Friday, December 21, 2012


The last few days have seen a flurry of email into the arts and health inbox. Lots of correspondents have been rounding up their successes of 2012; some have been more despondent, the political climate having swept away their jobs and I’ve had a few responses to last weeks posting on the arts/health conference planned in Israel in 2013: some encouraging and insightful, others more critical - but all welcome and received with thanks.

So this ‘last post’ won’t round up any of Arts for Health successes' of 2012 - it will instead offer just a few more opportunities and a few season tidbits. 

The Guardian this week are offering free seasonal screen-savers designed by some prominent artists, and as a gentle echo to last weeks posting and a meditation on healthcare inequalities in Haifa and Gaza, here is one of those images by Cornelia Parker called a bright light over Jerusalem. She comments: 'This naked light shines in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. I thought celebrating this Christmas with the symbol of a bright idea, the light bulb, was appropriate – a bit of cold cheer in the darkness'

Artists and cultural commentators have also been rallying against the governments proposals to marginalise the arts in the national curriculum, and I was moved by some of the personal testimonies to teachers and arts educators that these figureheads cite. You can read them all by clicking on the Bob and Roberta Smith image below. Here’s a snippet from the wonderful playwright April de Angelis:
“Drama at school was the key that unlocked me with its premium on curiosity and inventiveness; the joy of working in groups yet feeling your individual input was integral. Being inside the complex world of a play with its debates, strategies, motivations and allegiances was brilliant for confidence and developing a love of language. I wasn't a kid who was taken to the theatre, so school was the place. In the school mag at the time I said the cast felt like family. Drama creates engaged, articulate beings who are attuned to their connection with others – which is why it's been suppressed – it's a political act.”

Just a reminder too, that the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) and the Department of Health have published their detailed agreement showing how the NHS CB will drive improvements in the health of England’s population through its commissioning of certain public health services. Please read this as it represents significant new opportunities fro the cultural sector. click on the dedicated nurse below for more details...

Getting On
This year saw another series of the excellent hard-hitting NHS drama, Getting On. You may have seen it - may love or loath it, but it beats Casualty hands down. Gritty realism and blissful social commentary. I particularly enjoyed the final episode (6) on 8th December in which artist Dylan Schwarz and his assistant Elke arrive on the ward to set up a kids art project. This has to be the ultimate arts and health TV moment of 2012? If you’ve not seen it - search it out, or talk to me about it in January - I have a copy!

Early Career Researcher at Arts for Health
Arts for Health at MIRIAD, the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, and Lime Arts of Central Manchester Foundation NHS Trust, wish to appoint a highly motivated early career researcher (ECR) on a short-term contract from February to April 2013 to make an important contribution to the consolidation and development of archives relating to the arts and well-being. 
For more information regarding the requirements of the role please email  

New Community Services Fund for British Pubs The rural pub services and community champions, Pub is The Hub, has announced the launch of The New Community Services Fund to help UK pubs to diversify into new services provision for their own communities. Pub is The Hub wants to raise £1 million over the next two years.  The Government has kick-started the fund with a £150,000 donation to the Community Services project. In addition the drinks company Diageo plc, has donated £50,000 and is urging other companies to follow suit.  Pub is the Hub has advised and supported small scale diversification schemes and community acquisitions all over England, Wales and Scotland; from the installation of libraries and production of school meals in pubs through to larger capital projects such as farm shops and post offices. Read more at: 

Austin & Hope Pilkington Trust (UK)
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust which awards grants to charitable organisations in the United Kingdom  has announced that  the next closing date for applications is the 1st June 2013. During 2013, the Trust is seeking to fund projects that help children and young people.  Grants are usually between £1,000 and £3,000 and are awarded for one year.
Previous grants awarded include:
A grant towards a resource centre providing advice and training for workers dealing with mental health in rural areas and
Funding towards a project aimed at behavioural programme for persistent young offenders. 
Read more at: 

Swearing, Christmas and Happiness
...and finally, here is a lovely video (be warned, it has swearing, so don’t complain - you’ve been warned) for the new Martin Crimp play; In the Republic of Happiness which is playing at the Royal Court Theatre until 19th January. Seasonal and so much more. Enjoy - Oh and Happy Christmas...

Thanks as ever for stopping by. What a year...C.P.