Sunday, 26 April 2015

                      ☁
Following last weeks Election Special, it’s worth keeping an eye on other commentators, with Arts Professional always distilling relevant information. Here’s an extract, but read more by clicking HERE.

“Six of the seven leading parties have now published their manifestos, revealing varying commitment to arts and culture. The Green Party is alone in its pledge to reverse the tide of cuts with an additional £500m for the arts, while UKIP say they would abolish the DCMS. {…} Labour makes a clear commitment to working with public bodies to rebalance funding across the country, while The Greens go a step further, pledging to “give local authorities powers to encourage local live performance in the arts by moving funding from the regional to the local level”. 
. . .

This week I'm thinking of a friend who's up against it, so the blog is what it is - no more - no less...
. . .

…and the World Happiness Index is out. Sweden and Iceland are at the top and Syria and Rwanda figure quite badly. You couldn't make it up! Read it by clicking on the link above if it rocks your boat.


PRN

"It's been two years, almost to the day, since I had a stroke" 


Euan Ferguson writes exclusively for PRN, a platform for opinion, interviews, features and discussion, alongside exploring wellbeing, lifestyle, food & drink. Infused with writing, illustration and photography from some of the most exciting and creative people around, PRN is unique in both it's mission and aesthetic. Founded by Anna Magnowska, a nurse and illustrator, with creative direction by illustrator Laura Quick, PRN makes connections between art, medicine, culture, science, technology and history. It also focuses on the practicalities of nursing.


The 4th International Public Health & Palliative Care Conference 
...is taking place in Bristol between the 11 and 16th May and this year dovetails beautifully with the city’s May Festival.  Find out more by clicking on the sugar skull poster.
Wish I was going!


Art, Design and New Technology for Health: The Sackler Conference 2015
Fri 19 June 2015 10:30 – 17:00 

The V&A, London
This conference will explore the role of interactive and digital art in healthcare environments. It will reflect on the principles of design in health and consider the potential of digital innovations to empower individuals and revolutionise healthcare experiences. Click on the hand below for more info.
Wish I was going - Oh - I am! I’m chairing part of the day. 
Come along and say hello, it looks a brilliant event.


Hilden Charitable Fund
The Hilden Charitable Fund is open for applications. Within the UK, the Hilden Charitable Fund makes grants to projects that address disadvantage, notably by supporting causes which are less popular. In particular, the Fund wants to support projects that address:
  Homelessness
  Supports asylum seekers and refugees
  Supports community based initiatives for disadvantaged young people 16 – 25
  Penal affairs.
The average grant awarded is £5,000 and preference is given to supporting small community organisations with an income of less than £500,000 per year. The Trust will consider funding project as well as core running costs of organisations. The closing date for applications is the 10th June 2015. Read more at: http://www.hildencharitablefund.org.uk


British Academy - Small Research Grants 
The British Academy for the Humanities and Sciences has announced that its Small Research Grants programme has re-opened for applications. Through the Small Research Grants programme grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available over two years to UK research institutions to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. Funds are available to:
  Facilitate initial project planning and development
  Support the direct costs of research
  Enable the advancement of research through workshops
  Visits by or to partner scholars.
All applications should demonstrate that Academy funds are sought for a clearly defined, discrete piece of research, which will have an identifiable outcome on completion of the Academy-funded component of the research. The closing date for applications is the 6th May 2015. Read more at: http://www.britac.ac.uk/funding/guide/srg.cfm            
                                                                                         .   

Sunday, 19 April 2015

BLASTING & BOMARDIERING...

Over the last 5 years Arts for Health and people who are part of our North West Arts and Health Network, have contributed to the development of three, yes three manifesto’s! A Manifesto for Arts and Health in 2011, a follow up in 2012 and just this year Recoverist Manifesto. We’ve contributed to similar developments in Lithuania and Australia and of course, influenced a National Charter in the UK. What connects all these statements of conviction - what are they all about - possibilities, passion and belief, but above all this, real vision.

