Sunday, 5 July 2015

...elada Eestis

First things first - I’ve been working with people involved in the field of memory loss this last two weeks. Some are part of Dementia & Imagination and others inhabit similar places. I am quite staggered by your ideas and vision. From the O.T’s, to the students - the artists, to the researchers - you are inspiring. Thank you. The very short film above, is something I created for a workshop, that I hope says something about possibility, desires and yet again, imagination. It doesn’t matter what your label is, or even worse, your ‘prognosis’ - we all have potential - let’s explore it.

Here we present our latest ramblings and ruminations following Chaos & Comfort and preceding the near magical date of the 7th October, in which we will congregate, share and debate our ever-expanding field of practice and research. To whet your appetite, here is 2020+ (above)and I am indebted to Kamila Kasperowicz for her help with this. 

But just what is this 7th October all about? Well, aside from more chaos & comfort, (which seem the key ingredients of our get-togetherness) this date offers you some grand opportunities, and I can confirm guests from Japan will be attending and presenting. From Lithuania, friends and allies at Socialiniai Meno Projektai will be sharing research and practice. More international travellers will be wending their way to the Manchester School of Art. So it will be an event to share practice and research - to ferment new ideas and relationships - to incubate our hybrid dreams and let loose into this world - our Exquisite Corpse of ideas and dreams. Keep watching.

The Recoverist Manifesto in an ‘...age of dislocation’
I am thrilled that people want to hear about this ongoing work and I have shared the Recoverist Manifesto in various locations around the UK, in Italy, Turkey, Lithuania and Australia and like some fly-in-fly-out, dayglow jacket wearing recoverist, I am sharing in the beautiful Estonia,(where I'm blogging from) Dublin and Holland all over a few days.

You’ll know by now that the manifesto developed as part of my work with people affected by substance misuse and Portraits of Recovery, and I’m pleased to say that emerging iterations of it are developing and that the UK Recovery Federation are embracing the notion of Recoverism and have asked me to share the work at their annual conference in Manchester in September. I am honoured to. In the meantime, designer of the Recoverist Manifesto, and masters student here at the Manchester School of Art, Nick Young, has responded to the work as part of his ongoing studies. Whilst the MA show isn’t until October, here’s a taste of what he’s up to. Click on Nick's work to find out more about the UK Recovery Federation's September event.

Socialiniai Meno Projektai (SMP) is one of the first organisations in Lithuania that works in the space between cultural, social and health sectors. The organisation aims to extend the availability of the arts and address issues around social exclusion. Since SMP formed in 2013, they are striving to expand wider public understanding of the importance of the arts to individual and communal health. They are implementing teaching programs, educational and creative workshops and research into the influence of the arts on health. Dance Laboratory is a new project being launched in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas for people with disabilities from the “Workshops of Light” community.You can find out more or support this specific Dance Laboratory project, by clicking on the dance image by Irutė Jarusevičiūtė below.

IMPACT: Generate and Demonstrate
Conference: 16th July, 9.30am-4pm, Manchester Metropolitan University, Hulme
Organised by Cartwheel Arts, this conference aims to explore the building, evidencing and communicating the impact of creative projects on mental wellbeing. Health professionals and Third Sector organisations will share creative solutions to generate positive mental wellbeing. Exploring tools and methods, to capture evidence and effectively communicate impact. To register and for more details, click on the image below.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation 
New UK Grants Strategy
One of the UK’s largest independent grant-making foundations has launched its new strategic plan which will run from 2015 to 2021 and increased its funding by £5 million per year. The Foundation which closed to applications last October has reopened with a new strategy which focuses on six new priorities relating to the changes it wishes to see in the UK. The Foundation's work in the UK (it also works in India) will focus on achieving the following six strategic priorities:
  • Supporting imaginative people to nurture exciting ideas.
  • Widening access and participation in the arts.
  • Improving people's education and learning through the arts.
  • Showing that the arts make a difference to people's lives.
  • Supporting the development and growth of organisations investing in young people and positive change.
  • Improving support for young people who migrate, and strengthen integration so that communities can live well together.

