Transmit:Project – Are you the next big thing?

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Are you a musician/filmmaker/artist/photographer/organisation etc who would like more people to know about your work and what you do?

Perhaps you always wanted to know what musicians/filmmakers/artists/photographers etc live and work and create in Medway?

Would you like to transmit your art?  Would you like to project your talent?

Transmit:Project is a brand new project all about getting known.  Its all about providing a platform for upcoming and established artist and performers.  It’s all about having one place where people can go to find out more about the huge amount of talent that currently thrives in Medway.

This is going to be the place for local talent to be seen and heard.  This is going to be the place where audience inside and outside Medway will come to see what talent is around.  A while ago I wrote about some of the Medway scene with the popular Medway Visions articles.  I hope these will morph into transmit:project files as well as adding new ones all the time.

But it needs you.  Without talents to write about/broadcast then this project won’t get very far.  Make yourself heard.  Contact us.

Here’s how it works:

You send me a bio and some details about your work.

You send me a link to your work/send a cd etc.

With these things I can write about you.

You also send me a video file of you performing or a music video (musicians), interview/sequence of pictures of art (artists), sequence of photos (photographers) a short film (filmmaker).

With this I can post a clip of you/your work.  (If you can’t get a video file to me then contact me anyway and we can sort something out)

This will then be shown from the transmit:project broadcast channel:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8NHTvq6pzCSPZVfrOzDmzg

In time this project might spread out, but, for now, it’s all about Medway.  And what better place to start.  Transmitting art.  Projecting talent.

The Moon The Eye

transmitproject@themoontheeye.com

www.themoontheeye.com/transmitproject

www.facebook.com/Transmit.Project

The Vision and the Voice: Part 2 by Jane Ayres

greentreesPhoto by Roger Hyland

How do you see the world? Is it ugly, beautiful, evil, good, exciting, depressing? A mixture?  None of these?  The mind’s eye is a strange expression. According to wiki (the fount of all knowledge!) it refers to the human ability for visualization using the imagination.

When you look at an object, or a place, do you see what is there – or beyond this? Can you see what it means, or meant; its place in history?  Does it evoke the past?

Recently, I spent an absorbing few hours catching up on programmes I recorded on Sky Arts (a brilliant source of material) which began with a film about my favourite artist Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) the Dutch pioneer of abstract art. Mondrian is my favourite artist. He sought through his work to find essence and truth using horizontal and vertical lines, to create a new kind of beauty through geometry. His art is about structure, distillation, order and emotional connection and he wanted his art to be part of a greater whole. Not surprisingly he saw architecture as living art.  On arrival in New York in 1940 he commented, “They told me New York was a hellish place, where you grew old before your time and gangsters made the law. That may well be true. But that is not the New York I saw, the one I loved and thought of as my own.”  He saw beauty in the lights, the sounds, the skyscrapers and the vibrancy. The film, called Dans L’Atelier de Mondrian (in the studio of Mondrian) shows the artist’s studio as a working art installation and moves me to tears every time I see it. Mondrian lived in poverty most of his austere life and did not receive critical recognition until he was in seventies. (A familiar story for so many creatives, regrettably).

The next film was a documentary called Hitchcock on Grierson, which offered further insights into the ways other creatives have seen the world. It’s always interesting to see what one film director thinks of another and how he was influenced. I admire much of Hitchcock’s work but knew little about Dr John Grierson, who I discovered was a prolific, influential and pioneering Scottish film director and producer (1898-1972) who used documentary to express his distinctive way of seeing the world, utilising stunning shots to find patterns in objects not usually considered art, such as scaffolding and cranes, and seeing beauty and meaning in geometric shapes and structures and feats of engineering. It reminded me of Mondrian, and also the French composer (and one of my favourites) Edgard Varese (1883-1965) a visionary who had been dreaming of new sounds and electronic music a generation before it was technically possible, and whose astonishing blocks of dissonant sound are incredibly beautiful. Listening to his music, it is not surprising to learn of his fascination with architectural structures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8FcxVKIAwo  extract from Octandre by Edgard Varese

Reflecting on the way that these contrasting but connected artists saw the world, I was also reminded of doing art classes at school, and learning about seeing the light and shade in an object like a pot or a piece of cutlery. For a long time, I just didn’t get this. I couldn’t see it.  Then, one day, I did and it was like a revelation which has never left me.  Like being let in on a wonderful secret.

Finally, I watched a deeply moving and hauntingly beautiful film called The Way of the Morrishttp://www.wayofthemorris.com/

Written and presented by Tim Plester (who was also co-producer and co-director) it is a personal, heartfelt journey, both physical and spiritual. Every shot was like a painting or photograph, with amazing lighting and stunning landscapes. Subtlely observed, like Grierson, this film used documentary to convey something profound about community, ritual, and the human soul, and what tradition and shared history can mean to us.

To see beauty is a gift. I’m a natural pessimist.  I get angry about injustice and passionate about causes I believe in. But I can get emotional about beautiful landscapes and wild birds; about music, art, film, and literature.

In the 1940s, Mondrian wrote: “Art today is condemned to a separate existence, for present day life is essentially tragic.  But in some distant future, art and life will be one.”

How do you see the world? Consonant or dissonant? Can you find beauty easily? And has your view changed over the years?

