Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your Brain on Potato Chips

Or, more accurately, a rat's brain on potato chips.  Last week, PLoS One published a very interesting paper by Dr. Tobias Hoch and colleagues on what happens in a rat's brain when it is exposed to a highly palatable/rewarding food (1).  Rats, like humans, overconsume highly palatable foods even when they're sated on less palatable foods (2), and feeding rats a variety of palatable human junk foods is one of the most effective ways to fatten them (3).  Since the brain directs all behaviors, food consumption is an expression of brain activity patterns.  So what is the brain activity pattern that leads to the overconsumption of a highly palatable and rewarding food?

Read more »

Monday, February 25, 2013

Salt Sugar Fat

I'd just like to put in a quick word for a book that will be released tomorrow, titled Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Moss.  This is along the same lines as Dr. David Kessler's book The End of Overeating, which explains how the food industry uses food reward, palatability, and food cues to maximize sales-- and as an unintended side effect, maximize our waistlines.   Judging by Moss's recent article in New York Times Magazine, which I highly recommend reading, the book will be excellent.  I've pre-ordered it.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

...out of the office, but -

- need I say more?

OK...here's what the intelligent art critic Brian Sewell said in 2009:

"The two words 'graffiti' and 'art' should never be put together," said the art critic Brian Sewell. He added the council were "bonkers...The public doesn't know good from bad...For this city to be guided by the opinion of people who don't know anything about art is lunacy. It doesn't matter if they [the public] like it. It will result in a proliferation of entirely random decoration, for want of a better word...Any fool who can put paint on canvas or turn a cardboard box into a sculpture is lauded. Banksy should have been put down at birth. It's no good as art, drawing or painting. His work has no virtue. It's merely the sheer scale of his impudence that has given him so much publicity."

You can read more about Banksy and the tagging of the segregation wall in Palestine by clicking HERE.

Karst Country - infra-red timelapse from Glen Ryan on Vimeo.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Food Reward Friday

This week, Food Reward Friday is going to be a little bit different.  I've received a few e-mails from people who would like to see me write about some of the less obvious examples of food reward-- foods that are less extreme, but much more common, and that nevertheless promote overeating.  Let's face it, even though they're funny and they (sometimes) illustrate the principle, most people reading this blog don't eat banana splits very often, much less pizzas made out of hot dogs.

So this week's "winner" is something many of you have in your houses right now, and which was also the subject of an interesting recent study... potato chips!


Read more »

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Body Fatness and Cardiovascular Risk Factors

I recently revisited a really cool paper published in the Lancet in 2009 on body fatness, biomarkers, health, and mortality (1). It's a meta-analysis that compiled body mass index (BMI) data from nearly 900,000 individual people, and related it to circulating lipids and various health outcomes.  This is one of the most authoritative papers on the subject.

Read more »

Sunday, February 17, 2013

£5.45 BILLION 2-year budget announced for Arts and Public Health*

A short and sweet blog this week. Things have been exceptioanlly busy - but all good and productive. Next week, I should be able to report on the Dementia and Imagination research project that I know so many of you want to hear about. I’ll be heading off on a break to cooler northern climbs this week, so sorry no email response.


We want to remind anyone who’s interested in the networking session here at MMU on the 28th of Feb between 6 and 8PM - that we’ll be exploring where this arts and health journey came from, where we’re at now and where we think we might be going. It’s not directly part of the manifesto sessions, but is connected in that I want us to be thinking about how we explore this visually. How we plot our lineage (so to speak) and how we might make sense of where we are in the here and now. So - it will be an interactive session.

I was hoping to work with a graphic designer ‘live’ on the evening, somehow capturing what we say and plotting this field, but she’s out of the country! If anyone is comfortable capturing conversation and the salient points, please let me know. Although remember, I won’t be answering email this week.

