Saturday, 4 August 2018

Bumper Summer Fun Edition #2

In a second bumper summer fun edition, your sun soaked and rain drenched blogger offers more scintillating on and enjoy!
First things first - what an amazing opportunity to work with 
Venture Arts and learning-disabled artists in collaboration with the Whitworth and Castlefield Gallery. This has to be the best commission I've seen in ages.

Venture Arts is calling for expressions of interest from visual artists to take part in their new project based in Manchester, Conversations Series II. 
Deadline for applications:
By 5pm on Wednesday 5 September 2018  

Interview dates:
Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 September 2018

Anticipated residency start date:
Week commencing 1 October 2018

Conversations Series II, led by Venture Arts and in partnership with Castlefield Gallery and the Whitworth, will support a collaborative residency that will bring together three learning-disabled artists who are part of the Venture Arts supported studios, to work alongside the three visual artists to be appointed. The group will develop shared ideas, create new work, and reflect on the labels placed upon us by society. This residency builds on the success of OutsiderXchanges from 2015-16. 

The selected artists will spend time with the Whitworth team and the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection, having time and access to explore the collection, its ethics and its display. This collection can be used as a starting point to see what ideas and visual responses develop during the collaborative residency. Castlefield Gallery will provide the artists taking part with mentoring and crit support at key stages over the course of the residency period. Disabled artist Tanya Raabe-Webber will work with the group to ground the work within the disability arts movement.

Contact Jennifer Gilbert for any further inquiries you have regarding the project or the application process.  

E-mail: Tel: 0161 232 1223 And get all the detail by clicking HERE. 

In the autumn there are two Live Well Make Art events. Here are some details

Live Well Make Art (LWMA)... an informal network of arts professionals and activists, health professionals and activists, academics and people who care passionately about the health of Greater Manchester. We have been working together for two years as a social movement. We want a healthier Greater Manchester, where all its people can share the benefits of engaging in and enjoying the arts and creative activities with each other and we want to make our streets, neighbourhoods and communities better places to live.

Event #1: Arts and Healthier Working
Thursday 20th September 2018, 10am - 3pm

Cobden Works, 37 – 41 Cobden Street, Salford M6 6WF
(home of Walk the Plank)

''The economic costs of ill health and its impact on work are measurable… but the human costs are often hidden and privately borne… The importance of the physical and mental health of working age people in relation to personal, family and social attainment is insufficiently recognised in our society’ 'Working for A Healthier Tomorrow’, Dame Carol Black’s Review of the health of Britain’s working age population, March 2008
On Thursday 20th September, at Walk the Plank’s new building, Cobden Works, in Salford we will be holding the second Live Well Make Art event to happen as part of a programme funded through Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Great Places initiative (you can read all about our first event at the Turnpike Gallery in Leigh here). The day will explore ways in which the arts can help support the health of working age people and those who have not yet found work. The event will be introduced by Michael Eeckelaers, NHS Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group and Esme Ward (Director, Manchester Museum). Tickets and info HERE.

Friday 19th October 2018, 10am - 3pm

Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre will be hosting the third Live Well Make Art event to happen as part of a programme funded through Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Great Places initiative. It will explore ways in which the arts can help mothers, early years children and families. The event will be introduced by Dr. Carolyn Wilkins (Chief Executive, Oldham Council) and Clive Parkinson . Click HERE for details. 


Calling artists working in social art, socially-engaged art, community arts, collaborative arts and social practice at all stages of your careers to come together and share work at the: SOCIAL ART SUMMIT: An Artist-Led Review of Socially Engaged Arts Practice in the UK on 1st & 2nd November 2018 in Sheffield and convened by Social Art Network.Over two-days artists from around the country will come together to share practice, showcase work and explore what it means to be making art through social engagement right now. The Summit will showcase the work of artists from around the UK and beyond testing the ground for a Social Art Biennale in 2020. Artists, activists, community groups, curators, students, academics, funders and sectors working in the arts and social realm are invited to join the conversation through a series of events at Site Gallery and other venues around the city. all the details and call out for participant/contributors HERE.

