Friday, 11 May 2012

PUNCHDRUNK, I LIVE TEMPORARY, MENTAL HEALTH FILM AWARDS, JOBS and over £1,000,000 for a tender...and even more!

So, the Richard Creme show has been and gone. What a whirlwind. We’ve had amazing responses and some great press coverage, including front page of the Huffington Post (thanks Colette). Thanks too, to all the retweets! What now? I know Richard has been asked to curate a very high profile exhibition in Manchester, but tantalisingly, I can’t give the details yet. The Stroke Association and Arts for Health are also going to be working together on a large project, so watch this space. For now though, I just want to say a big thank you to Richard and Shelly for getting in touch. It has been an honour to be involved in this first exhibition and a pleasure getting to know you.

Auditions For Male And Female Dancers Playing Age 50+, Punchdrunk London Closes Monday 14 May 2012 Paid (£20k-25k) Full time 
Contact: Fernanda Prata
Auditions for Male and Female Dancers Playing Age 50+
Punchdrunk is an award-winning theatre company, specialising in the immersive experience of unexpected locations and dramatic narrative. The company's work is usually presented on an epic scale, staged inside vast, empty buildings transformed into the world of the performance. Punchdrunk's performance style requires committed, versatile dancers with very strong improvisation and devising skills. We are looking for dynamic performers with a playing age of 50 with excellent contemporary dance technique. Punchdrunk invites you to submit an application to audition to work with Punchdrunk in the future. Applicants must have relevant professional experience. Only applicants with a playing age of 50 + will be considered for this position. Email applications only.
To apply, please email your CV and headshot to:
Please limit the size of files sent to ensure we successfully receive your application.
Closing date for applications: Monday 14th May 2012
Auditions will be held on in central London on Wednesday 23rd May and Tuesday 29th May.

As part of data collection on a significant piece of national research work that I’m involved in developing around arts and dementia,  I would like to recruit artists specifically as participant observers within the sessions; not collecting data around well-being outcomes, but developing an artist-led enquiry around living with dementia and helping our understanding of what a dementia friendly communities might be.  A question I am interested in is: How do you think artists could capture and add-to the research process? Have you been involved already; how’s it worked in practice, what have been your methodologies and is your work research or practice based?
I am exploring this potential collaboration for part of a large research project, which isn’t yet funded, so I’m not after applications, but simple comments, or expressions of interest, via email to So remember, this isn’t an offer of a job, rather the start of conversation and potentially a collaboration.

A digital installation created by homeless people in Manchester.Friday 11th May – Friday 1st June
I LIVE TEMPORARY - is a digital installation created by homeless people in Manchester, in collaboration with experimental arts organisation, arthur+martha. Customised postcards, sound recordings and an epic tweet poem carry tiny stories, little snatches of homeless people’s lives. These voices are often unheard, but they have insight to offer everyone. Combining text, sound and image, I LIVE TEMPORARY is a report from life outside the borders of comfort and acceptance. Funny, sad, angry, resigned - here are all the human colours.  
arthur+martha works with people who are pushed to the margins of society – older people in hospital, excluded school pupils, holocaust survivors and many others. Exhibition general opening times: 
Open: Friday 11th May - Friday 1st June. Times will vary. Please visit our website for more details: 
Admisson: Free
Venue: The Egg, MediaCityUK, Salford Quays, Salford, M50 2HE

The 2012 Scottish Mental Health Film Festival is currently inviting submissions for our 2012 awards. Our annual open film submission gives film-makers the opportunity to share their work and ideas with audiences across Scotland and internationally. If you have a film or film project that is underway or completed and links to mental health, then we want to hear from you. In its broadest sense ‘mental health’ is a term which touches most aspects of our lives; from our relationships to how we respond to the world around us. We’re looking for films which show that a mental health identity is something we all have, and something we all need to prioritise from time to time. Films can address specific mental health issues, but we’re also keen to encourage innovative and diverse perspectives.