...are currently looking for submissions to their next national exhibition in collaboration with Craftspace. The exhibition will focus on craft-based pieces, and the works selected from the call out will be displayed alongside work by renowned historical and contemporary ‘outsider artists.’ The exhibition will open at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester in March 2016 before touring to further venues around the UK.

As they work with artists facing barriers to the art world, they know that many of those who would like to submit work might need some extra support. To overcome this, they are holding a series of Surgery Days across the country, which consist of free one hour one-to-one sessions where the Outside In team will support artists to create an online gallery on our website and submit work to the exhibition. Please find some text below – we would be really grateful if you are able to pass this on to any artists you know, or advertise on any of your platforms.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm Friday 30 October 2015, and artists are also able to submit on their own directly through our website. More information can be found here: 

Surgery Day sessions are one-to-one and last for an hour, and are taking place all over the UK - from Hastings to Perth, and from Cardiff to Ipswich. To find out if there's a Surgery Day near you, and for information on how to book a slot, please follow this link:


Sunday, 28 June 2015


The Connected Communities, Dementia & Imagination event was great - my big thanks to all of you who came and contributed and in particular - Kat, Sam, Chris, Teri and Penny. More about that soon. Read reflections on creativity based interventions by occupational therapist, Alison Stefan, here. 

Last week I shared the most excellent job opportunity at the Dukes in Lancaster. I thought that was the bees knees, but good grief! Here's one of the best jobs in the UK at the moment at the superb LEVEL. Following the death of the wonderful Peter Shelton last September, this is one of those rare opportunities to be part of something significant. 

Director at LEVEL (Derbyshire)
Salary £35-42K depending on skills and experience. For 25 years LEVEL (formerly known as First Movement) has pioneered in the power of arts and creativity to change the lives of people with learning disabilities. Based in Derbyshire, the charity’s work has a growing national and international impact. In 2008 we opened the doors of the stunning £1.8million purpose-built LEVEL Centre at Rowsley, where we attract over 5000 attendances per year from people with a learning disability.

A successful NPO bid has secured funding for the 2015-18 period and confirmed the Arts Council’s continued confidence in LEVEL’s past achievements and future aspirations. At this exciting time, we seek an inspirational Director to lead LEVEL’s development as an innovative provider of high quality arts experiences with and for the learning disabled community. Further information and application details can be found at 
or alternatively contact Alison Foote to find out more or call on 01629 734848 or 07702829985. Closing date for applications is 3pm on 13th July 2015. Interviews are on 24th July 2015.

Singing the Blues Project Officer
The Royal College of Music provides specialised musical education and professional training at the highest international level for performers and composers. The post-holder will be responsible for coordinating the running of the ‘Singing the Blues’ research project, which will investigate the impact of music on postnatal depression. Key tasks will include setting up and managing research interventions for new mothers and their babies, developing marketing strategies to recruit new mothers, supporting the team in collecting and managing research data, and liaising with key project partners.For details, click on the photo below.

There's a new Chair for the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee at Westminster, so let's keep a watchful eye on Jesse Norman, MP, who has been elected Chairman of this Committee, a post previously held by current Culture Minister John Whittingdale. He is a Trustee of the Roundhouse, a director of the Hay Festival and a Patron of the Music Pool, and has called for a redistribution of arts funding away from London and to the regions, recognising that “two-thirds of the country lives outside the readily affordable range of ‘national’ cultural organisations”. Norman said that he was “absolutely delighted” to have been elected, and was looking forward to fulfilling his new role by “holding government departments and other public bodies to account”. The election of the other members of the Committee is to follow in due course, with a seat allocation per party. Read more by clicking on the chair below!

Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship
Every year I encourage people to apply for this wonderful opportunity. Do you practice or support those working in Heritage Crafts? Would you benefit from travelling overseas to meet other people with the same specialism as you, in order to share ideas, innovation and skills, and to reinvigorate your work? Click on the Boeing 314 for more details.