OK - final thought on this. “What’s he on about - visualising the field?” Well, we’ve had frameworks, flowcharts and all manner of pseudoscientific illustration and the occasional positive-peak-flow-gibberish - but what about the The Great Bear (Patterson) - what about Acid House and Brass Bands (Deller)? What about the film-makers and animators? There are a few images and films peppered through the blog today - treat them as a stimulus and remember you’ll need to register at artsforhealth@mmu.ac.uk 



International Culture, Health & Wellbeing Conference
Bristol, June 24 – 26th
I’ve got my ticket for this event and I very much look forward to meeting up with those of you I know, those of you I’ve emailed but never met - and complete strangers!

The Early Bird registration for the conference ends on February 28th. The fee is £350 for three days - June 24th, 25th and 26th. This includes the full programme with a choice of workshops, breakout sessions, performances and visits, lunch and refreshments every day. The conference will inform international perspectives on:
  • Healthy and Creative Ageing
  • Global Health Inequalities and Culture
  • Culture and the Social Determinants of Wellbeing
Please click on the Thames Valley 616 (GJB254) Bristol LWL6B's for more details.





Community Libraries in the 21st Century
Arts Council England and LGA have published a report that looks into the different ways in which communities are involved in library service delivery. Research shows that in July 2012, 5% of public libraries had some element of community involvement, ranging from independent community libraries that own their own assets through to council-led and funded libraries whose paid professional staff are supported by volunteers. The findings indicate that this figure could rise to around 12% in the near future. From this national picture, guiding principles have been developed to assist local authorities who are considering reviewing the delivery of their library services to work with their communities. Follow this link for details. http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/supporting-libraries/community-libraries-research/ 



Funding To Support Poetry and Literature (UK)
So, with libraries in mind, the Clore Duffield Foundation has announced that round 5 of its Poetry and Literature Awards Fund is now open for applications. Through the Fund, schools, FE colleges, community groups, libraries and other arts/cultural organisations can apply for grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support participatory learning projects and programmes focused on literature, poetry and creative writing for under 19s.
The deadline for applications is the 1st May 2013. Read more by clicking on the splendid bonce of the poet-librarian below! 



Elephant Trust fund for visual arts projects
Deadline: 15 April 2013
The Elephant Trust offers grants to artists, and for new, innovative visual arts projects based in the UK. Its aim is 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 who should submit well argued, imaginative proposals for making or producing new work or exhibitions. Arts Festivals are not supported. The Trust normally awards grants of up to £2,000, but larger grants may be considered. Read more by clicking on the happy elephant!



...and finally that £5.45 billion 2-year budget for local public health services...

*Whoops - did I say Arts and Public Health? Sorry, I meant Public Health. But wait, don't give up so soon. Read this. Digest it. Think about the new configuration of services. Who is your Public Health champion? How can you engage with strategic commissioning. Is the time right for re-imagining our relationships with Local Authority Arts Officers (where they've not been slashed) and Public Health?


A £5.45 billion two-year ring-fenced public health budget for local authorities has been announced by the Department of Health. From April 2013, public health budgets will be protected for the first time, with local authorities taking the lead for improving the health of their local communities. This aims to drive local efforts to improve health and wellbeing by tackling the wider determinants of poor health. It is claimed that funding is specifically targeted, for the first time, at those areas with the worst health outcomes. In 2013/14 the total budget for local public health services will be just under £2.7 billion. In 2014/15 the budget will be just under £2.8 billion. Every local authority will receive a real terms increase in funding.
For full details by clicking on the healthy food option.



Cut grass lies frail:
Brief is the breath
Mown stalks exhale.
Long, long the death...

An extract from the Philip Larkin poem, Cut Grass


Thank you for reading this blog - please share far and wide...C.P.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

新 年 快 樂

I wish a happy and peaceful year to anyone celebrating Chinese New Year and welcome in Year of the Snake.



What a week! Thank you to everyone who came and shared their ideas and stories at the first Arts, Health and Recovery networking event here at MMU on Thursday evening - what, you didn’t know this is a regular event? Well, following the passion and drive of those in this packed event, there’s clearly a space for it. So - lets do it, lets think of this as a space that we can get together - share ways forward and perhaps develop new projects that relate to recovery, wellbeing and the arts.

