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
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.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

. . .

Whilst I’m on a break from things, here are three meditations - on ageing and embarrassment, infirmity and fear and revelatory celebration! In this order - Maria Lassnig, Philip Larkin and Leonora Carrington. In their own ways, all are provocative and sublime. Lassnig is exhibited HERE. The wonderful Hearing Trumpet - well, you can buy it online - and for those of us working in the context of ageing and institutionalisation - it's a wonderful treat.

Maria Lassnig, Hospital 2005, oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm © Maria Lassnig Foundation

Heads in the Women's Ward

On pillow after pillow lies
The wild white hair and staring eyes;
Jaws stand open; necks are stretched
With every tendon sharply sketched;
A bearded mouth talks silently
To someone no one else can see.

Sixty years ago they smiled
At lover, husband, first-born child.

Smiles are for youth. For old age come
Death's terror and delirium.”

Philip Larkin, Collected Poems

Saturday, 1 April 2017

On Beauty & Horror

An extraordinary musical partnership between a North West composer and people with dementia will reach a crescendo with a premiere at Manchester Cathedral next month. A massed choir and musical ensemble will perform ‘So Many Beauties’ on the evening of Thursday April 6th, the climax of a project funded by the Arts Council and the charity Music in Hospitals known as ‘Adages’. Project leader Holly Marland, who plays a West African harp known as a kora, wrote the piece during creative sessions in residential care homes and hospitals across the region. The sessions involved residents and patients singing, writing poetry, having creative conversations and improvising using percussion. Singer, musician and composer Holly arranged and orchestrated these contributions for the concert, with the title drawn from a remark from a Polish lady with dementia as musicians played beside her bedside – ‘So Many Beauties’. Details on the posters and booking HERE. 

Creative Alternatives Online Programme
Creative Alternatives is an award winning arts and health service that has been funded by Public Health in Merseyside for more than ten years! Participants of the programme have explored ways of using creativity to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. There is plenty of research to show that the arts can help improve wellbeing and over the past 10 years, the community based programme has helped hundreds of people to do so. With the new online programme, we are expanding the reach of Creative Alternatives and hope to help even more people to improve their wellbeing through the power of creativity! See the poster below for more details of this free 10 week programme, or contact 

Something Wicked This Way Comes
It’s been reported in the latest edition of much fabled dark-web’s, First Ever National Journal of Arts & Health Science that a cryogenically preserved body part of Louis XIV, the 'Sun King’ of France, (1643 to 1715) has been ‘awoken’ by means of (and I quote) ‘the insertion of an electrical probe into the anus of the long-dead monarch.’

Researchers have revealed that over the last decade, they had access to the ‘alchemically preserved posterior’ of Louis XIV, and using his perfectly, pickled rectum and controversial new cloning techniques, have created a Sun-King come-primate hybrid. 
Esteemed ColoRectal Scientist, Prof George Foster confirmed that the yellow-bile used to preserve the royal anus had kept it in remarkable condition, commenting, 
“We’ve had the royal rectum for many years and it was through a simple fusion of eighteenth century galvanisation techniques and contemporary cloning that we animated the anus.”

But things didn’t go quite as Foster’s research team planned, and their first attempt resulted in a gibbering hairy chimera, with an insatiable hunger for the ermine it shared a laboratory with. The subsequent refinement of the process and addition of bonobo DNA, resulted in an altogether more promising result, but as Foster reveals, there’s something of a twist in this groundbreaking research.

“Our second attempt was a great success, and we created quite a plump specimen - very vocal, very confident and thankfully hairless. However, we noticed at a very early stage, that there’d been some inevitable mutations in the specimen, and the mouth and bottom had interchanged. We considered attempts to swap them over in an elaborate grafting process, but bizarrely, it acquired language skills very quickly, and began to communicate perfectly clearly through its anus.”

It should be noted that the experimental techniques described in this new paper, are of a very troubling ethical nature, thus it’s inevitable that the publication remains ferreted away in some sordid academic corner of the ‘dark web.’

It seems the only reason Prof Foster has shared this with my contact, is because a further mutation, means it has rapidly aged, and now to all the world, appears a complete facsimile of the Sun King! - albeit with a cheap and ill-fitting terylene suit, pilfered from a lab technician. You see, this is where this sorry little tale ends, the wretched creature walked out of the lab and has for some time been masquerading as a swashbuckling aesthete and cultural giant. 

