Saturday, 4 February 2017


The numbers of visits to this blog and messages about its content, has been steadily rising over the last 7 years, with an average of 7000 visits of five minutes or more each month. So a big thank you to all of you who drop by in this uncertain world, for a bit of light music, a not-so-gentle prod at neo-liberal arts and health appropriators - and just one or two pieces of incoherent rambling (oh, and funding, conferences and jobs too). Anyhow,  thank you - and thanks for the messages of solidarity too!

This week I hoped to consolidate some of the Dementia & Imagination event into a blog posting, but in all honesty, it's a far bigger job than that, and after such a rich event at Wellcome, I'll put a bit more effort into it, consolidate some of the key messages/outputs (including our free research informed handbook for artists) and get it all online, just as soon as humanly possible.

I did get to share a couple of artistic outputs alongside many of the artists involved in the research project, and am bursting to share! The image below is just a taster to whet your appetite. Its key messages distilled from research data focus on:

As well as the ground-breaking Access Programme at MoMA curating the exhibition Dear Mr. President, The Museum of Modern Art has made some strong curatorial decisions this week and 'in one of the strongest protests yet by a major cultural institution against President Trump’s executive order on immigration, the Museum of Modern Art has rehung part of its permanent collection with works by artists from some of the majority-Muslim nations whose citizens are blocked from entering the United States.' You can read more by clicking on the painting by Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi (My Father and I) (1962).

Dancing in Damascus
I've not read this book yet, but it's the top of the pile to read! "The reaction to revolution in Syria was cultural as well as political. Independent radio stations and newspapers blossomed alongside popular poetry and street graffiti. This is a story largely untold in the west: who knew, for instance, of the full houses, despite bombardment, during Aleppo’s theatre festival in 2013?

Dancing in Damascus by Arabist and critic miriam cooke (so she writes her name, uncapitalised) aims to fill the gap, surveying cultural responses to revolution, repression, war and exile. Dancing is construed both as metaphor for collective solidarity – the anarchist Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, it isn’t my revolution” – and as literal practice. At protests, Levantine dabke dance was elevated from folklore to street-level defiance, just as popular songs were transformed into revolutionary anthems."

To read this review in full, click on the photograph of a scene from Queens of Syria, which director Yasmin Fedda incorporated into her prize-winning documentary. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian.

Each year I support masters students from the Manchester School of Art across a range of disciplines, to explore health themes. This year has had a focus on ageing and the group are curating an exhibition in the Manchester Craft & Design Centre on 23rd and 24th February. Come along and meet the makers and have a chat, or take part in the workshops. See the flyer below for more details and follow @LossInheritance 

BBC Children in Need – Small Grants Programme
Not for profit organisations such as schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 per year for up to three years through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects working with children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing disadvantage through:
. Illness, distress, abuse or neglect; any kind of disability
. Behavioural or psychological difficulties
. And / or living in poverty or situations of deprivation.
The closing date for applications is the 1st March 2017. Read more HERE.  

Funding for Innovation in the Circus Arts
The National Centre for Circus Arts has announced that the Lab:time programme has re-opened for applications. Lab:time is the Centre for Circus Arts programme for innovation and experimentation in the Circus Arts and is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Through Lab:time individual artists and companies are able to secure research and development time in the Creation Studio at the National Centre for Circus Arts, as well as small but significant amounts of seed funding to support the first stages of exploration. It is hoped that by offering artists the means to explore their ideas at the very beginning of the creative process critical mass of creative development will be generated that will, over time, generate an increase in the quality and quantity of new circus-based performance across the UK. The deadline for applications will be 5pm on the 16th March 2017. Read more HERE.  

How do we care in the 21st Century? What can be automated and what needs a human touch? Co-created by young carers and artists Annette Mees & Tom Bowtell, Hidden is an immersive show over three floors, made with young carers, exploring ideas about the future of caring. Hidden asks you to decide what the future should look like. Last few days of performances, this week.
Tickets and more details available by clicking on the image above.
The Horsfall at 42nd Street - Manchester

Grants to help new, innovative visual arts projects
The Elephant Trust has announced the next deadline for applications is the 10th April 2017. The Trust offers grants to artists and for new, innovative visual arts projects based in the UK. It aims 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 given to artists and small organisations and galleries making or producing new work or exhibitions. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered. Read more HERE. 

WHSmith Community Grant 
Voluntary organisations, charities schools and pre-schools can apply for grants of up to £500 from the WHSmith Trust. The WHSmith Trust is an independent registered charity that uses the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag charges across the UK to offer the grants to support good causes in the local communities where WHSmith operates.
There are two application rounds each year. The deadline for the current funding round is the 31st March 2017. The next deadline will be the 30th September 2017. Read more HERE. 

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