Local Poet Launches First Book Inspired By Unusual Stories of Medway – 28th November 2018

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A local poet is launching her first book “Fire In The Head” at Poco Loco, Chatham on the 28th of November at 7:00pm. SM Jenkin, a second generation Irish poet, born in Chatham, was inspired to publish the book which features Medway inspired poems after attending poetry classes lead by local writer Philip Kane some years ago. 

The book draws attention to the many different stories of Medway, honouring the influence of people like James McCudden, Anne Pratt and SM Jenkins very own mother and father. The book notes interesting incidents that few people know about, such as the time William Blake was arrested when he visited Medway for a sketching tour.

The launch lands on the anniversary of Blake’s birth, and the book includes a great deal of  remembrance, which is why it is being launched in November. Speaking about the book SM Jenkin said “The book remembers the stories, people and myths of Medway that often get overlooked. Medway is a place that has many stories and many people passing through, it is a place of transition and transformation. I include myths woven into the fabric of the place. It ties well into the theme of #wearemedway”. 

To find out more about the event visit the Facebook event page 

You can follow SM Jenkin on social media via:

https://www.facebook.com/SMJenkinWriter 

@sajenks42

https://www.instagram.com/smjenkin42/

https://smjenkin.blogspot.com/

Reviews of Fire in the head: 

“You can taste the tang of the Medway in these sharp, observant poems, where myth and history gang-up on the present to tell new tales. A fine line-up from poet, SM Jenkin, to waken the sleepers and inspire fresh dreams.”

Caitlín Matthews (author of Diary of a Soul Doctor and King Arthur’s Raid.)

“In this collection, Chatham based poet SM Jenkin, interweaves myths of seal wives and Medway mermaids, with her own stories and experiences. She questions what it means, if anything, to be ‘adjusted’ in the world and contrasts her philosophies with rich imagery, exploring the ferocity of nature and her thirst for its wild freedom.”

Isabelle Kenyon (Fly on the Wall Poetry Press)

Confluence Writer Development Programme seeking Medway applicants

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Local literary arts organisation Wordsmithery has been granted funding for a year-long writing project which will allow them to enthuse and infuse Medway with words. More details about the project will follow on the Wordsmithery website,  but part of this project will allow them to offer a personalised Writer Development Programme to 6 emerging Medway/Kent-based writers as part of the Arts Council England funded Confluence: Plant; Grow; Nurture project, which starts at the end of October.

If you are an emerging writer, aged over 18, based in Medway, or surrounding areas of Kent, who has had at least one piece of writing published, you are eligible to apply for this brilliant opportunity.

Writers on the scheme will be offered:

  • 1 hour of mentoring advice for 6 months from a local writer-mentor.
  • The chance to attend a Confluence Writers’ Retreat local to Medway, with guest tutors.
  • A bursary for a short group writing visit to Sunderland.
  • The opportunity to organise and host Roundabout Nights, and on another occasion, headline it.
  • Writers will optionally be able to attend a pamphlet and zine making course (3 sessions) and a monthly drop-in workshop to learn how to produce your own pamphlets on a Risograph printer (10 sessions).
  • Writers will have the opportunity to lead/assist with writing workshops and pop-up open mics in Medway Libraries (paid).
  • Writers will be able to contribute articles to the new look Confluence website.
  • Writer Development Programme students will be showcased in Confluence.

* It is important that those applying can attend the majority of the opportunities on offer. Please email confluencemedway@gmail.com if you have any questions about the scheme or your eligibility.

How to apply:

They are looking for emerging writers with some experience, who are serious about developing their craft. You should have had at least one piece of writing published in a literary magazine or journal (online or in print), which is not your own blog. You should be based in Medway, or within an easy commute.

Please send a letter outlining why this opportunity appeals to you and what you’d hope to get out of it (no more than 2 sides), your CV and a sample of your writing (no more than 2,000 words of prose or 5 poems) to the Confluence email.

Applications will be decided by a panel consisting of representatives of the editorial team and an external advisor.

Deadline: 20 October 2017, (applicants to be notified of outcome by 27 October).

Advance Your Education Through The University Of Kent – 2017 Programme – Medway and Margate

The University of Kent are offering a variety of courses that enable people to gain qualifications which can help them get into University.

The wide selection of courses available includes English Literature, Fine Art and Sociology.

The courses are delivered at Brompton Academy, the University of Kent Medway and Hartstown Academy, Margate. To see all the courses on offer visit www.kent.ac.uk/courses/part-time/access

 

Paint The Town Festival Returns For 2017 With Something For Everyone! – Medway

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Paint The Town returns to Medway this year with a selection of performances, experiences and workshops by both local and national creatives.

The festival, organised by Medway based organisation Lyrici Arts, are particularly bringing events centred around mental health and diversity to the Medway towns, including the show “My Beautiful Black Dog” on Wednesday 19th April at The Brook Theatre, Chatham. The show challenges the stigma around mental health and encourages the audience to take ownership over their own black dogs whilst channeling infectious dance moves, swagger-boss costumes and banging tunes!

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Also look out for fun craft workshops, mental health and brain injury support, an inspiring spoken word collaboration with Wordsmithery, interesting panel talks with the stars of the shows and industry professionals, children’s fun time activities and much more.

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Creatabot will be running creative workshops at the event “Hip Hip Hooray” on the 22nd of April, at Woodside Community Centre, Rochester.

Hip Hip Hooray will be a children’s party with a difference! Take part in singing workshops with Tom Penn (creator of Neverland), a recycled arts and crafts workshop with Creatabot to celebrate world Earth Day, show us your moves on the dancefloor and then settle in for a surprise show that is out of this world.

Suitable for ages 3-8 years

TICKET INFORMATION:

Date: Saturday 22nd April 2017

Party: 3.30- 5pm

Price: Standard £5 per child. This ticket admits one child – Adults tag along for free!
Purchase tickets here

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Carry On Crafting will be happening on 24th April at St Paul’s Church, Parkwood, Gillingham at 10:30-12:30pm places are limited so please book in advance.

There will be events for all ages and interests, so to see the programme visit: www.paintthetownfestival.co.uk

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Additional info:

In April 2016, Medway based organisation, Lyrici Arts were awarded a regional place within the Collaborative Touring Network, enabling them to be a National festival partner until 2019, and help to address diversity and arts inclusion aims within the Medway Towns.

The Collaborative Touring Network is supported by Arts Council England , Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and Unlimited Impact.

Introducing Confluence magazine

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Confluence 1 + 3

Confluence is a new writing magazine from Wordsmithery. Confluence aims to introduce writers from the East Kent area to writers from everywhere else and promote artistic exchange. We are open now for submissions of short plays, short stories and poems.

We will be publishing a print copy four times a year (August, December, February and May). See the Submissions page for what we’re looking for and how to submit!

You can order Issues 1 and 3 and subscribe at the Wordsmithery website if you want to get a feel for the type of writing we’re looking for.

Writers we have featured so far include: Issue 1 (all available online)  Janine Booth, sean burn, Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, David Cramer Smith,  Zack Davies, Rachel Davis,  Sarah Hehir, Dan Horrigan, SM Jenkin, Daphne Margolys, Tara Moyle, Katarina Rankovic (illustrations), Angel Uriel Perales, Cameron Williamson.

Issue 2 (all available online) Linked to our ‘An assemblance of judicious heretics; re:imagining Shakespeare’ project – featuring poetry and prose from 33 writers and interpretations of their words by 32 artists.

Issue 3 (some video extracts available online) Stories and poems from Matt Chamberlain, Nancy Charley, Maggie Drury (woodcut illustrations), Barry Fentiman Hall, Sam Hall (a play), Mark Holihan, Shaun Philip Hutchings, Philip Kane, Bill Lewis, Daphne Margolys, Maria C. McCarthy, Katarina Rankovic, David Cramer Smith, Spreken, Jonathan Terranova, and Barrie West.

The magazine is printed using a Risograph machine locally at Intra on recycled paper, using vegetable inks, which gives it a retro feel. “…it’s so satisfying to hold and read! Typeface is fab, paper is perfect magazine weight. Old school printing was an inspired choice…”

See more at the Confluence website.

The Pentagon Community Fund – Up To £2000 – Open To Projects In Chatham – Closes 12th March 2017

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The Pentagon Community Fund is now open to projects in Chatham!