Links:

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/08/13/the-vision-and-the-voice-part-1-by-jane-ayres/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Piet-Mondrian-Mondrians-Studio-DVD/dp/B004754TF6/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1374505365&sr=1-1&keywords=mondrian

http://go.sky.com/vod/content/SKYENTERTAINMENT/content/videoId/718a084b7c0ea310VgnVCM1000000b43150a________/content/default/videoDetailsPage.do

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind’s_eye

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/198800.html

http://www.pietmondrian.com/

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Edgard+Var%C3%A8se

To find out more about Jane’s writing and publishing experiences, visit her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Beware of the Horse, is available from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Beware-of-the-Horse-ebook/dp/B00BEJTDUE/

The Value Triangle and measuring the value of culture by Jane Ayres

P1030561The Big Cheese  (Photo by Jane Ayres)

Earlier in the month I attended a conference about using the arts to regenerate East Kent coastal towns, a topic dear to my heart, after spending 4 years as Marketing and Outreach Co-ordinator for University Centre Folkestone (which, sadly, is no more).  Listening to the speakers made me realise that I was still angry and upset about the loss of UCF (and I did make my feelings public, and then had a bit of a rant in the ladies loos afterwards!).  However, I learned a lot from the conference, and one of the speakers, when discussing the way that the arts and culture are measured and valued, referred to a concept called The Value Triangle, which I had not heard of before.

The phrase, it appears, originates from John Holden, an associate at the independent think tank Demos and a visiting professor at City University, London, who has been involved in numerous major projects with the cultural sector ranging across heritage, libraries, music, museums, the performing arts and the moving image.  We were shown a You Tube clip taken from the PARTicipate Conference in Belfast, which questioned and explored how the value of culture and arts impacts on the regeneration of Belfast. John Holden describes models of cultural value, and the value triangle of intrinsic, instrumental and institutional value. He then went on to discuss social return on investment and measuring change.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2QPHapOlSI

Having previously written a post for Creatabot on valuing art https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/05/12/twenty-dollars-worth-of-art-please-by-jane-ayres/ I found this quite fascinating.

The topic is one I will doubtless continue to explore.  The relationship between artists, and how they value themselves and are valued by others, is an important issue, especially when arts council budgets continue to be cut and so many are struggling to survive.

I had my first short story published in a UK magazine at the age of 14. I got £10 and will never forget how it felt to have earned what seemed a lot of dosh for something I had enjoyed producing.  This was 1974 and normally I would have needed to work for 9 hours washing up and waiting on tables in my cousin’s café to earn that much (My Saturday job). No wonder the life of a writer seemed a glamorous option!  Oh, how naïve I was….

Other links:

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/culture/participate.asp

To find out more about Jane’s writing and publishing experiences, go to her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Her recent e-book, Beware of the Horse, is available from Amazon.

Learn More about Medway’s Secret Island During Medway Visions Film Festival – 12th September

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A film documenting the experiences of an artist living on Darnet Island for 6 weeks last summer is being screened at Gillingham library on the 12th of September as part of the Medway Visions film festival.

Otherness; Forty Five Days on the Isle of Beauty, shows the life David Wise lived during 6 weeks camping on Darnet Island in the Medway Estuary. David lived partly off the food he found there and recorded life with a variety of means including a pinhole camera made from driftwood.

The film is a great way to see parts of Medway that most of us have never seen, and learn more about the nature around us that often goes un-noticed.

The free screening will take place on the 12th of September at 7.30pm and will be followed by a questions and answers session with David Wise. At the screening David will also be launching his complimenting book which will be on sale at £15 which includes a £5 discount.

People can book by calling the library on 01634 337799 or email chatham.library@medway.gov.uk with the reference “45 Days Of Beauty”.

A poem dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern

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I moved to Medway some time ago

This place inspires me, as you well know

I wanted to help with the amazing creativity

To help it be seen by more, to prevent exclusivity.

 

But fortunately I had somewhere to start

Someone had already helped Medway’s art

This man was someone who needed a studio himself

But was happy to share space with someone else.

 

So he looked for a place that would be just right

And in Chatham High Street he found just the site

There was room for lots of artists, not just him

And this is where Nucleus arts was to begin.

 

He saw in Medway there was a need

So in making studios for artists he took the lead

Him and his daughter made lots of studios and gallery space

At last creatives in Medway could find their place.

 

All that happened in 2002

And the arts centre just grew and grew

And now as the arts scene here continues to boom

Nucleus arts continues to bloom.

 

Over 400 artists have been there to create

The effect on Medway has been great

I know I will never forget what Hilary done

So Medway creatives, let us make sure the work he started, carries on.

By Natasha Steer

 

Dedicated to the memory of Hilary Halpern – founder of Nucleus Arts Centre.

It was Hilary’s wishes that donations should be made to Nucleus Arts  – click here for more details.

Make a Website In A Night – 8th July 2013 – Rochester

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Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://websiteinanight-efbevent.eventbrite.co.uk/

In one evening Natasha Steer will help you create a simple website and show you the basics of how to maintain it.