Foster concludes this worrying tale for us. “I can only apologise that this homunculus has escaped, and acknowledge we should have put it to sleep when it began talking. It just seemed to learn so quickly and was so plausible. Those of us working in the laboratory began to believe the stories it told, and when we let it put on that suit - well - it seemed just like a regular business man. The public should be made aware that a middle age man, with the swagger and not dissimilar temperament* to Louis XIV is on the loose, and literally speaking from his facial anus.”

Around 5 feet 8 inches tall in stockings
A very ‘shapely’ leg
Full head of hair
Prone to self aggrandisementTendency to develop parasitic relationships with authority or showbiz figures Spontaneously plays pianola’s (if present)

An inevitable fecal-fragranced halitosis 

The public have been warned not to approach this man, or be taken in by his delusion fantasies.

(Thanks to SC for all this material)

*For those of you hungry to know more about Louis XIV,  the 23-year-old Louis decided to rule without a chief minister. He regarded himself as an absolute monarch, with his power coming directly from God. He carefully cultivated his image and took the sun as his emblem. In the early part of his reign, Louis worked with his finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to tighten central control over the country, reviving the use of regional royal officials, 'intendants' and carrying out other financial and administrative reorganisation. Louis also expanded the French army and navy. In 1685, Louis, a devout Catholic, revoked the Edict of Nantes which had allowed freedom of worship to French Protestants (Huguenots). Around 200,000 Huguenots, many of them skilled craftsmen, fled to Holland and England. The last three decades of Louis's reign were marked by almost constant warfare.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Recoverism and the Arts at MMU

The People's Projects gives you the chance to decide how National Lottery funding can make a difference in your local community, so...

Music Matters: Inspiring Children and Young People at Alder Hey
The group will offer music workshops and performances for young patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. They will have the opportunity to join in ward-based workshops and live performances, which will have a positive impact on their wellbeing and recovery, and offer a distraction from illness and a calm atmosphere. People will be able to express themselves creatively, enjoy positive experiences and learn new skills. Vote HERE and see the film by clicking on the images below.

Recoverism and the Arts:
Driving change through collaborative research

If you are interested in Recoverism and the Arts, I've been working with PORe, (Portraits of Recovery) the Arts and Health Research and Substance Abuse and Addictive Behaviours Groups to develop a free collaborative research event on April 25th at The Manchester School of Art. It's primarily aimed at people affected by, or researching the field of substance misuse and recovery, and places are limited, so only book if you're committed to attending and taking an active part in the day. Booking and more information is available by clicking on the Per te Mama film still below, by artist Ali Zaidi or HERE.

A Recoverist Theatre Project
I'm thrilled that Recoverism is being embraced beyond the Recoverist Manifesto, and the flyer below is for a 10 week Recoverist Theatre Project taking place in Liverpool at the wonderful Brink Cafe. It looks an exciting piece of work that is all about developing your creative voice. All the details are on the flyer below and good luck with the workshops - they sounds ace. Let us know how the workshops go.

NAMIH Conference
Monday July 10th, 11am-6pm
We’re delighted to announce the date of our first NAMIH conference on  Monday July 10th, 11am - 6pm (because we know that peak time travel is best avoided if possible). The conference is co hosted by OPUS Music CIC and The Royal Brompton Hospital in London with support from public funding by Arts Council England. We are keen to celebrate the diversity of practice within our membership and to share ideas about how we keep raising the profile of our work and meet the challenges of our time. We also want to hear what you the Alliance want from the Alliance. Follow the link below for tickets which are just £10.  
Places are limited so don't leave it too late! More info HERE.

House of Commons Creative Practitioner Commission
House of Commons commission for a creative practitioner to run a residency programme commemorating and celebrating race discrimination legislation. The Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art seeks to commission a UK-based creative practitioner to undertake a residency to create six new works, through participatory community workshops, relating to the development of race discrimination legislation. These works will be displayed during October/November 2018 within the participating local communities, and early in 2019 in the Houses of Parliament. The residency is to mark the campaign for, and the passing of early race discrimination legislation in 1965, 1968 and 1976, it will reflect and celebrate:
* the growth of an inclusive democracy;
* the people who campaigned and fought for the changes of legislation;
* the experience of the generations who, empowered by the legislation, continued to campaign.
More info HERE. 

