Sunday, 24 July 2016

...Wau Wau


Boris Johnson? What more can I say? Leaving him to one side, we now have Karen Bradley as Culture Secretary - Yay! A Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser, Karen has worked in public practice from 1991 to 2004, first for Deloitte & Touche and then for KPMG. In 2004, she became a self-employed fiscal and economic consultant. Karen rejoined KPMG in 2007, where she remained until shortly before her election to the House of Commons. 

The Department of Health remains under the safe stewardship of Jeremy Hunt, who will undoubtably continue his incremental privatisation of the NHS, but at least he has David Mowat as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Community Health and Care, who after graduating, qualified as a chartered accountant. He joined the consultancy firm Accenture where he became a global managing partner. Joining Jeremy and David comes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation, Nicola Blackwood who at least doesn’t seem to be an accountant and apparently is ‘a trustee of a special school academy near her home and the patron of several charities’. 


Project Co-ordinator (Freelance) for 
Lancashire Not Forgotten
Deadline: Friday 19th August 2016 at 12 noon 
Fee: £19,500 (inclusive of travel) 
Duration: 12 months, part time (3 days per week) 
Location: Burnley, Blackburn and Blackpool 
Lancashire Not Forgotten is a heritage and arts project which will recognise that people living with dementia, are a rich source of information and social history. The project will evidence that they have stories to tell and a rich life experience which if explored, recorded and shared can not only empower the individual, but potentially help us all to better understand the areas in which we live. We are a collaboration between Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council. It explores the strands of work, rest and play; one theme per authority and collectively unites communities through reminiscence borne of shared heritage.

The role is to coordinate the different elements of the project across the three authorities. It will involve liaising with venues, community groups and charities, artists and volunteers to ensure successful delivery of programmes of events in each locality and then the collection, documentation and sharing of the material produced and gathered.

Duties include:
•To arrange events at heritage and library venues in liaison with partners
•To recruit and manage artists and their production of artwork
•To co-ordinate, capture and document stories
•To liaise with families living with dementia
•To co-ordinate publicity and PR of events
•To manage partnerships
•To recruit, train and manage volunteers
•To train colleagues and staff as dementia friends.
•To arrange data collection and evaluation information
•To manage the project budget
For full job description and application details please email: Russell Tennant, Arts Development Manager, Lancashire County Council at russell.tennant@lancashire.gov.uk


Digital Arts & Creative Ageing Fund
Deadline: 12pm, Tuesday 16 August 2016
Digital Arts & Creative Ageing is a collaborative grant funding programme developed by Nominet Trust and The Baring Foundation. This programme is all about improving engagement with the creative arts by older people across the UK, with the associated benefits to general health and wellbeing which such participation brings. This is an open grant funding programme. We are seeking strong and innovative applications from entrepreneurial-minded organisations that have already demonstrated the distinctive value that digital technology and the internet can bring to connecting older people with the creative arts – and the beneficial social outcomes offered by this broadening of digital engagement.

Digital Arts & Creative Ageing will provide funding and support to help you scale and sustain products or services that have already been trialled and have evidence of uptake, with the aim of developing their social, user and financial value. Applications are open to UK-based organisations, including for-profits, charities and community interest companies that work with UK beneficiaries. The open call for stage one applications closes on 16 August 2016, with selected organisations invited to stage two of the application process. The successful organisations will be announced in November 2016. If your application is successful, you can expect to receive:
•Grant funding for each project of up to £90,000 – depending on the requirements and the number of projects chosen for funding.
•Funder support for project delivery over an 18-month period.
•A support package including mentoring, marketing & communications advice and networking opportunities.
For full details and criteria, please click on the cherry blossom. 


