Sunday, 27 July 2014

☆ + ☆ = ☆ ☆

What a couple of weeks we’ve had! On top of the I AM symposium and exhibition, on Friday evening the author Will Self blew us away with his thoughts on Urban Psychosis at the Holden Gallery. This sold-out event saw Will on spectacular form questioning what it is to be disconnected from reality in urban life and I’ll share more of this very soon. The exhibition continues until 22nd August, open Monday to Friday, Details at the Holden Gallery. Read a report on this event by Nigel Barlow on the About Manchester website by clicking HERE.

I’ve not seen it yet, but the V & A have a new exhibition that runs into early 2015 called Disobedient Objects. “From Suffragette teapots to protest robots, this exhibition will be the first to examine the powerful role of objects in movements for social change. It will demonstrate how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design.” Looks brilliant. Click on the 'Occupy George' overprinted dollar bill (2011) by Andy Dao and Ivan Cash.

I’m really not quite sure how how to write up this blog without making any reference to the ongoing suffering of people in Palestine. So here’s a 2008 photograph by Taysir Batniji, of the ubiquitous watchtowers that constantly survey the people of Palestine, inducing an urban psychosis beyond anything I can imagine.

As Malaysian cyclist, Azizulhasni Awang made it to the quarterfinals of the men's cycling event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last week, two words on his gloves upset the Games authorities. With the message "Save Gaza" emblazoned on them, he continued a proud tradition of having the guts to use his position to raise public awareness and protest. As streets, homes, hospitals and schools fall to the onslaught, the number of Palestinians killed over the last 19 days has gone over 10000. Unsurprisingly, the Commonwealth Games Federation said the incident could be in breach of a rule avoiding "politics" in the Games, and said it will “contact the Malaysian chef de mission to discuss the incident and take any action," reported the Associated Press.

News coming in from China....
Liesbeth Avern-Briers who runs the arts and health organisation, Lizzie Bee in Hong Kong has made it into the South China Morning Post with a feature on her work in schools which focuses on mental health and wellbeing. Brilliant work Lizzie! Click on the photograph below for more on this.

Creative Conversations in Arts and Wellbeing
Is an event for artists and practitioners delivering arts and wellbeing projects. 
It's an informal supper club which will allows room for sharing practice whilst discussing ideas & inspirations. The first event will be hosted in Manchester city centre by 42nd Street; an organisation delivering services to young people under stress including counselling, therapy and group work including an arts and culture programme.

The session will have a focus on mental health and we will be joined by a couple of 42nd Street staff as we discuss good mental health in the delivery of arts and wellbeing projects, thinking about both participant and practitioner. Places are limited, if you would like to attend, please r.s.v.p to by Thursday 7th August with a couple of lines stating how this topic relates to your work. 
Wednesday 13th August, 5-7pm @ 87-91 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 5AG

Baring Foundation Arts and Older People Programme 2014 Opens for Applications 
The Baring Foundation has announced that its Arts Projects programme 2014 is now open for applications. The programme will continue its theme of arts and older people. This year, the Foundation are inviting professional arts organisations to commission work with older artists (70+) who have the craft, the vision and the interest to explore age and ageing and to produce imaginative, original and compelling new works in any medium for public exhibition, performance, publication or digital distribution.

The lead applicant must be a not for profit arts organisation working in the UK, whose core purpose is commissioning, presenting, or producing arts (music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literature, film, or multi-disciplinary forms). Lead applicant arts organisations must have an income in 2013-14 of at least £400,000. Education establishments, hospitals, care homes and housing associations, local authorities, general charities and other non-arts bodies may be involved but may not be the lead applicant. Grants within a range of £5,000 to £25,000.
There is a two stage application process. The closing date for stage 1 applications is the 1st September 2014. Applications successful at this stage will be invited to submit a full proposal by the 10th November 2014.

Grants to Help New, Innovative Visual Arts Projects 
The Elephant Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 29th September 2014. The Trust offers grants to artists and for new, innovative visual arts projects based in the UK. The Trust's aim is to make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when confronted by lack of funds. The Trust supports projects that develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the fine arts. Priority is now being given to artists and small organisations and galleries who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions. Arts Festivals are not supported. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered.

Random Acts Network Applications Sought 
The Arts Council has announced that it plans to invest up to £3 million funding to fund five new Random Acts Network Centres over a 3 year period 2015-18. As part of this plan, Arts organisations can now apply for up to £600,000 of funding to form and lead brand these new Random Acts Network Centres. The aim of these centres is to create partnerships with other cultural, educational and creative media organisations, help develop young talent, aged 16-24, and provide entry points for the arts and creative industries. Each partnership will form a ‘network' within each of the five Arts Council Areas (London, North, Midlands, South East and South West) to deliver education, training and production support to facilitate the creation of around 120 high quality short films per year (approximately 24 films per network per year) for distribution on Channel 4 platforms. Films produced by the network centres will be played on the Random Acts strand on television and online. Applications should be for work that will be undertaken between February 2015 and March 2018. The deadline to submit applications is 5pm on 25th September 2014. Read more at:

Funding for Artists and Bands 
PRS for Music Foundation and Arts Council England have announced that the next application deadline for the Momentum Music Fund is the 12th August 2014. The Momentum Music Fund is a £500,000 fund to develop the careers of talented artists and bands. It is anticipated that grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 will be awarded to between 50 and 75 artists/bands over the next 2 years. Applications can be submitted by the artists themselves or those who are working on their behalf, e.g. a manager, an independent label or publisher. Priority will be given to those that haven't been funded by PRS for Music Foundation in the previous 12 months.

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