For mothers day...

PRS for Music Foundation Open Grants Programme
Not for profit organisations based in the UK with projects that involve the creation, performance and promotion of new music of any genre have until the 8th May to apply for up to £10,000 of funding from the current round of the Open Fund for Organisations. The Open Fund is available to any not-for-profit organisation based in the UK with an eligible project.  

Greggs Foundation - Local Communities Projects Fund 
The next application deadline for the Greggs Foundation Local Community Projects Fund is the 24th June 2017. The foundation is a grant making trust which distributes around £1.8 million per year to organisations throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The Local Community Projects Fund makes grants of up to £2,000 to not for profit organisations with a turnover of less than £300,000 a year who work to reduce the disadvantage of the most deprived people in the community such as the disabled, those living in poverty, voluntary carers and isolated older people. The Foundation are more likely to make grants to local organisations based near Greggs shops. Find out more by clicking on the slightly nibbled Greggs pasties, above!  

Notes on Anxiety (a micro-script)
Wednesday 15th March. 
I’m trying to understand how anxiety plays a part in my life, for good and for bad. Today I gave a presentation to a small group of peers, about all the things I know like the back of my hand. Ten minutes quick-fire. A potted history almost, of my own time here in Manchester and the work I’ve been involved with. A cinch. Well, not quite. Anxiety has a positive side - over prepare. Write copious notes, reduce them and just note down key points, a couple of juicy quotes, and bob’s your uncle. 

But my shirt was un-ironed, (I originally had a jumper on, having set out in the dark, early morning - with the beautiful Moon and Venus for company) it also had a button on the left hand cuff that was hanging on by a thread. I didn’t like this. Didn’t like it at all.

Earlier I’d created a small presentation - a film - actually less of a presentation, it was youtube footage of a blue sky, with clouds gently scudding over. Someone had kindly added 3 hours and 25 minutes of Philip Glass and Music in Twelve Parts. Perfect. I only needed ten minutes, divided by eight pieces of work, which I would describe fluently. But then I practiced it, and the film seemed too serene for what I wanted to say, so I changed it and used some raw footage of the 2011 Tottenham riots - perfect. Only now it felt like I was over-egging it. Bugger. A power-point instead, eight slides, no more, no less.

But I stand there in front of a friendly group of around 15 people, and it all feels so wrong. So dull, so worthless. Hot, confused and dry mouthed, looking at irrelevant notes and looking back at the slides (something I never do). Anxiety has a negative side.

So I’ve spoken to huge crowds. Conferences of a hundred are a regular thing, and more recently, something hovering around a thousand didn’t produced those physiological changes - maybe doubt and increased heartbeat - but not inane ramblings and a dry, dry mouth. I can speak for thirty minutes without needing a glass of water, and whilst I’m always hot and bothered, this was thermo nuclear. Maybe worse than that, as my gormless mouth flapped aridly up and down, the words I spoke were boring, mind numbingly tedious, almost a rendition of the work, with all the imagination and passion stripped out of it. 

But my positive thinking, my imagining of the Moon - willing me on - fails. It’s like everything has dried up. Venus has gone. Standing there, (bizarrely) I feel more stupid than stressed, but with a lifetimes pretence of bonhomie, I answer questions. 

Now at home, some hours later, I feel world weary. Of course I know that countless people are going through all manner of personal hell’s as I sit here sedating myself and ruminating. I know this is no big shakes in the great scheme of things, but I need to understand the nature of anxiety, because that’s what it was, pure and simple. I could feel the thing escalate from nowhere, to completely taking over. Overwhelming. Perhaps it’s ‘in my nature’ and just who I am, and it waits for opportune moments to embrace me and render me near speechless. Perhaps that’s why I started creating these small films to accompany me as I speak? It’s almost as though the real me is broken and unable to ‘be’ in these public spaces, and that ‘performing’ provides me with an invisibility cloak, to hide away in plain sight


Saturday, 11 March 2017

On the subtle power of lipstick…

I’ve just been reading the lucid and quite refreshing blog of Sarah Gaffney called...

ZIMMAZIMMATHREECOURSEWINNER just now with a name like that, it has to be good. It’s a mixture of health, style and art and as she says on the welcome page…

‘It all began in October 2016 when I was diagnosed with a Grade II Brain Tumour aged 29. I'm a Manchester based NHS Manager, MBA student and part-time painter refusing to be defined by illness and determined to live life to the fullest whilst navigating ‘treatment'. Here you will find musings about the things that matter most to me and bring me joy.’