So this week in the UK, we’ve seen the publication of political manifesto’s across the spectrum. As bedtime reading, I set about reading the major parties statements of principle, hoping for some glimmer of vision beyond hollow, promises.

I’m left deflated but not unbowed.

PART ONE
The Reality
First of all, these faux policy documents are intended to swamp you. Just too much sales jargon, with little in the way of meticulously thought through methods of delivery. The full documents, with all their big community photographs, would be beyond digestible to most people, the summaries all fur coat and no nickers. So, bleary eyed, I focused down to the arts and culture, (with a wary eye on health) or, as so many of them refer to them, ‘the cultural industries’. (question to self - does this make me an industrialist?)

Do I have to include UKIP? Well if I must, other than noticing only one black face in the whole epic shambles (and that was on the ‘overseas aid’ page), their cultural section is headed by the legend: ‘UKIP believes in Britain. We believe Britain can be a strong, proud, independent, sovereign nation. We are the envy of the world for our rich history, our art and our architecture, our monarchy’.  It’s leader is committed to scrapping, ‘tuition fees for students studying science, technology, engineering, maths, or medical degrees’. So here’s a clear message to arts and humanities students everywhere! That’s about it for their contribution. It’s worth noting that people from different ethnic backgrounds make up 14% of our population...that’s around eight million people, including the artists that provoke and entertain us and the surgeons that cut out your tumours, nurses that care for you and the teachers that educate your children - and just about every other walk of life that contributes to our grand country.



The Green Party manifesto was actually coherent and intelligent with great LGBT policy, but its references to culture and the arts were near nonexistent. Shame - in my heart, it feels it should be something they understand intrinsically. They suggest ‘Public support for the arts is part of a civilised society,’ but only go on to promise to ‘support initiatives the arts and sport accessible to all’. Other than working to support ‘fair pay’ in the arts - that’s about it, though their commitment to public health seems fair. 

The Liberal Democrats produced another very full document and their pledge to both transform mental health services and equalise parity between mental and physical health is not to be questioned. In fact most of the other parties have jumped on the bandwagon with this one. So too, they promise to ‘publish a national wellbeing strategy, which puts better health and wellbeing for all at the heart of government policy. This will cover all aspects of government policy, including transport, access to nature, and housing, at national and local level.’ I found this appealing and interesting, but the fact culture and the arts are missing here, is a real disappointment. In fact, I had to scroll through the index to find their minimal reference to ‘Pride in Creativity’, which started well with, ‘Liberal Democrats understand that arts, creative industries and culture are crucial to Britain’s success and essential for personal fulfilment and quality of life’, and ended with the usual platitudes common to all manifesto’s around the familiar refrain of maintaining free access to museums and galleries. They do however, seem committed to equality and diversity across the board.


The Conservatives sandwiched ‘Heritage, Creativity and Sports’ coquettishly between the NHS and Big Society! Do they realise how visionary they could have been if they’d bridged the two? So near, and yet so very, very far. They inevitably lead the way in the language of commodifying culture and the arts, declaring, ‘the creative industries have become our fastest-growing economic sector, contributing nearly £77 billion to the UK economy – driven in part by the tax incentives for films, theatre, video games, animation and orchestras we introduced. Our support for the film industry has resulted in great British films and encouraged Hollywood’s finest to flock to the UK.’ Hey Ho - it’s all about the money (...and yes, I know there are mentions of Manchester in there - obviously). 

Although it’s on the back page of its manifesto and may seem out of the loop to our North West community, Plaid Cymru give 2 pages to the arts and commit to access for all, young people’s acces to the arts and family participation in the arts. Their celebration of Welsh culture and identity is rich and central to their strategy. Again, the Scottish National Party whilst seeming distant from the NW, inevitably holds some power in the event of a hung parliament. At the time of writing this blog however, they were the only party not to have published their manifesto.

