Sunday, 19 March 2017

Recoverism and the Arts at MMU

The People's Projects gives you the chance to decide how National Lottery funding can make a difference in your local community, so...

Music Matters: Inspiring Children and Young People at Alder Hey
The group will offer music workshops and performances for young patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. They will have the opportunity to join in ward-based workshops and live performances, which will have a positive impact on their wellbeing and recovery, and offer a distraction from illness and a calm atmosphere. People will be able to express themselves creatively, enjoy positive experiences and learn new skills. Vote HERE and see the film by clicking on the images below.

Recoverism and the Arts:
Driving change through collaborative research

If you are interested in Recoverism and the Arts, I've been working with PORe, (Portraits of Recovery) the Arts and Health Research and Substance Abuse and Addictive Behaviours Groups to develop a free collaborative research event on April 25th at The Manchester School of Art. It's primarily aimed at people affected by, or researching the field of substance misuse and recovery, and places are limited, so only book if you're committed to attending and taking an active part in the day. Booking and more information is available by clicking on the Per te Mama film still below, by artist Ali Zaidi or HERE.

A Recoverist Theatre Project
I'm thrilled that Recoverism is being embraced beyond the Recoverist Manifesto, and the flyer below is for a 10 week Recoverist Theatre Project taking place in Liverpool at the wonderful Brink Cafe. It looks an exciting piece of work that is all about developing your creative voice. All the details are on the flyer below and good luck with the workshops - they sounds ace. Let us know how the workshops go.

NAMIH Conference
Monday July 10th, 11am-6pm
We’re delighted to announce the date of our first NAMIH conference on  Monday July 10th, 11am - 6pm (because we know that peak time travel is best avoided if possible). The conference is co hosted by OPUS Music CIC and The Royal Brompton Hospital in London with support from public funding by Arts Council England. We are keen to celebrate the diversity of practice within our membership and to share ideas about how we keep raising the profile of our work and meet the challenges of our time. We also want to hear what you the Alliance want from the Alliance. Follow the link below for tickets which are just £10.  
Places are limited so don't leave it too late! More info HERE.

House of Commons Creative Practitioner Commission
House of Commons commission for a creative practitioner to run a residency programme commemorating and celebrating race discrimination legislation. The Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art seeks to commission a UK-based creative practitioner to undertake a residency to create six new works, through participatory community workshops, relating to the development of race discrimination legislation. These works will be displayed during October/November 2018 within the participating local communities, and early in 2019 in the Houses of Parliament. The residency is to mark the campaign for, and the passing of early race discrimination legislation in 1965, 1968 and 1976, it will reflect and celebrate:
* the growth of an inclusive democracy;
* the people who campaigned and fought for the changes of legislation;
* the experience of the generations who, empowered by the legislation, continued to campaign.
More info HERE. 

For mother day...

PRS for Music Foundation Open Grants Programme
Not for profit organisations based in the UK with projects that involve the creation, performance and promotion of new music of any genre have until the 8th May to apply for up to £10,000 of funding from the current round of the Open Fund for Organisations. The Open Fund is available to any not-for-profit organisation based in the UK with an eligible project.  

Greggs Foundation - Local Communities Projects Fund 
The next application deadline for the Greggs Foundation Local Community Projects Fund is the 24th June 2017. The foundation is a grant making trust which distributes around £1.8 million per year to organisations throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The Local Community Projects Fund makes grants of up to £2,000 to not for profit organisations with a turnover of less than £300,000 a year who work to reduce the disadvantage of the most deprived people in the community such as the disabled, those living in poverty, voluntary carers and isolated older people. The Foundation are more likely to make grants to local organisations based near Greggs shops. Find out more by clicking on the slightly nibbled Greggs pasties, above!  

Notes on Anxiety (a micro-script)
Wednesday 15th March. 
I’m trying to understand how anxiety plays a part in my life, for good and for bad. Today I gave a presentation to a small group of peers, about all the things I know like the back of my hand. Ten minutes quick-fire. A potted history almost, of my own time here in Manchester and the work I’ve been involved with. A cinch. Well, not quite. Anxiety has a positive side - over prepare. Write copious notes, reduce them and just note down key points, a couple of juicy quotes, and bob’s your uncle. 