Through the Pentagon Community Fund, Project Dirt are offering up to £2,000 to community projects and social enterprises that have a positive social and/or environmental impact and which are located in the local Chatham area. There is a total of £15,000 up for grabs, all to kick start your local community projects that will improve your neighbourhood.

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Types of Projects – who can enter?

Community Projects: Any non-profit making organisations can apply including charities, not-for-profit organisations, Community-Interest-Companies and also informal community groups with their own bank accounts. Individuals cannot apply for their own personal projects.

Social Enterprises: Entrepreneurial business ideas with a social or environmental mission, are also encouraged to apply.

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All applications (which don’t take long) need to be submitted by midnight on Sunday 12th March. You can find the application guidelines here. 

Start the application at: www.projectdirt.com

Please note this grant is available for non-formal community groups, charities and not-for-profit organisations. It’s not open for profit making entities nor personal/individual projects at home. Any Social Enterprises, with a social or environmental mission, are also encouraged to apply.

If you have any problems or questions, please get in touch with Project Dirt at pentagoncentre@projectdirt.com

To get the latest updates from the fund search the hashtag: #WeLoveChatham

Feminine Vessels in Medway heralds exciting new exhibition

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Preparations for the Interim Degree Show from 3rd Year BA (Hons) Fine Art students in the School of Music and Fine Art are now in full swing – literally.

On Thursday morning, should you have ventured onto Chatham Historic Dockyard, you would have encountered a strong female presence, floating high above your head, suspended from a large industrial crane. Just outside the School of Music and Fine Art studios, artist Luiza Jordan installed her delicate yet immersive artwork Feminine Vessels.  The work is the result of extensive research and discovery into the history of the Dockyard.

Artist Megan Boyle observes, “Jordan’s work is an exploration into materiality, which often manifests itself through sculpture and installation work. She attempts to represent the presence of the female, omitting images of the female nude and without explicitly making reference to the female body.  Rather, she uses materials associated with feminine identity and domesticity, engaging with organic bodily textures and shapes. In terms of the site in which these pieces can be found, Jordan aims to construct particular juxtaposition between the organic, fragility and fluidity of her invented forms, and the virile, masculine and industrial nature of her surroundings, which at the moment, is that of the Historic Dockyard, where the School of Music and Fine Art is located.”

Jordan is now continuing to experiment with size, scale and material to prepare her work for the upcoming BA (Hons) Fine Art interim Degree Show Loading…  but this time within the beautiful historic Georgian building that is Chatham House in Rochester High Street.

The show, which features work by 30 artists, will be open as follows:

Saturday 10 December – Wednesday 14 December, 11am-4pm (closed Tuesday).  

The Private View is Friday 9 December, 6-9pm.  

If you would like to be on the guest list, please book via https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/loading-private-view-for-the-interim-fine-art-degree-show-from-3rd-year-ba-hons-fine-art-students-tickets-29333853345

Show venue: 351 Rochester High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1DA

Further information here:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mfadegreeshow/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mfadegreeshow/

 

Credits:

Artwork by Luiza Jordan (2016); Feminine Vessels: balloons, wool, string.

Images by Rose Sizer.  Words by Megan Boyle

 

Knights Wood Art in the Public Realm Commission Brief – Closes 20th November 2016

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Knights Wood Art in the Public Realm Commission Brief
Village Square Feature Sculpture

Commission fee: £25,000
Date for submission of proposals: Sunday 20th November 2016, 11:59pm Date for completion of project: End of April 2017

Dandara are seeking proposals from artists to create a statement sculptural work to be located in the Village Square of Knights Wood, a new housing development in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

FIND OUT MORE: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ONDorAeylydzBhZjdhbFgxMEE/view?usp=sharing

Medway Printmaker Exhibition Bursary – Applications By 2nd December 2016

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Medway Council Arts Development Team are offering exhibition bursaries to four Medway printmakers. These will enable them to create a body of work inspired by the Guildhall Museums collection of outstanding historic Dutch Prints, for a shared exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery (2 June -27 Aug ’17) as part of Medway Print Festival (9-25 June) and the Battle of Medway 350th Commemorations (8-17 June).

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend a pre-application ‘Inspiration Event’ at The Guildhall Museum on Tue 8 Nov 7-9pm to find out more about the bursaries, view some of the relevant collections and learn more about the Battle of Medway from the museum curators. The Dutch collection includes many fascinating historic maps, plans, portraits and engraved news sheets that detail this important victory for the Dutch navy in 1667.

To be eligible to apply for a £500 Exhibition Bursary, printmakers must be currently living, studying or working in Medway. We particularly welcome applications for innovative approaches to printmaking and/or interesting ways of interpreting the historic themes in a contemporary way. Application will be by a short proposal no more than a side of A4.

Full details, dates, eligibility criteria and how to apply are available by emailing the Arts Team arts@medway.gov.uk. Applications will be accepted from Wed 9 November and up to 12 noon on Fri 2 December 2016.

An application pack can be downloaded at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ONDorAeylyTzcxa0lDVi01dUU/view?usp=sharing

 

Photo attribution – Charlotte Powell

School of Music and Fine Art: Events in Medway

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We have some fantastic – mostly free – creative events coming up in Medway between now and December in the School of Music and Fine Art, and our Autumn What’s On booklet is now out!  Print copies will be available from our Reception and in various venues across Chatham, but you can also view events online here.

https://issuu.com/musicfineartkent/docs/smfawhatsonautumn16

Please do share with anyone you think might enjoy our concerts and events, which mostly take place in the atmospheric Historic Dockyard Chatham.

Our exciting programme of Artist Talks is currently being finalised – watch this space for more info or check our website www.kent.ac.uk/smfa

And we also have a TASTER DAY coming up on Saturday 26 November – more info here! http://bit.ly/2d1ZkpL

Image credit Jane Seaman

Trans Voices – Becoming Who You Are

My body does not define who I am. I am a boy, but my body may show different. I know who I am and I don’t need anyone to tell me and call me what I’m not.” – Anonymous

From social worker and local professional author Declan Henry, comes this beautiful new book, Trans Voices – (Becoming Who You Are), which focuses on the trans community, including many trans people who reside in Kent –  some of which were interviewed for the book.
It’s intended audience? Everyone. In straightforward terms, it explains everything that anybody needs to know in order to gain a better understanding and awareness of transgender people and the wider trans community. (And just look at that beautiful, thought provoking cover!)

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A guide-book to becoming who you truly are.

Book blurb:

 

“Imagine what it must be like to feel you are a woman ‘trapped’ in a man’s body. Or a man ‘trapped’ in a woman’s body. And what happens if you decide to reject your birth gender and become a trans man or a trans woman?

In this absorbing book you can hear the voices of those who have decided to face their fears to undergo the transition process and become who they really believe they are. You’ll share their despair when they are down – and their joy when at last they become the person they want to be, having overturned their birth assignation and completed the most testing journey of their lives.

And along the way you will be invited to meet and understand a whole cast of characters including non-binary people who do not feel they fit into either gender category as well as cross-dressers who form part of the broader trans community.”

If you’re interested in reading this book, you can purchase it from either Amazon or Waterstones. If you’ve already read this book, leave a comment below on what you thought!

For more information on the author, visit Declans website by clicking his name.

Wanted! Singers and Musicians to take part in our Christmas Concert in The Royal Dockyard Church

On Wednesday 14 December, 2016 at 7.30pm the University of Kent Choir and Orchestra (Medway) will be performing Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols as part of the School of Music and Fine Art Christmas Concert in the beautiful Royal Dockyard Church.

We are inviting the local community to join the choir or orchestra and take part in this festive event.  Rehearsals take place on Wednesdays 5pm 7.30pm at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, with the first rehearsal on Wednesday 28 September. (Note: Orchestral players should be Grade 6 standard or higher).  We look forward to hearing from you!

To find out more contact Dr Ben Curry: B.Curry@kent.ac.uk

 

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Real Monsters To Be Released On Medway and Swale

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On December 4th 2015, Real Medway and Swale will be releasing ‘Monsters of Rochester’ the town’s first augmented reality game for Android and iOS smartphones. It has been created with funding from Ideas Test Swale and Medway using a game engine developed by Haunted Planet Studios, who are based in Dublin.

In the game, players explore the local area, seeing, hearing and taking photographs of different characters they find and discovering their stories. The games uses Smartphone cameras and GPS to find monsters who have been hidden across the town.

