Sunday, 28 May 2017

...Vic McEwan and more

Save the Date: 29 June 13:00 - 15:30 @TATE Liverpool
A free North West Arts & Health Network & TATE Exchange event



The Harmonic Oscillator
Between 25th June and 1st July, Australian artist Vic McEwan will be in residence at TATE Liverpool as part of their TATE Exchange programme, where he will be exhibiting and performing pieces of work as a direct response to his time in residence at Alder Hey Hospital. Over the last few years as a guest of Arts and Health Co-ordinator, Vicky Charnock and in collaboration with Arts for Health, Vic has spent time observing the acoustic environment of the hospital particularly thinking about noise and sound under the working title of The Harmonic Oscillator. I've had the opportunity to work closely with Vic over this period and am excited to be sharing some of this work at the National Gallery of Art, Lithuania, TATE Liverpool, at the Culture, Health and Wellbeing, International Conference and as part of The Big Anxiety festival.
My contribution will be published observations of Vic's work in the context of our arts/health agenda, and I can promise Vic's work will be both surprising and liberating, provoking the mind and demanding curiosity. More details about TATE Exchange will follow soon, but here's an 
advanced notice of an event on 29th June between 13:00 and 15:30. We'll be hosting a free event, where you can meet Vic and find out more about this collaborative artist-led project, and experience some of the work, and a performance. We will have very limited places, so I will tweet, facebook and blog the details of how you can reserve a place over the next week. Please don't email me for a place, as it will be via eventbrite. Thank you.



Engaging Libraries Programme opens for applications 
The Carnegie UK Trust has announced that its Engaging Libraries Programme is now open for applications. The programme which is a partnership between the Carnegie UK Trust and the Wellcome Trust 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 are aiming to support between 8 - 10 libraries and activities must be completed between October 2017 and October 2018. The closing date for applications is 5pm the 23rd August 2017. Read more HERE.

Music grants for older peopleThe registered charity, Concertina which makes grants of up to £250 to charitable bodies which provide musical entertainment and related activities for the elderly has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 31st October 2017. The charity is particular keen to support smaller organisations which might otherwise find it difficult to gain funding. Concertina has made grants to a wide range of charitable organisations nationwide in England and Wales. These include funds to many care homes for the elderly to provide musical entertainment for their residents. Read more HERE.


Ragdoll Foundation Open Grants Scheme 
The Ragdoll Foundation's Open Grant scheme supports not for profit organisations working with children and young people using the arts and creative media. Grants of up to £50,000 are available. However, the Foundation states that the majority of grants awarded are likely to be in the region of £5,000 to £20,000 and cover between 25% and 80% of total costs of the project. Organisations can apply for both one-off short-term projects and for projects lasting up to three years. Preference will be given to those projects which have a deep commitment to listening to children and allow the perceptions and feelings of children themselves to be better understood. The Foundations is mainly interested in applications that involve children during their early years, but appropriate projects for older children (up to 18 years) will also be considered. Whilst the Foundation will fund work in and around London, they will prioritise projects taking place elsewhere in the UK. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Read more HERE.



Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. 
Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers…1
Oh that life were so simple! I began my presentation to the ARTLANDS 2016 conference in New South Wales with the iconic John Hodge monologue on selfish individualism, written for the film of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, and which offered (I hope) a heroin-flavoured indictment of contemporary life and a spring-board from which we discussed the arts, social justice and inequalities, which I argued - underpins all our health. 

Through the sublime music of Louis Armstrong, I attempted to take those listening on a journey through a bloody civil war, in what was then, the Belgian Congo, via Central High School in Arkansas and the Little Rock Nine, all the time, exploring the relevance of the arts in an unfolding political maelstrom, suggesting that in the heart of fractured and unequal societies, artists are offered up as the answers to all life’s problems.



Through music, verbatim theatre and poetry I explored inequalities and social injustices, suggesting how the arts might offer us different kinds of evidence, and where grass roots organisations like #BlackLivesMatter perhaps, represent a cohesive force for social and cultural change, across a spectrum of inequalities. 