Grants to Help New, Innovative Visual Arts Projects 
The Elephant Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 3rd October 2016. The Trust offers grants to artists and for new, innovative visual arts projects based in the UK. The Trust's aim is 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 now being given to artists and small organisations and galleries who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions. Arts Festivals are not supported. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered. http://elephanttrust.org.uk/docs/intro.html



People’s Postcode Trust: 2016 Grants
Deadline: 30 Sep
People’s Postcode Trust exists to try to make the world a better place through short-term, designated funding for projects that focus on the prevention of poverty, support healthy living initiatives and uphold human rights for some of society’s most vulnerable groups. It will also consider projects which help different communities come together for the benefit of their local area. Registered charities in England, Scotland & Wales can apply from £500-£20,000 (£10,000 in Wales), whilst other organisations may apply for up to £2,000. Read more at: http://www.postcodetrust.org.uk/applying-for-a-grant
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Saturday, 16 July 2016

...ALL CHANGE

...and feeling unbearably dissociated from everything on this island.


A GENTLE REMINDER
Arts, Health & Wellbeing Inquiry: Call for Practice Examples
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPG) is collaborating with King’s College London on an Inquiry into Arts, Health and Wellbeing. The Inquiry is seeking contributions to aid in its research into the health and wellbeing outcomes of arts and cultural activity. The purpose of the Inquiry is to develop policy recommendations and inform a vision for political leadership in the field of arts, health and wellbeing. The Inquiry is seeking examples of the arts and culture influencing health and wellbeing outcomes. Deadline for submissions is 19 August 2016 and you can find full details and relevant documents HERE.



Applications open for the 2016/17 Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards 
Deadline: Monday 1 August 2016 at 10.00am
Venues in England are invited to apply to host the 2016/17 Awards, to support a creative writer to work with a school and a gallery/art museum/visual art venue. Three Awards of £6,000 each will be made to the selected venues for an activity, which will take place from January to March 2017. Click on A Midsummer Night's Dream for more details.


Lloyds Bank Foundation announces next funding round for its “Invest” Programme
The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales, which provides funding to charities for projects to help people break their cycle of disadvantage, has announced that its "Invest" grants programme will re-open for applications on the 5th September 2016 and will close at 5pm on the 14th October 2016. Invest" is a flexible, long term core funding programme for charities helping disadvantaged people. Invest grants are from £10,000 up to maximum of £25,000 per year for two or three years, with the opportunity for continuation funding for a further period - up to six years in total. Invest grants fund core running costs such as rent, heating, lighting and management costs etc, as well as project delivery costs such as salaries, recruitment, volunteer expense and training, etc. The Foundation also runs a smaller "Enable" programme which provides grants of up to £15,000 for up to 2 years for activities relating to organisational development such as leadership and governance, improved systems and demonstrating outcomes. Applications to the "Enable" programme can be made at any time. Read more by clicking on the Eclipse of the Sun by George Grosz, below. 

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Saturday, 9 July 2016

. . . - - - . . . c'est si bon?

The Homeless Library
a catalogue of homeless lives
"We tell you stuff because we think we can trust you. Trust is the biggest thing of all, it is the biggest thing I own."


The Homeless Library is lived history, people's descriptions of their own lives, as told by contemporary homeless people. Alongside the interviews, poems and artworks inscribed into handmade books tell an emotional history. Homeless people have created a first-person history of British homelessness, exhibiting at The Poetry Library, Southbank 9 July-18 September. It includes individual testimonies, poetry and art written in handmade books, lending insight into experiences of Britain's homeless. A free 200 page ebook, The Homeless Library, including interviews, poems and artworks has been created as a catalogue for the exhibition and can be downloaded by clicking on the image above. 
Venue: The Poetry Library, Level 5, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre


A New Report on Arts and Health from New South Wales
Two reports on Arts & Health have been published in Australia this last week, the first from Western Australia featured on last weeks blog. This week sees the launch of the Report of the Arts & Health Taskforce in New South Wales, and NSW Health & the Arts Framework with an introductions by Minister for Health Jillian Skinner MP. These are interesting times and it's good to see parallels between the advanced work of the All Party Parliamentary Group in the UK and this strategic development in Australia. Read more by clicking on the banner above. Thanks to Margret Meagher of The Australia Centre for Arts & Health for sharing this.



