Saturday, 26 November 2016

What the Hell?

Calling North West Arts and Health Network members - you are invited to What the Hell? - an evening with no agenda, but at which I may say a thing or two about this and that and you are invited to do likewise. On this rarest of rare occasions, I shall provide some crisps and drinks - so - who said glamour was dead? Call it a Christmas do, call it a fiasco, call it what you like, but between 6:00pm and 7:30pm on Wednesday 14th December we can have a get-together at MMU and discuss the things that matter. Email your intention to attend to me HERE and I'll send confirmation and venue next week. 

Below, a short and beautiful film from Lithuania, and no, you don't need to speak Lithuanian to understand it. And on the subject of all things LT, my personal congratulations to Simona Karpavičiūtė on the awarding of her PhD in Public Health - much hard work and well deserved. The counties first pioneering arts and health researcher.

It is with some sadness and disquiet that I report two humans, completely unknown to me, died in a fire in Manchester on Friday. I read that they were sleeping rough and had made a fire to keep warm in a building in the freezing hours of Friday morning. Still, I'm sure Black Friday - for what its worth - went swimmingly well later that day.

Arts-In-Health Program Manager
Queensland Health (Organisation site) 
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Children’s Health Queensland

As the Arts-In-Health Program Manager you will be responsible for developing, managing and delivering an integrated Arts-In-Health program for CHQ HHS which aims to improve patient, family and staff wellbeing and to help build a therapeutic environment which reflects the diversity and richness of the HHS community and Queensland population. Click HERE. 

Black Panther Party
I just about love everything Khalid Raheem says about his time in the Black Panther Party. Click on the picture below to read his story.


Sunday, 20 November 2016

...Weapons of Mass Happiness

So - in Australia I shared a heavily abridged version of a book chapter I've written that will be published in 2017 called Weapons of Mass Happiness, and here is the 'presentation' version with probably the most appalling voice over I've yet done. But in all fairness, it was recorded in one take, in an echoey kitchen, on my phone and under trying circumstances. It is what it is.

Yes - this blog has been quiet while I've been working away, but my head is crammed with things Trump, Brexit and so much more. (You can see some blog entries below, which include some important funding opportunities, so do take a look) Part of me holds back from spilling too much acid here, as I know some of you come to the blog for opportunities, grants, jobs etc - but I know too - some of you are waiting for the simmering bile to erupt. So let's just leave the whole thing to ferment for now, and see what comes...

Woodward Charitable Trust (UK)
The Woodward Charitable Trust, which is one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts has announced that it General Grant making programme is open for applications. Applications are welcomed from UK registered charities working addressing a wide range of social issues. This includes:
  • Children and young people who are isolated, at risk of exclusion or involved in anti-social behaviour
  • Projects that help the rehabilitation and resettlement of prisoners and/or ex-offenders
  • Disadvantaged women, covering refuges, domestic violence and parenting
  • Disability projects, which can include rehabilitation and training for people who are either physically disabled or learning disabled
  • Arts outreach work by local groups involving disadvantaged people
  • Projects that promote integration and community cohesion amongst minority groups, including refugees and travellers.
The fund offers grants of up to £5,000 through their small grants scheme and grants of over £5,000 through their large grants scheme. The closing date for applications is the 16th December 2016. Read more HERE.

Community Solutions Fund (North West)
The Community Solutions Fund is a partnership between the Santander Foundation and Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside to make grant investments in the North of England to support projects that increase knowledge, skills and innovation that help disadvantaged people improve confidence. Grants of £5,000 are available to registered charities, CIC's and credit unions for projects that meet one of the following themes:
  • ‘Explorer' - improving people's knowledge
  • ‘Transformer' - supporting skills and experience for any age group to reduce social isolation
  • ‘Changemaker' - innovative solutions to social challenges.
  • Priority is given to smaller organisations to help build capacity; costs must be specifically for the delivery of an identified project and must support a project in full.
The closing date for applications is the 25th November 2016; there is sufficient budget for 12 grants therefore the fund may close earlier if a large number of applications are received. Read more HERE. 

