Sunday, 18 June 2017

...from the sunny streets of Kaunas

In Lithuania this week I’ve had the really rare opportunity to spend time with like-minded people who came together for the conference: Meno prieinamumas: muziejai, bendruomenės ir socialinės atskirties grupės. It’s been another illuminating event organised by the Lithuanian NGO, Socialiniai meno projektai, and the conference translates as - Accessible Arts: Museums, Communities and Socially Excluded Groups.

Organised and facilitated at The National Gallery of Art by Ieva Petkutė, Dr. Simona Karpavičiūtė and gallery educator Eglė Nedzinskaitė, the conference ran for two full days and showcased research and best practice from Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and the UK. For my part I shared some of the research and artistic outputs from Dementia & Imagination and introduced the work of Vic McEwan and work we’ll be sharing in Bristol this week: The Harmonic Oscillator. 

Again and again I’m reminded that we are all connected - those of us with these core values - small scale - large scale - regardless of the politics that surround us, we’re just doing work that has some profound impact. We’re part of something far bigger than each of ourselves. This is a wonderful country, and I thank my hosts for inviting me and believing in this work and the life we live. Aciu.

This week continues apace and sees three days of frenetic arts and health activity in Bristol as somehow, Alex Coulter and her colleagues in the South West, yet again, pull together a giant of a conference. It promises to be rich and diverse and I for one can’t wait.

Winston Churchill Craft & Design Travelling Fellowships
Closing date: 19th Sept at 5.00pm
The new 'Craft & Design’ 2018 Travelling Fellowships programme is currently open for applications. For more information, see: Crafts & Design 2018 e-poster. If you are inspired by the work of overseas designers, have a project in mind to support craft skills or want to work with overseas craft people/designers and have a project in mind to advance practices in the UK design sector, apply for a @wcmtuk Travelling Fellowship here: 

Engaging Libraries Programme
The Carnegie UK Trust has announced that its Engaging Libraries Programme is now open for applications. The programme offers grants of £5,000 - £15,000 to libraries to deliver creative and imaginative public engagement projects on health and wellbeing. Applicants must be public library services, but the programme has a strong emphasis on collaboration and encourages libraries to think about a broad range of potential partnership opportunities in the delivery of their projects. The Carnegie UK Trust is aiming to support between 8 - 10 libraries and activities must be completed between October 2017 and October 2018. The closing date for applications is August 2017. Find out more

Women Make Music Grants Programme 
Women songwriters and composers of all genres and backgrounds have until the 2nd October 2017 to apply for the next round of the Women Make Music programme. The programme supports the development of outstanding women songwriters and composers at different stages of their career. It aims to:
  Break down assumptions and stereotypes
  Raise awareness of the gender gap
  Increase the profile of women who are creating new music in the UK
  To encourage women who may otherwise not have applied for PRS for Music Foundation funding.
Grants are available of up to £5,000 to support touring, recording, promotion and marketing, community projects involving high-quality music creators, music creator residencies and live performances featuring new UK music. Read more at:

Why? Fest 2017
Saturday 8th July
Disabled and Diverse artists from across Birmingham and or linked to Birmingham and West Midlands arts have come together in a festival for 2017. The Why? Festival is a programme of performance and performance development opportunities aimed at discovering and working with new and emergency artists who define themselves as Disabled People or of Diverse Culture. Funded initially through an ACE Grant for Arts, the programme will run a series of workshops looking at performance and creative skills, and devising new works sessions, and will compliment these with a number of live performance opportunities including larger festival type events as artists and performance ready work is created and identified. Anyone interested in taking part in this programme as an artist, an organisation supporting potential, new and emerging Disabled and Diverse Artists, or as a venue or promoter then please contact Robin Surgeoner at
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After yet another tragedy in the UK, no platitudes from me - just thoughts.

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