Wednesday, 31 March 2021

An invitation to re-imagine the North West Arts and Health Network

So, the last blog I posted - and what effort it took - was taken down by google for violating their terms and conditions! It's the first time in 12 years - but hey not bad going. But I did try and contact google to ask them exactly how I'd violated them (I thought the violations were always the other way round). Alas - there aren't humans you can get in touch with about this - even the email they sent me couldn't be replied to. So it will remain a mystery, perhaps orchestrated by some brutish algorithm....

What's been deleted that are still of use, are two imminent conferences.

A Culture of Care: Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance national conference 21-23 April 2021. Click here for details.

INEQUALITY * POWER * SUSTAINABILITY - the Culture, Health & Wellbeing International Conference, 21st, 22nd and 23rd June 2021.
Click here for more details.​

I'd also mentioned the launch of The National Centre for Creative Health and you can read all about it by clicking here or watching the launch film below where your blogger makes a cameo appearance!

The North West Arts, Health & Social Change Network
I guess the biggest thing that I'm sad to have lost from the last blog, was a plea for those of us in the North West who really want to get together again (regardless of who you are) and reanimate what it is we might be as a regional network. Remember the days of yore, when loads of us all over the region worked together to create the Manifesto for Arts & Health and events like Chaos and Comfort where we opened our regional doors to national and international guests and all for free. So if you'd like to be part of a community that brigs the network together and makes it fit for purpose in our changed world, I'd love to hear from you and explore together, how we might thrive. Email and express your interest here: And thanks so much to those of you who've been in touch already.

Collective Encounters is a professional arts organisation specialising in theatre for social change through collaborative practice. We use theatre to engage those on the margins of society, telling untold stories and tackling the local, national and international concerns of our time. There are four main areas to our work:

Participatory projects: we work with young people, adults and older people offering sustained and long terms participatory programmes, using theatre to build confidence, develop skills and explore the issues and ideas which matter to them.

Productions and events: we mount exciting productions in non-traditional spaces that look to excite, entertain and stimulate debate.

Research: we research theatre for social change practice nationally and internationally with a view to spearheading best practice in the UK.

Training: we use training and capacity building initiatives to develop the capacity of the arts and non-arts sector to deliver high-quality participatory arts activities.

They have three new posts with a deadline for applications: 26th April 2021, 5pm. Full details are here.

Ahh - here's an old faux Sun cover I created for this blog back on ths day in 2013. Happy days.

Arts and Mental Health: Facing the Future
And finally for this mean little blog posting (for fear that they'll delete me again), I had the pleasure of speaking at the Arts and Mental Health: Facing the Future, a research symposium hosted by Norwich University of the Arts on Wednesday 10 March 2021. The university will be posting all speakers and Q&A etc very soon, but in the meantime I offer for your delectation, my meagre offering - a 25 minute son et lumière that - the product of a fever dream, brought on by yet another seance - explores some of the political and social factors that impact on all our mental health through the legacy of Victorian and Edwardian attitudes. I do this alongside a personal narrative, thinking through the arts as a potentially liberating force to challenge poisonous politics and urging us to think less individualistically and more collectively. Click here to watch, or on the film still below. 

Goodbye for now dear humans.

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