Sunday, 8 December 2013
At last, my feet are back on the ground in Blighty and I’m back in thick of things. So much to report from Australia and the beautiful Lithuania, where I finished a three-part training programme with artists and designers and which culminated in a public lecture in the National Art Gallery of Lithuania. Thank you to all of you who took part in this work and I hope its the start of great things. Big thanks to all of you at Socialiniai Meno Projektai and The British Council, who made it all possible. This is a beautiful, vibrant and creative country.
Just, what on earth can you put in your mouth safely?
Good grief - I hear you sigh! What’s this all about? I had a message from a friend who is working with people with advanced dementia who inevitably, put things in their mouths. We’ve been having a discussion about what is appropriate/safe etc. It’s a tricky question, particularly in such a risk-averse world. For my part, here and now, eating tasty almonds, I realise the risk of choking is high. Perhaps natural liquorice root? So...if you have the time and energy, would you give a thought about domestic objects (not necessarily edible) that might not be a danger, but that might perhaps, provide some level of stimulation. Please email ideas to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALDER HEY IN THE PARK
This weekend, I was thrilled to meet children and young people at the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital, Alder Hey where I am embarking on a new research and evaluation project exploring the impact of the hospital’s arts strategy on the health and wellbeing of the whole community of Alder Hey. The evaluation will be led by children and young people and supported by MA art and design students from MMU, with input from MMU psychology graduate Sarah Williams. More news to follow very soon. Just a big thanks to all at Alder Hey who contributed to our first session. BIG THINGS AHEAD.
TOWARDS A RECOVERY MANIFESTO
Many of you were involved in the development of the Manifesto for Arts, Health and Wellbeing and its influence on the National Charter for Arts, Health and Wellbeing. Well, revisiting some of that methodology, over 2014 I’ll be working with people affected by substance addiction issues to develop what we’re calling at the moment, a Recovery Manifesto. Over January I’ll be facilitating sessions in Liverpool and Manchester with a whole range of people who are either in recovery, or are closely connected to someone who is. The sessions have come about through my work with Mark Prest, whose organisation, Portraits of Recovery challenges our perceptions of recovery and who I’m working with in Turkey and Italy alongside partners in those countries. So, what is this manifesto all about?
To an extent, this work echoes the Recovery Bill of Rights which strives to influence policy and action at the local, regional, national and international levels to help individuals and families get the help they need. We want to think about the prejudice that stems from public ignorance and fear - respond - and take action.
Critically, we want to give a human and public face to recovery and believe that a key way to do this, is through conversation, dialogue and exchange. Individuals, families and communities will be central to this process.
This project is proud not to be supported by the Pharmaceutical Industry or any commercial organisation out to mask its own profiteering through a superficial Corporate Social Responsibility smoke-screen, and is positively driven by people affected by substance addiction and recovery in the UK and further afield. The dates for the January sessions will be posted on this blog over the next two weeks, with details about how to sign up for one of the manifesto sessions. If you are an organisation involved in recovery and/or the arts in any European country, and want to get involved, just email email@example.com
DEMENTIA & IMAGINATION SURVEY
Remember, to inform the Dementia and Imagination research project, we’d love you to complete this simple survey if you’ve been involved in arts/dementia work. This will help inform our theoretical framework. thanks in anticipation, and feel free to circulate.
Volant Charitable Trust
Registered charities whose purpose is to alleviate poverty and social deprivation with particular emphasis on children and women’s issues have the opportunity to apply for funding through the Volant Charitable Trust. The Trust which was set up by the author J K Rowling also supports research into the causes, treatment and possible cures of Multiple Sclerosis. However this funding stream is currently fully committed and is currently not considering further applications for funding in this area. Applications for projects in Scotland are dealt with by the Scottish Community Foundation. The next application deadline is the 10th January 2014. http://www.volanttrust.com/index.html
Ordnance Survey Announces GeoVations Challenge
Entrepreneurs, developers, community groups, innovators, etc have the opportunity to apply for a share of £100,000 though the Ordnance Survey latest Geovation Challenge. The challenge encourages individuals and groups to submit great geography, technology and design-based ideas, which will help remove the barriers to people engaging in active lifestyles, particularly focusing on activities which take part in open spaces. The £100,000 development fund will be offered to four entries for best use of its data including OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace; together with other open data sources. The deadline for applications is the 8th January 2014. https://challenge.geovation.org.uk/
Job vacancy at a-n for an Executive Director
Closing date: 13 January 2014
a-n The Artists Information Company is seeking an exceptional individual to lead the organisation with passion and empathy for artists and the visual arts, and build on the organisation’s unique national and international role. a-n The Artists Information Company stimulates and supports contemporary visual arts practice and affirms artists value in society. Our over 18,500 members encompasses artists, art students, arts professionals, producers and researchers.