The Iraq Inquiry
In case you missed it, another report was published this week - that of the inquiry into the War in Iraq, also known as the Iraq Inquiry or Chilcot Report. At over 2 million words, it would be easy to put this to one side and just accept former Prime Ministers well planned responses and blinkered justification for the war in Iraq. You should listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview with him on the Today Programme. I was rather disappointed with the John Humphrys line of questioning though, and for once, would have rather he’d been submitted to the grilling of some hysterical shock-jock, but I am sure there’s some test we could submit Mr Blair to, to see where he fits on the Psychopathic Scale.


Weapons of Mass Happiness
For my small part, I share a short film of Louis Armstrong singing C’est si Bon in 1962, to which I’ve added some material as a taster for my forthcoming presentation called Weapons of Mass Happiness which I’ll be giving as the keynote at ARTLANDS Festival on 27th October, and then at the 8th Annual International Arts and Health Conference, organised by The Australian Centre for Arts and Health at the Art Gallery of New South Wales between 16 - 18th November this year.

What’s it all about? - well - its about reframing our arts/health agenda more explicitly in terms of social justice and inequalities for one thing, and an exploration of something darker than the instrumentalisation of the arts in the service of the state, and will include a small but vicious kick to Mr Blair. Want a quick taster? Click on the 'we are all happy' image below, but I don’t want to spoil my presentation - so - less is more!



In light of the political chaos that surrounds us on our little island following ‘brexit’ it’s heartening to see allies across Europe sharing their vision around culture and the arts in this British Council published report, which I recommend to you... 

The Morning After Report: 
The future of the UK’s cultural relationship with other European nations
This collection of essays from figures in the worlds of culture, politics and science reflect on the UK’s cultural relationship with Europe in the wake of the EU referendum. Each was asked not to lobby for one position or another, but instead to imagine a constructive and realistic future for the UK’s cultural conversation. Thanks to Artūras Vasiliauskas for sharing and click on the image below to read the full report.


Grants to Help New, Innovative Visual Arts Projects 
The Elephant Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 27th June 2016. The Trust offers grants to artists and for new, innovative visual arts projects based in the UK. The Trust's aim is 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 now being given to artists and small organisations and galleries who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions. Arts Festivals are not supported. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered. Click on this link for more details. http://elephanttrust.org.uk/docs/intro.html?mc_cid=e53f544c4e&mc_eid=cb33862c36

BBC Children in Need – Small Grants Programme 
Not for profit organisations such as such schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects that help children and young people experiencing:
+ Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
+ Any kind of disability
+ Behavioural or psychological difficulties' and / or living in situations of deprivation.
Read more at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4fJVTzz5QmQx5rx0S4NVg0Q/small-grants?mc_cid=e53f544c4e&mc_eid=cb33862c36 

£200,000 Available to Support Women Innovators 
Innovate UK has up to £200,000 and a package of tailored support to award to businesswomen who have exciting ideas and the potential to become leaders in innovation and deliver significant economic growth. This is the first women only Innovate UK competition and is part of a new ‘infocus' initiative to encourage diversity in innovation. The competition is open to any woman in the UK with experience in business innovation and each of the 12 finalists in the competition will receive a package of support tailored to their needs, and the four winners will each receive £50,000 to support their innovation project or activities. Innovate UK are looking for women who have real potential to become leaders in business innovation and/or successful entrepreneurs and have exciting ideas that promise significant economic value to the UK. The closing date for applications is the 12th August 2016. Read more at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/women-in-innovation-apply-for-infocus-funding-award?mc_cid=e53f544c4e&mc_eid=cb33862c36 
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Sunday, 3 July 2016

...what Monstrous Thing rhymes with Stove?

What on earth do I say about the political chaos in the UK? Not much really - we’re being governed (or not) by a set of machiavellian idiots. Give me governance that offers calm and considered leadership based on long-term vision, social justice and equality - not some vile Murdoch sycophant and trumped-up journalist. Let’s hope, out of all this chaos something will emerge. 



I have had the enormous pleasure of working with Vic McEwan this last 2 weeks with patients and colleagues at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where Vic is undertaking a major project around sound in a 21st century health environment. Vic also shared his work alongside Dr Toby Heys who left me throbbing after his wonderful sub-sonic sounds! Thank you both and I am looking forward to sharing this work with you as it unfolds between now and next March.