There are just a few things you will need –

A laptop

Images for the website

Your bio details for the “About” page

Your email address details

Details of the domain name you own – OR if you do not yet own a domain name (ie www.yournamehere.co.uk) then please purchase beforehand or bring a debit card/Paypal details on the night so that we can go through this process step by step. 1&1 internet are really good – you shouldn’t have to pay more that £10.

Any questions just email natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Location – 161 High Street, Rochester (coFWD)

Time – 7pm to 10pm

Please note: Our venue is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.

Chatham Mural Project Workshop Dates Announced – All Welcome

Would you like to be part of an exciting community art project to paint a big mural showing scenes from Chatham’s past present and future? The site is next to Homestyle 206/206A Chatham High Street. Artist Richard Jeferies will develop designs based on your ideas and work with you to paint the mural. Whether you are 9 or 99 years old you are welcome to join in!

Workshops to develop the designs will take place on these dates at:

Nucleus Arts Centre – Conference Room

High Street

Chatham

Sunday 9th June 2pm to 4pm

Monday 10th June 6pm to 8pm

Wednesday 12th June 6pm to 8pm

Painting the mural: Monday 1st to Friday 12th July

Launch – 13th July alongside Medway Open Studios launch

The mural project has been developed by DNA and the workshops and mural are being developed by artist Richard Jeferies.

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Free Talk – The Creative Process: Words and Music – June 17th 2013 at 2.30pm – University Centre Folkestone

Some rights reserved by MarkyBon
Some rights reserved by MarkyBon

When composers and writers collaborate, what comes first – the words or music?  UCF hosts a conversation between Mariam Al-Roubi, singer, songwriter and librettist for the opera Mirabai, and its composer, Barry Seaman.

How does a creative work, such as an opera, develop from idea to tangible form through musical and written language? What is it like to adapt original text to produce a libretto? How do you ensure that you honour the original text (the opera subject, Mirabai, was herself a mystic poet, musician and dancer from 16th century Rajasthan).  How do you integrate newly written poetry? How does a composer work with a writer?  How is it different to working on an album? These questions will be explored and the dynamics of creative minds working together discussed, using musical examples.

About the speakers

Barry studied at York University, specialising in composition, and works have been produced and commissioned in most media, with broadcasts on Radio 3 and his music for silent films Tsar Ivan Vasilyevitch Grozny (Alexander Ivanov-Gai 1915) and The Life of Richard Wagner (Carl Froelich 1913) was widely toured in the USA. He has a special interest in music as a healing process. His most recent project is Mirabai, a large scale multimedia opera that combines ancient spiritual and romantic ideas with astonishing technology in collaboration with Musion Systems.

Mariam is a classically trained singer, dancer, musician and poet.  Whilst writing the libretto for Mirabai, she is also working on a number of projects, including her studio album. She studied BA (Hons) Music Technology at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

About Mirabai

Mirabai is the third of a trilogy. The first two pieces were large-scale choral works: The Consoling Song (words in Sanskrit from the Bhagavad Gita; commissioned by The Brighton Singers and first performed in Brighton UK 2002) and Bhajans (words by Nimisha Patel and Elizabeth Newman; commissioned by The Madrigal Choir of Binghamton and first performed in Binghamton NY USA 2007).

In March 2013, The Lake, and Petals, two excerpts from Mirabai, were premiered by the Ealing Symphony Orchestra and the Krishna Dance was shown as part of the annual Kinetica Art Fair in London, presented by the Musion Academy. A short film of the Krishna dance scene has been produced, and directed by acclaimed film director, Tony Palmer.

 

This event is FREE to attend but advance booking is essential.

Please contact jane.seaman@canterbury.ac.uk or ring 01303 760600.

Area: South East    Folkestone

Half Term Creative Family Workshops – Sparky Project – 30th and 31st May 2013 – Rochester

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The Sparky Project is hosting hands on making workshops in order to create a series of parade structures as part of this year’s Opening Parade for Fuse Festival 2013.

Families are invited to help with getting the projects two main characters ready for the parade, the theme of which is ‘Time Travel’. The workshops, taking place in Rochester, are open to children accompanied by parents.

The Sparky Project aims to offer a wide selection of creative activities to a wider audience, and these workshops will offer an insight into some of the making processes involved with the parade.

The workshops will be held between 11am – 1pm on both Thursday 30th May and Friday 31st May.

Booking is essential, so please go to www.sparkyproject.eventbrite.co.uk to book a place.

The workshops will take place at the Scullery Studios, behind 376 High Street, Rochester, ME1 1DA.

Flyer Front copy

Area: Kent    Medway     South East

Be Part Of Medway’s New Art Vending Machine – CreataboX

Vending Filter

An art vending machine, CreataboX, is being launched at Fuse festival on the 15th of June in Chatham, and the project needs help from local creatives to produce miniature creations to go inside the machine.

Items can include art pieces, knitting, poetry, stories, music on memory cards and anything inspiring that can fit into a vending machine ball. Creatives are being asked to include information about themselves in the ball as this is a great opportunity for promotion.

The next free workshop is at 6.30 on Tuesday 11th June at 161 High Street, Rochester. Materials will be provided. Book here – http://creatabox.eventbrite.co.uk

The vending balls are 9cm in diameter and you can also bring pre-made work to the workshops, where they will be put into the vending balls.