Nesta Impact Investments (UK)
Nesta, the UK's Innovation Foundation has announced that it is looking to invest in social ventures with innovative products or services that are addressing some of the UK's most pressing challenges. In particular, Nesta are seeking innovations that have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of an ageing population; the educational attainment and employability of children and young people; and the social and environmental sustainability of communities. Nesta providing investments of between £150,000 and £1m in early-stage ventures based in, and supplying their products and services in the UK. Read more HERE. 

Sunday, 13 November 2016

...unmentionable horrors

In Sydney, I’m honoured to be giving the Mike White Memorial Address and in doing so, hope to generate some thinking around culture and the arts in this time of burgeoning inequalities and social injustices. Mike died last June and his presence and erudite observations will be sorely missed by all of us gathering at the eighth International Arts & Health Conference. 

He was a superb thinker and speaker, and an impossible act to follow.

What on earth would he have made of the colossal mess of the gated community that is the UK, the unfolding chaos of Brexit and the unmentionable horrors over in the
Land of the Free. Which ever way voters were going in either country, they were inevitably influenced by a rabid press, fixated on caricatures and propagating bullshit, whilst all the time the complacent masses carried on shopping, facebooking, having it off and perhaps, just perhaps - not giving the longer-term any deeper thought than their pithily constructed 140 character postings and gurning great selfies. Bloody hell - we’re an ugly world, and our democratically elected politicians adequately reflect this vacuity. 

Almost 47% of the electorate didn’t vote in the US, and now there are riots about the results. Hmmm! Which ever way it was going, it was going to be unpalatable. Now it’s ugly and we can only hope apathy before future elections is replaced by pro-activism - and that we all challenge the complicit press in their lazy, self-serving ‘reportage’. So - histrionics - self aggrandisement - manipulation of the truth and delusional self-centred individualism. Narcissism is the dish du jour, and much more on that very soon. 

With civic engagement in mind, perhaps people should take part in surveys like this one.

Gulbenkian Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations: invitation to take part in a new survey
What Next? is working with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Institute of Cultural Capital (ICC) on an Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations. The first phase of the Inquiry (until December 2016) is focused on research, mapping the landscape, defining what we mean by 'civic' and the 'civic role' and identifying examples of existing great practice. You can read more about the survey HERE. 

Keeping the theme going, (and thanks to Arts Development UK)
If you Care about the Future of Art Education (England), email your MP NOW! "This year we saw an 8% drop in the uptake of arts subjects from the previous year and the decline was confirmed by the Department for Education (DfE) when they announced a further 1.7% decline in the number of students taking at least one arts based GCSE. At the recent debate in Parliament, several of the MPs that spoke mentioned how much they were moved by letters they had received from their constituents concerning the importance of creativity and the negative impact the EBacc is having on it. We need to keep up the pressure so we are asking you, today, to please write again – or for the first time – to your Member of Parliament asking them to oppose the EBacc. The Bacc for the Future has been highly successful so far in campaigning against the EBacc. It’s very easy to email your local MP if you follow this link - there is a template letter which you can copy and paste to your MP by inserting your postcode. It takes less than a minute so please, if possible, please do show your support by emailing your MP.”

The Isle is Full of Noises
by Victoria Hume
The Isle is Full of Noises is a sound and animation installation that explores what it is like to hear voices. It is largely based on a workshop held in summer 2016 in Durham with people who hear voices. The workshop reinforced the need to challenge widespread prejudice about voice-hearing, and to assert that not only is this a normal phenomenon, but that ‘we are people, that have lots of other things going on; voice-hearing is just a tiny part of that’.
Click on the video below for more.

Arts Access and Participation Fund (UK)
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation has announced the latest grants to be awarded through its Arts Access and Participation fund. Through the fund grants are available for not-for-profit organisations to test, implement and develop ambitious plans to widen access to and deepen participation in the arts. Priority will be given to projects working in areas of social and economic deprivation outside of London. Applications for funding can be submitted at any time. Read more HERE.