AN EXAMINATION OF THE USE OF THE ARTS TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND HEALING IN WESTERN AUSTRALIAN HOSPITALS
The Chamber of Arts and Culture WA and the WA Arts and Health Consortium last week, released its report into arts activity in WA hospitals. To read the full report, click on the image of Purnalulu above.


Evidence of Experience 
with Christine Douglass
Presentation & discussion led by film maker/scientist Christine Douglass about her collaborative research involving women experiencing breast cancer.
14th July 2016
14.00 to 16.00
Manchester School of Art
In visual explorations of the lives of those diagnosed with breast cancer, extreme vulnerability, the irreducibility of experience, and multiple co-existing experiential truths challenge the limits of representation and exhibition, raising many ethical questions. Christine Douglass’s praxis is based on the belief that working with individuals experiencing illness demands a respectful, collaborative research relationship. She will describe how and why she transitioned from scientist to filmmaker and what collaboration means in the context of her work, focussing on the ethics of how filmmakers, artists & researchers enter into other people’s lives and represent their feelings and experiences. Find out more about Christine's work by clicking on the image by T. Burke below. If you are interested in attending or want more information and copies of a short reading associated with the discussion please contact Jane Brake j.brake@mmu.ac.uk and remember, this is an event that's been organised by Jane and not Arts for Health, so direct any questions to her at the above email address. 

Still from What if? T.Burke, 2012

Artists International Development Fund 
The next application deadline for the Arts Council England's Artists International Development Fund is 5pm on the 26th October 2016. This funding stream is for artists to develop links with artists, organisations and/or creative producers in other countries. Freelance and self-employed artists can apply for small grants of £1,000 to £5,000 to spend time building these links to broaden their horizons and open their work to other perspectives. The programme is open to emerging and mid-career artists working in combined arts, literature, music, theatre, dance, visual arts and crafts and design. Applicants must have received recognition for their work in England and not have extensive international experience. The application must also a letter of support from the overseas partner/host. Read more at
http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/artists-international-development-fund?mc_cid=401811abed&mc_eid=cb33862c36 



Funding for Music Creators 
The Performing Rights Society (PRS) for Music Foundation, the UK's leading funder of new music across all genres, has announced that the next application deadline for its funding programme for organisations and music creators is the 3rd October 2016. Funding is available to any music creator such as songwriters; composers; and solo artists; etc as well as not-for-profit organisation that support the creation and performance of outstanding new music. Through this programme, music creators as well as bands; ensembles; collectives; charities; local authority and schools; etc can apply for grants of up to £5,000. For example, AudioActive, a registered charity working to challenge disadvantage and enhance the development of children and young people by providing high quality creative and musical experiences throughout the South East, received funding. Funding was used to deliver music workshops to children and young people, with the aim of helping to nurture talented young musicians. http://www.prsformusicfoundation.com/funding/the-open-fund/?mc_cid=401811abed&mc_eid=cb33862c36
 
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Sunday, 26 June 2016

...an existential blunt force trauma


Without doubt, I am suffering the consequences of an existential blunt force trauma. Last week I bleated uselessly about the lack of black and minority ethnic representation in the arts/health field, and in the blink of an eye the democracy I so cherish has meted out a slow death knell to Europe and free movement. Democracy in action, mediated by those without much to offer in the way of substance, just hyperbole - estimated facts, figures and fear. 

A near medieval image of utopia has been peddled by the nationalists and the fictitious world of Post-War Britain can be promulgated again in our little Albion, destined I’m sure, to become A Trump Anglo-Saxon theme park. Permission has now been given to all our neighbours to ferment their own isolated nationalistic delusions. Whose idea was it to have a referendum anyway? Oh I remember. But I cant seem to recall anyone asking for one in the first place. We need to move fast and if social justice and inequalities are to be visible in the political agenda - and our arts and agenda have any vision and purpose - we need to stop the inevitable march of the monstrous ‘free market’ state that will rapidly consume anything in its path. I can see the vapid forces of pseudo arts and health venture philanthropists laughing in the corner and preparing to capitalise on this political vacuum. 