But my shirt was un-ironed, (I originally had a jumper on, having set out in the dark, early morning - with the beautiful Moon and Venus for company) it also had a button on the left hand cuff that was hanging on by a thread. I didn’t like this. Didn’t like it at all.

Earlier I’d created a small presentation - a film - actually less of a presentation, it was youtube footage of a blue sky, with clouds gently scudding over. Someone had kindly added 3 hours and 25 minutes of Philip Glass and Music in Twelve Parts. Perfect. I only needed ten minutes, divided by eight pieces of work, which I would describe fluently. But then I practiced it, and the film seemed too serene for what I wanted to say, so I changed it and used some raw footage of the 2011 Tottenham riots - perfect. Only now it felt like I was over-egging it. Bugger. A power-point instead, eight slides, no more, no less.

But I stand there in front of a friendly group of around 15 people, and it all feels so wrong. So dull, so worthless. Hot, confused and dry mouthed, looking at irrelevant notes and looking back at the slides (something I never do). Anxiety has a negative side.

So I’ve spoken to huge crowds. Conferences of a hundred are a regular thing, and more recently, something hovering around a thousand didn’t produced those physiological changes - maybe doubt and increased heartbeat - but not inane ramblings and a dry, dry mouth. I can speak for thirty minutes without needing a glass of water, and whilst I’m always hot and bothered, this was thermo nuclear. Maybe worse than that, as my gormless mouth flapped aridly up and down, the words I spoke were boring, mind numbingly tedious, almost a rendition of the work, with all the imagination and passion stripped out of it. 

But my positive thinking, my imagining of the Moon - willing me on - fails. It’s like everything has dried up. Venus has gone. Standing there, (bizarrely) I feel more stupid than stressed, but with a lifetimes pretence of bonhomie, I answer questions. 

Now at home, some hours later, I feel world weary. Of course I know that countless people are going through all manner of personal hell’s as I sit here sedating myself and ruminating. I know this is no big shakes in the great scheme of things, but I need to understand the nature of anxiety, because that’s what it was, pure and simple. I could feel the thing escalate from nowhere, to completely taking over. Overwhelming. Perhaps it’s ‘in my nature’ and just who I am, and it waits for opportune moments to embrace me and render me near speechless. Perhaps that’s why I started creating these small films to accompany me as I speak? It’s almost as though the real me is broken and unable to ‘be’ in these public spaces, and that ‘performing’ provides me with an invisibility cloak, to hide away in plain sight


Saturday, 11 March 2017

On the subtle power of lipstick…

I’ve just been reading the lucid and quite refreshing blog of Sarah Gaffney called...

ZIMMAZIMMATHREECOURSEWINNER just now with a name like that, it has to be good. It’s a mixture of health, style and art and as she says on the welcome page…

‘It all began in October 2016 when I was diagnosed with a Grade II Brain Tumour aged 29. I'm a Manchester based NHS Manager, MBA student and part-time painter refusing to be defined by illness and determined to live life to the fullest whilst navigating ‘treatment'. Here you will find musings about the things that matter most to me and bring me joy.’

This is really something - personal, warm and gently revealing in so many ways. Thank you for sharing Sarah. Read her blog HERE, or by clicking on the lippy.
Frontiers of Dance & Health

Royal Society for Public Health, Health & Wellbeing Awards 2017
The Arts & Health Award is one of the categories of the Health & Wellbeing Awards. It recognises organisations whose work has furthered the contribution of the creative arts to health and wellbeing. To enter, first you need to request your application pack which contains the application form and guidelines. Entering will provide your team and organisation with the chance to gain formal recognition for their contribution to public health. Category winners will also have the opportunity to be selected for the prestigious Public Health Minister’s Award. The deadline for applications is Friday 28 April. Go on, nominate yourself, because if you don't, you just know some jumped up twerp will and you'll regret it! Click on the crown to find out more.