The workshops are being lead by local artist Richard Jeferies, who is part of the CreataboX project. Richard has taught a wide range of artistic workshops and been part of many local art projects over the last 10 years. Speaking about the project he says “I would like to see the CreataboX building a link between artists and lovers of art. With its pocket money price (£1) I would hope it can bring art into more peoples lives, and at the same time give exposure and inspiration to creatives established as well as just starting out”.

It is hoped in the future that funding will be available to commission local creatives for further vending machine contents.

CreataboX has been developed through Creatabot by a team of people passionate about doing awesome things in Medway. It was inspired by the art vending machine in Leeds, but was altered to be multimedia.

Area :    Kent    South East    Medway

“Twenty dollars worth of art, please.” By Jane Ayres

photo credit Jane Ayres
photo credit Jane Ayres

Growing up in the 60s and 70s it was a treat after school to stop by the corner shop and buy a penny’s worth of sweets.  Lemon bonbons were my favourite.  They were scooped out of the huge jar and carefully weighed out, measured to the value of a penny and then placed in a paper bag.

Fast forward around 40 years.  I’m a big fan of the US TV series Parks and Recreation, a wonderfully observed, funny, warm character comedy  which centres around the employees of the parks and recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.   Season 2, currently on BBC 4, featured an episode in which office staff were invited to produce a design for a mural contest. Declaring he has no interest or talent in art, the seemingly shallow character called Tom decides to cheat and approaches a professional designer to do the work for him. Believing art to be simply another commodity, he requests “20 dollars worth of art”. I laughed out loud at this. (The irony is that he later falls in love with the abstract work produced, forming a deep emotional connection with his piece of art).

It got me thinking about how we measure the creative process in monetary terms.  How do we /can we value art?  And our time as creative producers?  I wonder how many artists have had clients asking how much art they can get for £10? £100? £1000?  Interestingly, commission guidelines for composers are often based on cost per minute of music, and writers can be paid per word for articles and features.

My e-books are priced between £1.95 – £3.98. Many e-books cost just 99p.  They could have taken 6 months or several years of work to produce.  What else can you get for £1.95?  Not even a cappuccino.  Is my latest book worth less than that?

Pricing and charging is a tricky arena.  Especially since creatives often do a lot of work gratis (and are often expected to do stuff for free).  I’ve done plenty for free – sometimes willingly and happily if I know that funding was a problem, other times not so much.  What is my time worth?  If no-one pays me is my time worthless? Would you ever assume that a plumber or mechanic or solicitor will work for free?

The arts make money. A recent report in the Guardian highlighted the fact that, “Analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that the arts budget accounts for less than 0.1% of public spending, yet it makes up 0.4% of the nation’s GDP.

The report is published amid fears that the arts will take another big hit when George Osborne announces his spending review in June.”  (Click link below to read the article).

We are all consumers.  But, as a creative, how do you value your time?  And that of other creative producers?

Links: http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/nov/22/parks-and-recreation-bbc4

http://www.impulse-music.co.uk/commission_fees.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2013/may/07/arts-worth-millions-uk-economy?goback=%2Egde_4148866_member_238627525

Related posts:

http://janeayres.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/is-book-simply-commodity-should-you-be.html

Work Your Way With Words – The Word Shed – Various Dates – Medway

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ME4Writers present their collective, collaborative project ‘The Word Shed’ at Fuse Medway Festival!

Come and visit The Word Shed, where inside, instead of seeds, pots and a lawnmower, and that drawer that’s full of things that you might need one day, you will find yourself in a blossoming, inspirational world of words.

During the festival, visitors to The Word Shed will help create a new ME4Writers’ publication. On the first two days, visitors will have the chance to add their poem or short story to the growing publication, on the third day, the writers will perform highlights from the new, nurtured and fully grown publication, and giveaway a free copy

The Word Shed is a Spark Commission for the Fuse Medway Festival, 14-16 June 2013.

‘ Wordshops’

ME4Writers will also be running some creative writing workshops, ‘Wordshops’, in the run up to the festival, where we will invite attendees to write short prose and poems inspired by Medway, Fuse and festivals!

Wordshops will be held at:

11 May – 1.30-3.30pm – Rochester Library

18 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Strood Library

25 May – 10.30am-12.30pm – Walderslade Village Library

8 June – 1.30-3.30pm – Chatham Library

Places are free – but please reserve a place with the library concerned, or by phoning 01634 337799.

All submissions will then be added to our website, and a selection will be available from the Shed on the last day of the festival, printed in our new publication.

ME4Writers are known for their innovative, collaborative projects, and guerrilla publishing techniques, and have previously produced a poetry treasure hunt game played around the streets of Medway, ‘Poetrymon’, and the popular ‘Letters Home’ project, which asked people to write about home, culminating in an afternoon of readings and an exhibition at Rochester Library.

Dates: The Word Shed will be at various locations in Medway throughout the Fuse Festival. For exact locations please see their website, nearer the time.

http://me4wordshed.wordpress.com / Twitter @wordshed / http://www.facebook.com/wordshed

The Art of Crowdfunding: Presented by Crista Cloutier – 22nd May 2013 – Folkestone

Image by Rocío Lara
Image by Rocío Lara

The Art of Crowdfunding: A one hour workshop for artists, writers and creatives presented by Crista Cloutier.