The stories, artwork and voice acting found within the game have been created by a team of local writers and artists brought together by Roy Smith from Rochester, who has ‘directed’ the development of the game. He says about the game: ‘I hope the game works for lots of people. Getting locals to find something different in familiar places or for tourists looking for an alternative to traditional history walks. I don’t think any monsters have escaped in Rochester’s history, not that I am aware of anyway…’

The App is due for release on December 4th on both iOS and Android phones. For up to date information and to download the App, visit: http://www.realmedwayandswale.com the Facebook event page can be seen here www.facebook.com/events/1652752008316190/

or link up on:

Twitter: @realmedwayswale

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/realmedwayandswale

Email: realmedwayandswale@gmail.com if you are interested in helping to create future games.

RiverVoice Choir Christmas Concert

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An enchanting beginning to the festive season with community choir …

River Voice Community Choir is taking on a new challenge for its Christmas Concert this year. The performance is a big step change for the choir in that, apart from the congregational hymns, every piece will be performed a cappella – there will be no musical accompaniment.

Many choirs shrink from singing without accompaniment as it can leave singers feeling very vulnerable and subject to pitching problems. Additional funding received this term from the Red Nose Foundation enabled the choir to have extra rehearsal sessions, which supported members in the development of stronger aural and vocal skills across the group.

The choir aim to make music accessible to everyone and have a number of visually impaired members who take an active role in the group, including Choir Chair, Claire J Frewin, who explains: “We learn orally if we can’t access the score, as we are still able to hear what’s written. It’s actually a very quick way of learning as it’s relative straight away. I do try and look at the music when I can, but my head will be down using my magnifier and it’s much better for your posture to be standing upright and singing out. So automatically it’s better for learning, speed of learning, for posture and projection.”

Fellow visually impaired choir member, Michelle Bunce added: “I wasn’t sure choir singing would be my thing, but I’ve learnt so much, it’s been amazing, I didn’t go to the first rehearsal with many expectations and I can’t explain why it gripped me; a combination I think, of the people and the passion, and the interaction. Tania makes the difficult things easy, almost, dare I say it. Although we look at it and think, yeah, that’s really hard, she encourages you to have a go. She’s given me a lot more confidence in singing – she sorted out my breathing. I had no idea how to breath or anything. I love the camaraderie; we have so much fun doing it and it makes the learning easy. I can feel how I’ve improved my singing and my confidence generally.”

Musical Director, Tania Holland, says:The idea for a choir that would cater for people with and without visual impairment emerged following a large scale community opera project called Element Beyond Gravity.

“This was a new work devised specifically in response to Chatham Historic Dockyard and which brought together singers from across North Kent including a number of people with low or no vision.

“At the end of this project it was clear that many people taking part were keen to continue to make music together. So I applied to Medway Council for a small grant to trial a new singing group that would be accessible to all adults, regardless of ability to read music, and out of this short project a small group of singers went on to form the nucleus of the choir and to themselves lead the group into its current not-for-profit community group status.”

The concert will take place on Saturday, December 5 at 3.30pm in the St.George’s Centre, Dock Road, Chatham. Entry is free, although donations to help sustain the choir would be welcome – there will also be a raffle and refreshments.

 

For more information, please contact either Claire on 07890 705698 / email cjfrewin@gmail.com or Tamara on 07919 134154 / email t.s.gummer2@hotmail.co.uk.

Alien Artefact 202

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5 January 2012 – Two UFOs were photographed over the Medway. The photographer, who has asked not to be named, said that they made many passes over the river. The following day, the Daily Mail published pictures of two UFOs taken over Kent and Sussex, which may have been the same two craft. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Two-alien-aircraft-sightings-w…

On the 24 October 2014 – explosions were heard across the home counties and a Latvian cargo plane appeared in the sky from nowhere. The crew say they took off from Riga two years earlier, but this fact remains unpublished!

How far will our government go to cover up the truth about Alien Artefact No, 202?

And how far will you go to uncover it?

Found out more at www.sciencefaction.co.uk

Community group’s third annual festival keeps it live and local

Rochester Literature Festival

The Rochester Literature Festival is back for a third year bringing readers, writers and like minds together.

Featuring a sense of people and places, this year’s Rochester Literature Festival ‘Live’n’Local’ will mix writings inspired by the urban and rural places of Kent, along with its cultural heritage.

On Saturday, the festival will be based at The Guildhall Museum in Rochester High Street for a selection of talks with an historic theme, while the popular Cafe Crawl will take place in various cafes.

On Sunday, a lovely and eclectic selection of authors will delight you with their stories in the gallery space at the wonderful Sun Pier House in Chatham.

Bookmark’d will be back in a slightly different format, and an artist will be on hand to capture the event as well as inspire you to do the same.

The ever-brilliant Sam Hall of 17% brings her new play, My Mind is Free, produced by Rah Rah Theatre, to the festival on Sunday evening at the Nucleus Arts Centre in Chatham, continuing the wonderful ‘Night at the Theatre’ events enjoyed in the previous two festivals.

As part of the BBC Get Creative Campaign, the RLF is also running 4 themed workshops.

The workshops on Saturday at the Guildhall Museum feature The History Magpie, Rachael Hale, who – inspired by the museum’s wonderful collection of artifacts – will guide you in finding hidden treasures whose stories are waiting to be told. Festival partner Sam Hall, with fellow playwright and BBC Prize winner Sarah Hehir, will teach you how to use news stories to inspire your own writing, leading the creative writing workshop Safe and Sound which is linked to the Sunday evening play, My Mind is Free, exploring the issues around human trafficking in the UK (over 14s).

On Sunday at Sun Pier House, Nature Girl, Carol Donaldson will be taking participants out to explore the local environment before committing their discoveries to paper, while Melanie Benn will help you in Unlocking your Memories with discussion and thoughtful writing exercises, encouraging you to think about writing from personal experiences.

Festival Director Jaye Nolan says: “We’re excited to be part of the BBC’s Get Creative Campaign this year, and pleased to be able to offer such a wide variety of workshops for both aspiring and experienced writers in the community. Whether you’re into history, the environment, memoir or playwriting, we’ve got something for you.”

Both the Guildhall Museum and Sun Pier House Gallery Cafe remain open to the public as usual with free entry. There is a small fee for the workshops (children free) and play to cover costs. The RLF is a voluntary, non profit organisation and donations will be gratefully accepted to help secure future festivals.

The programme of events is as follows:

Saturday 10 October Guildhall Museum

Workshops

10am – The History Magpie led by Rachael Hale

Inspired by the museum’s wonderful collection of artifacts, Rachael will guide you in finding hidden treasures whose stories are waiting to be told.

1pm – Safe and Sound led by Sam Hall and Sarah Hehir

Learn how to use news stories to inspire your own writing! Sam and Sarah will lead a creative writing workshop linked with the Sunday evening play, exploring the issues around human trafficking in the UK. (Over 14s)

Speakers

12 noon-1pm Toni Mount

Prolific medieval specialist Toni will be unravelling the mysteries of ancient medicine – when butchers knew more about anatomy than university trained physicians!

2-3pm Truda Thurai

Referencing short stories inspired by Rochester Cathedral and her own methods of research, Truda will share some of her secrets to writing historical fiction.

4-5pm Sir Robert Worcester

The inspiration for our history themed day, the Magna Carta is widely regarded as a potent symbol of the freedom of the individual. 2015 is the 800th anniversary of its sealing at Runnymede and we’re delighted that Sir Robert, Chairman of the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee, is joining us to discuss its legacy.

Cafe Crawl, featuring Pop Up Performers: 11am-12noon, 1-2pm, 3-4pm at Cafe@172, Bruno’s Bakes and The Quills.

Sunday 11 October Sun Pier House

Workshops

10am-12noon Nature Girl led by Carol Donaldson

Be prepared for any weather as Carol leads you out of the building to connect with – and take inspiration from – your surroundings, before heading back to commit your discoveries to paper.

1-3pm Unlocking Your Memories led by Melanie Benn

Whether you’re retired or just setting out of life’s journey, don’t be shy – come along and unpick the story you want to tell, as Melanie leads you through learning to write from your own experience.

Speakers

11.30 Jane Lythell

Formerly in situ at the BFI and BAFTA and a TV producer for many years, film fan Jane has made a stunning switch to writing thrillers. Consider yourself dared to join in!

12.45 Bill Lewis

The internationally renowned award winning poet, author and visual artist talks about his life, influences, travels, reading and writing. He will also read a selection of new and old writing.

2pm Maggie Harris

A welcome return to Medway for Maggie, sharing her evocative, fascinating stories and poems about life at home and abroad.