BBC Children in Need Small Grants Programme 
Not for profit organisations such as schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 per year for up to three years through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects working with children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing:
  Disadvantage through illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  Any kind of disability
  Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  Living in poverty or situations of deprivation.
The closing date for applications is the 1st June 2017. Read more by clicking on Hulme's concrete jungle!

Funding for arts & music projects 
The Austin Hope and Pilkington Trust has announced that their next round of grant funding will open on the 1st April 2017. During this funding round grants of £5,000 will be available to registered charities that have an income of over £500,000 for projects that relate to Music and the Arts. The Trust will run four funding rounds each year with a different theme and for each funding round will give priority to projects that focus on:
  Domestic abuse
  Activities for those with limited access or opportunities.
The closing date for applications will be 31st May 2017. For information on how to apply and on future funding rounds this year, please click HERE. 

**...and here is the most SUPERB collaborative opportunity!!!

Call for Creative Practitioners for Redevelopment of Maindee Library, Newport
Budget: Creative Practitioner Design & Consultation Fee of up to £13,000 +VAT, plus a £45,000 +VAT budget to implement creative/design interventions, based on capital works budget of £121,000 + VAT. 
Deadline for Applications is Midnight 23 April 2017 (Interviews scheduled for 09 May 2017)
Commission is expected to run from May 2017 – March 2018
Maindee Unlimited are inviting applications from Creative Practitioners (including artists/designers/architects, as individuals, studios, partnerships or group practices) to work on a project within Maindee Library, a volunteer-run community space on the eastern side of Newport city centre. The commission is to work with the Maindee Library Working Group and other key stakeholders to identify, prioritise and develop creative/design solutions and oversee their implementation towards the renovation and improvement of the library building as a flexible and creative space for community use. This commission is part of Finding Maindee – a three-year project supported by the Arts Council of Wales’ Ideas: People: Places strategic programme, which aims to test new models of regeneration and collaboration through the arts. The project is part-funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Charitable Trust, the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme through Newport City Council and others. The project will be managed by Maindee Unlimited. The Creative Practitoner’s appointment is being managed by curatorial agency Addo. CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Functional Issue... which absolutely no views are expressed whatsoever.*

Summer Play Scheme Programme 2017
The Hilden Charitable Funds Summer Play Scheme is now open for applications. The Fund supports community groups and voluntary agencies with an income of less than £150,000 that run summer play schemes for children between the ages of 5 and 18 in disadvantaged communities. Supported schemes should be locally based, last between two and six weeks and have strong volunteer support. Some priority will be given to projects which show that they are inclusive of children from refugee families and have BME involvement. The closing date for applications is the 24th May 2017. Read more HERE. 

Idlewild Trust 
The Idlewild Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grant making programme is the 7th September 2017. The Idlewild Trust is a grant making trust that supports registered charities:
Concerned with improving opportunities for young professionals working creatively in the arts, particularly at an early stage in their careers
Supporting the conservation of important works of art and objects that are being lost through the lack of funds to look after these works.
The Trust awards around £120,000 each year in grants and makes grants of up to £5,000. Read more HERE. 

Women Make Music Grant Scheme 
The next applications deadline for the Performing Right Society's (PRS) Women Make Music grant scheme is the 8th May 2017. Through the grant scheme, financial support of up to £5000 is available to women musicians to create new music in any genre. The fund can support projects by women songwriters, composers, artists, bands and performers who are writing their own music. Please note that PRS no longer fund organisations through Women Make Music. Read more at:  

Celebrating Age funding award announced for engaging older people in arts & culture
Using National Lottery funding, Arts Council England has partnered with the Baring Foundation to develop the £3 million joint fund, Celebrating Age, which will be awarded to organisations developing dedicated, high-quality programmes created by - and for – older people. Celebrating Age has been developed in response to the Taking Part survey, which shows that participation in arts and culture falls dramatically over the age of 75; with more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 living alone, and more than a million older people speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member less than once a month. The programme will work with a range of organisations to support and engage older people in arts and cultural activities, championing social inclusion and cross-generational projects. This follows Age UK’s February summary of their Index of Wellbeing, in which engagement in creative and cultural activities are seen to make the highest contribution of 5.75 per cent to the overall wellbeing of someone over the age of 60

*...other than, aren't those people who appropriate others work in their own talentless name, for their own vapid fame - absolutely vile? (whoopsie)


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Filthy, Dirty Chaos...