Crowdfunding is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for artists and creatives to raise money. But is it as easy as it sounds? What is involved in a crowd funding campaign? In this intensive one hour workshop, Crista Cloutier will discuss the recent trends in crowd funding as she reveals the successes and challenges faced during her recent Indiegogo project.

Participants will learn:
– What is crowd funding and how does it work?
– How to choose the right platform
– How to approach budgets
– The importance of planning and implementation
– The hidden values of crowd funding
– Dealing with failures and setback
– Tips and tricks

Actively involved in the contemporary art world throughout her career, Crista Cloutier works internationally as a writer, artist, playwright, and educator. For more information go towww.cristacrista.com

Host University Centre Folkestone
Start Time Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 at 14:00pm
Entry Fee £FREE
Member Entry Fee £FREE
Location University Centre Folkestone
Mill Bay
Folkestone
Kent CT20 1JG

FREE to attend but booking essential – contact Jane Seaman

The weblink is here: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/events/event-details.asp?eventId=3848

Art Vending Machine For Medway – Lets Do This!

ArtVendingMachine

So…Leeds have recently been featured on the BBC news website  regarding their new art vending machine, and fellow creatives here in Medway think it is only fair Medway and Kent have one too. So lets make it happen.

Included in the vending machine could be art as seen in the BBC link.

Also poetry like this carried out here: http://nicelledavis.com/2013/02/19/we-made-our-kickstarter-goal-poetry-vending-machines-are-on-the-way/

The machine could tour round different venues and events 🙂 it would be so cool!

Any other ideas?

I am apprehensive to start an official crowd funder yet. It would be great to generate interest then ask people to send the money to a certain Paypal address – or just pay in cash at selected venues in Medway.

Ed Jennings has kindly worked out we need around £200 to buy a machine and the initial containers for the machine.

Can people who are willing to support financially, even a few £  –  please add a comment or email me?

Thanks guys! And thank you to Richard Jeferies for the encouragement to do this! 🙂

Natasha x

natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Get Your Application In For Medway Open Studios 2013 – Deadline 26th April

The Hazelnut Press studio - part of The Ridley Road Group
The Hazelnut Press studio – part of The Ridley Road Group

Registration for the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival closes on Friday 26 April. All artists and makers from the Medway area are being urged to sign up quickly and avoid missing out on being a part of this creative festival.

Now in its second year, the arts festival has increased by 100% since its launch in July 2012. This summer, 30 venues will be displaying work by more than 100 local artists and students, making it the largest independent art festival in Medway.

To encourage more artists to sign up a Makers Market option has been introduced, offering pitches inside the new emerging art venue, Sun Pier House. The art market will be open over the weekends of the festival, with various products and crafts on sale. Apply before Friday 26 April to book your place.

The festival runs from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013. For more information please visit www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk

 

Area: Kent       South East     Medway

Hello? Is this thing on? – The People Fighting Your Corner

publicRelations

It’s been a while! Too long, in fact. So it’s about time for another article, methinks

This time, I’m going to try and shine a light on the weird and wonderful world of PR (or Public Relations in layman’s terms).

For those of you who don’t know, these are the lovely people that will be sending your music out to the world to get you as much profile, and radio play as they can, as well as loads of interviews, TV spots, and features as they can, and they can be split up into these rather broad categories:

  • Print
  • Online
  • Radio
  • Club

Print

The print PR team are going to spend their time targeting magazines and newspapers, ranging from being featured in their Albums/Singles of the Week to reviews, features, Q&A’s and more. Traditionally, these guys will also be writing up your press releases (I wrote previously about these devious documents here) and even biographies on occasions. Print is where most of your press would have come from in the old days, but with blogs and online editions starting to take over, this is less true, though still massively important. If successful, and I say ‘if’, because  PR can work day and night at times to make the project big but seemingly hit a brick wall, this is also where your quotes will come from for posters, product stickers, adverts and more.

Print press is the grandfather of PR in the music industry, and is continually merging with online going forwards as more magazines and websites increase and improve their web presence, which leads quite nicely to…

Online

 …Online PR (Pretty sure I’m breaking a lot of grammar rules using an ellipsis to bridge paragraphs but hey, that’s why I work for a label and not PR!). This is now arguably as important as print, if not more in the modern game. I say that because blogs are now the heart and soul of new music and main tool for breaking it. It’s also worth bearing in mind that it costs a magazine or newspaper to print an article in its physical form. The only cost of putting a review or feature on a website is bandwidth, the writer and whoever they pay to maintain the website, so as a rule they are much more susceptible to putting things up for you, given the amount of content uploaded in a day. This isn’t a make or break type scenario, but just an opinion of mine – you take what you want from it. It’s also a damn sight easier to get people to listen to your music on a website, with a Soundcloud link for example, than an article telling them the music is available to buy. That’s not to say they won’t go and seek it out at the record shop or iTunes, but think about it – one click of a Soundcloud/Youtube embed versus trawling through iTunes to find it themselves. This is probably a good time to note that PEOPLE ARE LAZY. Shove it in their face and make it as easy as possible and you’ll find more people will engage. Don’t believe me? Think about how you surf the web/read magazines and you should be able to answer me.

