Saturday, 2 March 2013


What about this for a headline eh? From the oh so hallowed BBC none the less! - and in a week where there’s also been coverage of arts/health in the Guardian online. You can form your own opinions of both these articles, (click on the photo of an art session below for the BBC story, and the picture of the 'Angel' below for the Guardian) but I do worry about the almost biblical claim of the BBC header. Of course engaging with the arts - and with broader culture - is going to have an impact on people in health crisis: sometimes profound and sometimes subtle, but I can’t believe we’re still having to evidence the bleeding obvious. Now apparently the ‘Top Brass’ are at it too! 

But then I’m reminded that so much of what we are interested in, just isn’t about sickness and morbidity, it’s about culture and the arts being part of the way we live our lives and in particular, what it opens up to those of us who maybe haven't had acces to it, or thought the arts were an irrelevance. Interesting too, to read of my own conversion to the impact of giant spiders and dancing elephants on society?!

This week saw the death of Stéphane Hessel (95), sometime resistance fighter, diplomat and free-thinker. At 93 Hessel wrote Indignez-vous! Time for Outrage! - which is largely seen as the pamphlet that informed the Occupy Wall Street movement and wider global protests epitomised by Los Indignados. Ah the power of the Pamphleteer...wouldn't Hessel have made the perfect keynote speaker, say - at an arts/health conference, in a land torn apart by inequalities and that controls dissent by brutal oppression? Time for Outrage indeed...

Although we sometimes crave the attention that the big media outlets bring (and fear it too), it is these pamplets, manifesto’s and blogs that resonate with me. So whilst the press control and sometimes distort our opinions, we should perhaps relish the subjective perspectives of individuals who know what they are talking about because of their wealth of experinece and passion - yes, passion! I’m consitently impressed by Mike White and don’t mind admitting to being a bit of an acolyte. He has a neat turn of phrase and in this, his most recent blog posting, takes us on a pogniant personal journey. Click on this alternative image of the Angel of the North to read his blog posting.

And for those of you who want more on the BBC article, here's the outline.
"Nine-year-old leukaemia patient Ryan is in no doubt. "It makes you feel like you can do anything really," he says of the art therapy classes he enjoys, thanks to a US charity. The American military has also long embraced art therapy, using it as a core treatment to help veterans recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. Now top brass are leading research to find out why this kind of treatment works. Jane O'Brien reports that mounting clinical evidence of art's medical benefits could bring new and exciting ways to harness its power." 

...and here's the Guardian article outline by Tim Smedley too.
"Banksy, Gormley or Hirst: is public art good for the nation's wellbeing?
From statues to grafitti, what impact does public art have, if any? And could it even have an effect on our health and wellbeing? Banksy, Gormley or Hirst: is public art good for the nation's wellbeing? From statues to grafitti, what impact does public art have, if any? And could it even have an effect on our health and wellbeing?" 

...and for a moments pause, some music

Funding and Research Opportunities
Foyle Foundation Small Grants Programme
The Foyle Foundation's - Small Grants Scheme is looking to help small charities operating in the areas of the arts and learning, with an annual turnover of less than £100,000 per year. If this sounds familiar, you can apply for funding of between £1,000 and £10,000. The Foyle Foundation is one of the largest grant making trusts in the UK providing grants that help to make the arts more accessible by developing new audiences, supporting tours, festivals and arts educational projects; encouraging new work and supporting young and emerging artists; and that address special educational needs and learning difficulties. Larger organisations can apply for funding through the Foyle Foundations Arts and Learning Main Grants Programmes. There is no deadline and applications can be submitted at any time. For more information,or call the Foyle Foundation on 020 7430 9119 

Support for Projects Working with Disadvantaged Young People, Offenders & Ex-offenders (UK)
The Worshipful Company of Weavers has announced that its Benevolent Fund is open to applications. The Fund is available to small registered charities and seeks to support projects working:
With disadvantaged young people aged from 5 to 30 years of age
To ensure they are given every possible chance to meet their full potential and to participate fully in society
Projects that addresses the social and economic problems faced by offenders, and ex-offenders and their families, and provide them with support, life skills training and a way back into education, training and/or employment. 
Grants available are of up to £15,000.  The Charitable Grants Committee meets in February, June and October of each year to consider applications. Read more at: 

British Academy Small Research Grants (UK)
The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, has announced that its Small Research Grant scheme is open for applications.  Under the Small Research Grants programme grants of between £500 and £10,000 over two years are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. The closing date for applications is the 10th April 2013. Read more at:

Time to Change Grants (England)
The Mental Health charity, Time to Change has announced that its grants programme will re-open for applications on the 6th March 2013. Through the programme, grants of up to £100,000 are available to constituted not for profit organisations for projects that bring people with and without mental health problems together to challenge discrimination in their communities.  Time to Change plan to fund approximately 75 projects between 2012 The closing date for applications will be 2pm on the 30th April 2013. Read more at 2015. 

                                                                                                                              Hey Ho


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