And finally, for our English voters at least, there’s the Labour Party who kick off with something of a vision, that, ‘Labour believes that art and culture gives form to our hopes and aspirations and defines our heritage as a nation. The arts allow us to celebrate our common humanity in the creation and celebration of beauty. The arts should belong to all and be open to all to take part in. We will guarantee a universal entitlement to a creative education so that every young person has access to cultural activity and the arts by strengthening creative education in schools and after-school clubs. Institutions that receive
arts funding will be required to open up their doors to young people, and we will work with public bodies to rebalance arts funding across the country.

Labour do do something a little more solid, and balance the story of ‘economic innovation’ alongside the arts as being a ‘powerful force in social renewal’. But they offer a small nugget in a commitment to ‘create a Prime Minister’s Committee on the Arts, Culture and Creative Industries, with a membership drawn from all sectors and regions. The Committee will bring issues of concern direct to the attention of the Prime Minister.’ It’s early days, and this is of course a manifesto promise from a party in opposition, not in office. But if Labour are successful, the arts and health community must hold them to this promise and insure our agenda’s (plural) are heard, and acted on - not in some reductive, mono-cultural, geographically specific, prescriptive manner - but as a deeply rich movement, with cross-cutting potential across the political spectrum - less disease focused - and truly focused on the social determinants of health.

It should be mandatory for all eligible adults to vote. If you haven’t registered to vote do so before the end of play on 20th April @ https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote 

PART TWO
The Delusion
So, eight million people are from ethnic minorities in the UK and one makes it onto the pages of UKIP’s manifesto. I guess we should be reassured by our current senior ministers and the rich ethnic and gender balance of our Cabinet Office. Let’s have a peek eh? Of the 22 current Ministers, we have five women. Well that’s four more then when Mrs Thatcher was in power. OK maybe she let homophobic Janet Young have a seat at high table for a year, but my rather sordid namesake Cecil Parkinson, soon pushed her off it. Still, surely today's Cabinet must have a rich ethnic mix? Hmmm Secretary of Sate for Culture, Media and Sport and former Vice President at Chase Manhattan Bank, Sajid Javid. So that looks pretty much like 1 of 22 people. Oh dear. Still, we have Pickles in the cabinet - that’s one thing to be grateful of. (a pickle is a vegetable isn’t it?)


I actually miss Sayeeda Warsi being in cabinet. She resigned over the government’s policy on Gaza, which she described as ‘morrally indefencable’ - ah a politician with a free voice and principles - very rare indeed. Perhaps I’d give her a role in my dream cabinet alongside Glenda Jackson who could share some arts responsibility with Banksy. Maybe Adam Curtis and Warsi might make a great job-share in Justice. Peter Tatchell - you can share Equity + Diversity somehow with someone from Femen and maybe, just maybe we can rope Russell Brand in as PM for a while. Hey - maybe even as El Presidente? But I guess that's another story.

Hey ho - who’d be on your dream cabinet reshuffle? 

Still, we need to vote. If our arts/health agenda is concerned with anything and we’re serious about addressing inequalities and the social determinants of health - we should look to civic society and social justice in our work. Let’s exercise this right, long fought for by our relatives and let's motivate other people to vote too.



Let's remember the key things (edited down for this blog) that we agreed when we pulled our first manifesto together:

>we aspire to our vision of a better society, not a big society, and will share this vision far and wide and inspire and support people in the struggle to get there

>we will plant culture at the core of other strands of decision making and influence the hearts and minds politicians and the public

>our language will speak to a wider community and not be self-congratulatory or sanctimonious

>we embrace diverse disciplines and are not constrained by individual professions

>we will challenge ourselves to engage with the cynical

>we take the long-view and look beyond short-termism to generational change

>we will nurture local activity that embraces a world view

>we will not reduce our work to a standardised form, but will articulate our potency by co-creating a common language and shared vision