Radio

Radio can make or break a campaign. If you get loads of radio play across lots of a stations, then great! It gives you something to talk about and also gets the tunes out to more ears. If you get a few plays across a few stations, that’s good. Something, at the end of the day, is better than nothing. When you end up getting little to no plays, it makes the whole campaign a lot harder. After all, where else do you expect to hear new music? Traditionally that is, don’t forget how strong online is now, with iPhones, Galaxy phones the size of a dinner tray and tablets that make you try and remember why you ever had that giant, windows ‘95 computer tower decades ago. I digress. Radio PR teams will go and talk to presenters and producers (usually producers) and harass them until either they play your tunes on air or get removed from the building. They pitch to get you into playlists.

Now, for those of you that don’t know radio stations usually have a set of playlists, from which they make up the majority of the music in their shows. It usually consists of;

  • The ‘A’ Playlist – Big stars, super popular tracks (Adele, Beyonce, 1D and the like).
  • The ‘B’ Playlist – Tracks that are popular, but not quite at A-list status yet
  • The ‘C’ Playlist – you get the idea by now, right?
  • The ‘Specialist’ Playlist – This is where the tracks that don’t quite fit the mould sit, like big tracks that aren’t ‘pop’

This applies to most commercial stations, BBC Radio 1 & 2 and more online stations too. Just switch the genre up depending on the station. Presenters usually get one or 2 free plays, which are usually tracks of their own choice they can slot in once in a while.

As well as trying to get the recorded track on the air, they’ll try and get you in to talk, co-host where possible or go on and play a track. Be prepared to sit around for a long time to then play 2 songs, say 4 lines then leave. You’re at the mercy of scheduling, remember this. Especially live.

Club

The mystical and baffling world of club promo. Now as a rule this does not usually apply to traditional bands, it’s always been for electronic music really. House, D’n’B, Trip-Hop, Glitch Funk and Mooba-core. They’ll take your package of tracks and send it out to scores of DJ’s, both radio and live, to try and get them to play it. You often get loads of feedback from them about what they think of it but it’s incredibly difficult to track this back into sales. Get a review in a paper, have a website premier a single or have BBC 6 Music play your track, and it’s very easy to track and analyse just how effective it has been, be it new Facebook ‘Likes’ or 500 people buying your single. Club promo is almost under the radar in some ways. It puts the tracks in the hands of a select few people, nudges them to drop it into their set at XOYO or Plan B, hoping that the crowd goes wild and then goes off in search of just what the hell track it was. And there is your issue. Radio, print, online, all say what the track is, who it was by etc. In the club, you’ve either got to ask the DJ (If he/she’s not holed up in his/her booth), pray your ‘in the know’ club buddy knows the track or you can get close enough to a speaker to Shazam the track without overloading your phone’s microphone. A double-edged sword, but if you get the right DJ behind a track and they pioneer it, you’re onto a winner.

Now, I would advise all of you to read this as it is. I work with PR through a label, not for a PR company. This is just my words and thoughts and a little insight into how I see it working, as well as some generalisations and opinions I read in ‘Music Week’ from time to time. Do your own research. Approach a PR company and see what they think of your tunes. Get them to pitch you their opinion of how they could work your track and where they think is a good place for it.

This is also a work in progress. Undoubtedly I’ve missed things that I know but don’t remember that I know. Pop a question in the box below and I’ll do my best to answer it. In fact, here’s a link to my previous articles. Read them and ask me questions. I started writing these blogs to try and give an insight and some help, so help me do that by picking my brain.

By Luke Crook

Survived – Chatham Clinic – Open 19th May 2013

Chatham Clinic - Open 19th May 2013

The clinic will be open in Chatham on May the 19th 2013. Book at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

A unique theatre experience is taking place at Sun Pier House, Chatham, on the 19th May.

Entitled “Survived”, the event is described as “site responsive interactive theatre”, which means you as the audience get to walk around the performance taking place throughout the building, and engage with the performers.

Set in the distant present, Survived is a clinic for people who have survived a nuclear explosion and need treatment for their radiation poisoning caused by fallout. You, the visitor, are in this case, the patient needing help.

This is the perfect opportunity to see how empty space can be used for unique types of theatre, as well as an example of collaboration within the community. The event is aimed to be inspiring and educational. 

Expect gas masks, steampunk and bizarre medical instruments.

Survival wear is optional.

There are two clinics, one at 7.30pm and one at 8.30pm. Each clinic lasts 45 minutes.

Tickets cost £5 and must be pre-booked at www.survived.eventbrite.co.uk

Disabled access disclaimer: Unfortunately, due to the current nature of the building in use, we are unable to provide access to this event for the disabled.

Fresh Look For Fuse Festival 2013 With New Artistic Director

Fuse festival, a free outdoor festival held yearly in Medway, is back for 2013 with a new artistic director. The festival is also supporting some new exciting projects by local creatives.

The new artistic director, Megan Donnolley, is originally from Australia, where her working life encompassed an exciting variety of comedy, fashion, dance and theatre events including Sydney’s Fringe and Comedy festivals, Megan brings an international flavour to Fuse, together with an absolute commitment to local Medway communities and artists. Based in London, most recently she has curated public art and exhibitions, worked on community art projects in the Tower Hamlets, and is Co-Director of Comica: London International Comics Festival. She has also delivered large scale outdoor events, national open access film and literature competitions and worked extensively in contemporary music as an agent and music festival producer.