As 1 of the 48% who chooses to identify as European and remain in the union, I say, all hail free thinkers - a new political generation might be motivated into action by all this? I will remain proudly European and enjoy learning from, and with my friends ‘on the continent’ - and us all growing together.


To those European partners we've worked with recently:

We are friends and cultural partners
 Mes esame draugai ir kultūros partneraai
  Táimid cairde agus le comhpháirtithe cultúrtha
   Biz arkadaşız ve kültürel ortakları
    Ми друзі і культурні партнери
      Siamo amici e partner culturali
       We zijn vrienden en culturele partners
        Olemme ystäviä ja kulttuurialan osapuolten
         Nous sommes amis et partenaires culturels
          Wir sind Freunde und Kulturpartnern
            Oleme sõbrad ja kultuurilise partner
             Somos amigos e parceiros culturais

Still - Billy Childish offers us his unique advice on dealing with our more local frustrations at Farrage et al. No apologies for any offence caused and thank you Billy.


RECOVERISM and UTOPIA
I had a treat to witness the flourishing European movement that is Recoverism this weekend. Alongside colleagues from Dementia & Imagination - who shared work in the context of Sir Thomas More's vision of Utopia - Recoverists from Manchester shared their brave, challenging and beautiful work at Somerset House in Little Britain’s theme-park capital. 

WONDERLAND
A film by Amanda Ravetz 

Alongside Portraits of Recovery’s Mark Prest, artist and visual anthropologist Dr Amanda Ravetz, artist Cristina Nunez and Recoverist Jayne Gosnall had produced some sumptuous interactive work under the banner of WONDERLAND, to which I was invited to share the Recoverist Manifesto. Performing a reading of the manifesto reminded me of how it couldn’t have happened without fellow Recoverists in Italy, Turkey, Lithuania, Holland, Ireland and the UK. 


Utopia then - what’s that all about - Europa perhaps? Oh no lets stick with the cloying nostalgia for a much fabled yesteryear and go for Pangaea!


Winston Churchill Memorial Trust: Travelling Fellowships
Deadline: 20 Sep
In 2017, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing around £1.3 million in British citizens by awarding 150 Travelling Fellowships. This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole. Read more at: http://www.wcmt.org.uk/?mc_cid=1542d9273d&mc_eid=cb33862c36 

ARTS & HEALTH OUTCOMES
Your Evidence Wanted
As part of an Inquiry into the role of the arts in health and social care, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts, Health and Wellbeing is seeking examples of the arts and culture influencing health and wellbeing outcomes. The APPG is interested in examples of practice from the past decade, where there is reasonably reliable evidence of outcomes or evidence that a pilot or new approach has promise. Submissions are invited of up to 1,000 words, arranged according to headings outlined in the guidance. For the guidance, definitions and further information about the Inquiry, please go to: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/Cultural/-/Projects/Arts,-Health-and-Wellbeing-Inquiry.aspx    
The deadline for submissions is Friday 19 August 2016.


SOUND Arts & Health Event
Vic McEwan and Toby Heys will be sharing their practice on Tuesday this week, ten tickets are left HERE. I'm thrilled to have Vic working here at Alder Hey and some profound work is unfolding, which we'll share over the coming year. A huge thanks to Vicky Charnock for making it all possible and for Jane Radcliffe and her outstanding team - particularly one person whose having treatment at Alder Hey and is working with Vic on some collaborative work. Quite beautiful stuff.