The Society for the Assistance of Ladies in Reduced Circumstances (UK)
(SALRC) has announced that this year it is making available £100,000  for grants to other organisations working for the benefit of women in financial need. This year SALRC intend supporting organisations that are working with women who are victims of domestic violence, or aim to increase the take-up of State benefits by women.  Applications are invited from registered charities that have submitted at least one year’s audited or independently examined accounts to the Charity Commission, and have an annual turnover not exceeding £1 million. The closing date for receipt of applications is 31 July 2012. For more information visit:

The Iranian cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraye has been sentenced to 25 lashes for a cartoon of a local MP for Arak, Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani, who took offence to a cartoon published in the local paper. Iranian politicians have been  criticised for interfering in the country's sports. Shokraye was has been sued by Ashtiani for insulting him and the court has sentenced the cartoonist to 25 lashes.
ART for WELLBEING, Project Co-ordinator
Cartwheel Arts are delighted to announce that they have secured a major grant of £105,000 - £35,000pa over 3 years - for Art for Wellbeing, our programme of work in arts and mental health in Rochdale and Wigan. Please click on the logo above for details about the post and how to apply. This is their largest award to date from a charitable trust and we are grateful to the Tudor Trust for their support.
Closing date: Wednesday 23rd May at 4pm
Interviews will take place on Thursday 31st May 

£1,125,000.00. CONTRACT
OK, I have your attention. I’m aware, when talking to individual artists and organisations, that there is an underlying fear of what the future holds in a climate of stinging health reforms and cuts across society, undertaken in the name of deficit reduction, but more often feeling like long-term policy plans for wholesale privatisation of the public sector. In my paper on Big Society in 2010 and more recently, Fur Coat and No Knickers, I eluded to the fact that as an emerging sector, we’d have to keep our eye on the ball and not just react to changes as they appear on the horizon, but actively reimagine how the arts might preempt social change and diversification - isn’t that what artists are good at?

Whilst I try to share job opportunities like the one above, on this blog as often as possible, I’d urge those of you who are seriously interested in collaboration with other disciplines, to look beyond the normal ports of call for arts/health opportunities. 

By way of example, this week I saw an invitation to tender for contraception and sexual health services for young people across Ashton, Leigh and Wigan (Andy Burnham is the MP for Leigh and was a signatory to the DoH and ACE Prospectus for Arts and Health). What relevance is this, you ask? After all, it’s delivering, prevention and education; information services; screening; care and treatment for a Primary Care Trust? Well - consider it a challenge. Our arts/health agenda, like everything else in the world around us, is changing - growing.  We claim the arts promote well-being, give voice, educate etc, etc! So let’s think bigger. The North West has some arts/health exemplars who have grown their vision, services and expertise exponentially! I can think of one or two shining examples (who I’m not naming, for fear that they’ll be inundated with requests for help), but who have developed diverse professional partnerships to enable creative delivery, of what are traditionally Local Authority or NHS led services.

Think about this. Tender opportunities like this are not rare. Local authorities and the emerging (and as yet unformed) GP commissioning frameworks will need to develop new and innovative ways of delivering their work. They need solutions. Of course a service like Sexual Health will need  the relevant professionals, but a well thought through proposal that looked at some of the bigger issues around community, education and innovation should be something that the cultural sector could imagine. So here’s a one year contract with a likely minimum value of £750,000.00 and maximum value of £1,125,000.00. We can sit back as a sector and just wait for the usual opportunities, or we can think bigger and ask, what is it that we really believe, and how can we reimagine 21st Century healthcare. Our NHS is being radically dismantled in front of our eyes. We can either let the system crumble and accept the functional delivery of crucial services in a mediocre and ineffective way, or we can embrace new partnerships, that whilst difficult; potentially offers civic society something beyond the norm, that provokes debate, enables inclusion, delivers exemplary service and ignites imagination.
From Distress to Recovery

As usual, a big thank you to you for reading this blog...C.P.

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