A short and sweet blog this week and a prompt for those of you looking for funding for projects involving children and young people - last weeks posting has a few new sources of funding. 

I had the good opportunity to be in Dublin recently and saw the relocated Francis Bacon studio at Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane.
Ah, what small moments of joy.

Recoverism and the Arts:
driving change through collaborative research 
Here at Manchester Met we are developing some ground-breaking research agendas, particularly exploring the complexity of substance use - disorder and recovery.  This free one-day event, a collaboration between the Substance Use and Addictive Behaviours Research Group (SUAB), the Arts and Health Research Group and Portraits of Recovery (PORe), is developing research around the vital role that the arts and culture can play in the lives of people and communities affected by or in recovery from addiction. The event will showcase pioneering projects and artists that encompass local, national and European projects and will facilitate an exploration of future, more inclusive, interdisciplinary research collaborations with cultural partners.

This work builds on the radical history of Manchester, the birthplace of arts and health and the centre of a movement that has seen recovery from substance misuse emerge as a nascent recoverist movement, placing lived experience at the heart of social change, as personified in the Recoverist Manifesto.

So whilst I can't guarantee a place for everyone,  please HOLD THE DATE: Tuesday 25th April at The Manchester School of Art.
More details soon.

Celebrating Age and Ageing with Master Students 
This week saw the fourth cohort of masters students from the Manchester School of Art, curating a public exhibition and workshops around the theme of ageing. This 11-strong group had opted to work with me on the Arts, Health and Wellbeing unit. I'm often asked why I don't run a stand-alone masters, and whilst it's something I'm considering, a small focused grouping like this, gives the opportunity not only for some strong collaborative research, but some good real-world experience. From public exhibitions and developing new research engagement methodologies, to designing research publications and deep emersion in the early recoverist agenda, I'm proud to be part of a new wave of socially engaged artists who aren't yet polluted by the dictates of self-styled 'venture philanthropists' that pollute the cultural landscape.

              The demise of the monstrous Wicked Witch of the East

Children’s Hospital Arts – The Poor Relation of The Poor Relation?
"Too often art commissioning in children’s hospitals has been patronising and clichéd, or simply relegated to an afterthought. Not only is it ‘just’ hospital art, it’s also ‘just’ for children.

If I had a penny for every time we’ve been asked to put something ‘fun’ up on the hospital walls, we could have bought a Picasso by now. I’ve lost count of the number of times it’s been suggested we just provide some glitter and colouring for the kids on the wards. Nothing wrong with a bit of glitter, but it’s no substitute for a quality creative arts programme.

The recently formed Paediatric Hospital Arts Network aims to promote and support arts teams in children’s hospitals – recognising the particular need and context of these settings. For instance, how does our work intersect with services you would only find in a children’s hospital – such as Play Therapy or Hospital Schools? There is pioneering work being done across the sector, such as the magnificent new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and innovative arts programmes at Evelina, Edinburgh Sick Kids, Artfelt in Sheffield, and Lime Arts in Manchester, plus many others..."

Want to know more? Then here's a great blog posting from Susannah Hall who is Joint Head of Arts at GOSH Arts. Click HERE to read it in full.


Sunday, 19 February 2017

The "HEY KIDS" issue....

Hey Kids - no need to be worried - there are just a few things I'd like to share this week, as I dash around like headless chicken! So if you're a Space Entrepreneur, a Youth Activist or a European dedicated to the positive development of young people - step forward and bang in a bid before the deadline. Who knows the projects you could devise. 