Arts Council England told to promote everyday creativity
ACE advised to change funding structures to promote everyday creativity
Street parties, guerrilla gardening and engagement with cultural buildings must be encouraged if creativity is to become as accessible as sport, a new report has concluded. Arts Council England (ACE) should create a new small grants fund to ensure ‘everyday creativity’ is embedded across society, a new report has advised. It should also reconsider using language such as ‘excellence’ and ‘great art’, which ultimately discourages people without talent from practising creativity, and consider a more ‘democratic’ use of funded buildings and future capital developments. The report, produced by campaign group 64 million artists with funding from ACE, is the result of a five-month nationwide study into how to move from ‘Great Art For Everyone’ to ‘Great Art By, With and For Everyone’. It defines ‘everyday creativity’ as grassroots arts activity, encompassing everything from breakdancing in open spaces to guerrilla gardening and painting in sheds. Its publication follows the Warwick Commission Report, which found only 8% of the UK population regularly attend funded culture. It hopes to build on the success of projects and organisations with a similar agenda, such as BBC Get Creative, Fun Palaces, and Voluntary Arts.

  • A lack of an accessible space, either virtual or physical, in which to be creative;
  • A lack of general appreciation for process over product;
  • A lack of creativity in education and work, with pressures on teachers and continual assessment stifling playful creativity;
  • The apparent requirement to be ‘professional’ in everyday life, instead of expressing ideas and opinions.
Read it all by clicking on the beautiful and ancient green Ankerwycke Yew.

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

...do you see the noses growing - wonder where the truth is going?


BEARING WITNESS
Last Tuesday saw some of the pioneers of the arts and health movement come together at the Wellcome Trust to mark the Trust’s acquisition of arts and health archives as part of its 5-year strategic plan. The plan is to make this collection of archives available to the wider public. To mark the event Dr Langley Brown, Damian Hebron and Guy Eades have worked with Dr. Jenny Haynes, Head of Special Collections and Research at Wellcome, to organise and facilitate an Arts and Health Witness Seminar to mark this handover. I owe my huge thanks to them for this work and for inviting me to speak at the event which was chaired beautifully as ever, by Lord Howarth of Newport and with input from amongst others Peter Senior, Prof John Wyn Owen, Ali Clough, Gary Andsell and Prof Jane Macnaughton. Each ‘witness’ had five minutes to share their personal story and participants could ask questions of the panel. Lovely too, to have friends old and new in the room.

For my part, I chose to expand my thinking around public health and the arts and particularly what we know - but do so little to meaningfully address -  around social justice and inequalities. An extract from a performative presentation I’m preparing (Weapons of Mass Happiness), for a conference in the autumn, formed the basis of what I spoke about and I gently toyed with the casual racism of Oliver Letwin when he co-authored a confidential memo for Margret Thatcher’s Policy Unit following the Broadwater Farm Estate riots in 1988, in which he suggested that the riots were caused by bad behaviour not social conditions, arguing against investment in regeneration across the community, which he proposed would do little more than "subsidise Rastafarian arts and crafts workshops" where black "entrepreneurs will set up in the disco and drug trade.” Outrageous. 

I went on to explore an analysis of the 2011 riots across the UK, written by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in which they describe the inequalities that lay behind the riots as a ’social poison’ and the contributory factors that are well known: ‘lack of community, family difficulties, low social mobility, poor relations between police and young people, consumerism.’  The authors suggest that inequalities and status are rooted, ‘…in issues of dominance and subordination dating back to pre-human social ranking systems. They shape behaviour because we need different social strategies depending on where we come in the hierarchy and how hierarchical our society is’. 


It’s alarming then, that Oliver Letwin still works at the heart of UK Government and is currently Minister for Government Policy in the UK Cabinet Office, frequently described as a ‘cabinet of millionaires.’ You’ll be pleased to know then, that when his confidential memo became public, he expressed regret at any offence caused by his earlier comments. Well bravo Mr Letwin, that makes me confident in your ethical stance and that of our prime minister.

Before any official inquiry took place into the 2011 riots in the UK, writer Gillian Slovo was commissioned by Tricycle Theatre, to create a piece of verbatim theatre called The Riots about the events, and their possible causes, in which she used interviews from politicians, police, rioters and victims involved in the riots. Interestingly she spoke to the politician Michael Gove, who asked why young people needed the state to pay for services, when they could always join the scouts! Down with the kids Mr Gove.

Theatre critic Michael Billington described how, ‘once again, the theatre steals a march on officialdom {…} and, if the result can hardly be expected to provide any definitive answers, it asks the right questions in a way that is clear, gripping and necessary.’ Billington suggests as a piece of art, The Riots passes a vital test, ‘it offers us the evidence, and leaves us to form our own opinion as to why there is such anger on Britain's streets.’