As civil unrest continues to regularly erupt across America, and as President Trump (Hародный герой) 
crassly bulldozes his way through office, I suggested that the ways in which health is now understood is increasingly focused on competition and not compassion. 

Into this largely clinical context the arts and health agenda has emerged as a force to humanise healing environments and advance its relationship with medicine as a means to achieving individual health. But perhaps if we begin to understand public health in terms of equity and justice, then we might engage more deeply with the social determinants of health, and not simply decorate the edges of our individual lives. 

The arts and health movement, seems to be thriving, yet without diversity, we risk becoming inward looking and self-congratulatory and dominated by self-promoting twerps, not dissimilar to Trump! Now, more than ever, we need to disrupt inequalities and social injustices and perhaps, the arts might just enable that parity of voice. As we observe the incremental incursions of free-marketeers into the field, and knee-jerk twitter-feed decisions of a reality-TV President, I am reminded of the prescient observations of James Baldwin in 1972:



“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.2



1. Trainspotting (1996) Directed by Danny Boyle. Written by John Hodge, based on the novel by Irvine Welsh.

2. Baldwin, James. “No Name in the Street”, Michael Joseph, London, 1972

This is an edited extract from Weapons of Mass Happiness at ARTLANDS Dubbo 2016. 
It includes extracts from a chapter in the forthcoming book:
Music, Health, and Wellbeing: Exploring Music for Health Equity and Social Justice, published in 2017 by Palgrave Macmillan and is co-edited by: Naomi Sunderland, Natalie Lewandowski, Dan Bendrups, and Brydie-Leigh Bartleet.

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Sunday, 21 May 2017

...a holding slide




...and a musical interlude



Sunday, 14 May 2017

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Welcome to another blog which sees an excellent conference in Wales, a dubious and terrible quality video of the crack-pot 'High-Kick-to-Health' project, an artists commission, and new funding opportunities. What more could you want to start of your week?



Storytelling for Heath 
There is now just over a month until the Storytelling for Heath conference takes place in Swansea on 15th, 16th and 17th June. This major international conference includes workshops, panel discussions, presentations, performances, poetry, music and exhibitions from over 90 international contributors -   it is shaping up to be a really exciting programme! The conference brings together clinicians, healthcare workers, artists, patients, policy makers and others with an interest in the intersection between storytelling and health to showcase the really exciting work already going on in this field and to take forward the debate about how we can all develop our practice.  We really hope we will see you there.  Tickets are available HERE. For more information and to see the full conference programme please visit http://www.artsinhealth.wales/conference.html



Art Commission, Sheffield Children’s Hospital
Deadline 2nd June 2017
Artfelt is looking for artists for the new Haematology and Oncology Unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Applications are welcomed from individuals, studios, companies or collaborations with a good understanding of space, large scale graphics and surface finishes. Details of the commission are HERE.



Nick Deakin
Engaging Libraries Programme opens for applications 
The Carnegie UK Trust has announced that its Engaging Libraries Programme is now open for applications. The programme which is a partnership between the Carnegie UK Trust and the Wellcome Trust 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 are aiming to support between 8 - 10 libraries and activities must be completed between October 2017 and October 2018. The closing date for applications is 5pm the 23rd August 2017. Read more by clicking on the image below!



Music grants for older people 
The registered charity, Concertina which makes grants of up to £250 to charitable bodies which provide musical entertainment and related activities for the elderly has announced that the next deadline for applications is the 31st October 2017. The charity is particular keen to support smaller organisations which might otherwise find it difficult to gain funding. Concertina has made grants to a wide range of charitable organisations nationwide in England and Wales. These include funds to many care homes for the elderly to provide musical entertainment for their residents. Click HERE.



                         

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Social Change Across Greater Manchester...?