Competition to uncover space entrepreneurs of tomorrow 
Young people between the ages of 11 and 22 have until the 7th March 2017 to come up with ideas on how to use satellite data to improve life on Earth. The SatelLife Challenge, run by the UK Space Agency is looking for inspirational ideas from either individuals or teams linking satellite and space data and its application to everyday life. Examples could include:

  Using satellite data to tackle loneliness amongst elderly people
  Looking at changes to green spaces in towns
  Identifying exercise routes based on traffic flows.

The competition aims to support the development of science, data handling and technological skills and is split into three age groups (11 -16; 16 -18; 18 -22), there are five prizes of £5,000 for each age category with an overall winner receiving £10,000. The winners from each category will be able to pitch their idea to a panel from the space sector who will offer prizes, which could include mentoring, work experience and even the development of the idea into reality. Read more HERE.  

Youth Social Action Programme open for applications 
Registered charities, community groups and social enterprises in England can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 through the Youth Social Action Fund. The fund is part of the #iwill campaign and administered through local Community Foundations.  The campaign aims to increase the number of people between the ages of 10 and 20 years (25 for disabled people) who take part in youth social action. This can include campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, all of which enable participants to make a positive difference to their communities. The funding is available to organisations with an annual income of less than £500,000. Applications deadlines vary but are in general the end of February and early March. For more information on the application process, please click on the link below and then on the link for your local Community Foundation. Click HERE.

European Youth Foundation Grants 
The European Youth Foundation (EYF), which is an independent, international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to the positive development of children and young people has announced that the next deadline for applications to its grant making programme is the 1st April 2017. Two types of grants are available during this funding round. Grants of up to €20,000 for international youth meeting of young people or youth leaders; and grants of up to €50,000 towards an organisations / networks work programme for the following year. Read more HERE.

...and if you are easily upset, please don't click on the video below, which contains scenes of an unsettling nature. were warned!


Saturday, 11 February 2017


Dementia & Imagination: Research Informed Approaches to Visual Arts Interventions             
You’ll see - over there on the sidebar - there’s a Yellow Book. I’m pleased to publish one of the outputs of Dementia & Imagination, which is a research informed handbook for visual artists working in a dementia context. This handbook is not a tool-kit of prescription exercises to deliver visual arts projects, and it’s not an evaluation guide - there are enough of those out there already! What it is, is one result of a research project and is intended to be used by artists and other people who plan to deliver arts-based activities with people who are living with dementia. It is a set of useful ideas and recommendations that come from a robust research project setting out some foundations for developing visual arts projects with and for, people affected by dementia.

It is designed to be as accessible as possible. In it you will find information about the Dementia & Imagination project; some key ingredients for delivering research-informed visual arts projects; case studies, a set of guiding principles, quotes from people involved in the programme, and some recommendations. By clicking HERE you can also download a write up of the Research Protocol that has been published in the BMJ Open, and the Methodological Approach published in Cultural Trends. The handbook is freely available online and we’ll have hardcopies available soon, more details of which will follow on this blog or at the D&I website. 

Age UK - the Index of Wellbeing in Later Life 2017
Being 'creative' and 'open' boosts wellbeing in later life Age UK's Wellbeing Index finds that age isn't a barrier to living well. The Wellbeing in Later Life Index, developed by Age UK and the University of Southampton, analysed data from 15,000 people aged 60 and over to measure the wellbeing of the UK's older population. It looked at how people were doing in different aspects of their lives under five key areas ' social, personal, health, financial and environmental. Overall it showed there is no 'magic bullet' for positive wellbeing in later life and that instead, a whole host of factors under each of the key areas play a part in contributing to a person's overall sense of wellbeing. Find outmode and read the full report HERE.
The Value of Cultural Learning
The Arts empower children & improve life chances. The Cultural Learning Alliance has published its new core document ImagineNation: the value of cultural learning.  The document pulls together all the available evidence on the impact of the arts and culture to children’s lives, alongside quotes, stats and arguments from a wide range of sources including the Bank of England, LEPs, Police Commissioners and the Children’s Commissioner, parents, teachers and UCAS.  The document can be used to help make the case for the importance of arts and heritage in the lives of children, young people and their families. Click HERE.
1. Participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%.
2. Learning through arts and culture can improve attainment in Maths and English.
3. Learning through arts and culture develops skills and behaviour that lead children to do better in school.
4. Students from low-income families who take part in arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree.
5. Employability of students who study arts subjects is higher and they are more likely to stay in employment.
6. Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer.
7. Students from low-income families who engage in the arts at school are 20% more likely to vote as young adults.
8. Young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18% less likely to re-offend.
9. Children who take part in arts activities in the home during their early years are ahead in reading and Maths at age nine.
10. People who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to report good health.

