Sunday, 11 January 2015

Happy for Life?

Awful week - and I’ve nothing of import to add to what you already know about attacks on cartoonists. We all know art and popular culture are powerful. From my very limited life experience, I can only reflect on my own community, and living on a very ethnically diverse street, I feel yet again, the mortification of neighbours affected by prejudice. The very real horrors of this last week might best be considered alongside a thousand other atrocities carried out by suited and booted others. Hideous - the whole bloody thing.

So too - and I guess because it’s the new year, and everyone builds up their temporary delusion of fame - I notice that the Guardian, alongside all its smug celebrity columnists, (who now don’t just have huge byline photos, but more often than not, are the paper's cover stars) is increasingly selling its delusional brand, through its UEA-Guardian Masterclasses’. They’re now ‘accepting’ applications for their February courses ranging from ‘How to tell a story’ to ‘How to finish a work of fiction’. If you want the honour of taking part in one of these courses and having a taste of fame by proxy, you’ll only have to pay between £1,500 and £4,000 for your one night a week course. Bargain bucket and obviously open to the masses. 

Another full-page ad in the same rag this week advertises a new Guardian app. - Happy for Life - sponsored by a life insurance company! Under the banner: Find Happiness in the Everyday - here are some of the highlights from Sunday 11th January, and a reminder that apparently their app. gives ‘simple activities to make you happier, every day.’ Simple? Puerile? Deluded?
  • Will juggling satsumas really make me happier?
  • Are you happy with your partner?
  • Take the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire.
  • Life getting you down? Learn to bounce back.
  • 10 ways to get more exercise - without really trying.
  • The shocking history of life insurance.
  • The 11 best films about life insurance.

OK - enough already and on with the show. If you were still living the good life last week, and missed the blog, it was a short essay called Fiction-Non-Fiction.

Arts and Health Event February 12th
Whilst others may charge ludicrous amounts for training and conferences, our event on the 12th of February is free, free, free to those working in, or interested in the people’s republic of arts and health! Whilst - CHAOS & COMFORT - the ARTS - from LONG-TERM IMPACT to SOCIAL CHANGE - might explore fleeting moments of happiness, it will also allow time for some disquiet. Over half the tickets went last week, so if you want to attend, please register by clicking on the glittering dream below.

Judging by peoples responses and offers of sharing their work, we’ll be hearing about arts/health research/practice that explore:
  • Drama
  • Reading
  • Dementia
  • Substance Misuse
  • Dance
  • Children and Young People’s Mental Health
  • International Perspectives
Of course the whole thing is framed in Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt’s new report on long-term influences of arts participation on health and wellbeing. There’ll be fee copies of the report and MA students from the School of Art will be responding to the agenda. OK, more next week.

Young People and Mental Health:Training for People Working in the Creative Industries
Monday, February 9, 2015  and Monday, March 16, 2015
42nd Street is a Manchester based charity, nationally recognised for its work with young people experiencing mental health issues.
We are offering a two day training course aimed at people working in the Creative Industries who would benefit from a greater awareness and understanding of the mental health issues facing young people and how to most effectively support them. This opportunity is free of charge for people working in the Creative Industries. We are particularly keen to offer places to work in the Heritage Sector. 

City Health Care Partnership Foundation Small Grants Programme 
The City Health Care Partnership Foundation has announced that the next deadline for its small grant programme is the 1st March 2015. The programme provides grants or donations of up to £1,000 to local voluntary and community organisations, schools and/or other not-for-profit organisations to carry out activities, projects or one-off events that contribute towards the health and wellbeing of people throughout the UK. To be eligible, groups and organisations needs to have been in existence for at least one year, have an annual income of less than £30K, and work for the benefit of the local community in which CHCP CIC operates. Click on the unhappy sunflower for more details.

Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust which awards grants to registered charities in the United Kingdom has announced that the next closing date for applications is the 1st June 2015. During 2015, the Trust is seeking to fund projects that promote Community development and Medical - Research and non-research. Grants are usually between £1,000 and £3,000 and are awarded for one year.

Clore Poetry & Literature Awards 
The Clore Duffield Foundation has announced that the seventh funding round under its £1 million programme to fund poetry and literature initiatives for children and young people across the UK is now open for applications. Through the programme, schools, FE colleges, community groups, libraries and other arts/cultural organisations can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support participatory learning projects and programmes focused on literature, poetry and creative writing for under 19s.

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