This is really something - personal, warm and gently revealing in so many ways. Thank you for sharing Sarah. Read her blog HERE, or by clicking on the lippy.
Frontiers of Dance & Health

Royal Society for Public Health, Health & Wellbeing Awards 2017
The Arts & Health Award is one of the categories of the Health & Wellbeing Awards. It recognises organisations whose work has furthered the contribution of the creative arts to health and wellbeing. To enter, first you need to request your application pack which contains the application form and guidelines. Entering will provide your team and organisation with the chance to gain formal recognition for their contribution to public health. Category winners will also have the opportunity to be selected for the prestigious Public Health Minister’s Award. The deadline for applications is Friday 28 April. Go on, nominate yourself, because if you don't, you just know some jumped up twerp will and you'll regret it! Click on the crown to find out more.

BBC Children in Need Small Grants Programme 
Not for profit organisations such as schools; registered charities; voluntary organisations; churches; and community interest groups; etc. can apply for grants of up to £10,000 per year for up to three years through the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme. The grants are available for projects working with children and young people of 18 years and under experiencing:
  Disadvantage through illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  Any kind of disability
  Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  Living in poverty or situations of deprivation.
The closing date for applications is the 1st June 2017. Read more by clicking on Hulme's concrete jungle!

Funding for arts & music projects 
The Austin Hope and Pilkington Trust has announced that their next round of grant funding will open on the 1st April 2017. During this funding round grants of £5,000 will be available to registered charities that have an income of over £500,000 for projects that relate to Music and the Arts. The Trust will run four funding rounds each year with a different theme and for each funding round will give priority to projects that focus on:
  Domestic abuse
  Activities for those with limited access or opportunities.
The closing date for applications will be 31st May 2017. For information on how to apply and on future funding rounds this year, please click HERE. 

**...and here is the most SUPERB collaborative opportunity!!!

Call for Creative Practitioners for Redevelopment of Maindee Library, Newport
Budget: Creative Practitioner Design & Consultation Fee of up to £13,000 +VAT, plus a £45,000 +VAT budget to implement creative/design interventions, based on capital works budget of £121,000 + VAT. 
Deadline for Applications is Midnight 23 April 2017 (Interviews scheduled for 09 May 2017)
Commission is expected to run from May 2017 – March 2018
Maindee Unlimited are inviting applications from Creative Practitioners (including artists/designers/architects, as individuals, studios, partnerships or group practices) to work on a project within Maindee Library, a volunteer-run community space on the eastern side of Newport city centre. The commission is to work with the Maindee Library Working Group and other key stakeholders to identify, prioritise and develop creative/design solutions and oversee their implementation towards the renovation and improvement of the library building as a flexible and creative space for community use. This commission is part of Finding Maindee – a three-year project supported by the Arts Council of Wales’ Ideas: People: Places strategic programme, which aims to test new models of regeneration and collaboration through the arts. The project is part-funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Charitable Trust, the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme through Newport City Council and others. The project will be managed by Maindee Unlimited. The Creative Practitoner’s appointment is being managed by curatorial agency Addo. CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Functional Issue... which absolutely no views are expressed whatsoever.*

Summer Play Scheme Programme 2017
The Hilden Charitable Funds Summer Play Scheme is now open for applications. The Fund supports community groups and voluntary agencies with an income of less than £150,000 that run summer play schemes for children between the ages of 5 and 18 in disadvantaged communities. Supported schemes should be locally based, last between two and six weeks and have strong volunteer support. Some priority will be given to projects which show that they are inclusive of children from refugee families and have BME involvement. The closing date for applications is the 24th May 2017. Read more HERE. 

Idlewild Trust 
The Idlewild Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grant making programme is the 7th September 2017. The Idlewild Trust is a grant making trust that supports registered charities:
Concerned with improving opportunities for young professionals working creatively in the arts, particularly at an early stage in their careers
Supporting the conservation of important works of art and objects that are being lost through the lack of funds to look after these works.
The Trust awards around £120,000 each year in grants and makes grants of up to £5,000. Read more HERE. 