SO - a little about the event and the preceding days. Arts for Health is working with artists and people in recovery from substance misuse, in Pescara and Pistoia in Italy; Kütahya in Turkey and here in the UK in Manchester and Liverpool.



Partners from all the countries gathered here in Manchester to plan a series of events and the artists residences and exchanges. We’re recruiting a lead artist from the UK to oversee the project and the artists in Italy and Turkey who will develop work in substance recovery communities. Alongside the lead artist, all three will be involved in cultural exchange with recovery communities in each country, working with people affected by alcohol or drug addiction and around a theme of self-portraiture. Shortly we’ll have a dedicated blog page for this emerging work. 

So, the networking evening was a way of bringing people together from the recovery community alongside artists and health professionals and what a great event it was to be part of, with a high number of people in recovery in attendance and one or two very personal and inspiring stories shared. I was particularly thrilled to hear people saying that it was their first time in a university - and on my word - it won’t be the last. For the first time in my ‘professional’ career, I was inspired to share a little chaos from my own early family life.

We also shared the Finnish film that I posted on the blog last week, Fragile Childhood -Monsters. I was cautious showing it, but relieved I did, as it opened up some difficult, but cathartic and grounded conversations.

For those of us who compared notes on the night, the overriding feeling was that this work was about making substance addiction and recovery visible.

Thank you for all of you who came and shared your thoughts, stories and ideas.



With the annual pressure to send or receive commercial tokens of affection on Valentines day, its been with a wry smile that I notice many of the newspapers are citing the University of Oxford researchers, Savulescu & Sandberg and their Neuroenhancement of Love and Marriage: The Chemicals Between Us, which discusses the possibility of chemically enhancing flagging romance in long-term relationships! A pill not only to make you happy in your long years of monotony, but to synthesize that feeling of amor. Alongside our deluded belief in some over-the-counter prescribed answer to all of life's grief.

Leon Jakeman
Following on from last weeks fleeting comments on the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar, the writer Jeanette Winterson wrote a lovely succinct reflection of what Plath means to her. Here it is in full.

"The early 60s was a terrible time for women. Worse for clever ambitious women. Valium had been on the market for two years in 1963 and by this time was being advertised aggressively at healthy women who felt trapped and desperate and whose distress had to be medicated away. This is the world of The Bell Jar.

The Bell Jar was published at the same time as Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer was reissued after its long ban in the USA. The misogynist masterpiss billets half the population to the whorehouse. All women are for sex. Rich women are for cash. Poor women are for housework. Why wouldn't a woman go mad in a world like this? Why wouldn't a woman as gifted as Plath become terminally depressed and end in suicide? Pills don't change the world. Feminism did.

The Bell Jar was a call to action because it is a diary of despair. Plath was gifted. She could have been great. Wrong generation. Wrong medication."



Arts and Health Research (part 1)
I want to give a very warm welcome to the newest member of the Arts for Health team, Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt who will be joining us for 3 months to research arts and health archives both in the UK and internationally, making where possible strategic links and connections. This work is being undertaken with the generous support of the AHRC and in collaboration with LIME Arts. If you want to meet Rebecca and here more about her background, she’s giving one of the Tuesday Talks at The Whitworth Art Gallery this Tuesday. here are some details.



The Tuesday Talks series invites leading artists, thinkers and curators to explore the driving forces, influences and sources of inspiration within contemporary art. The series is programmed by Professor Pavel Büchler and is a collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University.

12 February
11.00am – 12.30pm, free, no booking necessary 
Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt 
Having worked as a curator of international contemporary art for more than a decade, Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt receded from direct participation to embark upon an extensive interrogation of the European cultural field. Increasingly deploying an investigative methodology, she has exposed the endemic corruption in commercially derived approaches to culture, most recently as Researcher-in-Residence at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Derry, in relation to UK City of Culture 2013. Seeking alternatives to the prevailing model of cultural organisation, Rebecca spent five months in the libraries and archives of Havana, tracing the socially inflected approaches to culture that emerged in the wake of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. It is this research she will present at this talk, in the context of broader trends in cultural policy and their effect on the production of art.