Congratulations to Andy Burnham on his majority win in the mayoral elections. With his long-standing commitment to Arts/Health and his knowledge and connections across these ten districts, it will be good to support him embedding culture and the arts across all his strategic planning and delivery, with that cultural thread running through everything that Greater Manchester is about.


For those of you who were involved in the field in 2007, you’ll remember that he put his name to the Prospectus for Arts & Health which was jointly developed by the Department of Health and Arts Council England. Now with a clear mandate, and a focus on our culturally rich metropolitan area, there are real opportunities for him to celebrate what is happening at grass-roots level alongside the offer of our bigger cultural players, whilst investing in culture and the arts as social determinants of health and wellbeing, for long-term social change. The time is now or never.


Let’s just remind ourselves, that as an arts and health community, we developed a shared Manifesto for Arts & Health in 2011. It still holds true - ‘this is a movement’. Now let's invite the Mayor into Manchester School of Art to help him better understand our community of practice.


Austin Hope & Pilkington Trust 
Deadline: 31 May 2017 (£5k grants); 31 July 2017 (£1k grants). The Austin Hope and Pilkington Trust has grants available for projects that relate to music and the arts. Charities with an annual operating income of between £50,000- £1million can apply for a grant of £1,000. Charities with an annual income of over £500,000 can apply for a grant of £5,000. For more information, click HERE.  



Barbara Ward Children’s Charity Funding
Charities and organisations helping children who are disadvantaged in some respect can apply for grants from the Barbara Ward Children's Charity. Grants may also be awarded to charities supporting adults with learning difficulties. Recent awards have ranged from £1,350 to £21,000 and have been used to support both one-off donations and project-related grants for 2-5 years. Applications are accepted and assessed on a rolling basis. Read more HERE.

HRUK & SUBWAY Healthy Heart Grants 
Heart Research UK (HRUK) is launching its 2017 SUBWAY/HRUK Healthy Heart Grants scheme. Not for profit groups, voluntary organisations and registered charities will be able to apply for grants of up to £10,000 for new, original and innovative projects that actively promote Heart Health and help to prevent, or reduce, the risk of heart disease. The grants are available in specific regions at certain times of the year. For further information and details of the application periods for each region, read more HERE.

Above is a short performance film sent to me by Joanna Rosenfeld about becoming a mother and suffering from Post Natal Depression which is part of the Digital Institute of Early Parenthood Online exhibition Performing Parenthood.

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Monday, 1 May 2017

...ТЫ и Я


Big thanks to Liam Murphy (via HS) for this image of a resourceful robin's nest!

Recoverism and the Arts: Driving change through collaborative research

What a day! The first major Recoverist event took place in the Manchester School of Art last Tuesday with around 150 people attending from around the UK, Italy, Germany, France and Lithuania. My personal thanks to Sarah G, Rob R, Lucy W of SUAB and Mark P and to all those who contributed on the day. The event was in part, about sharing new ideas and innovative practice that bridges substance misuse and recovery, with the arts - moving away from cliched representations of addiction, and critically about exploring ways in which art and artists might have a part in the research agenda. So the Recoverist movement is growing and as projects unfold, you can read about them here first. Thanks to the Arts & Health Research Group at the Manchester School of Art and for Alcohol Research UK for their generous funding.


Distant Voices - Coming Home
Professor Fergus McNeill - University of Glasgow
Alison Urie - Vox Liminis
Wednesday 24 May 2017 at the Media Factory, Innovation Studio, 3.00 to 5.30
‘Distant Voices – Coming Home’ is a project that responds to pressing public policy and political challenges created by huge rises in the numbers of people subject to penal sanctions and by high levels of reoffending. Turning conventional understandings of ‘offender rehabilitation’ on their head, the project is concerned not with ‘correcting offenders’ but rather with exploring and changing how they are received when ‘coming home’ after punishment. Distant Voices combines creative practices (principally song writing and sharing) research and knowledge exchange to enable dialogue and learning about re/integration - and to practice and experience it. This is a Cross–Disciplinary Seminar Series organised by the always brilliant Psychosocial Research Unit from the School of Social Work, Care and Community. More details and booking HERE.