Women Make Music Grant Scheme 
The next applications deadline for the Performing Right Society's (PRS) Women Make Music grant scheme is the 8th May 2017. Through the grant scheme, financial support of up to £5000 is available to women musicians to create new music in any genre. The fund can support projects by women songwriters, composers, artists, bands and performers who are writing their own music. Please note that PRS no longer fund organisations through Women Make Music. Read more at:  

Celebrating Age funding award announced for engaging older people in arts & culture
Using National Lottery funding, Arts Council England has partnered with the Baring Foundation to develop the £3 million joint fund, Celebrating Age, which will be awarded to organisations developing dedicated, high-quality programmes created by - and for – older people. Celebrating Age has been developed in response to the Taking Part survey, which shows that participation in arts and culture falls dramatically over the age of 75; with more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 living alone, and more than a million older people speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member less than once a month. The programme will work with a range of organisations to support and engage older people in arts and cultural activities, championing social inclusion and cross-generational projects. This follows Age UK’s February summary of their Index of Wellbeing, in which engagement in creative and cultural activities are seen to make the highest contribution of 5.75 per cent to the overall wellbeing of someone over the age of 60

*...other than, aren't those people who appropriate others work in their own talentless name, for their own vapid fame - absolutely vile? (whoopsie)


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Filthy, Dirty Chaos...

A short and sweet blog this week and a prompt for those of you looking for funding for projects involving children and young people - last weeks posting has a few new sources of funding. 

I had the good opportunity to be in Dublin recently and saw the relocated Francis Bacon studio at Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane.
Ah, what small moments of joy.

Recoverism and the Arts:
driving change through collaborative research 
Here at Manchester Met we are developing some ground-breaking research agendas, particularly exploring the complexity of substance use - disorder and recovery.  This free one-day event, a collaboration between the Substance Use and Addictive Behaviours Research Group (SUAB), the Arts and Health Research Group and Portraits of Recovery (PORe), is developing research around the vital role that the arts and culture can play in the lives of people and communities affected by or in recovery from addiction. The event will showcase pioneering projects and artists that encompass local, national and European projects and will facilitate an exploration of future, more inclusive, interdisciplinary research collaborations with cultural partners.

This work builds on the radical history of Manchester, the birthplace of arts and health and the centre of a movement that has seen recovery from substance misuse emerge as a nascent recoverist movement, placing lived experience at the heart of social change, as personified in the Recoverist Manifesto.

So whilst I can't guarantee a place for everyone,  please HOLD THE DATE: Tuesday 25th April at The Manchester School of Art.
More details soon.

Celebrating Age and Ageing with Master Students 
This week saw the fourth cohort of masters students from the Manchester School of Art, curating a public exhibition and workshops around the theme of ageing. This 11-strong group had opted to work with me on the Arts, Health and Wellbeing unit. I'm often asked why I don't run a stand-alone masters, and whilst it's something I'm considering, a small focused grouping like this, gives the opportunity not only for some strong collaborative research, but some good real-world experience. From public exhibitions and developing new research engagement methodologies, to designing research publications and deep emersion in the early recoverist agenda, I'm proud to be part of a new wave of socially engaged artists who aren't yet polluted by the dictates of self-styled 'venture philanthropists' that pollute the cultural landscape.

              The demise of the monstrous Wicked Witch of the East

Children’s Hospital Arts – The Poor Relation of The Poor Relation?
"Too often art commissioning in children’s hospitals has been patronising and clich├ęd, or simply relegated to an afterthought. Not only is it ‘just’ hospital art, it’s also ‘just’ for children.

If I had a penny for every time we’ve been asked to put something ‘fun’ up on the hospital walls, we could have bought a Picasso by now. I’ve lost count of the number of times it’s been suggested we just provide some glitter and colouring for the kids on the wards. Nothing wrong with a bit of glitter, but it’s no substitute for a quality creative arts programme.

The recently formed Paediatric Hospital Arts Network aims to promote and support arts teams in children’s hospitals – recognising the particular need and context of these settings. For instance, how does our work intersect with services you would only find in a children’s hospital – such as Play Therapy or Hospital Schools? There is pioneering work being done across the sector, such as the magnificent new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and innovative arts programmes at Evelina, Edinburgh Sick Kids, Artfelt in Sheffield, and Lime Arts in Manchester, plus many others..."

Want to know more? Then here's a great blog posting from Susannah Hall who is Joint Head of Arts at GOSH Arts. Click HERE to read it in full.