Leading an experienced dispersed team delivering business and artistic objectives in a fast changing, complex and unpredictable operating environment, the Executive Director will be entrepreneurial and innovative in developing new products and relationships within visual arts, higher education and culture, ensuring knowledge and finance are manipulated to evolve mission and membership.
For full job description, salary and details of how to apply please visit: http://www.thinkingpractice.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/AN-job-pack_form-copy.pdf
Thank you for your visit to this blog...C.P.
Posted by Arts for Health at 19:19
Saturday, 30 November 2013
This phenomena is real. Let me explain. In the outback of Australia I lost my lap-top - worse than that - I left it in a donga! In a place called Quilpie. I hand’t realised this until I’d got to Windorah and crashed out in the Western Star Motel, over 5 hours up an unsealed road. I felt sick. My life is on that machine and it wasn’t backed up. (my life wasn't backed up?) Near to tears I asked the motel owner Marilyn, if we could ring the roadhouse that ran the donga. She got straight onto it and within five minutes, she was speaking to road-train drivers, bakers and DJ’s (seriously...DJ Duck) and had identified the whereabouts of my machine and a driver to bring it out. Within 10 hours, my laptop was back in my arms. Can you imagine if you lost your laptop in Manchester? It would never be seen again, yet here in a vast landscape with so few people (6 children at the school here) the bush-telegraph works, people go out of their way to help. So it was, I met up with Geoff in Birdsville, the guy who so kindly had driven my laptop out to me, without any fuss, just as a favour. Now that’s another story.
This week, the Arts and Health training I’ve been delivering in Lithuania with Socialiniai Meno Projektai comes to a close. My work has been part of a rolling programe of activity supported by the British Council and has seen the input of amongst others the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, Pia Strandman, Jenny Elliot and Carmel Garvey. This Thursday I am thrilled to be speaking at the National Gallery of Lithuania. Following my presentation I’ll be joined for a discussion by participants in this years artists training: Eglė Gudonytė, Ulijona Odišarija, Gailė Prackūnaitė, Kunigunda Dineikaitė, Gretė Siliūnaitė, Kamilė Klevinskaitė, Rasa Baradinskienė, Gabrielė Ganžaitė. I very much look forward to meeting up with friends and colleagues again.
UIA Charitable Foundation
The UIA Charitable Foundation has announced that the next deadline for applying to its grants programme is the 31st December 2013. The Foundation is funded entirely by donations from UIA (Insurance) Limited, a mutual insurance company providing household insurance to trade union members, their families and other like-minded individuals. Since inception the Foundation has made grants in excess of £450,000 to projects based in the UK and Internationally. The aim of the charity is to support projects under two main categories. These are:
· The Community Support Programme
· The World Programme.
In both areas the Foundation will consider projects that empower individuals and communities to improve their lives and the prospects of the community. The Foundation will not usually provide grants to organisations with a turnover of more than £500,000. The Foundation's grants range in size from a few hundred pounds to £5,000 for individual donations but they will consider funding for development projects on their individual merit. However applicants will need to be clear about the specific amount required, the timescales for the achievement of objectives and how the project will be monitored and evaluated. Read more at:
The Wellcome Trust – Broadcast Development Awards
The Wellcome Trust's Broadcast Development Awards(BDA) support the development of broadcast proposals in any genre that engage the audience with issues around biomedical science in an innovative, entertaining and accessible way. The Trust are interested in funding individuals and organisations with brilliant early-stage ideas for TV, radio, new media or gaming projects. The funding will enable these ideas to be developed into high-impact, well-researched proposals that can be used to secure a broadcast platform and/or further funding. Development funds might be used to undertake thorough research, create a taster tape, develop a script, or build a game prototype or mood reel. The project should primarily be aimed at a mainstream UK and/or Republic of Ireland audience in the first instance, although the subject matter can be international. Broadcast Development Awards are up to £10 000, for a maximum of one year. The next closing date for applications is the 24th January 2014. Read more at: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Public-engagement/Funding-schemes/Broadcast-games-and-film-awards/Development-Awards/index.htm
Posted by Arts for Health at 19:09
Monday, 25 November 2013
As time in the outback draws to a close, here is another one of those wonderful 'willy-willy's.' Sitting in a hotel (at last) in one of the most remote places on this continent, I'd like to rant just a little, about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty, which considering my presentation on Big Pharma last week, has never seemed more relevant. Click on the flowers below to find out a little more why we should be interested in this. TPP will make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to have greater control in our lives and even provision that allows surgical procedures to be patented! Sounds irrelevant? It's not! This is about our creative and intellectual freedom.