Artists International Development Fund (England)
The next application deadline for the Arts Council England's Artists International Development Fund is 5pm on the 22nd March 2017. This funding stream is for artists to develop links with artists, organisations and/or creative producers in other countries. Freelance and self-employed artists can apply for small grants of £1,000 to £5,000 to spend time building these links to broaden their horizons and open their work to other perspectives. The programme is open to emerging and mid-career artists working in combined arts, literature, music, theatre, dance, visual arts and crafts and design. Applicants must have received recognition for their work in England and not have extensive international experience. The application must also a letter of support from the overseas partner/host. Read more HERE.   

Brexit Report highlights challenges ahead for UK’s creative industries
A new report from the Creative Industries Foundation has identified freedom of movement and a loss of EU funding as two key concerns for the sector in a post-Brexit landscape. The 73-page report outlines how the creative industries can ‘survive and thrive post-Brexit’ and was produced from evidence provided by around 500 contributors at 11 meetings held by nationwide. Information and opinions were also gathered from a members’ survey. The foundation, a not-for-profit company with more than 1000 members from across the sector including a-n, is also calling for the government to use the Brexit decision – which 96% of its members voted against – as an opportunity to ‘reboot education and training’ for young people. Read more HERE.


Monday, 31 October 2016


What a time! 
That conference in Dubbo was just about as goods it gets.
A chance for socially engaged artists to take stock, share and expand horizons.
I’ve been overwhelmed by my immersion into the realities of First Nation politics and arts practice. I realise I’m not even scratching the surface. Thank you to all of you who shared your thinking and for those very positive responses to my work. It means a lot. Thank you for your invitation Elizabeth.

(I know I've drawn you in with the offer of genitals this week, so please hang on in there, and I promise we'll discuss them very soon...)

This was an opportunity to set up the tanks on the lawn of the palace and fire some warning shots about the increasingly stagnating mono-cultural approach to arts/health. Yes we’re dong some good work, but the insidious platitudes of trussed up middle-England twerps needs scuppering.* As our movement evolves and engages with mainstream arts and cultural practitioners and organisations, we need to diversify. We need to take stock of all our good work, but be honest with ourselves about all our futures.

This conference has fired me up with new ideas and introduced me to some profound and important stories. Great meeting like-minded people who are bound by a commitment to cultural change (albeit in different contexts). It was reassuring to speak to so many people who had not only heard of our Gross Brexit Stupidity, but who were horrified by it, seeing those unfolding ramifications. 

So my key-note to conference suggested that we take a salutary look at ourselves and ask; are our organisations and institutions who are leading this work really representative of contemporary society? A recent audit of national and international organisations advocating on behalf of the arts/health community found them to be devoid of diversity, and like your ruminating blogger - middle aged and white. Change is needed. Of course I took a swift pop at the chops of the doyens of happiness, by way of heroin, ecstasy and the social poison of choice - consumer products. 

If any Australian readers fancy hearing me present, Weapons of Mass Happiness, come along to the Arts Gallery of New South Wales to the 8th Annual International Arts and Health Conference organised by the Australian Centre for Arts and Health. Thank you Margret for making this happen.

Finally - on the Australian front for now - I am guest of the University of New South Wales and exploring OCD for a new piece of action research that I'll share at a festival in 2017. Thank you Jill for that! Much, much more on that very soon...

The Genital Touch:
Understanding male cancers past and present      

Wed 23 Nov 5.30 – 7.00pm      
Manchester Central Library

Today, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, although this has not always been the case. For International Men’s Day on 19 November, join two expert speakers to find out more about the diagnosis and treatment of male cancers past and present. Agnes Arnold-Forster (Kings College London) explains the connections made between cancers and manhood in the nineteenth century, while Dr Ian Banks (President of the European Men’s Health Forum) will look at how understanding men and cancer is a public health concern today. This is a free event and all are welcome to attend!
Please register your name HERE.

(so, the genitals header may have seemed a little glib - it wasn't - it is a serious as it gets. This is important - so spread the word)

Examining the utility of music interventions for children with learning disabilities
Monday 28th November

Music is a source of stimulation and of reflection for everyone and for all time. The use of music to soothe a troubled mind reaches back into the distant past: David the shepherd played his harp to calm the moody King Saul. In modern times, music is provided to children affected by a range of conditions such as autism or chronic neurological disorders - but do we have the evidence of benefit which stands scrutiny? The topic of arts interventions in medicine, following many years of arts/music activities for children with learning disabilities in hospitals and homes, has come under increased research scrutiny in recent years. 