3.15 Cultural Contributors Discussion Panel led by Roy Smith (Seasonally Effected) and featuring Lisa Vigour (Inspirational Nights) and Barry and Sam Fentiman-Hall (Roundabout Nights) in a discussion about the vibrant cultural open mic scene prevalent in Medway, and the opportunities it gives to aspiring performers.

4.30pm Michael Nath

Follow a magical pursuit for the essence of literary character in the company of a latter day Falstaff, as Michael discusses his latest book, British Story.

Throughout the day at Sun Pier we also have a lovely artist, Julie Bradshaw, with us to inspire you to respond to the festival visually and in writing – stand still too long and you’ll be captured forever!

And – for your ears only – Bookmark’d is an opportunity to get up close and personal with local publishers and authors, to hear snippets of, and discuss, their work. Features Urbane Publications, Wordsmithery, David Griffin, Medway Mermaids and Paul Breen.

Sunday 11/10 Nucleus Arts Centre: A Night at the Theatre

7pm My Mind is Free. The new play is inspired by the stories of people who have fallen into modern day slavery and is an all too poignant reminder of how people traffickers can take advantage of the current refugee situation. The play is funded by the Arts Council and the Kent Commissioners Fund.

 

You can keep up to date with the festival on Twitter @RochLitFest, find them on Facebook or call 07904 643770.  The full programme can be found on the RLF website at www.rochesterlitfest.com, where tickets can be booked for the play and workshops. Brochures can also be picked up from the Visitor Information Centre in Rochester, the venues and various libraries.

Arts and music events at School of Music and Fine Art: Autumn booklet out now!

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Our first What’s On booklet is OUT NOW!  Print copies soon coming to a venue near you – but check out our varied – and FREE – events online here.

http://issuu.com/musicfineartkent/docs/bt_120433_music_at_medway_web

From lunchtime concerts to music masterclasses, social events to site-specific installations and performances – the School of Music and Fine Art, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus, is a hive of creativity!

For up to the minute news on activities and events coming up, please check out our website.

https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/

Cover image credit for What’s On booklet: Alice Sitting by Monika Jakubowska

School of Music & Fine Art Open Day: Saturday 10th October, 9am – 2pm at Chatham Historic Dockyard

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Join us on Saturday 10th October for a chance to explore the fantastic facilities of the School of Music & Fine Art, part of the Medway Campus of the University of Kent located in the unique environment of Chatham Historic Dockyard and explore our exciting courses in Music, Fine Art and Event and Experience Design.  See the library and student accommodation and the NEW academic facilities and social spaces that opened in September 2015.

Talk to tutors and students and find out more about what we have to offer. Due to the popularity of our open days, we ask that you book a place online. Online booking will open approximately four weeks’ before the event. Please use the link here:  http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/visit/openday/essentials-medway.html

Our courses:

Music:

  • BMus Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology
  • BMus Popular Music
  • BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Computing
  • BA (Hons) Music Technology with English and American Literature

Fine Art:

  • BA (Hons) Fine Art

 Event and Experience Design:

  • BA (Hons) Events and Experience Design

We offer:

  • Award winning facilities, studios, equipment and workshops
  • Inspiring, supportive and award winning tutors
  • Great waterfront location on historic site with easy access to London in under an hour
  • An intellectual culture that provides the basis of cutting-edge practice, research and scholarship
  • Excellent career and professional outcomes
  • The chance to spend a year in industry or a year abroad
  • Flexible course structure, with full and part time options
  • Outstanding professional links and international work placements
  • Many opportunities for collaborative and autonomous practices
  • Financial assistance, fee waivers and scholarships available

For more details contact e.dhiman@kent.ac.uk

Artist Goshka Macuga’s Letter travels from Chatham Historic Dockyard to Canterbury

The Letter leaving Chatham Historic Dockyard: Photo Stacey Cooper

Despite the heavy rain, at 2.15pm on Friday 18th September, led by Adam Chodzko, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, School of Music and Fine Art at University of Kent, seven BA and MA Fine Art students and BA Event & Experience Design students left the Medway campus at Chatham Historic Dockyard to walk an enormous textile postal envelope (over 10m long) bearing the address of the Jarman Building, University of Kent. The group, dressed as Polish postal workers, delivered it to visual artist (and previous Turner Prize nominee) Goshka Macuga at the Kantorbury Symposium on the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus at Keynes College at 6pm.

The Kantorbury Symposium took place on 18th and 19th September, with 23 UK and international speakers, performances and film screenings organised by the The European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) on the Canterbury campus, in which the life and work of Polish theatre director and visual artist Tadeusz Kantor is celebrated 100 years after his birth. The Letter refers to the famous happening by Tadeusz Kantor carried out in 1967, but also to the potential tensions occurring between art institutions and the society. At the heart of these tensions lies the censorship in Polish art after 1989, the period sometimes referred to as the cold war of artists against the society, and marked by attacks targeted at artworks, artists, curators, directors, and institutions, often committed on anti-Semitic grounds. To document those difficult times, Macuga decided to embrace within the show also the hate mail addressed to Zachęta and its then director, Anda Rottenberg. The Letter is a testament to those struggles, as well as to the ongoing transformation in the society, which has to confront its fears and prejudices in order to fully accept artistic freedom. This is how the performance looked when staged in Poland
http://artmuseum.pl/en/kolekcja/praca/macuga-goshka-the-letter

About Goshka Macuga

Interdisciplinary artist, born in 1967 in Warsaw, Goshka Macuga is now based in London. In 2008, she was among the four nominees for the prestigious Turner Prize, awarded each year to the most outstanding young British artist.  Her practice moves beyond the artist’s traditionally perceived role into a form of ‘cultural archaeology’. Despite incorporating traditional media, such as sculpture, drawing, painting, photography and film, she creates installations in which she also appropriates the work of other artists, archive materials, ready-mades, combining them with objects of her own making. Macuga appropriates the techniques and tactics used by curators of exhibitions or archivists (because of this, her art is often compared to that of Marcel Broodthaers). Macuga has been exhibiting internationally at major museum and galleries since 1999.  In 2016 she has a solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York.

About Tadeusz Kantor http://www.cricoteka.pl/en/main.php?d=tkantor&kat=33&id=13

Community choir looks forward to new term

7-12-13-2MD Tnaia Holland-Williams

A new term begins on Saturday, September 26 for The River Voice Community Choir, with members looking forward to helping more people improve their musical skills by learning to sing.

There is no audition and no requirement to read music, simply come along to a session and see if you like it. The choir aim to make music accessible to everyone and have a number of visually impaired members who take an active role in the group.

Rehearsals take place at St. Stephen’s Church in Maidstone Road, Chatham, every other Saturday from September 26 (10am-12noon), and every other Thursday from October 1 (6.30-8.30pm). The first session you attend is entirely free so you can try-before-you-buy and make sure it’s right for you.

With two workshops also scheduled (24/10 and 28/11), new members are welcome to come along and prepare for the Christmas Concert taking place on Saturday, December 5 at the St. George’s Centre in Chatham..

Claire J. Frewin, River Voice Chair, says: “We’re delighted to offer this wonderful opportunity to people throughout Kent, and beyond, to learn these skills with us. There really are no barriers to participating so come along and give it a go.”

River Voice was launched in 2013 following a short programme of vocal workshop sessions initiated by professional Musical Director, Tania Holland Williams, for participants with visual impairment. River Voice has since grown and includes adults of all abilities, whether sighted or visually impaired.

For more information, please contact either Claire on 07890 705698 / email cjfrewin@gmail.com or Tamara on 07919 134154 / email t.s.gummer2@hotmail.co.uk.

The Element In The Room – A Radioactive Comedy – 21st November 2015 – Chatham

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Fresh from the Edinburgh Festival, The Element in The Room is a comedy based around the life story of Marie Curie, performed by Tangram Theatre Company.

Marie Curie’s story is a tale of of glowing powders with extraordinary powers, lives saved and destroyed, and unparalleled achievements in the face of unbelievable odds.

Join us for an adventurous musical-comedy-road-movie that follows Marie’s real-life journey across the USA to collect a single gram of radium to continue her research.

Featuring incredible scientific breakthroughs, very silly songs and an audience-participation radioactive decay chain, this is an exuberant celebration of the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, whose work continues to affect our lives today.

The Element in the Room… is the final installment of Tangram Theatre Companies, comedy musical trilogy and premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to see this performance, it will be one to remember!