OK...here are some funding opportunities, including this first international opportunity, which I have had the pleasure to support successful applicants with, over these last few years.
Artists International Development Fund
In parallel with the Artists' international development fund, the British Council are administering a separate fund for film makers designed to help emerging UK film talent travel with their work and reach new international audiences. The Travel Grant Fund will support makers of short films in the UK in showing their work at international film festivals.
The closing date for applications is the 7th February 2014. Read more at:http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-for-funding/artists-international-development-fund/
Hyperlocal Media Competition Launched
Innovation agencies Nesta and Technology Strategy Board have announced that they are seeking entries for Destination Local Demonstrators - a new hyperlocal media competition which will invest £2.5 million in projects that provide online news or content services to local communities. The competition is looking for entries that:
· Demonstrate the potential for technology-led news or content services to specific geographical locations across the UK
· Enable people to connect more easily with their communities
· Provide evidence for the commercial and social potential of new services.
Between three and five projects across the UK will be backed by the competition to support the development of new forms of hyperlocal media information and content services. It is estimated that projects will range in size from £700, 000 to £1.4 million. Entries to the competition can be submitted by technology, content and community focused organisations of any size that will go on to form business-led partnerships. Projects will commence by May 2014 and last between 12 and 18 months and may be deployed in specific geographical areas.
The deadline to register to take part in the competition is the11th December 2013. Read more at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/project/destination-local
Government Launches New Vulnerable & Disengaged Young People Fund
The Cabinet Office Centre for Social Action has announced the launch of a new £2million Vulnerable and Disengaged Young People Fund to inspire England’s most vulnerable young people. Administered by the Social Investment Business, organisations looking to create or further develop inspiring projects for young people can apply for a development, evidence or scale-up grant of between £30,000 and £250,000. The funding can be used towards:
· Setup costs
· Frontline delivery
· Mentor/volunteer expenses
· A percentage of core costs (e.g. overheads).
The grants can only fund up to £5,000 of capital expenditure. Applications can come from the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, public bodies (for example Local Authorities) and businesses with a social mission or a clear objective in their corporate social responsibility policy towards increasing social action, or businesses involved in the delivery of public service. The closing date for applications is the 6th December 2013. Read more at: http://www.sibgroup.org.uk/youth/
Healthy Hearts Grants
Heart Research UK has announced that its Health Hearts Grants Programme will re-open in January 2014. Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Grants support innovative projects designed to promote heart health and to prevent or reduce the risks of heart disease in specific groups or communities. Grants of up to £10,000 are available to community groups, voluntary organisations and researchers who are spreading the healthy heart message. The closing date for this funding round will be the 28th February 2014. Read more at: http://www.heartresearch.org.uk/grants/healthyheartgrant
Thank you Wills for the photographs and company. To anyone who's emailed me, but not yet had a reply, I promise to get back to you over the next week or so.
...I really hope you are well and thank you for popping by...C.P.
Posted by Arts for Health at 01:08
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Saturday, 16 November 2013
Having made a 30 min version of my presentation and fended off those appalled by the 'drone', I have responded to the call to create something smaller, more compact, without the melancholic drone and with just a sense of the subject matter. Sensitive to this request, here is a gentle haiku version for you to unwind to. C.P.
Posted by Arts for Health at 07:45
Friday, 15 November 2013
What a blur this week has been! The conference has probably been the most interesting and engaging of all those I’ve recently attended. Whilst its been great to spend quality time with colleagues and friends from the UK, it has been fantastic to catch up with old friends from other parts of the world and make new ones too! (Be lovely see more friends from non-English speaking countries though) Thank you to anyone who’s gone out of their way to say hello to me. Its great to meet kindred spirits in this arts and health field.
There are so may people I’ve met whose practice I’d like to share, but of course that’s not practical, so, to shine a spotlight on just one of the many new things I’ve seen and heard, here’s a link to just one organisations work that’s of exceptional vision, quality and impact.
Vic McEwan runs an organisation called Cad Factory and I had the pleasure of chairing a session he spoke at about his year-long exploration of a community in recovery, actively seeking the stories from the town of Yenda in the wake of the 2012 floods. Click on the shop front to find out more.