Feminist Review Trust Grants (UK/International)
The Feminist Review Trust has announced that the next round of its 2015 grants programme is now open for applications. The Feminist Review Trust gives grants of up to £15,000 to projects in the UK and internationally that support women. The Trust will prioritise applications for:

  • Hard to fund projects that have no other obvious sources of funding
  • Pump priming activities to help start a project in the hope that it will then be able attract sufficient funding to continue
  • Interventionist projects that support feminist values
  • Training and development projects
  • One off events
  • Dissemination of relevant material
  • Core funding for groups that struggle to raise it elsewhere.

Other projects outside of these above categories may be funded but potential applicants should contact the Trust to discuss eligibility before submitting an application. The deadline for applications is 30th September 2015. Read more by clicking on the classic Spare Rib.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Corporate wellness is making me sick...

I took part in an excellent and interesting event at the beautiful V&A on Friday. The Sackler Conference 2015: Art, Design and New Technology for Health, was great and it was good to hear people from different sectors getting together, instead of the usual suspects. Chairing a session on interactive and digital art in healthcare environments, was - to a degree - outside my comfort zone. But it was great to share the stage with people from design, curation and the health sector and in fact, it got me thinking again (sorry to drone on) about our work, language and the cult of individual 'wellness'. 

Looking at the wretched Hedonometer Project website today, I notice from their 'research' that people were pretty happy around christmas and valentines day, but (strange, this one) were less happy after the terrorist attack at Charlie Hebdo in Paris and even more unhappy after the arrest of Justin Bieber! Oh yes, and this reliable data was gathered from twitter. That’s accurate then.

So in a fit of pique and primed to write just a few slanderous lines on our burgeoning obsession with quantifying the self through every App (and orifice) conceivable, it is with some relief that I read in one of today's papers, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London, Mark Honigsbaum has similar concerns, describing far more eloquently than I could, that: ‘In this brave new world of human-technological assemblages, the “digitally engaged patient”, or epatient, becomes the new ideal and a marketer’s wet dream.”

Whilst Honigsbaum focuses on the data, eluding to its storage and usage in a post-Snowden world, for my part I still see a narcissistic consumerism that’s well marketed and which taps into the age-old delusion of defeating death.

Of course, technological advances in health improvement are to be encouraged, it’s just, as Honigsbaum comments, this new technology, ‘ the thin end of a very long wedge, one that may see us sprinting towards a post-human future in which some people enjoy markedly better health styles and promotion prospects than others.’

The 7th of October 2015 
The Republic of Arts & Health offers up a free international one-day event at The Manchester School of Art. 

We are Local- We are International 
(More details soon, but the date is fixed) 

…now here's a lovely job!
Inclusive Film and Theatre Officer 
Lancaster theatre and Cinema, the Dukes, works with many marginalised and excluded communities. They are now expanding their film and arts programme for people living with dementia – A Life More Ordinary – both in Lancaster and to other partner venues. They wish to appoint an Inclusive Film and Theatre Officer on a salary scale: £20,000-£23,000 depending on experience.The closing date for completed applications: 5pm Tues 7th July.


Saturday, 13 June 2015

For the love of - well - for the love of love, actually...

The sun has scorched the earth this week - well, on my own patch of land at least. I’m reminded of some Flaming Lips lyrics: ‘...the sun doesn’t go down, it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.’ A lovely song and apologies for the always-dubious Lips video below. Lovely messages came in about Mike White this week and it was heartening to hear from so many people who had been in some small way, affected by him and his vision of equal, healthy and flourishing communities. A mutual friend of ours had a baby this week and there’s something so bloody good and right and natural about this, it just reminds me - everything continues.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I do like the word amateur. It’s so easy to fall into jargon around ‘professionalism’ when we talk about the arts. Refreshing then, to read about the actor Jim Broadbent and his carvings of wooden people, on which he comments: “This is a hobby, I’m sure it’s therapeutic. It stimulates me, gets me up in the morning so it’s a passion as well,” he said. “I’m keen to get back to it, quite keen to see which way he/she is going to develop. I love getting better at it.”

