Sunday, 8 October 2017


There will be a Westminster Hall Debate on the Effects of the Arts on Health on 11 October 2017 from 4.30-5.30pm. The debate has been initiated by the Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Arts Health and Wellbeing, the Rt Hon. Ed Vaizey MP, as a follow-up to the APPG’s report Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing. The debate will feature a response to the issue from the Minister for the Arts John Glen MP.

It’s late in the day, but email your local MP to encourage them to attend the debate. If you don’t know who your MP is you can find them here: If you are delivering arts and health work in their constituency please provide them with a link to further information. 

Please also send them the link to the debate HERE. It may also be helpful to link to the Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing webpage HERE. and ask MPs whether they might consider joining the APPG. A strong expression of interest in the debate is likely to prompt increased action in response to the Inquiry report.

I’m currently out of the UK and frustrated not to be attending this Westminster debate - so please, please, please encourage North West MP’s to attend. For regular readers of this blog and attendees of North West Arts & Health Network events, you’ll be aware that on 5th January - to kick start the new year -I hope to be hosting a follow-on event to the launch of Creative Health. Part of me feels the substance of thisWestminster Hall debate, may well inform the event in January. So we need passionate political political advocates from our region to attend. 

I’m very excited to see that Jayne Howard in the South West has launched a new organisation the Both West. Arts Well champions the role of the arts and creativity in promoting health and wellbeing. It works with organisations, large and small, to develop projects and programmes that respond to identified needs. Jayne was Director of the national-award winning Arts for Health Cornwall for 11 years, and prior to that was a Director of Public Health in Cornwall. It will be great to follow their progress and from all of us in the North West - great things ahead. Check out their website HERE.


A little further away from Manchester, an exhibition of drawings by refugee children in Berlin, made with British visual poet Philip Davenport. The exhibition opens 13 October, 3pm at Paul-Schneider-Haus in Spandau, Berlin and continues until 23 November. Some of you will know Philip from his work as part of arthur+martha and this exhibition represents a significant piece of work for him over this last year.

The drawings show a child's everyday, but with the sharpness of war punching through. A policeman with a truncheon hides in one corner of 'A normal day'. A mother walks through a field equally divided between trees and explosions. Several of the drawings have been made into "poster poems", with comments from adults in their community incorporated into the designs. The poster poems, made in collaboration with Syrian designer Deya Nemo, are a gentle, sideways look at the human cost of war, the subtle losses, including childhood itself. The naivety of the drawings contrast with the questioning of adults. Sharp and cynical, though still child-like, these conversation pieces between children and adults continually ask: where are we now?

Davenport's workshops took place in the busy corridor of the Staakener Strasse asylum seekers' shelter in Spandau, Berlin. He directed weekly sessions, over a period of 6 months. The idea was to get the children’s energy down on paper, an act of creation and of release. What emerged were children's drawings, but with an angular, agitated quality. They attacked the paper on occasions. One artist had such shaky hands that his drawings were almost those of an old man.

Davenport describes the workshops: "A blast of energy, full of delight, mischief - but a certain brittleness too. As I slowly got to know the children I began to understand the cost of the epic life journey they'd taken, to reach safety here in Berlin. They'd kept their lives but lost trust..."

Davenport also interviewed many older members of the community at Staakener Strasse, weaving their thoughts into the work. The interviews and a diary of the project are online at the blog of the arthur+martha arts organisation, which Davenport co-directs - 

The 21st-century is a time of instability. Political change, climate change, economic change, bring unprecedented human movement. But some of the most sensitive witnesses have not been consulted...More details here.,


Arts Award Access Fund (England)
Deadline: 5pm, Friday 20 October 2017
The Access Fund provides grants of between £100 and £1500 to Arts Award centres working on Arts Award projects with young people for whom access and inclusion is an issue. It welcomes applications from all registered Arts Award centres based in England, but priority will be given to centres that:
are working with young people for whom access and inclusion is an issue
will use the grant to support them to pilot, embed or develop their Arts Award work with these groups. For full details click HERE. 

Yapp Charitable Trust (UK)
Grants of up to £3,000 per year for up to three years are available through the Yapp Charitable Trust to small registered charities to help with their running costs and salaries and to help sustain their existing work. The funding is only available to registered charities a total annual expenditure of less than £40,000 and that work with:
  Elderly people
  Children and young people aged 5 – 25
  People with physical impairments
  Learning difficulties or mental health challenges
  People trying to overcome life-limiting problems of a social, rather than
  medical, origin (such as addiction, relationship difficulties, abuse, offending)

  People who are educationally disadvantaged, whether adults or children.
There are no closing dates and applications can be submitted at any time. Read more HERE. 


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