Arts and Health Research (part 2)
Did you know that there is an emerging arts and health research network being developed? You can find details at http://artsandhealthresearch.ac.uk/artshealthandwellbeing/index.aspx


School Residencies: Call for Artists (Round 1), Blackburn and Darwen
10 x artist school residency fees worth up to £10,000 each
Blackburn and Darwen's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) continues with the latest phase of an extensive school building programme. Linked to this, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Arts Service are launching the first round of an ongoing Artist Call targeting artists from all creative disciplines with an interest in educational and community engagement, and further developing their collaborative practice.
At this initial stage, they are asking for artists to consider the brief on their website: www.artistcall.net and if interested to log your Expression of Interest by registering online and uploading some examples of your work to the private ‘intranet’ section. As well as your basic registration, they encourage you to also upload some practice information as well.
The deadline for your received registrations for this first round is 1st March 2013, but other Artist Calls will continue straight afterwards too.


Wellcome Trust Small Arts Awards (UK)
The Wellcome Trust has announced that the next application deadline under its Small Arts Awards is the 28th June 2013.  The Small Arts Awards provides grants of up to £30,000 to projects that engage the public with biomedical science through the arts. The aim of the awards is to support arts projects that reach new audiences which may not traditionally be interested in science. 


Funding for Creative Young People (UK)
IdeasTap, a non-for-profit initiative supports young creative people between 16 and 25 years of age, has announced that its Ideas Fund Innovators is open to applications. During this funding round the Ideas Fund Innovators aims to offer ten projects £1,000 each to help get them off the ground. In the past, Ideas Tap has funded everything from dance and film projects to music videos and photography collectives.  Applications from any creative field will be considered. Ideas Tap are looking for projects that are inspiring, original, innovative and that Ideas Tap think you can deliver. This brief closes on Thursday 4 April 2013 at 5pm and is open to IdeasTap members aged 16 to 25 on the closing date. Read more at: http://www.ideastap.com/Opportunities/Brief/b39a4a56-3379-4b89-9d0a-a13c0115ceac#Overview 

Nominet Trust: Digital Edge Programme (UK)
The Nominet Trust has announced that the 2nd call for applications under its £2 million Digital Edge Programme is now open for applications.  The programme aims to support projects that use new technology to engage young people in new, more meaningful and relevant ways and enable their participation in building a more resilient society. There is no upper or lower funding limit as the Trust like to encourage applicants to be realistic about what they need to achieve their project objectives.  The closing date for applications is the 1st May 2013. Read more at:



Europe for Citizens Programme: 
Citizens Projects (UK)
The European Commission has announced a new call for proposals under its Europe for Citizens Programme – Action 1 – Measure 2.1 Citizens' projects.  The measure “Citizen’s projects” aims at exploring innovative methodologies and approaches to encourage citizens’ active participation at European level and to stimulate the dialogue between European citizens and European institutions. Under this measure a variety of projects of a transnational and cross-sectoral dimension, directly involving citizens will be supported.  Priority is given to projects aimed at encouraging local level participation.  Eligible organisations that can apply include civil society organisations and local authorities.   A project must involve organisations/institutions from at least 5 participating countries of which at least one is an EU Member State.

The Grants available range from €100,000 - €250,000 and the closing date for applications is the 1st June 2013.Read more at:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Food Reward Friday

This week's lucky "winner"... an unnamed hot dog-laden Pizza Hut monstrosity with tempura shrimp and mayonnaise!


Read more »

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why Do We Eat? A Neurobiological Perspective. Part VIII

In the (probably) last post of this series, I'll take the pieces that I've gradually outlined in previous posts, and put them together into a big-picture, common-sense framework for thinking about human eating behavior, and why we eat more today than ever before.

Why is Eating Behavior Regulated?

Let's start at the most fundamental level.  To be competitive in a natural environment, organisms must find rational ways of interacting with their surroundings to promote survival and reproduction.  One of the most important elements of survival is the acquisition of energy and chemical building blocks, either by photosynthesis, or (in the case of animals) eating other organisms.  This imperative drove the evolution of rational food seeking behaviors long before the emergence of humans, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, worms, and even eukaryotes (organisms with nuclei).

