Saturday, 13 June 2015

For the love of - well - for the love of love, actually...

The sun has scorched the earth this week - well, on my own patch of land at least. I’m reminded of some Flaming Lips lyrics: ‘...the sun doesn’t go down, it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.’ A lovely song and apologies for the always-dubious Lips video below. Lovely messages came in about Mike White this week and it was heartening to hear from so many people who had been in some small way, affected by him and his vision of equal, healthy and flourishing communities. A mutual friend of ours had a baby this week and there’s something so bloody good and right and natural about this, it just reminds me - everything continues.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I do like the word amateur. It’s so easy to fall into jargon around ‘professionalism’ when we talk about the arts. Refreshing then, to read about the actor Jim Broadbent and his carvings of wooden people, on which he comments: “This is a hobby, I’m sure it’s therapeutic. It stimulates me, gets me up in the morning so it’s a passion as well,” he said. “I’m keen to get back to it, quite keen to see which way he/she is going to develop. I love getting better at it.”

“They are people, and people depend on love and give love and need love and maybe these people love each other.” His People are on display at the Southbank Centre’s, Festival of Love.

I was asked by Arts + Health over in Ireland to write a short perspective on the creation of the Manifesto for Arts & Health and if you have the inclination to read my thoughts on this process, click on the photograph below. It’s called A Love-Filled Slap, and I’ve been told if you google it, you’re more likely to end up in the the world of S&M - you have been warned!

There are just 10 free tickets left for the Dementia & Imagination event on the 25th June. Click on Bette or Joan to find out more.

I'll be at the Art, Design and New Technology for Health: Sackler Conference at the V&A this Friday 19 June. If you are coming to the event, do say hello. The conference will explore the role of interactive and digital art in healthcare environments. It will reflect on the principles of design in health and consider the potential of digital innovations to empower individuals and revolutionise healthcare experiences. Programme available by clicking HERE. 

The always compelling NOUS magazine is out. The PANIC edition is to be found in all good Manchester outlets, including my all-time favourite The Koffee Pot. Well done Lisa Lorenz and all the contributors! Great to see the cover by Lithuanian artist, Eglė Gudonytė and new poetic work by Viltautė Krupickaitė.

Whilst our dear old Chancellor has announced his £4.5billion cost-cutting measures within a month of the general election, we should keep a wary eye on the £30m cut to the DCMS’s annual budget of £1.2bn. At the moment, the Arts Council has been asked to cut just 0.3% from its budget as its new Chief Executive calls on the government to back culture while promising a funding shift outside of London. Let’s keep our eyes on all this eh? ACE have announced a number of new funding streams, including investing £35.2 million in helping organisations produce high quality and spectacular events and works of art, particularly outside London. The fund will develop talent and leadership in organisations as well as supporting individual creative projects. There’s now an opportunity for existing Creative people and places consortia to apply for funds to help more people experience and be inspired by the arts. £5 million is available in this round, with a further £5 million in April 2017. Read more by clicking on the £4million Notting Hill home of the chancellor, that according to The Mirror is rented out for around £2,640 per week, as he sleeps in his rent free Downing Street abode. 

An International Conference on Music in Healthcare Settings, hosted by OPUS Music CIC in partnership with air Arts for Health and Royal Derby Hospital and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. This will be taking placed from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Thursday 16th July in the Education Centre at the Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, UK.
Anyone with an interest in music-making within healthcare settings is invited to join us for a stimulating, discussion-filled day on this ever-growing practice. Click HERE.

A short and cracking film of No More Heroes that The Stanglers are taking oh, so seriously

IMPACT: Generate and Demonstrate
16th July 2015, 9.30-4pm
Cartwheel Arts are organising a conference exploring arts and impact. This event is part of their project Art for Wellbeing, which focuses on creative projects to support positive mental wellbeing. Health professionals and Third Sector organisations will share creative solutions to generate positive mental wellbeing. Through creative tools and methodologies, a newly commissioned exhibition and film showcase, they will explore how to capture evidence to effectively communicate impact. Manchester Metropolitan University, Birley Buildings, Hulme, M15 6GX
Please click HERE to purchase tickets. Please note that this event is not organised by Arts for Health, but by Cartwheel Arts.

Idlewild Trust 
The Idlewild Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grant making programme is the 23rd September 2015. The Idlewild Trust is a grant making trust that supports registered charities concerned with the encouragement of the performing and fine arts and crafts, the advancement of education within the arts and the preservation for the benefit of the public of lands, buildings and other objects of beauty or historic interest in the United Kingdom. The Trust awards around £120,000 each year in grants and makes grants of up to £5,000.

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