Live Music Now has for years been promoting and organising professional musicians in special schools, hospitals, hospices and residential homes for the disadvantaged in society, principally for the young with disabilities and for the elderly, has won awards for its activities and is actively involved with projects to demonstrate the positive effects of such music interventions in improving health. This is the second conference organised jointly by Live Music Now and the Royal Society of Medicine. Click HERE.

Community Radio Fund to Opens for Applications

Telecom's Regulator Ofcom, has announced that the Community Radio Fund has re-opened for applications. Funding is available to not-for-profit radio stations that have a social purpose, and work to involve their target community in running the service. Funding will be available to Community Radio Stations towards their core running costs. These can include:
Management costs
Administration, financial management & reporting costs
Fundraising to support the station
Community outreach work
The costs involved in using volunteers; etc.
There was no upper limit of grant that can be applied for, however applicants are asked to take note of previous grants awarded for an indication of realistic award figures. Grants can only be made to community radio licensees which are broadcasting under a community radio license (and not an RSL, for example). The average grant awarded over the last few years has been in the region if £15,000. The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 16th November 2016. Read more HERE. 

GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund 
Food manufacturer, Mars has announced that its GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund will re-open for applications on the 7th November 2016. Every week, until 26th February 2017, the Fund will be looking to help local community groups, schools and charities across the UK and Ireland by awarding five £300 cash awards a week. Organisations and groups can enter online via Each organisation can only enter once. Four of these will be awarded by a judges' panel. There will also be a People's Choice Award every week which will be awarded to the entry with the most votes in any given week. Read more HERE. 

Ashley Family Foundation Extends Application Deadline 
The Ashley Family Foundation, which supports projects that protect rural communities and encourage participation in the arts, particularly textiles has extended the application deadline for its grants programme to 5.30 pm on the 18th November 2016. The Foundation's policy is to give half of the funds available to Welsh projects and it will give priority to good small scale arts projects in England and Wales. The Foundation also welcome proposals from small scale community textile museums/organisations. No minimum or maximum funding levels but potential applicants should call to discuss their ideas before applying. Read more HERE. 

BIG launches £40 Million Youth Investment Programme 
The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) has announced that it is accepting applications to it new £40 million Youth Investment Fund. The Youth Investment Fund will support voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) youth organisations to deliver, expand and create high quality local youth provision in targeted communities across England. Successful applicants will have funding available up until 2020. Funding of between £50,000 and £150,000 per year is available for up to 3 years within six geographical clusters (West Midlands Urban, London East, Tees Valley & Sunderland, Bristol & Somerset, Eastern Counties and Liverpool City Region), will need to have a strong track record of delivering services to young people aged 10-18 (up to 25 if disabled) and have an annual income in the region of £300,000 to £2 million. In addition, to ensure that the size of the funding is proportionate to the size of the applicant's organisation, BIG would also expect the average annual grant to be no more than 25% of the annual income. BIG anticipate funding in the region of 60-75 applications within the targeted areas. The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 11th November 2016. Read more HERE. 

BBC Children in Need main grant programme 
The next closing date for applications to the BBC Children in Need Main Grants programme is the 13th January 2017. Grants of over £10,000 per project are available to not for profit organisations that work with young people who are 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.
Schools can also apply for funding but the project must be additional to their statutory duties. 
Read more HERE. 

*For the purpose of this blog posting, (and blog posting in general) I'm looking for a short-hand to describe this insidious sort, but find myself resorting to long-hand instead. So let's lance the boil, get it of the chest. I’d like you to imagine a preposterous little man. A dullard, a glassy eyed and self important business man all dressed up in his ill-fitting suit, talking the part, walking the walk - but devoid of experience, talent or vision. A deluded middle manager and ephemeral piece of fluff - an unoriginal sort, riding on the backs of others more talented. Strutting and self important - fixated on the BIGGEST, the BEST, the FIRST.
From now on, the shorthand - Trevor Jolly - the pompous pillock.