Read more »

Monday, February 4, 2013

Why Do We Eat? A Neurobiological Perspective. Part VII

Welcome back to the series, after a bit of a hiatus!  In previous posts, we covered the fact that humans eat because we're motivated to eat, and many things can motivate us to eat.  These include factors related to energy need (homeostatic factors), such as hunger, and factors that have little to do with energy need or hunger (non-homeostatic factors).  These many factors are all processed in specialized brain 'modules' that ultimately converge on a central action selection system (part of the reward system); this is the part of you that decides whether or not to initiate eating behaviors.

This will be somewhat of a catch-all post in which I discuss cognitive, emotional, and habit influences on food intake.  Since these factors are not my specialty, I'll keep it brief, but I don't mean to suggest they aren't important.

Food 'Cost'

Read more »

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Why Do We Eat? A Neurobiological Perspective. Part VI

In previous posts in this series, I explained that the brain (primarily the mesolimbic system) integrates various factors to decide whether or not to drive food seeking and consumption behaviors.  These include homeostatic factors such as hunger, and non-homeostatic factors such as palatability and the social environment.

In this post, I'll examine the reward system more closely.  This is the system that governs the motivation for food, and behavioral reinforcement (a form of learning).  It does this by receiving information from other parts of the brain that it uses to determine if it's appropriate to drive (motivate) food seeking behavior.  I covered its role in motivation in the first post of the series, so in this post I'll address reinforcement.

Behavioral Reinforcement

Read more »

MENAS ŽMOGAUS GEROVEI, Reading, Monsters and so much more...

STORIES - Consume, Create and Retell
This week the Reading Agency have launched a ‘Well Book on Prescription' scheme at the British Library. There website says:

“The scheme aims to bring reading's healing benefits to the 6 million people with anxiety and depression. There is growing evidence showing that self help reading can help people with certain mental health conditions get better. Reading Well Books on Prescription will enable GPs and mental health professionals to prescribe patients cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) through a visit to the library. Here they can get books to help them understand and manage conditions from depression to chronic pain. The scheme works within NICE guidelines, and uses 30 books endorsed by health partners as having evidenced CBT benefits.”

The idea of thinking through our life experiences through literature is nothing new, and certainly organisations like The Reader have been ploughing a furrow in this field. And, so long as this isn’t a convenient way of providing you with an alternative to a costly consultation with a counsellor or psychotherapist - just a pamphlet to have with your pills - it’s a promising development. It’s great that people are thinking about reading and exploring distress and ill health through literature, so long as we don’t just reduce our creativity to state-sanctioned prescriptions.


Of course, those of us with lower levels of literacy, perhaps through bad experiences of education, or English not being our first language, may benefit from something more akin to being read to...

I’m sure CBT in paperback form is just the trick for helping some people impose order back in their lives and god-knows, its great to think of any way we can get people involved in libraries and reading again, but if literature in relation to our mental wellbeing is reduced to step-by-step re-programming to passive citizenship - well, it makes me slightly shudder.

There are an infinite number of books that could be ‘used’ meaningfully in both recovery and by helping us just make sense of the world. Isn’t that what the arts do - help us escape, help us re-imagine, give us alternatives, enrich us, outrage us and elevate us to peaks of emotion? Yes, there are the giants of poetry and literature who have experienced extremes in their own mental health - you don’t need me to the list those luminaries - but if we have a diagnosis, does that mean we avoid reading work by those stellar individuals who may have even taken their own lives?


This week I see that Sylvia Plath’s, The Bell Jar has been reissued in a 50th anniversary edition by Faber and Faber, its cover rather bizarrely, depicting a woman putting on make-up! There’s a bit of an argument raging in the press about trivialisation of the work and reducing it to ‘chic-lit’. Well here’s the cover alongside the first edition using Plath’s real name and designed by Shirley Tucker. You decide which one fits the bill. Here’s what Tracie Egan Morissey commented on the blog Jezebel:

“For a book all about a woman's clinical depression that's exacerbated by the suffocating gender stereotypes of which she's expected to adhere and the limited life choices she has as a woman, it's pretty f*****g stupid to feature a low-rent retro wannabe pinup applying makeup.”