Book tickets at www.eventjoy.com/e/the-element-in-the-room—a-radioactive-comedy-3799432

Directed by Daniel Goldman

Performed by John Hinton and Jo Eagle

Music by John Hinton and Jo Eagle

Where: Nucleus Arts Centre, 272 High Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4BP

When: Saturday the 21st November 2015

Doors at 7pm

Performance starts at 7.30pm

Book tickets at www.eventjoy.com/e/the-element-in-the-room—a-radioactive-comedy-3799432

Please Note:

The venue has full disabled access.

The cafe/bar will be open on the night.

The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the performers.

In collaboration with Applause Rural Touring and Ideas Test.

Element Flyer JPEG

Get Creative – Get Writing

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The Rochester Litfest (RLF) is to host 4 themed writing workshops during their 2015 festival, Live’n’Local, as part of Get Creative – a year-long celebration of British arts, culture and creativity.

Get Creative aims to boost creativity in the UK, as well as celebrating the millions of people already doing something artistic and creative everyday. The campaign was launched 19 February 2015, by BBC Arts in partnership with cultural movement What Next? and leading arts and cultural organisations across the country, including Culture at King’s, Voluntary Arts, 64 Million Artists, Fun Palaces, Cultural Learning Alliance and Arts Council England

The RLF is joining hundreds of organisations nationwide in becoming a Get Creative Champion.

This year’s festival will run across the weekend 10/11 October and features a sense of people and place, mixing workshops and talks inspired by landscape and cultural heritage.

A history themed day takes place at the Guildhall Museum on Saturday, October 11, with 2 workshops and three speakers, including Keynote Speaker, Sir Robert Worcester, Chairman of the Magna Carta 800th Commemoration Committee, while at Sun Pier House on Sunday the 11th, speakers include local legend Bill Lewis, a panel discussion featuring some of Medway’s cultural contributors, and 2 more workshops.

The workshops on Saturday at the Guildhall Museum feature The History Magpie, Rachael Hale, who – inspired by the museum’s wonderful collection of artifacts – will guide you in finding hidden treasures whose stories are waiting to be told. Festival partner Sam Hall will teach you how to use news stories to inspire your own writing, leading the creative writing workshop Safe and Sound which is linked to the Sunday evening play, My Mind is Free, exploring the issues around human trafficking in the UK (over 14s).

On Sunday at Sun Pier House, Nature Girl, Carol Donaldson will be taking participants out to explore the local environment before committing their discoveries to paper, while Melanie Benn will help you in Unlocking your Memories with discussion and thoughtful writing exercises, encouraging you think about writing from personal experiences.

Festival Director Jaye Nolan says: “We’re excited to be part of the BBC’s Get Creative Campaign this year, and pleased to be able to offer such a wide variety of workshops for both aspiring and experienced writers in the community. Whether you’re into history, the environment, memoir or playwriting, we’ve got something for you.”

You can keep up to date with the festival on Twitter @RochLitFest or find them on Facebook.  The full programme can be found on the RLF website at www.rochesterlitfest.com or call 07904 643770.

Get Creative will also have its digital home on BBC Arts online and through the use of #bbcgetcreative on social media sites.

My Mind is Free – new play about human trafficking touring Kent – October 2015

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My Mind is Free image
My Mind is Free

A new play touring Kent and South East venues in October 2015 performed by the Rah Rah theatre company, will let the audience experience a powerful theatrical interpretation of the degradations of human trafficking in an intimate community performance space.

Designed to raise awareness of the issue that is currently at the forefront of the news, My Mind is Free will disturb and provoke in equal measure. Funded by the Arts Council England, the Rah Rah Theatre Company has produced the play with Medway-based playwright Sam Hall to initiate discussion about the injustice of human trafficking within the UK.

There are an estimated 30 million slaves in the world, with approximately 13,000 in the UK. Modern day slavery victims include: women forced into prostitution, ‘imprisoned’ domestic staff, and workers in fields, factories, building sites and fishing boats. London based Rah Rah commissioned playwright Sam Hall to tell the stories of some of the people who have fallen into what can only be described as modern day slavery. Sam has done extensive research with anti-trafficking charities and a percentage of the proceeds from the tour will be donated to them.

Most of the shows will be followed by a post-show discussion with a representative from one of the anti-trafficking organisations, and the Rochester Lit Fest show will be followed by a Q and A with playwright Sam Hall.

As part of a tour of the South East, My Mind is Free comes to new cultural venue Margate House in Margate on 1 October, The Horsebridge Centre Whitstable on 2 October, Strood Gospel Mission Church on 5 October, and Rochester Literature Festival on 11 October. Click here for the full list of tour venues and booking.

An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics Litart Exhibition – Rochester Library – September 2015

Wynford Vaughn Thomas for An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics
Wynford Vaughn Thomas for An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics
Wynford Vaughan Thomas for An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics

An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics is a large scale collaborative project from Medway-based literary art organisation Wordsmithery, fusing words and images from writers and artists from Medway and beyond. Last year, in our inaugural year, as part of the Rochester Literature Festival, we teamed up 22 writers with 20 artists. This year the exhibition has grown by a third, as 32 writers will have their work interpreted by 27 or more artists… (we are currently collecting the artworks!)

We asked writers to write a piece inspired by Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’, then we gave these writings anonymously to artists who interpreted them without knowing who the authors are.

The collaborations are revealed in the exhibition which runs until from 1-30 September 2015 at Rochester Library, then will move onto another local library.

Artwork by long-standing and established Medway writers and artists sits alongside the work of new talent in this stunning exhibition. Some of the writers whose work features are Bill Lewis, Maria C McCarthy, Sarah Hehir, Sam Fentiman-Hall, Sally Evans, Philip Kane, and some of the artists include: Peter Reeds (whose art features as the illustration for the exhibition poster), Heather Haythornthwaite, Chris Van Beck, Dianne Reeves and Maggie Drury.

Artists have interpreted the texts in a variety of media – including, photograms, oil paintings, photographs, linocuts, textiles, collage and sculpture.

The texts which inspired the artwork will be revealed in full at an event on 3 September 2015, where the writers will read their work, and leave a booklet of the stories and poems for visitors to read. The event, which is free to attend, takes place at Rochester Library.

Barry Fentiman-Hall of Wordsmithery, who curated the exhibition said: “This is collaborative art at its best. A simple idea passes through many hands and emerges in a way that is completely unpredictable. It is still recognisable in some vague way, like a distant relative, but it has evolved into a different thing, and it is beautiful.”
Exhibition: 1-30 September 2015
Rochester Library, Community Hub Rochester

Launch Event: Live readings from the exhibition: 3 September, 7.30pm, Rochester Library. Please book with the library on 01634 337799.

Creatabot Creative Of The Year 2015 – Xtina Lamb

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Xtina with her award                      Photo by Zara Carpenter

Back in late 2014 we asked the local community in Medway to vote for the person who inspired them in the local creative scene. After the tough task of deciding from the nominations who would be awarded the lovely title, it was decided by the judging panel that Xtina Lamb would receive the award for 2015 due to the wonderful work she does in Medway to support local arts.

Xtina helped to form the Medway Fine Printmakers and was a leading part of a collective that created the arts venue, INTRA, at 337-341 on the High Street, Rochester (the old High Street between Chatham and Rochester).

I interviewed her to find out more about her background and what she loves the most about doing the kind of work she does!

How long have you been doing printing and what made you get into it?

I started printmaking in the late 80s at college, first of all at Ware college with linocut, then on foundation at St Albans doing mono printing and etching and on my degree for a while doing screen printing at Falmouth. I loved it but ended up choosing painting instead for quite a while, and I think that was a good deal down to the lack of prestige afforded to printmaking in the art pecking order. I came back to printmaking when a friend Mark Pawson asked me to join a project he was doing. He invited 10 artists to make a print edition with the cult Japanese machine Print Gocco, which is similar to screen printing but you print with a pressing motion and can use several colours at once. I loved it, bought my own Gocco machine and from there ran courses and took part in several Gocco exhibitions.

From there I got back into screen printing. I’ve always really loved illustrated books and there is something about the quality of a handmade print that I find delicious to look at. I enjoy that there are traditional skills involved, but it’s also a very free medium open to lots of experimentation and an exciting range of marks can be made.

Where did you grow up? What made you choose Medway?