BUPA Foundation - Healthy Futures: Empowering Young Adults 
The BUPA Foundation has launched a new funding round through its Healthy Futures funding programme. The Bupa UK funds practical projects to tackle challenges in health and social care and make a direct impact on people's health and wellbeing. This funding round is focused on young adults aged 18 to 25 and the Foundation is specifically interested in projects that will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of young adults who face ongoing health challenges. The closing date for applications is the 19th May 2017. Read more HERE. 


Celf o Gwmpas - Freelance Project Co-ordinator (Wales)
Deadline: Friday 28 April 2017 at 5pm
Celf o Gwmpas are looking for a new person to fill an exciting role and join our busy team at Centre Celf in Llandrindod Wells. The post will be a freelance position for a period of 9 months, starting early in May 2017. Celf o Gwmpas wishes to engage an individual with knowledge and experience of Arts, Health and Wellbeing to co-ordinate our current projects ‘Reaching Out, Drawing In’ and 'In Residence' and to develop our 'Artist Network'. The rate of pay for the work is £11.45 per hour, working on average 14 hours per week. For further details and to download the Job Description and Application Form, please visit our website HERE.



Birth Rites Collection 2017 Biennial Competition for New Works in Collaboration with The Whitworth
Submissions for our Birth Rites Collection Bi-annual award are now open.
This is an opportunity for your work to become a permanent part of the Birth Rites Collection. Your work will be featured as a constant on the Birth Rites website, will tour with the collection where it will be shown in future exhibitions, be available for loan to external shows and will be part of any publications released in line with the collection. The works submitted will be considered by our judges, Helen Knowles, Birth Rites Curator and Poppy Bowers, curator at the Whitworth Art Gallery. The chosen works will be featured for one month on our website and showcased digitally at an event in September at the Whitworth Art Gallery for one night as part of the Thursday Lates Programme. Songbirds: Music Making in Hospital: Saturday 24th June, 2017At the showcase, one winner of the competition will be announced and their work will become part of the Birth Rites Collection. The prize winner will also be awarded a two-week residency at Birth Rites Collection. This opportunity will be a chance to embed yourself within the Midwifery School to research a new piece of work. In addition to securing a residency, Birth Rites Collection will provide accommodation and a stipend of £250 and the winning work will be included in the Birth Rites Collection.
Please email born@birthrites.org.uk with any queries.
Competition Brief link: http://docdro.id/EIkTmMq
Application Form link: http://docdro.id/9QedBug
More information on our website: http://www.birthritescollection.org.uk
Deadline: June 25th, 2017



Songbirds: Music Making in Hospital: Saturday 24th June, 2017
10am – 5pm

Music making in hospital provides opportunities for communication and interaction, placing patients at the heart of an individualised creative experience. This workshop will give an overview of the clinical, acoustic and emotional environment of a hospital and explore practical techniques used in bedside music making. Through a series of developmental exercises, you will have the opportunity to develop skills in person-centred, nonverbal music making, musical communication and conversation. You will also learn about the importance of observation skills within this setting and have the opportunity to try out a range of musical activities using voice, body and percussion. No musical knowledge is assumed in this workshop, but bring your instrument if you have one. With specialist practitioner Ros Hawley. Full Details HERE.



Critical Care
Over the last few years I've been working with Australian artist, Vic McEwan as part of his arts and health residency in the UK. This short film (below) is a teaser of some work I have been preparing as a participant observer with Vic, as he has worked in an around Alder Hey Children's Hospital and over some time we've spent together in Australia. Of course, none of this film is from Alder Hey, but is found footage that will be part of a series of presentations that he and I will deliver together over June and September 2017, and although this small film is wordless, it may offer some clue as to my presentation and the essay Critical Care which I'm working on for publication in September this year. You'll be able to catch Vic and I speaking about his work and some of my reflections on art, artists and health care at the Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference 2017, in Bristol. More details HERE. 