Could reading Plath be beneficial to someone experiencing mental distress as part of their recovery? Might Ken Kesey offer a variant? What about a poem by Anne Sexton or vivid portrayals of inequalities by Dickens or Victor Hugo? My education blocked me from ever thinking Shakespeare was for me, but blimey - there are one or two lyrical and pithy lines that sting my eyes and that I’ve only discovered much later in life.

Step forward with your fiction and non-fiction, with your poetry held high. Scream a line of Hamlet, tear out a page of Woolf, wave your graphic novel and remember stories are powerful things - consume them, create them, retell them.


The Role of Arts in the Delivery of Social Care 
The way in which people are supported in communities continues to change. With this in mind Skills for Care (SfC), in partnership with Skills for Care and Development (SfC&D) and Creative & Cultural Skills, are keen to develop their understanding of the role of arts in the delivery of social care with a particular emphasis on workforce development.

The study will inform the future direction of work in this area by highlighting learning from effective practice of using arts to deliver social care and providing recommendations for workforce development.

Delivered by a consortium led by Consilium Research and Consultancy Ltd, this survey aims to identify details of the activities of practitioners (i.e. artists or care staff) using arts to deliver social care. Specifically this survey is keen to obtain detail on the following: 

• The characteristics of arts led activities (i.e. duration, setting, art form)
• Factors that support or impact upon the effective use of arts to deliver social care outcomes
• The extent of training/workforce development for care staff and artists
• Outcomes achieved for organisations, artists, care staff and service users

Where appropriate a sample of projects or activities identified by this survey will be contacted by the study team to explore in order to prepare a more detailed case study of practice.The survey can be accessed by clicking on the diamond.


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A stunning and disturbing public health film about alcohol impact, from Finland. Find out more about this campaign at http://www.havasww.fi/en/case/fragile-childhood-monsters/

Now that the Olympic party is over...
As we brace ourselves for deepening austerity, you can see the ‘impressive results’, lots of graphs, numbers and stories about the investment in the cultural olympiad and its impact - now that the fireworks have finally fizzled out. Here’s what they say and details of how you can read up on their evaluation.

WE PLAY is the North West's celebration of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, ensuring that they leave a lasting cultural legacy across the region. WE PLAY is led by new regional partnerships and managed by Arts Council England.

Since its launch in 2009, WE PLAY has delivered more than 1,200 public events and workshops across the North West region, reached more than 2 million people and attracted 875,000 people to public events. The programme has engaged people from all sections of the community with 30% of audiences from neighbourhoods of no or limited arts engagement and almost a quarter of all audiences from communities ranked within the 20% most deprived within England. The programme has delivered 170 entirely new commissions and presented the work of more than 2,650 artists, all of which has taken place through more than 400 new partnerships. You can see the impressive results achieved so far in the final WE PLAY evaluation. Please click on the Radium Dazzler to view a short film or download the full report.


ARTIST COMMISSIONS
Nelson is one of the first successful Portas Pilot towns and the Town Team is now 6 months into delivering their ideas to help regenerate our high street. Our Portas Pilot vision is to attract innovative and creative uses which garner energy, produce social, bustling places and compel people to visit Nelson. We have two key priorities; one is to generate younger footfall to secure the long term future for Nelson and the second is to reduce the number of empty shops and market stalls. Another major part of our Portas Pilot bid is to engage a number of artists who have the ability to create exciting ‘anchor projects’ which will generate higher footfall, particularly from young people. We are looking for creative, effective and perhaps unusual ‘happenings’ to get people talking and gain media attention and interest.

Commission One
Our brief is quite open but, bearing in mind our vision and priorities outlined above, we are looking for an artist/creative team who can help us to:
Capitalise on the availability of the amphitheatre in the town centre (this is the space in the centre of Nelson, where the Shuttle Sculpture stands) as a space to meet, to socialise, to play, to perform, etc. Develop a project which will actively engage and interact with local businesses in the town centre; making them feel involved in a way which is beneficial to them.