Suggesting that artist led research offers us a nuanced understanding of how culture contributes to public debate, I highlighted the work of writer Jimmy McGovern, who has pre-empted the long-awaited Chilcot Inquiry into the legality of war in Iraq, through his drama REG about Reg Keys whose son died in 2003, in Iraq. Keys simply wanted an apology from Tony Blair when he stood against him in Sedgefield by-election 2005. Poignant, relevant and yet again, questioning the validity of what is considered gold-standard research - albeit this time, into weapons of mass destruction.

I posited the idea that we should be less concerned with instrumentalising the arts and more worried about the weaponising of the arts, particularly in light of the emergence of middle managers with little experience or vision in the field, and who are hell bent on commodifying the field - self aggrandising opportunists - who spot a hole in the market, and want to fill it with their ill-considered commercialisation of civic society. What the archive exposes however, is a slow and evolutionary reveal of intuition, experimentation and experience - born of vision.

But with the unpalatable Oliver Letwin on my mind, the seminar did leave me acutely aware that similarly to an event about devolution in Manchester earlier last week, we seemed to be a mono-cultural gathering. The old guard of the arts and health world appears to represent a very white mix, with, to my knowledge, no-one from black or minority ethnic communities in the room. In London or Manchester in 2016 - this is wrong in every way. I’m acutely aware of language when it comes to any form of discrimination - so please bear with me if I get it wrong - some questions then: 

What can we do about this?
I’ll do anything to help make change happen - get in touch with ideas.

Following the seminar, the first annual Mike White Lecture took place in which the poet Fiona Sampson gave a lovely presentation which conjoined her poetic research and healthcare, and something that Mike would have undoubtably been thrilled at. Mike was very present throughout the day.  

Biggest thanks to Langley Brown and John Hyatt for your enthusiasm and constant support.


SOUND - Arts & Health
An Afternoon with Vic McEwan and Toby Heys
Weds 29 June 2:00 - 5:00 
Manchester School of Art
Australian artist Vic McEwan is the Artistic Director of The Cad Factory, an innovative arts organisation based in regional NSW, Australia. He is the recipient of the Inaugural Arts NSW Regional Fellowship and was the 2015 Artist in Residence at the National Museum of Australia. Vic is in the UK over the next two weeks in residency at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and with Clive at the Manchester School of Art where we’re collaborating on joint work over 2015/17. Dr. Toby Heys is an artist working through and with a large range of electronic media technologies, mostly with a sonic focus. He is a Digital Technologies Researcher and Leader of the Future Technologies Research Centre at the Manchester School of Art and will present a project called ‘Furniture Music’, which is currently exhibiting at the Level Centre in Derbyshire. The project stemmed from working with people with Williams Syndrome, and more specifically from investigating their relationship to the soundscape given that many of those with the condition have a heightened sensitivity to music, noise and rhythm.

Vic will be giving a presentation about his recent arts practice focussing on 3 major projects. 


Buckingbong to Birrego - A 3 day walk over 55 km’s that commissioned artists to create work along the way.  This project started in collaboration with local Aboriginal Elders, at a place of historic Aboriginal Massacre and ended on a farm that is leading the way in environmental farming practice. Artists, community members, farmers and academics walked and camped and had discussions over three days that embraced tragedy, climate change and complexity.

Haunting - Vic’s major outcome of his residency at the National Museum of Australia was a project that explored the consequence of advances in technology that allowed the expansion of people and agriculture into inland Australia. This body of work was created by projecting large images over the Murrumbidgee River into shifting environmental conditions such as fog, mist, smoke. ThIs created a stunning series of images which propose to allow new understanding to emerge about the consequence of human decision making. 

Re-Hearing - This project is currently under development at Alder Hey Children’s hospital, and will see Vic, Clive and Arts Co-Ordinator Vicky Charnock working together to explore the negative effects of sound in hospitals and how artist led interventions might allow a process of education, understanding and rethinking.