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Saturday, 22 April 2017

...all sorts of things

First things first - a big congratulations to Alder Hey’s Children’s Hospital Arts for Health service, which has been successful in securing £50,000 from the People’s Project Big Lottery Fund to deliver a comprehensive programme of music with children and families on the wards. The project, Music Matters, was competing with other community based programmes for public votes in order to win the funding and actually received the highest number of votes in England. The project will start in May 2017. Thank to all of you who voted for this remarkable work.


Culture, Health and Wellbeing
International Conference 2017
19th, 20th and 21st June 2017 Bristol UK
The conference will showcase inspirational practice, policy and the latest research in culture and arts in health and wellbeing. It will discuss the role of arts and creativity in healing, care and wellbeing across the life course. It will encourage discussion and shared learning, facilitating dialogue between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. I'm thrilled that Australian artist Vic McEwan and I have been invited to share our work with the conference. SEE YOU IN BRISTOL.



The Art of Dying Exhibition and Celebration Event
Thursday 11 May 2017, starting from 10am and running throughout the day
Whitworth Art Gallery, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER
http://www.artofdying.co.uk/
T
o mark Dying Matters Awareness Week 2017, this exhibition and event will seek to raise awareness and promote more open conversations regarding death, dying and bereavement. Anyone wishing to attend, please register your free place as soon as possible so that we can gauge numbers for the event and workshops. For more details and to secure your free place, click here.



Comic Relief - #iwill
Youth Social Action Fund
 
Comic Relief has announced that £2.4 million of funding has been made available through the #iwill Youth Social Action Fund. #iwill is a UK-wide campaign aiming to get 6 out of 10 young people involved in social action like campaigning, fundraising and volunteering, in communities across the UK by 2020. The programme will fund projects to seek out young people and encourage those from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in and lead youth social action. Projects will need to demonstrate effective ways to build relationships with ‘reluctant' young people in their own community and demonstrate how they will engage those people in creative, innovative and meaningful social action. The fund will offer grants of up to £150,000 over up to three years (with a maximum of £50,000 per year). The closing date for applications is midday on the 12th May 2017. Read more here. 


Funding to support disadvantaged young people at risk of offending 
The Weavers' Company, a textile-related, charitable and sociable organisation, has announced that the next closing date for its grants programme is the 31st July 2017. The Fund also aims to help young people (aged 15 - 30) at risk of criminal involvement to stay out of trouble and assist in the rehabilitation of offenders, particularly young offenders both in prison and after release. Grants are usually no more than £15,000 per annum, and to make sure grants of this size have an impact, the Weaver's Company will not fund large organisations. Grants are normally awarded to registered charities or organisations in the process of applying for registration. To be eligible for funding, local organisations such as those working in a village, estate or small town should normally have an income of less than £100,000. Those working across the UK should normally have an income of not more than £250,000. Grants are usually given for one year. Read more here. 


Grants to help new innovative visual arts projects 
The Elephant Trust has announced the next deadline for applications is the 10th June 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 given to artists and small organisations and galleries making or producing new work or exhibitions. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered. Read more here. 


Rosa’s Woman to Woman Fund invests over half a million pounds in grassroots women’s groups 
Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls has announced that they have invested £598,021 in 38 projects across the UK through the first round of the Woman to Woman fund. This fund, supported by the so-called ‘Tampon Tax', will support groups that work with women and girls from disadvantaged communities or in disadvantaged areas in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The next funding round of the Woman to Woman fund will open in the summer. Read more here.


Google Grants...The Google Grants UK programme supports organisations sharing Google’s philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts. Designed for registered charities, Google Grants provides free advertising on Google AdWords, to charities seeking to inform and engage their constituents online. Google Grants has given free AdWords advertising to hundreds of charitable groups whose missions range from animal welfare to literacy, from supporting homeless children to promoting HIV education. As a result of this free advertising many charities have experienced an increase in the recruitment of volunteers and sponsorship. Read more here.

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