>this is a movement, we are the resources; we will tell the story of our work and like a virus, will spread 

>we will meet, we will talk, we will argue and we will influence change, thriving on critique and rallying our resources...face-to-face, person-to-person

>creativity goes beyond materialism and is like food and water, art is an expression of imagination and a powerful vehicle for social change

PART THREE
The Aspiration
At the Chaos and Comfort event in February, 200+ people came to MMU to discuss arts and public health research and practice. It was a damn fine day. As part of the event we discussed the Arts and Health Manifesto and where we were in the here and now. Those present made copious notes of which I have studiously aggregated and transcribed, so to round off this Election Special, and in a period where our politicians seem a little devoid of vision, may I share our rapid-fire 2020 Chaos and Comfort aspirations:


Prevention is Better than Cure (FACT)

The poorest people are disenfranchised, disengaged and disempowered by the current political system  

Arts and Culture inspire and influence people, but so many people feel disconnected to the arts 

Inequalities in health and culture are endemic amongst the most economically disadvantaged people 

Charges in education prevents people expanding their horizons and progressing

Increasing inequalities are unacceptable - our work is increasingly political with both a small p and a big p

We want to BE BOLD - BE BRAVE to GET TOGETHER & WORK TOGETHER

We will start with What Works and not get bogged down with what doesn’t 

We will smash & burn the BARRIERS & BOUNDARIES that we are told prevent us from moving forwards

By 2020:

- the economic case for the arts (+ health) has been accepted 

- artists and health professionals working together are being paid well for their endeavours

- a national/international body of evidence is freely available and constantly expanding

- we are a valued profession

- arts education from early years onwards is expanding and flourishing

- we will be providing free, enthusiastic support for each other through multi-sectoral events

- we have developed new research models

- culture will have escaped the clutch of pseudo-scientists and understand its value in its own terms

- the arts will be valued within their own rights, within health and social care and beyond slavish instrumentalism

- passion for the arts is nurtured in schools

- human experience will be valued alongside scientific evidence

- bridges between research organisations and communities will be commonplace

- the arts are reconnected to the people

- we speak a rich and common language

- health and wellbeing are influenced by participation and engagement in cultural activity

- research is undertaken for deeper understanding of culture beyond blind financial justification

- wellbeing is understood in terms beyond selfish individualism and superficial happiness 

- pessimism is not seen as a symptom of depression but a healthy response to injustices 

- health doesn’t just happen in a clinical vacuum and culture and the arts don’t just happen in galleries and theatres 

- we are a cultural and political movement

                                                                                                                             

Friday, 10 April 2015

…the door is ajar


Short and sweet again this week, but back to normal (whatever that is) very soon. For a number of reasons, I find myself coming back to Dennis Potter and his conversation with Melvyn Bragg in which he describes seeing the spring blossom with new insight, only possible - he insists - when you’re facing your own death.



It was and still is, a remarkable interview. I’ve just read a small collection of poems by Clive James, called Sentenced to Life. Coming to terms with his own mortality, James shares his powerful and personal ruminations eloquently and in a way, for my part at least, that would be beyond my ability. I could share so many of these profound pieces, but I guess it would be far better to buy the book, so here’s one that’s freely available on his website.

Event Horizon
For years we fooled ourselves. Now we can tell
How everyone our age heads for the brink
Where they are drawn into the unplumbed well,
Not to be seen again. How sad, to think
People we once loved will be with us there
And we not touch them, for it is nowhere.


Never to taste again her pretty mouth!
It’s been forever, though, since last we kissed.
Shadows evaporate as they go south,
Torn, by whatever longings still persist,
Into a tattered wisp, a streak of air,
And then not even that. They get nowhere.


But once inside, you will have no regrets.
You go where no one will remember you.
You go below the sun when the sun sets,
And there is nobody you ever knew
Still visible, nor even the most rare
Hint of a face to humanise nowhere.