Secure a very limited free place at this event by following this link: 
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/sound-arts-health-tickets-26074699127 


Meanwhile back in London
Sadiq Khan: I'll take the arts as seriously as housing and crime
London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged to take the arts as seriously as housing and crime.  The Mayor has vowed to take the arts as seriously as housing and crime, and confirmed he will appoint a “night czar” and help to protect music venues threatened with closure. Khan stated: “Supporting the arts and creative industries will be a core priority for my administration; right up there with housing, the environment and security, as one of the big themes that I want to define my time as Mayor. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/sadiq-khan-ill-take-the-arts-as-seriously-as-housing-and-crime-a3252086.html?mc_cid=7132b758e2&mc_eid=cb33862c36

People’s Postcode Trust: 2016 Grants
Deadline: 30 Sep
People’s Postcode Trust exists to try to make the world a better place through short-term, designated funding for projects that focus on the prevention of poverty, support healthy living initiatives and uphold human rights for some of society’s most vulnerable groups. It will also consider projects which help different communities come together for the benefit of their local area. Registered charities in England, Scotland & Wales can apply from £500-£20,000 (£10,000 in Wales), whilst other organisations may apply for up to £2,000
http://www.postcodetrust.org.uk/applying-for-a-grant

Paintings in Hospitals
Freelance Opportunity: Regional Coordinator (North East)
Contract: 12 months+, 30 hours per month (estimate). The role may include some evenings.
Fee: £400-450pcm retainer, exclusive of travel expenses
We are seeking a dynamic Regional Coordinator to help us increase the number of health and social care sites using our services in the North East of England.
As a national charity that uses art and creativity to improve the wellbeing of patients, staff and those caring for them, we create uplifting environments to benefit the lives of over 1.8 million patients, visitors and staff every year.
http://www.paintingsinhospitals.org.uk/about-us/vacancies 


'What I HATE about Arts in healthcare'
No - this isn't more about jumped-up twerps with their grandiose hyperbole, this is Victoria Jones formerly of Great Ormond Street Hospital and who launches her own organisation in Australia and starts with a naughty, but spot-on look, at what she hates about arts in healthcare! http://www.artshealthassociates.com/#!10-Things-I-Hate-About-Art-in-Healthcare/c1e1p/57564f560cf2cc77abfa8ea4 

                                                                                                                  . 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

...a few things to share:

Storytelling for Health Conference
Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June 2017 in Swansea, South Wales
Call for Contributions
Our aims are to acknowledge and celebrate the importance and growth of storytelling for health and to understand and promote good practice. To this end we are seeking contributions within the following three conference strands:
. Sharing good practice
. Sharing and building the evidence
. Embedding storytelling in health & sustainability
We would be delighted to hear about projects which facilitate communication and build shared language across different cultures (eg: patients and clinicians, artists and commissioners), projects which embed storytelling in training of health professionals, projects which have influenced policy, examples of project evaluations, examples of methodologies or projects which utilise different methodological approaches, case studies from any stage of the life of a project from origination to completion, inter-disciplinary evidence, and explorations of gaps in the existing research.
BBC Children in Need Small Grants Programme 
Not for profit organisations such as such schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects that help children and young people experiencing:
. Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
. Any kind of disability
. Behavioural or psychological difficulties' and / or living in situations of deprivation.
The closing date for applications is the 1st September 2016. Read more at:

£200,000 Available to Support Women Innovators 
Innovate UK has up to £200,000 and a package of tailored support to award to businesswomen who have exciting ideas and the potential to become leaders in innovation and deliver significant economic growth. This is the first women only Innovate UK competition and is part of a new ‘infocus' initiative to encourage diversity in innovation. The competition is open to any woman in the UK with experience in business innovation and each of the 12 finalists in the competition will receive a package of support tailored to their needs, and the four winners will each receive £50,000 to support their innovation project or activities. Innovate UK are looking for women who have real potential to become leaders in business innovation and/or successful entrepreneurs and have exciting ideas that promise significant economic value to the UK. The closing date for applications is the 12th August 2016. Read more at: