Wednesday, 11 May 2011

m a n i f e s t o update and much, much more...

Head to Head
In my last blog posting, I told you a little about the free event on June 30th that will see a host of international figures from the arts/health world, sharing some of their practice and engaging in conversation. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response and it looks like it will be fully booked well ahead of the event. I have to reiterate that I can’t guarantee anyone a place yet, but thanks for the emails. I will confirm places/agenda/venue/times at the beginning of June.

Towards a National Forum for Arts and Health
Many of you will know that I sit on a group that has been looking at the notion of a National Forum for Arts and Health, following the collapse of the NNAH in 2007. I’ve been working with colleagues around the country to explore ways forward, and the linked report has been made by the external consultants Globe to help inform this direction. I would be grateful for any thoughts on this linked document, which I will feed into the forum at our next meeting.

Networking evening
I’m discussing with a number of network members, the possibility of the next session here at MMU on the evening of 26th May, being an opportunity to share ongoing work, frustration, needs and ideas. The simple idea being that a small number of artists/health practitioners get in touch with me if they’re interested and on the evening, they can share what it is they’d like to discuss…then we can pitch in with constructive criticism and support. This could be really helpful to all of us and I’m pleased to say that the artist Zoe Keenan is happy to share some of her work around dementia and young people who find themselves in the position of being a carer. Zoe has produced some really exciting work around this and would be happy to share it and get feedback.

Anyway, if you’re interested in sharing something, or if you just want to attend, please email me at
(Venue details will be emailed next week)

M A N I F E S T O update
Since the first session last September, just under 400 people around the region have contributed to the emerging m a n i f e s t o and over May and June we’ll be holding the last sessions of the first stage of conversations. In June, I’ll be working with colleagues from all over the North West and others from as far as Durham, Yorkshire, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and the USA, who’ll all be feeding into the discussion. The final event of 2011 will be at MMU in September…then, we go public! Don’t forget, we’ll be getting some high-profile input into the m a n i f e s t o from the art, media, health sectors too, but the core of this work is about our shared vision. On the 9th May I facilitated an event in Cumbria that was over-subscribed. As usual, if you wanted to contribute but weren’t able to attend, please get in touch via email. And for the 3 people who left comments in my ‘composting thoughts bag’ in Cumbria, a particularly big THANK YOU. Your comments will feed into the mix and I really liked the illustrations too.

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