The 2018 Engage Conference...
...will explore the intersection between arts, health, wellbeing and education. Hosted by the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, a centre for excellence in arts and health, we invite educators, curators, researchers, artists and policymakers to discuss the immense diversity of approaches to arts and health in current practice.

It is widely recognised that engagement with the arts not only has a positive impact on wellbeing, but can support recovery, improve healthcare, staff wellbeing, and help reduce NHS spending. Interdisciplinary work in arts and health is plentiful in gallery education - learning and engagement teams have forged partnerships with health and social care services, charities, artists, technologists and, researchers Higher Education and clinicians across the UK and globally. From maternity and neonatal care through to older age, creative activity is being embraced as an element in tackling some of the health inequalities that face society today. 

A Social Prescription will give an insight into the myriad ways in which practitioners are embracing the arts and health agenda, from rethinking urban planning and embracing Virtual Reality, to changing the ways in which clinicians are trained and how we measure wellbeing. Get all the details and more HERE.

Talking of Social Prescribing...Interesting to see Aesop commissioning the pollsters ComRes, (who specialise in corporate reputation, public policy and communications) to undertake a short and sharp agree/disagree tick-box online survey of GP's perceptions on arts/healthcare. Of the 33,423 full-time equivalent GPs (excluding locums) working for the NHS, between 13th and 24th February this year, ComRes got boxes ticked by 1,002 GP's. In what Aesop describe as 'dramatic results' its positive headlines suggest: 66% agreed that public engagement with the arts can make a significant contribution towards preventing ill health among the public; 44% agreed that arts-based interventions can be a cost-effective way to deliver primary care to the public, through social prescribing, and improve health outcomes and 62% agreed that art-based interventions can make a significant contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of NHS staff. Read the ComRes survey HERE.

It's good to see that just under 3% of GP's see the value of the arts - now we might focus on our citizens before they even present to their GP.

World Healthcare Congress 2019

Call for Papers

Some of you may know that Director of Manchester Museum, Esme Ward and I are co-curating an Arts, Health & Social Change strand of the 

World Healthcare Congress 2019 which will take place in Manchester. It is quite a thing to get the arts embedded inside such a large and predominantly scientific global conference. The first call out for papers has been issued and you can find more details beolw. Read on and hit the link.

The possibilities of the arts in all their forms impacting on health and social change, is of growing interest to communities and policy makers alike. In the UK the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health & Wellbeing published the groundbreaking report, Creative Health illuminating new possibilities in how we understand and address contemporary health challenges.

This conference theme will focus down on the possibilities of culture, heritage and the arts in the context of issues ranging from how we might address the social determinants of health – to research and practice around the life course, our mental health and how we age well. This conference theme gives delegates the opportunity to experience and interrogate the ways in which we understand the lived experience of communities and the factors that influence public health, address inequalities and influence health outcomes. We propose that participation in culture and the arts has the potential to radically shape the future of the health and social care landscape and give voice to the most marginalised members of our society.


This intercultural, intergenerational gathering will bring people from across the country for skill-building, relationship-building, and engaged learning, deepening a movement for cultural democracy.

CULTURE/SHIFT 2018 is hosted in partnership with the City of Albuquerque Department of Cultural Services and New Mexico-based arts and social justice organizations. Together, we will create, explore, and amplify strategies for cultural healing, resilience, and resistance.

What are the leverage points for shifting from a consumer culture rooted in isolation and inequality to a creator culture rooted in community and equity? How can Citizen Artists sustain presence, well-being, and hope in challenging times? How can we organize in our own communities and across the country to bolster support for cultural activity that cultivates empathy, equity, and social imagination? Through participatory workshops, performances, talks, and interactive art-making, we’ll explore themes such as migration, indigenous cultural rights, climate justice, public memory and commemorative justice, ethics of community-based arts, community development/displacement, and more. Click HERE for more details. 


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