Are you to welcome this? It welcomes you.
The only blessing of the void to come
Is that you can relax. Nothing to do,
No cruel dreams of subtracting from your sum
Of follies. About those, at last, you care:
But soon you need not, as you go nowhere.


Into the singularity we fly
After a stretch of time in which we leave
Our lives behind yet know that we will die
At any moment now. A pause to grieve,
Burned by the starlight of our lives laid bare,
And then no sound, no sight, no thought. Nowhere.


What is it worth, then, this insane last phase
When everything about you goes downhill?
This much: you get to see the cosmos blaze
And feel its grandeur, even against your will,
As it reminds you, just by being there,
That it is here we live or else nowhere.




Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, the European exchange programme for entrepreneurs is open for applications. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other Participating Countries. The exchange of experience takes place during a stay with the experienced entrepreneur, which helps the new entrepreneur acquire the skills needed to run a small firm. The host benefits from fresh perspectives on his/her business and gets the opportunities to cooperate with foreign partners or learn about new markets. The stay is partially funded by the European Union. The programme is open to new entrepreneurs, firmly planning to set up their own business or have already started one within the last three years; and experienced entrepreneurs who own or manage a Small or Medium-Sized Enterprise in one of the Participating Countries who would be willing to host a new entrepreneur. Read more at: http://www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu/index.php

The Day I Stood Up Alone
I'd like to share a Ted Talk (for first and last time maybe, as a lot of them seem like hot air and self aggrandisement). Here however, is Boniface Mwangi and his story about standing up to powerful forces and utilising the arts. Our arts/health field seems saturated with the genteel benevolence of affluent middle England - (thanks to MR for sharing this) - showing that beyond the gated community of Albion, there are people not just blowing their gilded trumpets, but attempting to address social and political change.

                .    

Sunday, 29 March 2015

,,,☁


Sound Artist Vic McEwan has been in residence at Alder Hey over the last couple of weeks and I am thrilled at both his primary explorations and the way the community of the hospital have embraced him and all his ideas. I would very much like to share our plans for the next year, but that might be premature. Needless to say, the collaboration is proving fruitful and my personal thanks to Dr Jane Radcliffe and Vicky Charnock for making this all possible. Great things ahead. To find out a little more about Vic and catch up with his online diary, click on the hospital machinery above.



WEAPONS OF MASS HAPPINESS 
Embarking on some exciting new work in Manchester this last week, I was thrilled to meet new artists and like-minded free thinkers, and hope some of our aspirations come to fruition! It was great sharing my new work Weapons of Mass Happiness, (teaser above) which I’ll publish soon, but it’s made me revisit some earlier writing which I contributed to the exhibition, Mortality: Death and the Imagination curated with Dr Steven Gartside in 2013. So if you want to read my essay from the exhibition catalogue, please click on the Present Tense image below. Following an intense period of work, I’m shutting up shop for a couple of weeks and this blog will keep its door closed. Normal service will resume mid April.

  

Sunday, 22 March 2015

:::::::::::::::::::::::::✈



An extract from A.N
Looking out from the back seat of a car as it enters a carwash tunnel. The windscreen and rear-view mirror are concentric frames within frames in this dark, constricted space. The sound, too, is oppressive: the pummel of water jets, the whir of the conveyor, the pulse of a man’s breathing. White soapsuds across the windscreen cut through the black, accentuating a partial reflection of the driver’s face in the mirror. “When you put these substances in your body… the animal part of your brain thinks it needs these substances to survive,” he says. “That’s what you’re up against … and it’s vicious.”

This is a scene from Melanie Manchot’s new multi-channel video installation, connecting remembered moments from the lives of 12 people in recent recovery from drug and alcohol misuse. Read more about 12 the collaboration between Portraits of Recovery and artist, Melanie Manchot in A.N


Space2Create in Kendal, is holding a new exhibition in its gallery based on themes of Stigma and creative wellbeing. See the flyer below.