“They are people, and people depend on love and give love and need love and maybe these people love each other.” His People are on display at the Southbank Centre’s, Festival of Love.

I was asked by Arts + Health over in Ireland to write a short perspective on the creation of the Manifesto for Arts & Health and if you have the inclination to read my thoughts on this process, click on the photograph below. It’s called A Love-Filled Slap, and I’ve been told if you google it, you’re more likely to end up in the the world of S&M - you have been warned!

There are just 10 free tickets left for the Dementia & Imagination event on the 25th June. Click on Bette or Joan to find out more.

I'll be at the Art, Design and New Technology for Health: Sackler Conference at the V&A this Friday 19 June. If you are coming to the event, do say hello. The 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. Programme available by clicking HERE. 

The always compelling NOUS magazine is out. The PANIC edition is to be found in all good Manchester outlets, including my all-time favourite The Koffee Pot. Well done Lisa Lorenz and all the contributors! Great to see the cover by Lithuanian artist, Eglė Gudonytė and new poetic work by Viltautė Krupickaitė.

Whilst our dear old Chancellor has announced his £4.5billion cost-cutting measures within a month of the general election, we should keep a wary eye on the £30m cut to the DCMS’s annual budget of £1.2bn. At the moment, the Arts Council has been asked to cut just 0.3% from its budget as its new Chief Executive calls on the government to back culture while promising a funding shift outside of London. Let’s keep our eyes on all this eh? ACE have announced a number of new funding streams, including investing £35.2 million in helping organisations produce high quality and spectacular events and works of art, particularly outside London. The fund will develop talent and leadership in organisations as well as supporting individual creative projects. There’s now an opportunity for existing Creative people and places consortia to apply for funds to help more people experience and be inspired by the arts. £5 million is available in this round, with a further £5 million in April 2017. Read more by clicking on the £4million Notting Hill home of the chancellor, that according to The Mirror is rented out for around £2,640 per week, as he sleeps in his rent free Downing Street abode. 

An International Conference on Music in Healthcare Settings, hosted by OPUS Music CIC in partnership with air Arts for Health and Royal Derby Hospital and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. This will be taking placed from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Thursday 16th July in the Education Centre at the Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, UK.
Anyone with an interest in music-making within healthcare settings is invited to join us for a stimulating, discussion-filled day on this ever-growing practice. Click HERE.

A short and cracking film of No More Heroes that The Stanglers are taking oh, so seriously

IMPACT: Generate and Demonstrate
16th July 2015, 9.30-4pm
Cartwheel Arts are organising a conference exploring arts and impact. This event is part of their project Art for Wellbeing, which focuses on creative projects to support positive mental wellbeing. Health professionals and Third Sector organisations will share creative solutions to generate positive mental wellbeing. Through creative tools and methodologies, a newly commissioned exhibition and film showcase, they will explore how to capture evidence to effectively communicate impact. Manchester Metropolitan University, Birley Buildings, Hulme, M15 6GX
Please click HERE to purchase tickets. Please note that this event is not organised by Arts for Health, but by Cartwheel Arts.

Idlewild Trust 
The Idlewild Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grant making programme is the 23rd September 2015. The Idlewild Trust is a grant making trust that supports registered charities concerned with the encouragement of the performing and fine arts and crafts, the advancement of education within the arts and the preservation for the benefit of the public of lands, buildings and other objects of beauty or historic interest in the United Kingdom. The Trust awards around £120,000 each year in grants and makes grants of up to £5,000.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Mike White

Mike White died yesterday. 

Mike had cancer and talked very openly about his experiences and treatment over this last year, and until the last few weeks, had kept a blog which shared some of his reflections and the gritty realities of living with cancer. If you haven’t read it, it’s compelling stuff and can be found by clicking on the lantern procession below.