MeganDonnollyFuseMedwayFestival
Megan Donnolly

Back in January local creatives were offered the chance to put forward ideas for the festival, and 3 unique projects have been awarded with the commission to carry out their ideas.

Dizzy O'Dare
Dizzy O’Dare

Dizzy O’Dare Presents…. will be bringing ‘The Wonderful World of Mr E,’ an interactive show for ages 5+, featuring puppets, clowning and story-telling.  Mr E travels through the audience’s imagination, visiting strange new lands and going on fun adventures. Mr E and his two assistants will take their audience on an expedition into imagination itself. Between shows the audience will be encouraged to visit Mr E’s intriguing Museum where they can write a postcard, draw some of Mr E’s adventures, or help create a new artefact or creature.

Rebecca Ashton’s
Rebecca Ashton’s

Rebecca Ashton’s ‘The Sirens of Cetham’ will be a visually exciting dance performance on and around The Anchor in Chatham (Cetham being the ancient word for Chatham).  The bustling setting will inspire the costume design and in turn, the choreography. A sewing group will help make the costumes and a local school will decorate a ‘Feedback Fishing Net.’  Young choreographers and costume designers will learn new skills from professionals during the project and the whole performance will be live and interactive during the Festival.

ME4 Writers
ME4Writers

Innovative writers’ group ME4Writers are creating ‘The Wordshed’ – a cosy and intimate base for creative thought.  Guided by visitors to the Festival, the writers will develop and launch a new collection of poetry and stories for (and about) Fuse Festival, festivals in general and Medway. Visitors who wish to take part will be invited to create their own piece of writing to add to the collection. On Day 3 of the Festival there will be the opportunity to hear readings from the finished publication and collect a free copy.

 Other creative projects will be involved, but this is yet to be announced.

FUSE 2013 will take place from 14th to 16th June, preceded by Lighting the Fuse. Visitors to the Festival can expect to see Medway’s streets and open spaces filled with some of the most exciting and inspiring entertainment with lots of free arts events for all the family throughout the weekend.

For more information about Fuse Medway Festival visit the website at www.fusefestival.org.uk, or join them on Facebook or Twitter.

Area: Kent   South East    Medway

Chinese Brush Painting Workshop With Ann Fairchild – 26th March 2013 – Strood

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Artist Ann Fairchild will be running a workshop about Chinese brush painting in Strood on the 26th March. She will be demonstrating how she creates her paintings and then participants will be able to give it a try.

Bring along water pots, newspapers and wear your painting clothes!

The workshop has been organised by the North Kent Art Society www.facebook.com/NKArtSociety

New members/ visitors welcome.

Members £2, Non Members £5. Annual Membership £15.

Location: Peninsula Church Hall, Cliffe Road, Strood. ME2 3DY.

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

7.30pm – 9.30pm.

Enquiries:Tina Woodward 01634 725006 Email:tinwoody21@yahoo.co.uk

or

Hazel Kilburn 01634 250322 Email:hazelchristine1@btinternet.com

Area:  Kent    Strood    South East

What A Young Artist Taught Me About Crowdfunding – By Crista Cloutier

Harrison

It was Day 16 of the campaign and I had only cried in public once. Twice. Online crowdfunding is not for the faint of heart.

I’ve spent my entire career in and around the art world. I recently curated a touring exhibition of new work by Kiki Smith and Valerie Hammond. I have been a gallerist and a fine art print-publisher, collaborating with the luminaries of the international art world. I have sold artwork to nearly every major institution in the USA as well as thousands of galleries and collections.

But about five years ago I had what I refer to as a midlife “correction.” Desperate to become something different, I sold all of my possessions and used them as a ticket to a new life. I left my home in the states and moved to the south of France, devoting a year to discovering my own creative path, before moving to England where I really got down to work and became a writer and photographer.

Throughout my career I have seen how artists struggled and I knew it didn’t have to be so hard. So I began sharing with artists what I knew about how the art market works and giving them the tools necessary to create a successful career. I called my class The Working Artist and I have now spent the past three years teaching it throughout the world.

I’ve long wanted to turn this course into an online educational program, something that could be downloaded so that any artist, anywhere, can have access to this information at an affordable price. After spending nearly a year researching the options and putting a business plan together I decided to launch an online crowdfunding campaign to raise the monies it would take to film and edit the program.

The launch party was a huge success and I exceeded my initial goal in terms of donations. The next two weeks have been a whirling dervish of emotions and bloody hard work. At the computer constantly posting, begging, pleading, thanking. And when I’m not at the computer I am out on the streets handing out promotional materials, chatting with artists, lecturing, making connections, chasing leads. This month, it seems, will never end.

The biggest take-aways have been the lessons learned, the hard way, about staying balanced, about not being attached to the outcome, and about letting go of what other people think. Easy lessons none.

But it’s been difficult to keep the faith. Though I have been blessed with little moments of serendipity that give me cheer, each day that someone tells me “no” can bring my spirits crashing to the ground. And so Day 16 began. I was halfway through the campaign, I’d begged every friend, relative, and ex-boyfriend I knew and had raised just over half my goal. Now what? I was exhausted. Well-intentioned friends gave me advice about how I could be doing it better, but they only served to make it worse. I was having a crisis of faith.