BBC Children in Need Small Grants Programme 
Not for profit organisations such as such as registered charities; voluntary organisations; schools; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects that:
  Help children and young people experiencing illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  Any kind of disability
  Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  And / or living in situations of deprivation.
The closing date for applications is the 1st June 2015. Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4fJVTzz5QmQx5rx0S4NVg0Q/small-grants 




Artists International Development Fund 
Arts Council England has announced that its Artists International Development Fund will re-open for applications on the 23rd March 2015. This is a £750,000 funding stream 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 your horizons and open your 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. You must have received recognition for your work in England and not have extensive international experience. Your application must also include a letter of support from the overseas partner/host. The deadline for applications will be 5pm on the 1st May 2015. Read more at:
http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-funding/funding-programmes/artists-international-development-fund/

                                                                                                   

Monday, 16 March 2015

Will Self introduces...

...A RECOVERIST MANIFESTO
Over 2014 I had the pleasure of working with people in recovery from substance misuse in Liverpool, Manchester, Pistoia, Pescara and K├╝tahya. The work we were all involved in was organised by Mark Prest of Portraits of Recovery and explored self-portraiture and cultural approaches to understanding addiction, but more than that, it gave all of us the opportunity to participate in the most compelling contemporary art experiences

As part of this cultural exchange and learning programme, people participating in the project shared insights and passion, frustrations and rage. This in part, is how the idea of a manifesto came about. Building on the Manifesto for Arts and Health, those of us involved in the project, built on the sense of community that the workshops enabled. So we created safe spaces for anyone who wanted to be involved, to explore our individual and shared experiences and aspirations.

The result is the RECOVERIST MANIFESTO which reflects some of the process and the conjoined words of people in different cultures, but with the shared experience of being in recovery from substance missuse. It’s here in English and Italian and very soon will be in Turkish and Lithuanian.

Will Self has written an introduction to the manifesto, which in a pamphlet that is free from logos and individual statements, may seem a little odd. It’s not. As someone who identifies as being in recovery and as an eloquent social commentator, his analysis of the manifesto and reflections on sobriety, are succinct and poetic. He does exactly what each of us involved in this work does - he gives voice and personality to the largely invisible face of addiction - and more importantly - recovery.

All of you that have taken part in this process - whatever your story - whatever your contribution - thank you. Let us tell our shared story with pride. We are Recoverists.




P A N I C
The brilliant NOUS magazine is exploring the territory of  P A N I C  for its latest edition. This is one of the best things out there. Contribute or find out more by clicking on the small panic above!



Funding for Digital Projects with a Social Impact 
The Nominet Trust which provides funding and support to technology with a social benefit, has announced that its Social Tech Seed Investment Programme will re-open for applications on the 17th March 2015. Social Tech Seed is an investment programme that offers early-stage investment of between £15,000 and £50,000 to social entrepreneurs and charitable organisations who are looking to develop new ideas to use digital technology for social benefits. This programme provides funding and support to help entrepreneurs nurture, develop and test their ideas. The Trust is looking for applications that demonstrate the potential of technology to tackle some of the big social issues in sectors including:
    Education
    Employability
    Healthcare
    The environment.
The closing date for stage 1 applications will be Wednesday 15th April 2015. Applicants successful at this stage will have to submit a more detailed stage 2 application by the 27th May 2015. Read more at: http://www.nominettrust.org.uk/how-to-apply/our-investment-programmes-0



Over the next month or so, I’ll be sharing links to some of the people I have been working with who are studying at the Manchester School of Art. This week, here’s a link to the illustrator John Hogan. See more of his work by clicking on the image above. Your diligent blogger may be a little quieter over the next few weeks, as he hunkers down with some all-consuming projects.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

…and pause, just for a moment

Melanie Manchot
Last week George Khut illuminated and inspired those of us who attended his presentation here in the School of Art - thanks George. His work features in the current exhibition at FACT called, Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age, curated by the brilliant Vanessa Bartlett. The exhibition contains work by 12 artists including Melanie Manchot whose work 12 is previewed here, but launches in its full provocative beauty, at Peckham Platform in May, touring nationally and at Castlefield Gallery in September. This work, which was commissioned by Mark Prest of Portraits of Recovery, ties into much of the debate around addiction and recovery. I’m thrilled to have been asked to contribute to the book that accompanies the exhibition alongside such luminaries including Peter Kinderman and Victoria Betton. The book is available on-line or directly from FACT. 