I first met Mike when I worked for the NHS in Public Mental Health and was looking for ways to strategically embed the arts in my work across North Lancashire and Cumbria. I’d heard about him on the grapevine and was thrilled when he agreed to be part of a steering group up that I sat on, that was planning an arts and health conference in Carlise in 2001. It seemed we were very different creatures, me all nervy and on the brink of histrionics and Mike - well - consistently calm, considered and so, so gentle. The conference was sold out and he was a great hit. Having been closely involved in the recent planning and completion of the Angel of the North in Gateshead, Mike had a certain mainstream arts cachet too!

Our second meeting was over in Dublin in 2004 shortly after I’d left the South West, where I’d been developing Arts for Health Cornwall, and was about to take up my position at MMU. This time, we met quietly and had time to discuss the growing international movement that we were part of and the characters that peppered it - some born of vision and committed to social change - and those shadowy figures, pursuing the market-driven dark-arts! He was candid and we enjoyed long conversations - his vast experience helping me navigate the fraught new arena that I was entering.

We met regularly and informally many times over the intervening years, but rather bizarrely, it was our time spent in Australia as the guest of Margret Meagher, that cemented our friendship. In 2009 her first International Arts and Health Conference, some 10,500 miles away from the northern climbs of England, brought Mike and I together in a way that we’d repeat almost annually up until last November. I have so many grand memories of his complete professionalism (what an ambassador for this field!) and his mischievousness - and his wonderful and always appropriate use of expletives! Walking back to hotels from conference venues in the heat of day and the dead of night, became a regular thing for us.

As members of the National Alliance for Arts and Health we did meet on UK soil, but it was the intimacy of time in Australia and his regular Critical Mass events that really got us thinking and acting as a wider community of interest. Mike regularly brought people together and effortlessly facilitated conversations on small and large scales and his Critical Mass events brought people around the globe together to actively peruse inquiries and develop practice. From these extended conversations sprang global friendships and some serious collaborative work.

Only last year and in the middle of his cancer treatment, did Mike come over to MMU to give us a suitably mischievous - but completely serious presentation - which he called - Randomised Thoughts, Controlled Ramblings and a few Trialised Thoughts! Exhausted from his cross-Pennine foray to the Manchester School of Art, Mike blew us away and opened his presentation with a booming youtube film of Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads, conjoining his early work by way of Welfare State International to the possibilities of generating new traditions - and sharing a wonderful anecdote about meeting the woman he would marry - and her slightly tipsy rendition of Psycho Killer to a nightclub full of people. Mike couldn’t half tell a quirky story.

Imploring us to share something of the spiritus mundi, Mike framed much of his presentation in David Byrne’s ‘slow dawning insight about creation,’ that 'context is everything.' Urging us to consider Bevan’s collective commitment to social habits and offering the best we can give to society, he subverted the context of health and safety from authoritative and risk-averse control, to caring for each other. His own work illustrated perfectly how investing in children and young people reaps dividends in generational change, not least in creating young researchers who inform new ways of thinking, being and doing.

Author of the seminal work in arts and community health “...A Social Tonic’, Mike remained committed to the principles of the Welfare State and a believer that creativity, culture and the arts were central to flourishing communities. His generosity imbued all he did with warmth, typified in those celebratory and conversational events he so often hosted.

Outside our community of arts/health, I often describe the positive working relationships that emerge from shared beliefs and vision, and how once a full moon, these spill over into real and deeper friendships. I’m proud to have had Mike’s friendship and wonder who I will look up to now? Always following in his footsteps, I will remember him as a man of superb intelligence - a knowledge born of experience - hysterically funny, warm and with the deepest integrity. A record-collector extraordinaire, a family man and a free-thinker. We will carry forward your ideas, but will miss your presence Mike White.

