Monday, 26 September 2016

Dear Jeremy Corbyn... have been mandated by the people to lead the Labour Party – Well Done!

Addressing inequalities seems central to your values and vision, and the time is right to understand the potency of culture and the arts as social determinants of health and wellbeing.

Ken Loach’s film – I, Daniel Blake – paints an accurate picture of life in the UK, and suggests we shouldn’t just sit back and accept things as they are, but do something about them. Gillian Slovo in her verbatim play – The Riots – provides evidence of the Social Poison in society, and encourages us to make up our minds about inequalities and social injustice, and perhaps the underlying causes of social unrest.

There’s evidence of the positive long-term benefits of participating in the arts in all their forms from longitudinal studies from both mainstream cultural organisations, and from the wealth of focused arts and health projects. The UK has a rich history of radical arts and health activity and is central to this global movement.

We look forward to being part of the long-term cultural change that is needed to address the endemic inequalities that poison our society, and will support you in the work needed to nurture the culturally and politically connected communities we need to be.

Great things happen in Liverpool, where this weekend the Labour members elected its leader, and where Liverpool Council has backed a ban on newsagents selling copies of The Sun newspaper because of its coverage of the Hillsborough disaster. Campaign groups ‘Total Eclipse of The S*n’ and ‘Shun the S*n’ have gained momentum following April’s verdict of the Hillsborough Inquest, which concluded that all 96 fans who died as a result of a crush at Hillsborough were unlawfully killed. The groups have convinced more than 210 outlets in the city to stop selling The Sun, including branches of Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Marks & Spencer stores. Some say that this is censorship on the part of the council, and generally I’d be opposed to generic censorship, but hey - this is The Sun - propagators of soft porn and body dysmorphia, sexist, xenophobic tosh and hate, so yes - lets ban it! (Q - does The Sun constitute in and of itself, being a hate crime?)

TAnDem - Arts and Dementia: Research into practice 2016
A partnership between the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester and the Centre for Dementia, University of Nottingham, TAnDem is one of eight Doctoral Training Centres funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. Its mission is to produce an evidence base for the arts and dementia.  I was thrilled to be asked to speak at their first major conference this week at the University of Nottingham. Alongside Paul Camic, Victoria Tischler and Norma Daykin I had the opportunity to share some of the work of Dementia & Imagination artist Penny Klepuszewska - (which when you see/hear it - I think you’ll agree - is profound)…but alongside the effervescent poet Gary Glazner, it was the honest, intelligent and heartfelt presentation of Larry Gardiner from Oxfordshire Advocates who blasted the delegates with his reality check. Thank you to the organisers for asking me to take part in this wonderful event.

Live Well Make Art // 22-28 October 2016
100 Moments is the starting project of Manchester Devolution’s Live Well Make Art social movement, designed to promote the benefits that making art has on our wellbeing. If you are an arts, health, or community organisation, small or big, based in Greater Manchester, you are invited to join the Live Well Make Art movement by submitting a ‘moment’ that showcases your work during our 100 Moments Week (23rd-30th October). A Moment is a piece of work that you choose to showcase, which connects art with health and wellbeing.  Your Moment could be something you already run on a regular basis, or you could choose to create a special Moment to be part of this exciting project.  Examples of a Moment could include a public event or workshop, a talk or interview with a participant, an online Moment, or a collection of images. You can be creative.

Arts Council England to impose quantitative measures of arts quality on NPOs
ACE is forging ahead with plans to impose a standardised system for measuring artistic quality on its NPOs, despite a lukewarm sector response and warnings that this will require a “quantum change” in organisational attitudes to data. A national system for evaluating the quality of artistic work is to become compulsory for many of ACE’s National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) despite an evaluation of a pilot scheme revealing wide-spread concerns about the approach.Please click on the Horse Shit cigarettes to know more.

The Peter Cruddas Foundation
Registered charities as well as organisations and individuals supported by registered charities can apply for funding through the Peter Cruddas Foundation for projects benefit disadvantaged and disengaged young people in the UK. The Foundation gives priority to programmes calculated to help disadvantaged and disengaged young people in England and Wales towards pathways into education, training and employment through charitable organisations. There are no minimum or maximum grants and projects can be funded for more than one year. Please note that the Foundation is not accepting applications for Capital Projects. The next closing date for application is the 1st March 2017. Read more at:


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