we started to recognise the rich talent from the area. Meanwhile, Rihanna continues to be a big fan of the jackets made by a Dudley fashion student, a local nurse has won an unprecedented international accolade for their pioneering research into the medical uses of sugar and last year at the Edinburgh Fringe, a care worker from Sandwell beat 14 professional comedians to win the ‘Joke of the year 2016’.

We know there are more stories out there of local people receiving attention and accolades for their work and we want to find and promote these individuals. There is no achievement too great or small. You may know someone from Caldmore who makes the best cheese cobs in town or someone from Tipton attempting to break the land speed record.

A master is a noteworthy person who has forged their own path and displayed outstanding ability that has influenced others in their field. A master can be from any walk of life and there are no restrictions in specialism but they must have either been born, educated, lived or worked in the Black Country for a significant period of time.

The shortlisted masters will be announced on this website from mid July onwards.