Saturday, 9 July 2016

. . . - - - . . . c'est si bon?

The Homeless Library
a catalogue of homeless lives
"We tell you stuff because we think we can trust you. Trust is the biggest thing of all, it is the biggest thing I own."

The Homeless Library is lived history, people's descriptions of their own lives, as told by contemporary homeless people. Alongside the interviews, poems and artworks inscribed into handmade books tell an emotional history. Homeless people have created a first-person history of British homelessness, exhibiting at The Poetry Library, Southbank 9 July-18 September. It includes individual testimonies, poetry and art written in handmade books, lending insight into experiences of Britain's homeless. A free 200 page ebook, The Homeless Library, including interviews, poems and artworks has been created as a catalogue for the exhibition and can be downloaded by clicking on the image above. 
Venue: The Poetry Library, Level 5, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre

A New Report on Arts and Health from New South Wales
Two reports on Arts & Health have been published in Australia this last week, the first from Western Australia featured on last weeks blog. This week sees the launch of the Report of the Arts & Health Taskforce in New South Wales, and NSW Health & the Arts Framework with an introductions by Minister for Health Jillian Skinner MP. These are interesting times and it's good to see parallels between the advanced work of the All Party Parliamentary Group in the UK and this strategic development in Australia. Read more by clicking on the banner above. Thanks to Margret Meagher of The Australia Centre for Arts & Health for sharing this.

The Iraq Inquiry
In case you missed it, another report was published this week - that of the inquiry into the War in Iraq, also known as the Iraq Inquiry or Chilcot Report. At over 2 million words, it would be easy to put this to one side and just accept former Prime Ministers well planned responses and blinkered justification for the war in Iraq. You should listen to the BBC Radio 4 interview with him on the Today Programme. I was rather disappointed with the John Humphrys line of questioning though, and for once, would have rather he’d been submitted to the grilling of some hysterical shock-jock, but I am sure there’s some test we could submit Mr Blair to, to see where he fits on the Psychopathic Scale.

Weapons of Mass Happiness
For my small part, I share a short film of Louis Armstrong singing C’est si Bon in 1962, to which I’ve added some material as a taster for my forthcoming presentation called Weapons of Mass Happiness which I’ll be giving as the keynote at ARTLANDS Festival on 27th October, and then at the 8th Annual International Arts and Health Conference, organised by The Australian Centre for Arts and Health at the Art Gallery of New South Wales between 16 - 18th November this year.

What’s it all about? - well - its about reframing our arts/health agenda more explicitly in terms of social justice and inequalities for one thing, and an exploration of something darker than the instrumentalisation of the arts in the service of the state, and will include a small but vicious kick to Mr Blair. Want a quick taster? Click on the 'we are all happy' image below, but I don’t want to spoil my presentation - so - less is more!

In light of the political chaos that surrounds us on our little island following ‘brexit’ it’s heartening to see allies across Europe sharing their vision around culture and the arts in this British Council published report, which I recommend to you... 

The Morning After Report: 
The future of the UK’s cultural relationship with other European nations
This collection of essays from figures in the worlds of culture, politics and science reflect on the UK’s cultural relationship with Europe in the wake of the EU referendum. Each was asked not to lobby for one position or another, but instead to imagine a constructive and realistic future for the UK’s cultural conversation. Thanks to ArtÅ«ras Vasiliauskas for sharing and click on the image below to read the full report.

Grants to Help New, Innovative Visual Arts Projects 
The Elephant Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 27th June 2016. 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. Click on this link for more details.

BBC Children in Need – Small Grants Programme 
Not for profit organisations such as such schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects that help children and young people experiencing:
+ Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
+ Any kind of disability
+ Behavioural or psychological difficulties' and / or living in situations of deprivation.
Read more at this link: 

£200,000 Available to Support Women Innovators 
Innovate UK has up to £200,000 and a package of tailored support to award to businesswomen who have exciting ideas and the potential to become leaders in innovation and deliver significant economic growth. This is the first women only Innovate UK competition and is part of a new ‘infocus' initiative to encourage diversity in innovation. The competition is open to any woman in the UK with experience in business innovation and each of the 12 finalists in the competition will receive a package of support tailored to their needs, and the four winners will each receive £50,000 to support their innovation project or activities. Innovate UK are looking for women who have real potential to become leaders in business innovation and/or successful entrepreneurs and have exciting ideas that promise significant economic value to the UK. The closing date for applications is the 12th August 2016. Read more at: 

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