Alder Hey & Twin Vision
This films below shows the process oncology patients from unit 3B at Alder Hey took, to make an educational animation as a tool for newly diagnosed patients. The animation will help support new patients to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings and offer a fun introduction through an animation made for young people by young people. You can see the final animated film, by clicking HERE.

The Mindful Museum
Over the past four years Manchester Art Gallery (MAG) has been developing mindfulness activities across their learning programmes with a range of audiences, exploring just how this valuable skill can be employed in the appreciation of art. In this way, they have helped people to engage more fully with their permanent collection as well as with the special exhibitions. In encountering familiar works as well as art that is entirely new to them, participants have been able to reflect upon the importance of their own mental health. As The Mindful Museum, they have launched a programme of events, seminars and training sessions around art and mindfulness. Click HERE to find out more.

#iwill Youth Social Action Fund 
A £50 million investment as part of the #iwill campaign, coordinated by Step up To Serve, has been launched to help increase the number of young people taking part in social action. The ‘#iwill Fund’ is made up of a £40 million joint commitment by the UK Government and Big Lottery Fund, boosted by Comic Relief; Pears Foundation; and UK Community Foundations. These match-funders will invest an additional £9.6 million to the #iwill Fund. Click HERE.

Funding for artists & bands 
PRS for Music Foundation has announced that the next application deadline for the Momentum Music Fund is the 21st February 2017. The Momentum Music Fund offers grants of £5,000-£15,000 for artists/bands to break through to the next level of their careers. Activities eligible for support include recording, touring and marketing. Click HERE.

Опубліковано запис нападу на виставку художника Чичкана з камер спостереження
Last Tuesday, February 8, a group of masked men and women attacked the Visual Culture Research Centre (VCRC) in Kiev, destroying an exhibition by the Ukrainian artist David Tschitschkan. The VCRC has repeatedly been criticised and attacked by right-wing extremists in recent years. David Tschitschkan, born in 1986, represents of a new generation of artists in Kiev and positions himself as an anarchist. This exhibition revolved around the question of what the impact of the Maidan protests of 2013-2014 could have been, and included drawings depicting right-wing nationalists on both sides of the Eastern-Ukrainian front line, each using identical slogans, differing only in the language used: Ukrainian or Russian. (Thanks to MP and ArtNet)

❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎
❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ 
 ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ 
❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎ ❄︎

Saturday, 4 February 2017


The numbers of visits to this blog and messages about its content, has been steadily rising over the last 7 years, with an average of 7000 visits of five minutes or more each month. So a big thank you to all of you who drop by in this uncertain world, for a bit of light music, a not-so-gentle prod at neo-liberal arts and health appropriators - and just one or two pieces of incoherent rambling (oh, and funding, conferences and jobs too). Anyhow,  thank you - and thanks for the messages of solidarity too!

This week I hoped to consolidate some of the Dementia & Imagination event into a blog posting, but in all honesty, it's a far bigger job than that, and after such a rich event at Wellcome, I'll put a bit more effort into it, consolidate some of the key messages/outputs (including our free research informed handbook for artists) and get it all online, just as soon as humanly possible.

