Saturday, 3 December 2016

Winter in America

Roll up, Roll up - it's that festive time of year when we should all get together and have a right old knees up! - it's time we got together for a natter about our arts and health world and all things uplifting and dispiriting! So, if you have a couple of hours free and want an agenda-less conversation about all our futures, we'll be having a networking-type-affair called What the HELL? - on Weds 14th December between 6:00pm and 7:30 at MMU. Thanks to those who've emailed, and details will be sent out next Monday. Want to come along? Register on the festive, Yo Ho Ho.

Divided times: how literature teaches us to understand 'the other'
Amanda Michalopoulou writes lucidly and poignantly about fear and division and how fiction helps dramatise difference and encourage empathy. From Homer to Goethe a literal exploration around the lived experience of people fleeing the horrors of their own counties, only to face the new horrors of fear and misunderstanding of other cultures. Superb thinking that yet again, shows how the arts are a most potent social determinant of health.

"If we leave the treatment of the refugee crisis to the mass media, if we forget the shipwrecked men of literature – from Odysseus and Robinson Crusoe to Michel Tournier’s Friday – we’ll remain trapped in the stereotypes of refugees as a homogeneous mass of people who have come to tyrannise the west. Literature transforms amorphous fear and pity into individualities. It tells us: the other is not what it seems."

This is an extract from the excellent Amanda Michalopoulou from her opening speech of the second international literature festival of Odessa and translated from Greek by Karen Emmerich, published HERE. 

'...a measure of humility.' Prof Stephen Hawking has been in the media -(perfectly echoing my reflections on our work and the ambiguities and uncertainties (and imagination) of theoretical physicists in An Air-Conditioned Nightmare) - writing on the elite and global inequalities.
Click HERE to read his thoughts.

Regular readers of this blog might know I've a vague aversion to the term 'outsider' when it just neatly exoticises people whose fragile life experiences are curated and reduced by those with vested interests. That said, I am always completely captivated by work of people who have been locked away from society and yet, who have imposed their own vision on the world. We have many examples of well regarded artists from all disciplines producing utterly compelling work, born of distress and difference. So it's always interesting to see a new name, and thanks to one eagle-eyed webster, I was sent a link to James Edward Deeds, Jr. 

"In one of the drawings discovered in a well-worn album, fished out of the trash in 1970 by a teenager in Springfield, Missouri, a wide-eyed woman points to a bouquet of flowers below the words “ECTLECTRC PENCIL.” It’s one of 283 hand-numbered sketches in crayon and pencil on ledger paper from State Hospital No. 3 in Nevada, Missouri, stitched together in the portfolio. When the boy, then an adult, finally sold the album in 2006, the unknown artist acquired the nickname “the Electric Pencil,” and the typos assumed to be the result of dyslexia." Read more HERE. 

The Drugs don't Work - well actually - they do...
"The active ingredient in magic mushrooms was given to terminal cancer patients: 80 per cent had immediate reductions in anxiety and depression which persisted for six months or longer. We think that's because psychedelics can change entrenched ways of thinking that people might otherwise not be able to tackle on their own..." Want to know more from this revelatory study? Click on the psychedelic rabbit below!

Clore Duffield Foundation Main Grants Programme
Grants are available to registered charities in support of the cultural sector in the UK. The Foundation is a grant-making charity which concentrates its support on cultural learning, creating learning spaces within arts and heritage organisations, leadership training for the cultural and social sectors, social care, and enhancing Jewish life. Grants range from below £10,000 to sums in excess of £1 million. The Foundation maintains a balance between supporting large-scale projects, with far-reaching effects, and small-scale community endeavours. Grants can be used for the following purposes:
Lottery match-funding.
Capital redevelopments and learning space initiatives.
Project and programme and revenue funding.
Read more HERE. 

Woodward Charitable Trust Main Grants
Deadline: 30th Dec
Grants are available to small-scale, locally-based charitable initiatives in the UK in the following areas: isolated children and young people; prisoners and ex-offenders; disadvantaged women; disability; arts outreach; and community cohesion amongst minority groups. The Trust offers the following grants:
Small grants of between £100 and £5,000 (around 100 grants are made per year).
Large grants of over £5,000 (around five grants are made per year and these are usually awarded to charities already known to the Trustees).
Read more HERE. 

New Post for Inside Out Cymru: Freelance Project Manager
Deadline: 23rd Dec 2016
Inside Out Cymru would like to employ a freelance Project Manager as part of its sustainability strategy for the organisation. Inside Out Cymru provides a programme of integrated community arts workshops for adult mental health service users, people with learning difficulties/disabilities, people with dementia and for the general promotion of mental health and well-being across the South Wales Valleys area. The deadline for applications is 12 noon on Friday 23rd December 2016 and we will be inviting those short-listed for an interview on Tuesday 10th January 2017 for final selection.  For any further information including job description and person specification please contact with the words “IOC Project Manager” in the subject box or, for an informal chat, telephone Kevin on 07779 657789.


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