Post Script
We all have a gnawing anxiety about the eternity that stretches in front of us, and to a lesser extent, that which preceded our conception. I suppose that’s where religion offers some people comfort. For me it’s comforting to know that a billion, billion lives have lived and loved and thought and breathed-in all that is before (this here and now), and infinite moments will happen for unquantifiable lives to come. I wonder if we can take comfort in the earth and the sky and this simple privilege of our temporary existence? 

Monday, 1 June 2015


Welcome to another week and all that it holds. Welcome too, to the month of June. Elizabeth Windsor paid a visit to my home town on Friday which saw the streets lined with the impoverished masses, all flag-waving and thrilled to catch a glimpse of their rather sour-faced monarch in the pouring rain. The £3mill+ visit saw the cleaner-than-I've-ever-seen streets, empty of traffic for the first time in years, the air full of helicopters and high-visibility coppers staked out on roundabouts and every street corner. This was the same week too, as the ermine and diamond-encrusted speech to parliament, in which we heard her government (and shadow parties) talking about inequalities. What we need now, are policies to back this talk up.

For those of you who don't know the ancient hamlet of Lancaster, here's a vile portrayal of my local chip-shop, by our latter-day fauvist and peddler of simplistic Utopian trash (well, the same image is available on the chip shop's very own plastic bag - so proud). How I hope the 'artist' in question, produces a rendition of HRH tucking into a bag of scraps and curry sauce. 

Now - here’s an important short Public Service Announcement from Peggy Shaw

A Dementia and Imagination free event in Manchester
Tickets are now available for the free Dementia & Imagination event that’s being held on the 25th June at MMU. There are very limited places and will be an active day that really needs input, commitment and expertise from artists, clinicians, researchers and planners. We want to share our practice and inform future research and direction. So, if you want to hear from our research team, from our intervention and research artists and share your own ideas and practice, we’d love to hear from you. Tickets are available now by clicking on either Bette or Joan below. 

Women Make Music Grant Scheme 
The next applications deadline for the Performing Right Society's (PRS) Women Make Music grant scheme is 6pm on the 28th September 2015. Through the grant scheme, financial support of up to £5000 is available to women musicians to create new music in any genre. This can range from classical, jazz and experimental, to urban, electronica and pop. Through the scheme, support is available to individuals and organisations @ 

Five Ways to Wellbeing Toolkit
Voluntary Arts explore the Five Ways to Wellbeing model in their Toolkit, as a method for setting up and developing voluntary arts groups, and for making the experience of being a member even more enjoyable and beneficial to health and wellbeing. It is mainly aimed at people who are in a position of setting up a new voluntary arts group, or who want to invigorate an existing group by increasing involvement and basing it on solid foundations for enhancing the experience of members. Find the toolkit @


Sunday, 24 May 2015

❊ the living sea of waking dreams ❊

humane citizenship & societal empathy

Thanks so much for all the email about the future direction of our network, its fluid title, content and direction. For those of you who mentioned how much you love our get-togethers here in Manchester, I am planning a free evening networking event for June/July which I’ll confirm on the blog over the next couple of weeks. It’s working title is WHAT IS IT? Look out for more details next week.

I know, I know…but it's catchy

Please don’t worry if it looks like the arts will be savaged by the government in the latest round of cuts, as the dear old Bank of England is asking you, the cash-strapped public, to have ‘a say’ in whose mug-shot next appears on a £20 note. They want suggestions of artists of import, so long as they are dead and aren’t fictional! Their Hollywood matinee inspired leader, Mark Carney will make the final decision and the cash goes into circulation in 2020. So who springs to mind? If Grayson Perry had popped of the mortal coil, he/she would have been a good one - can you imagine Claire staring out at you?

Those Chapman Brothers have given us food for thought with their disgracefully ‘doctored’ bank notes and more. I’d love to see a fascist-inspired Mickey Mouse on a £20 note - although he’s universal, I guess he’s just not British enough. The there’s all those poignant postage stamps designed by Steve McQueen for Queen & Country featuring the faces of UK service personnel killed in the Iraq, but deemed inappropriate to have on our letters. I wonder if any of those soldiers were amateur artists? (note - I love the word amateur - always seen as something lesser somehow than the ‘professional’, but derived from love).