I grew up in Hertfordshire, just north of the M25, but didn’t really like it there much and always wished my family hadn’t moved out of London. I moved to Holloway after college and used an open plan workspace at Craft Central in Clerkenwell for a few years when I first got back to printmaking. I’d been gathering lots of art stuff though and when I had to move to a smaller flat and needed more space for it all, I rented a corner of studio space from Wendy Daws for storage. I had Medway friends through music and small publishing so was already spending time here.

Eventually I moved everything down to my own space at Boundary Wharf (on the border of Rochester and Chatham), when I realised I could have a 600sq foot studio by the river for the price of a box room sized space in London. My neighbour was fortuitously Adam Piper, another printmaker. We got on instantly and between us had amassed an impressive array of printmaking equipment. It made sense to work together, so we formed Medway Fine Printmakers.

What other creative talents do you have?

Before I moved my studio here, I did a week’s residency on Lightship LV21 with my craft gang Seaside Sisters with Gillian Elam and Linda White. We did all sorts of craft workshop events for festivals and craft fairs etc. and ran a giant marquee of craft workshops for the diamond jubilee pageant in Battersea Park. A lot of the activities we like are textile based and I love sewing and embroidery. I’ve also worked as an illustrator, doing book covers, editorial and advertising work. My creative talents don’t extend to music though, apart from I can make some agreeable noises on a musical saw.

Who and what inspires you to keep going?

It’s the people who love coming to INTRA who keep me going in my work. Since moving to this building and setting up an arts venue here that caters for all kinds creative activity, I’ve met so many people who really need art in their lives. I was very lucky to meet Faye Lamb who runs Unravel & Unwind the craft drop-in at INTRA as she brings fantastic energy to the space and has developed a lovely community here.

I spent a time after college where I didn’t make art and it wasn’t good for me at all! The things that inspire me in my art are often related to folklore and superstition. I’ve been making things on a lucky theme for a while and am interested in the ways small superstitious behaviours are so embedded in us we hardly notice them. I love the work that illustrator and curator Barbara Jones did mid last century, and in fact a lot of my favourite artists worked in that period. I can be inspired by a design on a colourful vintage tights packet, or a walk around the British Museum, or a wander in the Scottish highlands.

Tell us something unusual about yourself that most people don’t know?

Something unusual about myself? I have some extra lines on my fingers in between the joint creases. My Dad has them too. I designed a printers fist (the pointy hand symbol you get in old advertising and posters) that has an extra line on the pointing finger to reference my family trait!

Find out more at www.medwayfineprintmakers.co.uk

By Natasha Steer

NEW creative programme in the School of Music and Fine Art at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Photo by Peter Hatton. Work by J Childs – Burberry Architecture 15

An exciting new  practice based MA Event & Experience Design (subject to validation), will be offered at the School of Music and Fine Art from September 2016.  Situated in the heart of the thriving Medway creative hub, the School of Music and Fine Art offers a range of degrees, postgraduate programmes and PhDs that include Fine Art, Music, Music Technology, Sound and Image, and Event and Experience Design in the dynamic and inspiring environment of Chatham Historic Dockyard.

The new MA Event & Experience Design covers contemporary culture delivered through live and mediated events that  may include live streaming, interactive networks and traditional terrestrial broadcast. The experience may be interactive, participatory or immersive or combinations of any of these.

This programme is ideal for Art, Design, Digital Arts, Performance and Drama (and other related subjects) undergraduate students who wish to study in an interdisciplinary environment. It is also aimed at professionals in the industry who wish to study part time(over 2 years)  for personal and professional development.

Modules are assessed on coursework and practical project outcomes with supporting research portfolios. The dissertation is 8,000 words or 5,000 words plus a publicly-presented element.

To find out more, contact: mfaadmissions@kent.ac.uk  or visit  http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/eventandexperiencedesign/index.html

£10,000 bursaries for creative MAs in Medway

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Image Jason Dodd Photography 2015

Kent creatives can now apply for a £10,000 bursary to study locally. The University of Kent has been awarded a total of 232 £10,000 postgraduate bursaries, the sixth largest allocation in the UK, for students admitted to taught Master’s degree programmes at Kent in September 2015.  Allocations will be made by mid-July 2015.

Based at the Chatham Historic Dockyard, the School of Music and Fine Art offers MA’s in Fine Art, Music Technology, Music Composition and Sound and Image, with students benefitting from a thriving research environment and strong research profile.

Students have access to state of the art facilities and equipment as well as all the support and learning resources of a major, research-led University. The School hosts a regular programme of seminars, symposia, conferences and other exciting events in a dynamic and vibrant environment.

There is no fixed closing deadline for applications to most postgraduate taught degrees BUT you are recommended to apply as soon as possible and no later than three months before your intended start date. Most taught degrees begin in September although some may offer the opportunity to start in January.

For more info go to  http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/postgraduate/index.html

Hand Of Artists Project – It’s The Talk Of The Town…

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What do you get if you mix 108 artists, 2 decks of cards, 3 charities and an idea from a night-time road worker?

The answer is an awesome project that has inspired people to be creative from Sydney Australia to Strood, Kent and places in between.

Hand of Artists is a project created from Mr Duncan Grant who is a road worker by night and an Artist by day from Gravesend. “I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if we got 54 different artists together and asked each one to design a different playing card,’ explains Duncan Grant local artist. ‘When I got home I posted the idea on Face book and within 48-hours we had so much interest that we had to commission two packs.”

After asking two strangers on the street to shuffle the packs, Grant randomly dealt each participant a card. “There are very few rules,” says Grant. “Everyone must stick with the card that they are given, the suit and the number of the card must be clearly visible and the size of the design must be A6, other than that the artists have free reign.”

Grant is aided in the organisation of the project by fellow Kent artist Victoria Hayman “What I love about the project is the variety,” says Hayman. “Participants are being really inventive, some are researching what the history of the card is, the meaning of the suit and the numbers and interpreting them in their own style. We have some people doing digital designs, others are drawing or painting and some are using fabric or glass.”

The project will culminate in a series of exhibitions in Chatham, Gravesend and Margate, where the final card designs will be on display and packs of artisanal cards, printed from the original designs, will be on sale to the public also side original work from artists and other wonderful things for auction. “We are hoping to print at least 500 packs of cards and the proceeds from all the events will go to the art-based charities, Art Inclusive, Headway and Artract.

There will be various card related activities at the exhibitions and Hand of Artists are keen for visitors to get involved too. “At the exhibition we want visitors to have a go at designing their own cards and have them on display too,” says Grant.

The first exhibition will be held at Nucleus Arts 272 High Street Chatham ME4 4BP from the 4-8 July and admission is free.

We need to raise funds to get this project running in printing the artist artwork into playing cards to sell to raise money for the Local Art inclusive Charities.

Our creative outcome is that we wanted to inspire and challenge artist and non artist of all ages and back grounds to be creative, have fun and raise money for local art based charities. We wish to create lasting links between artists, charities and the wider community. Creating an original art project which is widely distributed cementing the important role of art as a force for good in the community.

Below are the links to the Project Website, Face book page where you will find the links to the Charities we are Supporting.

Thank you,

Hand Of Artists. Duncan Grant & Victoria Hayman.

Website: http://vikkihayman.wix.com/handofartist Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HandOfArtists

Medway Open Studios 2015 Open For Registration – Deadline 27th March 2015

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Registration for the 2015 festival is open

To sign up for the 2015 Festival you should start by reading the Festival Guidelines for more information about the Festival and which application form is correct for you.

Once you’ve read the Festival Guidelines please complete and return the relevant Registration Form below;

Individual Artist, 2015 Registration Form

Artist Group, 2015 Registration Form

Community Group, 2015 Registration Form

School, College & Course, 2015 Registration Form

Performance, 2015 Registration Form

Find out more at http://medwayopenstudios.co.uk

Save Fuse Festival – Protest At Meeting on 26th February 6.30pm – St Mary’s Island Chatham

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The Fuse Festival is the best free entertainment and community-bonding event I have experienced in Medway. Over the last few years, the Fuse Festival has grown hugely in stature and regard, and I truly felt that it would become a jewel in Medway’s crown, something that seemed to be heading for national recognition before the end of the decade.

Fuse brings colourful sights and sounds to Medway’s open spaces, from vibrant street theatre to world-class dance and circus acts. Fuse Festival is a free celebration of arts that is different, diverse and daring. The aim to showcase some of the best emerging and established performers from across Medway and Europe. They are also working with hundreds of local residents from many community groups. Fuse is a free celebration bringing everyone together.