Sunday, 23 October 2016

...ener the void

This blog may be a little quieter than usual, as your beleaguered blogger takes a 'red-eye' to Australia for two big events: the ARTLANDS Festival and Conference in Dubbo and the Australia Centre for Arts and Health - Art of Good Health and Wellbeing International Conference. This year I've written something about the inequalities and social justice called Weapons of Mass Happiness. It's a presentation of ideas I've expanded around diversity in arts and health, for a book called, Music, Health, and Wellbeing: Exploring music for health equity and social justice to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. I'll be working with Vic McEwan on some of his outcomes from Alder Hey hospital again and in residency at the University of New South Wales, National Institute for Experimental Arts, where we are hatching plans for a major event in 2017. More of all this soon, but I hope to keep the odd blog posting up whilst I'm away.

For now - a few things on the horizon:

We just wanted to let you know that booking is now open for the Storytelling for Health conference, which takes place in Swansea on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th June 2017.  We would be delighted if you could join us, you can book your tickets HERE. 

LIME Music for Health Wingbeats Conference
Further to my previous email about our upcoming exciting LIME Music for Health Wingbeats Conference on Thursday 17th November – please find below a link that will take you to the Eventbrite ticketing page. Due to the nature of the venue there are limited places available so please confirm your attendance at the conference as soon as possible. Click HERE to find out more and book a place.

Help Musicians UK announces new national grants programme 
Independent music charity Help Musicians UK has announced a new funding programme for organisations. Its National Grants Programme is inviting applications from organisations working with musicians across the UK. Successful applicants will receive between £5,000 and £40,000 in funding over a three-year period. The scheme, which runs until 2021, is the first to be launched as part of a new strategy to modernise the way the charity reaches musicians from across all genres and the whole of the country. Read more HERE.

Grants to help new, innovative visual arts projects 
The Elephant Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 16th January 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 now being given to artists and small organisations and galleries who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions. Arts Festivals are not supported. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered. Read more HERE.  


Saturday, 15 October 2016


Dementia & Imagination
A note for your diaries if you have been following the Dementia & Imagination project. On January 31st 2017 we'll be sharing our research findings and the work of the research artists at a full day event at Wellcome Trust in London. I expect the event will be free, but we are refining all the ideas as yet. Just a reminder that the research project took place in Newcastle, North Wales and Derbyshire and it will be exciting to share new research and thinking around the impact of the visual arts on the lived experiences of people with dementia. Expect multi-disciplinary research findings - a handbook to support practice and future research - & challenging and liberating contemporary arts practice.

For anybody involved in inter-generational work in Greater Manchester, I'll be giving a new paper - A Social Poison - this Monday 17th at New Generation: Design for Living. If you want to know more about the event, click on the image below.

Esmée begins Crowdfunding with Spacehive 
(Hull, Manchester & Lewisham)
The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is trying out a new method of funding and is offering a total of £200,000 through crowdfunding platform to support community projects in Hull, Manchester and The London Borough of Lewisham. Legally charitable organisations that have ideas for projects that will bring communities together using the arts, culture, food or green spaces can apply for funding under this programme. Grants of up to £2,500 will be available for projects run by individuals and £15,000 will be available for projects that are being run by organisations. The funding can only cover up to 50% of projects costs and cannot be used towards buildings, building work or equipment. By using crowdfunding the foundation wants to get money to projects which have genuine community support and demand. Projects created on spacehive can apply for an Esmée pledge for their project and funding decisions will be made on an ongoing basis. Read more HERE. 

The Lowry: Director of Learning & Engagement
37.5 hours per week, 
Salary: £45,000 per annum (subject to experience) plus staff benefits
Deadline: Monday 31 October 2016 at 10am.
The Lowry is one of the UK’s leading multi art form organisations situated at the heart of MediaCityUK, one of the world’s most exciting cultural, digital and media hubs. We are looking for a Director of Learning and Engagement to champion and creatively lead a programme that connects local communities, children and young people to The Lowry and its artistic work.  The post-holder will be The Lowry’s strategic lead on all aspects of Learning & Engagement including targeted community engagement; youth talent, work and skills development; formal education and widening participation through outreach. Read more HERE. 