A few conference-connected highlights include having a breakfast with the philanthropist (and advertising magnate!) Harold Mitchell. Organised by Currency House Press, the breakfast saw Mitchell emphasising the need for creative leaders to have imagination and courage. Thanks to N.S. for arranging this. Being invited to the residency of the Governor of New South Wales for a drinks reception was something I felt a little uncertain about. Those of you who know me, will know why! But what a woman Professor Marie Bashir is! With a background in medicine, public health and psychiatry, she was quite a sensational host, and completely in tune with the potential of culture and the arts in the 21st Century. The final day of the conference has seen a contingent meet the Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, John Ajaka and an exploration of research, policy and practice in creative ageing. Brilliant work Margret Meagher.
As for my presentation at the conference this week - I had the chance to share some of my thinking around the constant, (and in my opinion, deluded) assertion, that to understand the impact of the arts and cultural activity of health and wellbeing, we need to measure our work using the Randomised Controlled Trial, as exemplified by big pharma. You can make your own opinions (although, I am bored rigid with the myopic mantra of dull-eyed pseudo-scientific sycophants) so enjoy - (or not) - this quickly recorded version. Some people loathed the music, some loved it, so good look with it - but remember, it’s there to drill into you, not placate and soothe you. Click on the CONTROL image, above.
I had to reduce many elements of my presentation, to keep within the allotted 30 minutes slot and another time, perhaps we can share some of those things I edited including: the soft-drinks industries influence on government policy; the ‘gatekeepers’ of our hyper-inflated and gated-community-of-interest ‘journals’; (overpriced-exclusive and just a tad-self-congratulatory) - oh, and Barry Manilow drug endorsements + dogs on sedatives!
So much to say and play with - so little time.
And on the over-priced books front, I’m thrilled to have a new book-chapter out. It’s called Towards Sentience and is text developed from my thoughts on how art and design might be relevant to the ways in which we live and die. Its in a book called: The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design, by Bloomsbury and only costs around £90. Cheap eh? I don't want to dig my own grave ; ) but I think the publishing industry is outrageous! I’m sure most libraries can’t afford books like this, let alone the hallowed journals.
DEMENTIA & IMAGINATION
Whilst I’m away, I can announce that the first of the Dementia and Imagination posts is open for applications. I’m very excited by this, but have to advise that this is a research post working with me and is pivotal to the three-year programme, and we are looking for post-doctoral candidates. Very soon, we’ll be recruiting an admin role and research-artists to work across the UK in our various research sites. Keep an eye out for the details. To find out more about the Research Associate post, click on the researcher below.
Whilst we are developing the Dementia and Imagination research, we’d love to share this simple survey with people who are involved in arts/dementia work. This will help inform our theoretical framework. thanks in anticipation, and feel free to circulate. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K3DDBBL
BEAUTIFUL AND PROGRESSIVE SCOTLAND
The Glasgow Centre for Population Health is currently recruiting a Public Health Research Specialist to work on a project called Representing Communities: developing the creative power of people to improve health and wellbeing. The project involves understanding how community representations produced through creative arts practices (e.g. storytelling, performance, visual art) can be used as forms of evidence to inform health-related policy and service development. You will be involved in both the facilitation of these creative outputs (in partnership with Impact Arts) and leading on parallel research which will describe and report on the process. This post will be based within the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Click on the mob below to find out more.
Thanks as ever for reading this and your email correspondence...C.P.
Posted by Arts for Health at 06:59
Monday, 11 November 2013
This week sees people from around the world gathering for the 5th International Arts of Good Health and Wellbeing Conference, organised by Arts and Health Australia and this year, with a fantastic contingent of people from the UK...and a positive posse of people from the North East! The first event today, saw Mike White from the Centre for Medical Humanities, facilitate the 3rd Critical Mass event. This brings together international collaborators from the field - artists, researchers, health managers and educators - to explore synergies and collaboration. Evidence of previous partnerships include the joint work between DADAA (Australia) and First Movement (Derbyshire) and the publication of a special edition of Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice dedicated to international perspectives in community based arts and health. In today’s session we focused on the question: What could produce effective international collaboration in practice and research in community based arts and health? Participants came from countries including amongst others, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and the UK.
Tomorrow, the conference kicks off in earnest and I'll be doing my bit with Fiction-Non-Fiction. More on that very soon.
Posted by Arts for Health at 10:44