In 2014, Fuse marked the anniversary of the First World War with a family friendly show telling the untold stories of the Medway area created specially for Fuse by the Central School of Speech and Drama – Home Fires.

Fuse attracts the very best performers and artists – from home-grown talent to international companies and is supported by the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts Scheme and Medway Council.

I feel this proposed budget cut is a prime example of why this Conservative-led council are out of touch with what real people in Medway want and need. You can sign the Change petition at https://www.change.org/p/medway-council-protest-against-medway-council-s-plan-to-terminate-the-fuse-festival but you can petition in person at the councils meeting.

The public can attend the council’s meeting to voice their opinion about The Fuse Festival and show support. Thurs Feb 26th at St Georges Centre (St Marys Island), doors at 6.30 for 7pm

http://www.visitmedway.org/places-of-interest/st-georges-centre

By Tony Scudder

New Short Film In Production – Super Me – By Sophie Lasson

qxnkfrehupyyrdkmkw1mSuper Me – a story about love, loss and the hero inside all of us.

Super Me is a 10 minute drama written and directed by Sophie Lasson, from Chatham, Kent. The film will be shot by an experienced team of final year students from Bournemouth University, and will star talented Dorset based actors.

Super Me is expected to premier in Rochester in May with a chance for locals to grab a sneak preview of the short film!

More information about the film can be found here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/super-me/x/9539046

The Story…

Heroes can come in all shapes and sizes…

Max has dreamed his whole life of becoming a superhero, but will he realise, that at only six years old, he has done more than he could ever imagine; he has saved a man’s life.

With his mother too busy for him and his father non-existent, Max is often left to his own devices, playing on the same estate where he was born.

He’s a curious boy, always looking for an adventure. When he sees a stranger on the roof of a building nearby, he goes to investigate. What happens next is life changing for the both of them.

By Sophie Lasson

Being a Writer in the 21st Century

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The community and adult education programme at Canterbury Christ Church University are running some fabulous day schools and short courses in 2015 – covering a huge range of diverse topics that include philosophy, art, literature, creative writing, cinema, music, photography, mysticism, story-telling, local history and mindfulness.

New for 2015 is a 10 week course called Being a Writer in the 21st Century, which starts on Monday 12 January.

The internet, digital technology and social media have all had a dramatic impact on the publishing landscape, and at a rapidly changing pace.

Being a writer in the digital age offers a wealth of unprecedented opportunities – and challenges – for authors. But to benefit from this exciting entrepreneurial climate, a writer has to become a new creature – an authorpreneur. This course explores the realities and practicalities of writing in the 21 st century, arming writers with essential tools and knowledge to avoid the pitfalls.  A comprehensive range of topics will be covered, including marketing, selling and promotion, earning income from writing, the role of agents, publishers, using social media, understanding contracts and payments, methods of working practice, managing your time and indie publishing.

Days and times: Monday 12 January 1-3pm, for 10 weeks
Cost: £89.50
Venue: Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent

What previous students have said about The Business of Writing day schools at CCCU:

“Fabulously engaging tutor, enthusiastic about her subject, spoke with passion and authority.”

“Obvious sound knowledge base and good clear delivery.”

“Inspiring and informative.  Lots of ideas to work with now!”

“Excellent content.  Covered more than I expected.”

“Very good at answering questions, very clear targets and direction, well prepared.”

TO BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW GO TO:
http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/cae/short-courses/spring-2015/being-a-writer-in-the-21st-century.aspx

Or contact 01227 863451 (Mon – Fri 9.30am – 2.30pm) or email education.communityarts@canterbury.ac.uk

Coming up at Roundabout Nights

Photo of As long as it takes book cover
Photo of As long as it takes book cover
Maria C McCarthy is our guest on 1 December

We have a busy schedule of guest readings and performances at Roundabout Nights at the Alexandra, Chatham for the rest of the year.

On 17 November, poet Fiona Sinclair joins us for the Medway launch of her first full-length poetry collection, ‘Ladies who lunch’. Fiona’s work deals with the past, family and the peculiarities of life. Her poetry forms little vignettes or stories.

On 24 November, She Writes at Roundabout Nights are pleased to present a rehearsed reading of Alison Mead’s new full-length play ‘Politic Man’. The play tells the story of an extraordinary couple, Alfred and Ada Salter, who were instrumental in improving living conditions in the East End in the first part of the 1900s.

On 1 December, writer and publisher Maria C McCarthy will join us as our guest author. Maria will be reading stories from her highly lauded collection ‘As long as it takes’; ‘Dark, impeccably minimalistic stories about immigrant Irish mothers and their English-born daughters.’ Martina Evans

On 8 December, we will have our last Type’n’gripe of the year, so if you’ve been doing NANOWRIMO, why don’t you bring that along and share an extract! Our final event of the year will be our Christmas Lucky Dip Party on 15 December, where there will be festive mirth and treats aplenty! We hope to see you at some of our literary events!

Roundabout Nights
Doors 7pm, readings from 7.30pm
Upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway St, Chatham, ME4 6RJ

Free creative workshops for young people in Swale

6 Ways To Wellbeing Swale Young people

Ideas Test has been out and about over the last few months promoting their Six Ways to Wellbeing Swale project.   They’re offering an exciting programme of workshops for young people 13-19 (25 SEN) in Swale aiming to improve their sense of wellbeing through film, dance, drama, writing and creative technology.  Working with some of the most exciting arts organisations in Kent and beyond, it’s a great range of opportunities – have a look at the list below for details.

A crowd-sourced ‘wellbeing poem’ has been launched with Dan Simpson, who’s one of the workshop leaders. Get involved on Twitter with #wellbeingpoem or email hello@dansimpsonpoet.co.uk. The result will be broadcast during a final performance at The Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne on December 6, which will showcase what participants have done during this project.

  • Join Codasign to make an interactive phone cover which lights up when your phone rings or to create an interactive installation.
  • Explore elements of dance and develop your dance and physical theatre skills with The Jasmin Vardimon Company.
  • The Rochester LitFest offers you the chance to have fun with poetry and spoken word – writing and performing – and learn about digital storytelling using social media.
  • Want to write, direct, act or design a TV series? These fun, exciting and hands on sessions with Viola Films will give you the chance to learn some basic film making skills and create a new Six Part Webseries.
  • Your ideas performed from scratch – Wide Eyed Theatre will help you create a story of people, place and events that make you happy!

To find out more about each workshop, visit the Six Ways To Wellbeing page at www.ideastest.co.uk, email Cassy@creativepeopleplace.info or call 07713 865955.

The Six Ways to Wellbeing are:

  • Connect – with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours
  • Be active – walk, run, garden, dance
  • Take notice – be curious, reflect on experiences
  • Keep learning – try something new
  • Give – doing something for others
  • Grow your world – planet care for its sustainability

Find out more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing at www.liveitwell.co.uk

The project is jointly funded by Kent County Council, Artswork and Royal Opera House Bridge.

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For creative writers and music lovers: Two intriguing day schools in Canterbury

Tango from Mirabai (Barry Seaman)

Award winning Kent composer Barry Seaman offers an innovative day school series that will appeal to writers, dramatists, music and film lovers, and across the creative spectrum.

Music for Writers 1, on the 25 October, is called Love, War and Trains, and explores the connections and relationships between poetry, verse drama and music. This Day School will be of interest to creative writers and music enthusiasts, and anyone intrigued by the way that words and music can be combined to create drama and emotion. The vivid and imaginative use of language is discussed using a variety of dramatic works that include Samuel Beckett’s Words and Music, and atmospheric verse dramas for radio that include Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas and the extraordinary Love, War and Trains by celebrated author Ian McMillan. Ways that writers, poets and composers work together will be studied and celebrated.

On November 22, Music for Writers 2: Emotion, Music and Moving Image looks at the ways music can be used to express and convey emotion and atmosphere when combined with the medium of film. What is the relationship between sound and image? Using case studies that include films such as The Go-Between (Joseph Losey), Last Year in Marienbad (Alain Resnais) and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca and Psycho, these issues will be explored and examined.

Both Day Schools, which run from 10am, – 4pm, cost just £29.50.

To book please contact April Doyle via email to education.communityarts@canterbury.ac.uk or phone 01227 863451.

For more info go to http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/community-arts-education/day-schools/autumn-2014.asp

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know: Rochester Literature Festival 2014

September 25th – October 5th 2014

The Rochester Literature Festival is proud to present its second annual festival, Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know.