For those of you interested in health and digital technologies - I have had advanced notice of a very interesting new magazine, which may be looking for articles soon on video games and health - and the Victoria and Albert Museum are hosting a one day event called Art, Design and New Technology for Health on the 19th June. I'll be chairing part of the day and I can confirm some of the speakers look fantastic! To find out more and book a place, click on the image below.



For those of you with an interest in substance misuse and recovery, I am pleased to say that the Recoverist Manifesto is published next week in English and Italian, with Turkish and Lithuanian versions imminent! More details next week, but here’s a taster!




Exploring the links between the phenomenology of creativity and bipolar disorder
Arts for Health Research Associate, Dr Katherine Taylor has a new paper in the Journal of Affective Disorders. The links between bipolar disorder (BD) and creativity have historically attracted academic and public interest. Previous research highlights common characteristics of people considered to be highly creative, and those diagnosed with BD, including extraversion, impulsivity, divergent thinking and high motivation. In the first phenomenological study focusing on the links between creativity and extreme mood, an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach was used to collect and analyse in-depth interview data from seven people diagnosed with BD in the UK. Read more by clicking on the brilliant procraftinate definition below.


Something rotten in the state of England
I read that the government has awarded an NHS contract to a private firm linked to one of our recently exposed, scandal-hit MP’s, Sir Malcolm Rifkind. But the winning bid will actually cost the NHS more than a bid from local NHS services! Right now, much of the bidding for NHS contracts happens in secret. If NHS England made bidding processes fully transparent, we could hold the government to account. It feels like the NHS is being systematically dismantled and run in the interests of well connected private health firms. Find out how you can be involved by clicking on the greedy pig.



Inspiring Health - Young People's Arts and Health Conference 
ROCHDALE YOUTH SERVICE
Friday, 13 March 2015 from 01:00 to 08:00 (GMT)
Rochdale, United Kingdom
For all the details of this interesting event that's focused on young people, click on the Jake and Dinos Chapman image below for more.



Deutsche Bank 2015 Awards for Creative Enterprise 
Aspiring artists, designers and performers who want to launch themselves as self-employed professionals can receive practical and financial support from the Deustche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise (DBACE). The Award provides winners with £10,000 start up capital, business training and mentoring to steer them through their first year in business and beyond. Final year arts/creative degree/masters students and graduates (from Summer 2014) at arts colleges/universities around the UK that have registered for this year's programme can apply as individuals or as a group. The deadline for submitting applications is 5pm on 31st March 2015. Read more at: http://www.dbace.uk.com


Pause for a moment…
Amsterdam, Netherlands
A terminally ill woman looks at a self-portrait of Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum. Dutch charity Ambulance Wens granted the dying woman’s last wish for a private viewing of the Rembrandt exhibition Photograph: Roel Foppen/AP

The Radcliffe Trust – Music Grants 
The Radcliffe Trust has announced that the next deadline for applications to its Music masking grants programme is the 31st August 2015. Through its grant making programme, the Radcliffe Trust supports classical music performance and training especially chamber music, composition and music education. Particular interests within music education are music for children and adults with special needs, youth orchestras and projects at secondary and higher levels, including academic research. The Trustees respond to applications and also initiate their own projects. Applicants must be a registered charity or an exempt charity. http://www.theradcliffetrust.org/guidelines.php