Saturday, 8 October 2016

...a dull headed ass and a well-needed punch in the face - good grief!

Just who are we talking about this week?
First things first - thank you for email received this week and apologies for the decreasing speed in my replies. It's intriguing however, amongst the positive mail that comes in, I increasingly get spam, some of which, in fact constitutes self-aggrandisement akin to everyone's bogeyman - Donald Trump (who sounds more like an imprisoned or dead Radio 1 DJ from the 60's every day). Yes - in this arts and health movement - we do get talentless power-hungry bozo's too - but then I start to write a blog and have to quickly censor myself. Well - this is the question - should I censor, or perhaps do the opposite and divorce myself from the work that necessitates me self-censoring? Advice needed please.

You see, I do feel that this arts/health thing we're all part of, is by its very nature, a grass roots movement, not something that you can impose standardisation on, and yet it seems the free-marketeers are gaining ground and soon everything we do will only be sanctioned if it meets the standards of the politburo - standards dictated by those pale-faced marketeers - and never - absolutely never - those artists, free-thinkers and activists that make up the movement. So this blog, or your blogger at least, has reached an existential crossroads.

So - for now - here's a little morsel from days of yore, a tale of Aesop nonetheless, and then DeNiro will make some pronouncements on a despotic tosser, in the short film below. Just one of the arrogant twerps we would so dearly love to whack around the head with a wet fish.

The Ass carrying the Image
An Ass once carried through the streets of a city a famous wooden Image, to be placed in one of its Temples. As he passed along, the crowd made lowly prostration before the Image. The Ass, thinking that they bowed their heads in token of respect for himself, bristled up with pride, gave himself airs, and refused to move another step. The driver, seeing him thus stop, laid his whip lustily about his shoulders and said, “O you perverse dull-head! it is not yet come to this, that wo/men pay worship to an Ass.”

London Arts in Health Forum 
Festival Coordinator
Fee: £10,000
Hours: An average of 2 days per week
Engagement: December 2016 - June 2017
Deadline: Monday 31st Oct at 17.00
London Arts in Health Forum is seeking a Co-ordinator to deliver its annual festival Creativity and Wellbeing Week. This festival, now in its sixth year will take place from 12-18 June 2017, across London and nationally. The Co-ordinator will manage key events, support partner organisations, encourage engagement, and promote the Festival. The key aim of the Festival is to raise the profile of the role of the arts in health and wellbeing, to celebrate good practice in arts and health and bring together the organisations and individuals who work in this area. For full details of the post and a project brief, please contact

To apply for this post, please submit a written application (maximum 600 words) detailing how you meet the person specification along with a detailed CV. Please send your application clearly headlined Festival Co-ordinator application to Applications must be submitted by Monday 31stOctober, 5pm. Interviews will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday 8th November. The successful candidate should be able to start work in December.

Challenging Outsider Art
Over the past 7-months, OutsiderXchanges, a visual arts project based on collaboration, reciprocal learning and creative exchange has brought together six learning disabled artists and six contemporary visual artists in one studio space. Taking parity of ideas and aesthetic approaches as a starting point the resulting works blur the line between art and life, inviting the viewer to challenge their own conceptions of art and what might be considered ‘outsider’ art. 

New works developed throughout the project will now be exhibited the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (1 – 31 October) and at the Whitworth Art Gallery (3 November). Artwork ranges from pieces developed individually such Sarah Lee’s tactile three-dimensional clay ‘sketches’, inspired by the recent fire at the 16th-century Wythenshawe Hall, to collaborative works such as Yes Lad, Yes Lass (2016) by artists Barry Anthony Finan and Rosanne Robertson, a poignant mixed media video installation. This sculptural work represents the meeting of the two artists with their ambitions laid bare. Leslie Thompson, a prolific drawer, who at every opportunity is documenting his observations of events happening around him, in enormous detail using pen on paper, and in his own recognisable witty style, to artists Horace Lindezey and Juliet Davis who have involved public participation in their practice throughout to In a series of interviews Lindezey has been engaging participants in conversation on their childhood memories whilst also building models of their schools as a tool for reminiscence. Led by the always brilliant Venture Arts, this is a must see show. Click on the Leslie Thompson's Brown Bear, below, or Barry Anthony Finan's work, above for more details.