No, I’d be interested in how we can get someone less obvious than Turner or Bronte and a socially engaged artist on this money. - perhaps someone who because or despite of health issues became something great. A nice ironic twist. Let’s give it some thought eh? Terry Pratchett = writing and dementia, Iris Murdoch too. Sylvia Plath (I know she wasn’t born here) and Spike Milligan = poetry and mental health. I have a soft spot for Virgina Woolf and William Blake who between them were poetic and visionary and who had a fare share of mental distress, but it would be good to think of someone from a less privileged background. John Clare perhaps? Ah no, I’ve got my early front runner - Sarah Kane - for poetically reimagining and confronting the fragile and volatile human psyche through drama.

I wonder if you caught sight of the report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman  this week - Dying without Dignity - it filled me with some small horror. It’s a short and upsetting report based around the complaints of people’s end of life experience in the UK. I do recommend it, as well as thinking about preparing an Advanced Directive with the people you care about. If anyone from any of the Palliative Care, Hospice or Dying with Dignity organisations would like to hold a more creative event here at MMU, I would be happy to host and co-facilitate it - get in touch. On another note, but not entirely disconnected, I’m writing a book chapter that in part, takes in these themes, and if you have been involved in performance-based practice/research with older people, maybe people facing their mortality, but where your work/research has provoked/revealed very unexpected moments - please get in touch.

A Dementia and Imagination Event at MMU
On the 25th June I’ll be holding a mid-point, day-long event at MMU to explore the ongoing Dementia & Imagination research project. It’s a free event and you get lunch thrown in too! BUT - and here’s the catch - there are very limited places, and because it’s about sharing the obstacles and opportunities of research within a clinical dementia setting, it will be an active day that really needs input, commitment and expertise from artists, clinicians, researchers and planners. We want to share our practice and inform future research and direction. So, if you want to hear from our research team, from our intervention and research artists and you work in a dementia context, we’d love to hear from you. Send a 200 word (maximum) expression of interest to before Wednesday 3rd June at 10:00am. Just explain who you are and why you’d like to come. Clearly, we are looking for a good mix of people to take part, so sorry in advance that we can’t invite everyone who applies. We will open it up to the wider network and limited places on Monday 8th June. Please note - only email the address above with expressions of interest and not my personal email - thanks.

Funding for the Rehabilitation of Offenders and Ex-Offenders 
The Triangle Trust has announced that the next closing date for applications to its grants programme is noon on the 5th November 2015. During this funding round, the Trust will provides grants to not for profit organisations and charities working for the rehabilitation of offenders and ex-offenders. The Trust would like to see applicants use these grants to develop sustainable income sources, so that when the grant comes to end the applicant organisation's income will not be reduced. Grants are available for up to £40,000 or 50% of the organisation's current annual income, whichever is lowest, per year for 3 years.

The Trust also holds a separate funding round for organisations working with carers. This is due to open for applications in spring 2016.

Comic Relief UK Grants Programme 
Through its new UK Main Fund, Comic Relief will provide funding for activities that create positive social change across the UK. To be eligible for funding projects must address at least of five themes. These are:
  • Supporting young people that face challenges and have limited opportunities
  • Support people who face violence, abuse and exploitation
  • Supports those in severe financial hardship
  • Supports disadvantaged communities
  • Aims to empower and give a voice to marginalised groups of people, so that they can challenge injustice and bring about positive changes for those who face discrimination and stigma.
The funding will be available to registered charities and other not for profit organisations that operate England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. For further information on the funding themes and how to apply please click on the link below. Although there is no upper limit to the level of funding available, Comic Relief expect most grants to fall between £10,000 and £40,000 (per year for up to three years). Applications can be submitted at any time. Read more at:

and finally, as post-Soviet states continue their 'conservative turn', feminist artists stand up to address gender injustice in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.Click on the Smart Mary poster above for more details