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We’re delighted to be opening this year with an hilarious and heart-warming one woman show with actress Sunny Ormonde – the outrageous Lilian Bellamy from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, the world’s longest running soap.

Over the course of the next ten days, we’ll be joined by as-seen-on-tv-off-his-trolley comic genius Phil Kay, master of freeform performance and storytelling, and notorious Australian, Trenton Oldfield – who served six months at her Majesty’s Pleasure for disrupting the 2012 Boat Race in a protest against elitism.

We will be hosting two wonderful authors who’ll fascinate you with insights and anecdotes from their latest books: Angela Buckley introduces us to The Real Sherlock Holmes – Detective Jerome Caminada, whose methodologies mimicked Conan Doyle’s genius, and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, who will discuss the impact of reality on fiction. While No One Was Watching is set against the backdrop of the Kennedy assassination and the abduction of a young girl from the grassy knoll on that fateful day.

For families to enjoy together, we have Assassin, featuring the fantastic Joe Craig reading extracts from his Jimmy Coates series – part boy, part weapon, totally deadly – which will be interpreted with music by Alice composer, Jacob Bride, and exciting young street dance group CYC. Awesome Keeper of the Realms trilogy author, Marcus Alexander, who is Charlie’s Keeper, will entertain and inspire you with his delightfully wicked fantasy adventure series – get your read on!

Our interactive story game this year is Murder in the Crypt and will feature some of your favourite detectives. In addition, we’re holding a Cafe Crawl, where you can sample music, poetry, storytelling and more, in the company of, amongst others, former Canterbury Laureate Dan Simpson. Bookmark’d is a chance to buy books, swap books or just listen to books, read aloud by their authors.

Our Night at the Theatre will this year be held in conjunction with Chatham Grammar School for Boys and be presented by award winning 17% playwrights, Sam Fentiman-Hall, Sarah Hehir and Maggie Drury. The Spirit of My Dream is inspired by Byron’s poem The Dream and features new plays with a somewhat fantastical theme.

An exhibition curated by ME4Writers especially for the festival, An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics, has channelled Byron to produce work inspiring madness, badness and dangerousness in the hearts of artists. A live reading will bring the visual carnage to life!

Byron’s Teapot will be our finale – a mad mix of the unusual and quirky, featuring The James Worse Public Address Method, JP Lovecraft, Dylan Oscar Rowe and Brides of Rain.

Tickets are available here.

We look forward to welcoming you to our exciting – and only slightly scary – second full length festival!

To read full details, download a copy the 2014 programme and buy tickets, please visit rochesterlitfest.com.

If you have any enquiries regarding any of the events or festival in general, please email rochesterlitfest@gmail.com or telephone 07904 643770.

The Rochester Literature Festival (RLF) was formed in May 2011 as an information sharer, and held its inaugural event, The Garden Poetry Party in July 2012.

The first main festival, Other Worlds, Other Voices took place in October 2013.

The RLF is a voluntary group and currently receives no public funding, relying solely on the generosity of its performers, audiences, personal donations and in kind help.

The Programme Details

An Evening with Sunny Ormonde

Thursday, 25th September, 7pm – 10pm

Lords Wood Sports and Social Club

£10

Café Crawl

Saturday, 27th September, 1pm-5pm

La Toretta, Tiny Tims, Café 172 (Dot Café), Bruno’s Bakes. Rochester High Street

Free

The Queen versus Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary

Saturday, 27th September, 7pm – 10pm

Sun Pier House, Chatham

£6

Bookmark’d

Sunday, 28th September, 12noon – 4pm

Guildhall Museum, Rochester

Free

Marcus Alexander: Who is Charlie’s Keeper?

Sunday, 28th September, 2pm – 3.30pm

Woodlands Academy, Gillingham

£3

The Real Sherlock Holmes: Angela Buckley

Monday, 29th September, 6.30pm – 9pm

Café 172 (Dot Café), Rochester

£4.00

While No-one Was Watching: Debz Hobbs-Wyatt

Wednesday, 1st October, 6.30pm – 9pm

Café Nucleus, Chatham

£4

An Assemblance of Judicious Heretics Live

Thursday, 2nd October, 7.30pm

Rochester Library

Free

Exhibition: Friday 26/9 to Saturday 25/10 Free, normal opening hours.

Phil Kay: Wholly Viable

Friday, 3rd October, 8.00pm – 11.30pm (includes support)

The Billabong Club, Rochester

£7

Murder in the Crypt

Saturday, 4th October, 10am – 4pm

Bishopscourt, Rochester

Ticket price £3

A Night at the Theatre: The Spirit of my Dream

Saturday, 4th October, 7pm – 10pm

Chatham Grammar School for Boys

£5

Assassin

Sunday, 5th October, 2pm -5pm

Lords Wood Sports and Social Club

Tickets from £3. Family tickets available.

Byron’s Teapot

Sunday, 5th October, 7.30pm – 11pm

Lords Wood Sports and Social Club

£5

Monday nights are literary at The Alex in Chatham

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Every Monday - live literature - poster
Every Monday – live literature

ROUNDABOUT NIGHTS is a new free live literary night for Medway, organised by Wordsmithery (the literature development organisation who produce ME4Writers and 17Percent). It will be held weekly on Mondays, upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel pub in Chatham. Getting to the pub is easy – it’s right next to Chatham rail station and about 5 minutes from the bus station. (Many buses also stop at the rail station.)

The event will showcase a rotating schedule of events including the relaunch of 17Percent’s She Writes showcase of short plays by women; spoken word poetry and stories; ME4-rum – a workshop/lit-chat where you can bring your writing and work on it in a shared environment, (think of it as a type’n’ gripe rather than a stich’n’bitch); and special guest programmers who will take over for the night.

Roundabout Nights offer an opportunity for writers to showcase their work, get feedback and talk to other writers. If you don’t call yourself a writer you are also welcome too to come along and be part of the audience!

Coming up, we have:

~ 18 August: Spoken word
~ 25 August: Bank Holiday – No show tonight
~ 1 September: She Writes – short plays about holidays
~ 8 September: Type’n’gripe at ME4-rum
~ 15 September: Spoken word
~ 22 September: Guest slot: Politics, plays and policies. Plays inspired by political themes
~ 29 September: She Writes – plays on a Byronic theme
~ 6 October: Type’n’gripe at ME4-rum

ROUNDABOUT NIGHTS
7-10pm
Upstairs at the Alexandra Hotel, 43 Railway St, Chatham, ME4 6RJ
Find us on Facebook: Roundabout Nights

*Please note that, regrettably, the upstairs room is not currently accessible for wheelchair users.

An invitation to event volunteer training

Would you like to volunteer at community art events but not sure what it might entail? If so, Ideas Test would like to invite you to a free volunteer training opportunity to help you help them find out more about the people coming along to their arts events.

Ask the audience

It will take place at Swale CVS in Central Avenue, Sittingbourne on Monday, July 14th from 5.30pm – 7.30pm. Ages from 14 upwards are welcome and expenses will be covered.

For all activities, particularly publicly funded art ones, knowing who comes to events and takes part in activities is crucial to making sure we involve the whole community, and important for feeding back to funders and sponsors.

The session will be run by The Audience Agency, specialists in training fieldworkers – especially volunteers attached to projects – to get the most useful feedback from audiences and participants. This session will look at asking people the right questions, in a variety of ways, from surveys to vox pops. We hope this will provide an opportunity for people in the local community to volunteer and to learn useful new skills.

If you’d like to take part, download and complete the application form and email it to: contact@creativepeopleplace.info to reserve your place.

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Free funding workshop for music and family arts

Dulcie Alexander and Kevin Grist, Relationship Managers for the Arts Council, will be presenting a free workshop and funding surgery on Tuesday, June 24th at the Brook Theatre, Chatham.

Fam arts

You’re invited to meet them and find out more about Grants for the Arts funding and how to apply, in this music focused session.

It’s a Creative Network event held jointly with Ideas Test, who will also be on hand to discuss applications for the special Family Arts callout they’ve recently instigated. This is an opportunity to apply for a Small Experiment grant to generate high quality, innovative family friendly activities during the national Family Arts Festival, which runs from October 17th to November 2nd. More information can be found at www.ideastest.co.uk  Deadline for applications is Monday, July 7th.

To book your place, please email karen.miller@artscouncil.org.uk. The session will run from 1pm – 4pm.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to ask all those burning questions and de-mystify the process of obtaining arts funding.

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