I did get to share a couple of artistic outputs alongside many of the artists involved in the research project, and am bursting to share! The image below is just a taster to whet your appetite. Its key messages distilled from research data focus on:

As well as the ground-breaking Access Programme at MoMA curating the exhibition Dear Mr. President, The Museum of Modern Art has made some strong curatorial decisions this week and 'in one of the strongest protests yet by a major cultural institution against President Trump’s executive order on immigration, the Museum of Modern Art has rehung part of its permanent collection with works by artists from some of the majority-Muslim nations whose citizens are blocked from entering the United States.' You can read more by clicking on the painting by Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi (My Father and I) (1962).

Dancing in Damascus
I've not read this book yet, but it's the top of the pile to read! "The reaction to revolution in Syria was cultural as well as political. Independent radio stations and newspapers blossomed alongside popular poetry and street graffiti. This is a story largely untold in the west: who knew, for instance, of the full houses, despite bombardment, during Aleppo’s theatre festival in 2013?

Dancing in Damascus by Arabist and critic miriam cooke (so she writes her name, uncapitalised) aims to fill the gap, surveying cultural responses to revolution, repression, war and exile. Dancing is construed both as metaphor for collective solidarity – the anarchist Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, it isn’t my revolution” – and as literal practice. At protests, Levantine dabke dance was elevated from folklore to street-level defiance, just as popular songs were transformed into revolutionary anthems."

To read this review in full, click on the photograph of a scene from Queens of Syria, which director Yasmin Fedda incorporated into her prize-winning documentary. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian.

Each year I support masters students from the Manchester School of Art across a range of disciplines, to explore health themes. This year has had a focus on ageing and the group are curating an exhibition in the Manchester Craft & Design Centre on 23rd and 24th February. Come along and meet the makers and have a chat, or take part in the workshops. See the flyer below for more details and follow @LossInheritance 

BBC Children in Need – Small Grants Programme
Not for profit organisations such as schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 per year for up to three years through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects working with children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:
. Illness, distress, abuse or neglect; any kind of disability
. Behavioural or psychological difficulties
. And / or living in poverty or situations of deprivation.
The closing date for applications is the 1st March 2017. Read more HERE.  

Funding for Innovation in the Circus Arts
The National Centre for Circus Arts has announced that the Lab:time programme has re-opened for applications. Lab:time is the Centre for Circus Arts programme for innovation and experimentation in the Circus Arts and is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Through Lab:time individual artists and companies are able to secure research and development time in the Creation Studio at the National Centre for Circus Arts, as well as small but significant amounts of seed funding to support the first stages of exploration. It is hoped that by offering artists the means to explore their ideas at the very beginning of the creative process critical mass of creative development will be generated that will, over time, generate an increase in the quality and quantity of new circus-based performance across the UK. The deadline for applications will be 5pm on the 16th March 2017. Read more HERE.  

How do we care in the 21st Century? What can be automated and what needs a human touch? Co-created by young carers and artists Annette Mees & Tom Bowtell, Hidden is an immersive show over three floors, made with young carers, exploring ideas about the future of caring. Hidden asks you to decide what the future should look like. Last few days of performances, this week.
Tickets and more details available by clicking on the image above.
The Horsfall at 42nd Street - Manchester

Grants to help new, innovative visual arts projects
The Elephant Trust has announced the next deadline for applications is the 10th April 2017. The Trust offers grants to artists and for new, innovative visual arts projects based in the UK. It aims to make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when confronted by lack of funds. The Trust supports projects that develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the fine arts. Priority is given to artists and small organisations and galleries making or producing new work or exhibitions. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered. Read more HERE. 

WHSmith Community Grant 
Voluntary organisations, charities schools and pre-schools can apply for grants of up to £500 from the WHSmith Trust. The WHSmith Trust is an independent registered charity that uses the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag charges across the UK to offer the grants to support good causes in the local communities where WHSmith operates.
There are two application rounds each year. The deadline for the current funding round is the 31st March 2017. The next deadline will be the 30th September 2017. Read more HERE.