Commission Two
Again our brief is quite open, but bearing in mind our vision and priorities outlined above, we are looking for an artist/creative team who can help us to:
Develop a project/create a series of ‘happenings’ which will actively attract young people into the town centre. This includes college age students as well as younger children who would come into town with their family. 

We would like at least one of the successful artists/creative teams to set up residency in an empty shop in the town centre and use this as a base for the 3 month period of the commission. We hope that any project suggested will have a digital element of some nature, be that blog, social media, app or other.  


Your submission
Please submit up to 500 words detailing what you would do and why you would be the ideal artist for this commission, stating clearly which commission you are applying for (or whether your project addresses both aims, i.e. a project that uses the amphitheatre and involves local business’ but also attracts young people) and you can include up to 5 images. 

We would also like you to submit a short timeline detailing how your idea would work in a practical way. (For example, detail the number of days in residency, the number of studio days, planning time, length of events etc). 

Please provide a broad breakdown of the overall costs of your proposal. You must be able to demonstrate that your proposals can be delivered within the budget. Make sure your contact details are included and please don’t submit docx documents.

Artist Fee: £8000 per commission inclusive of all time, materials, etc. 
Submission Deadline: Friday 22nd February 2013, 5pm 
Timescale for commissions: Between April and September 2013 
(Depending on what submissions are received these two commissions may run either simultaneously or consecutively).

Contact details or further information:
Post: Judith Watmough, Economic & Housing Regeneration, Pendle Borough Council, Elliott House, 9 Market Square, Nelson, Lancashire, BB9 0LX



Clore Fellowships are now OPEN
The Clore Leadership Programme was set up to develop outstanding cultural leaders, mainly, but not exclusively, in the UK and has awarded over 230 Fellowships to outstanding individuals from across the creative and cultural sector.  Fellows come from diverse backgrounds.  They may be working freelance or within organisations, of all types and sizes,  in areas ranging from archives to theatre production, and including visual and performing arts, film and digital media, heritage, creative industries, museums, libraries and cultural policy. Applications for 2013/14 Fellowships are now open. The deadline for applications is 5.30pm, Friday 22 February 2013. Details HERE 



IdeasTap university fee fund
Deadline: 29 March 2013
Whether you’re a first-year student or a graduate, if you embarked on a BA or BMus in 2006 or later, you could benefit from having £9,000 wiped off your Student Loans Company balance by arts charity IdeasTap. For a chance to win, simply tell IdeasTap in 100 words or less what you could offer to its network in exchange for the money. It could be an idea or a service, for example “This is how you could improve your site…” and the more imaginative, original and feasible the idea, the better! Find out more by clicking on the logo above.


MENAS ŽMOGAUS GEROVEI
...and finally, but not least, I am thrilled to be able to share the unfolding work delivered by friends and colleagues in Lithuania, who this week publish a report of their pilot project, Menas žmogaus gerovei (Art for well-being) which was implemented over 2012 by the Artists Association Gallery and financed by the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania. The goal of the project was to promote access to culture and well-being through the creative partnership of professionals within culture, education, health care and social services - presenting new approaches towards arts and health.

Activities were delivered in four health-care and social-care organisations in Vilnius and Panevėžys. The target groups of these activities were seniors, mental health service users, clinicians and children.

The project evaluation employed quantitative and qualitative methods which illustrated the positive impact of the artistic activities on the well-being of participants. By creating access to culture, the project taught the participants new skills and capacities, encouraged aspiration to improve skills and create new knowledge. The evaluation revealed positive impacts on emotion and mood, self-esteem, social vitality, communication and relationships, encouraging openness and strengthening a sense of community.

So here is a rich and full report that I recommend to you. Of course, it’s written in Lithuanian - so remember, google translator (with all its quirks), is a wonderful tool. Click on the image below to download the report.

Aciu to Roma Survilienė, Ieva Petkutė 
and Simona Karpavičiūtė


Thank you as ever for visiting this blog...C.P.