Sunday, 8 December 2013

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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: 

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.

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 

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.

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.

Job vacancy at a-n for an Executive Director 
Closing date: 13 January 2014
Location: UK-Wide 
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:

Thank you for your visit to this blog...C.P

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