The Death Talker
Since the dawn of time, human beings have been curious about death. Most of us have little time in our busy lives to think about the things that are important to us. Often, it s not until we have a personal experience that we give any serious thought to our own life and our mortality. Here’s a link to a new book by Molly Carlile. The Death Talker offers a common sense approach to the issues we should all be thinking about so we can live and die well. The personal stories and practical information provide a sensitive guide for exploring the stuff that matters to each of us and to help us have meaningful conversations with the people we love. Click on the book for more info. 

Kick the Dust! New funding for youth-focused projects
Deadline: 2 December 2016
Kick the Dust is a £10 million grants programme for ambitious youth-focused projects that transform how heritage organisations engage with young people aged 11-25. You will be able to apply for a grant from £500,000 to £1million as part of a consortium, which should include heritage and youth organisations. Young people named this initiative, hoping to stir things up, inspire change and ensure heritage is relevant to young people’s lives. For the first time, HLF will also be asking young people to help decide about which applications should be funded.

Application guidance and project enquiry forms are available at the HLF website. There will be a mandatory project enquiry stage to tell them your ideas followed by a two-round application process. There will be one opportunity to apply for Kick the Dust. You will need to submit your enquiry form by 2 December 2016. The deadline for first-round applications will be 20 February 2017. Click HERE.

The Art of Mentalizing: Communicating the Unknown
21-23 October at the Pratt Institute, New York
"This is a truly important event that brings together for the first time two groups working to extend the frontiers of mentalizing in the US and the UK. The conference will undoubtedly present many remarkable insights and experiences for participants that I have no doubt will further not just clinical practice but also encourage research enquiry into the therapeutic use of creative arts in mental health"  Professor Peter Fonagy

I wish I was going to this, but am thrilled my colleague Dr Kat Taylor is and she's presenting her work: "Engaging with art as part of recovery processes in individuals with mental health difficulties: a phenomenological meta-synthesis and Exploring the links between the phenomenology of creativity and bipolar disorder." More details by clicking on the banner below.

BIG Launches New £40 Million Youth Investment Fund 
The Big Lottery Fund has announced the launch of its new £40 million Youth Investment Fund.
The fund aims to support organisation in the West Midlands; London East; Tees Valley & Sunderland; Bristol & Somerset; Eastern Counties; and Liverpool City who provide front-line open access youth services in disadvantaged communities for young people aged 10-18 (up to 25 for young people with disabilities). Eligible organisations are able to apply for grants of between £150,000 and £750,000 over a three-year period. Organisations will only be able to apply for an annual grant amount that is at most a quarter of the size of their annual income and are expected to be already delivering programmes within this target group. The fund will prioritise organisations looking to expand existing services and develop new ones. Proportionate overheads will be eligible, and there'll be up to £50,000 of grant available to help with the refurbishment of existing youth facilities, the development of new ones, and the purchase of equipment. The closing date for applications is the 11th November 2016. Read more HERE. 

Arts Award Access Fund 
The next deadline for applications to the Arts Award Access Fund is the 21st October 2016. Grants of £100 to £1500 are available to Arts Award centres in England working on Arts Award projects with young people for whom access and inclusion is an issue. Priority will be given to centres that: are working with young people for whom access and inclusion is an issue and who will use the grant to support them to pilot, embed or develop their Arts Award work with these groups. Click HERE.

Tight Modern 2016: Call for artists As Nicholas Serota joins Arts Council England as it’s new chair, it good to see that Tight Modern has a shout out for marginalised and disabled artists. 

Tight Modern is open to submissions from UK based marginalised and disabled artists. Don't miss the deadline for Tight Modern 2016 submissions - 30th October 2016. Open to UK based marginalised and disabled artists. Entries must be 13cmx18cm in portrait format, with a maximum depth of 2cm. You can submit original artworks, photography or computer generated images. You can find full details on how to submit work here and information on the fantastic cash, art materials and details are available by clicking on the image above.