Harrison

I was on my bicycle whizzing down a hill under a bridge when something caught my eye. A little boy was drawing with chalk on the concrete wall. My camera was at home with a dead battery. But I have a phone, I reminded myself. I hate photographing with a phone and I don’t photograph children but something told me to turn back. I asked his mother if I could take a picture. I tried to get a shot of him as he drew, apologizing for not having my good camera. “So do you just ride your bike and take pictures of things that interest you?” he asked. I nodded and he looked impressed, “I want to be like you.” What’s that? “An artist,” he smiled.

He showed me some of his other, earlier, chalk drawings. There was a large piece called “People Pasture” of a unicorn eating people. “But I don’t think that’s my best work,” he said gravely. His name was Harrison and he was 8 years old. His drawings filled the walls with their childlike graffiti, he’d even written poetry. “Faith. Justice. Believers matter,” he wrote.

“Sometimes,” he confessed, “I have doubts about my work.” Harrison wanted to be a famous artist. We spoke for a long time. He told me how it hurts when people don’t like what he does. I pointed him back to his own words, “Believers matter.”

I told him what it is to be an artist, how it’s important to always take chances, to make your life an expression of your work, of your self. I spoke of integrity. He drank my words in thirsty gulps. I told him how fame is a false prophet and how his life’s work, as an artist, is to work hard to develop that which lies inside and to always look for ways to express it, leaving everyplace he ever goes more beautiful for him having been there. “Like you do with these walls,” I told him.

He said, “It’s so good that I met you.” But it was I who was blessed. I told Harrison about my crowdfundung campaign and he encouraged me not to give up. “Look how much you have helped me today,” he said. “This is your work.”

I asked to take his picture with my phone and he made me wait so he could put on his glasses. As I left, he told me that he would be back tomorrow, making another drawing, should I want to visit him. “I will photograph you again,” I promised.

“Bring your good camera this time,” he said.

By Crista Cloutier

Crista Cloutier’s crowdfunding campaign ends on March 30th. Visit www.igg.me/at/theworkingartist to see how you can participate.

Soldering Workshop – 26th April 2013 – Rochester

Solder Iron

Creatabot have organised a beginners soldering workshop for those wanting to learn the handy skill. Soldering is useful for any creative, from artists to geeks, and it is hoped that the workshop will benefit people with various relevant projects.

The workshop will be held on Friday the 26th April 2013 at 161 High Street, Rochester from 10am to 3.30 pm. Tea and coffee will be provided but please bring lunch. The workshop attendees will be taught by Colin Turner, and the event will be hosted by Natasha Steer from Creatabot.

Places are VERY  limited so please book quickly!

BOOK HERE: http://solderingworkshopcofwd.eventbrite.com

Area:    Kent     South East     Rochester

Featured Creative: David Faltrego – Surreal Artist

les citroen

I love surreal art, Dali is one of my favourite artists in fact. So when I discovered David Faltrego’s work at Medway Open Studios last year I was excited to find a local artist creating surreal artwork. I thought everyone would be interested to find out more about David, who lives in Medway,  so here is a little interview with him…

So David, tell us more about your background and how you ended up creating surreal artwork?

Just prior to leaving school I was briefly interviewed by a recruitment representative from Maidstone Art College who wasn’t impressed. I had insufficient supporting grades, my portfolio was apparently of an unexceptional calibre and my “bolshie” attitude probably sealed my fate! I seriously doubt I would have lasted the course anyway as I don’t listen or rather I take on board only what interests me.

Today I paint whatever I please, as and when I please…

Other than an “A” Grade O Level, I’ve no further art qualifications. I have no awards and since I never submit to competitions I never will. Paradoxically my greatest delight in winning any award would be in politely declining it!

As a surrealist it can be a struggle both selling work and gaining acceptance into a gallery, since this particular genre is generally frowned upon and receives little credibility within the art world, particularly in the UK. Never the less I continue to plough a lone furrow quite simply because this is what I enjoy.

cattle of an udderworld

I began painting as a hobby, doing quite a lot of commission work throughout the 1980’s. However, by the end of the decade I’d become thoroughly bored with it all, I never really enjoyed commissions – but it funded some travelling at the time. This coincided with several galleries declining to show my work, leaving me totally disillusioned with the Art world. It was a further 12 YEARS before I picked up a brush, following persistent badgering from an ex work colleague who was into the “arts”. This time I was determined to do it differently – No more commission work and no appeasing others tastes. Self-indulgent? Absolutely!

I gradually amassed a small body of work to compliment my older material. By chance in passing, I stumbled upon the Nucleus Gallery in Chatham and I asked if I may hire their gallery for an exhibition. For the very first time I received a positive response without the stuffy, elitist attitude.

I had my first solo exhibition in May 2010, followed by two more in 2011 and 2012 and the feedback has generally been very good. Of course I cannot hope to please everybody, after all art is essentially subjective. You wouldn’t expect an opera lover to attend a punk rock concert but it’s still all music of sorts.

magic roundabout

Is your art your main income?

I know I’ll never make a living from painting, therefore it has always remained something I do in my spare time because I enjoy it. To pay the bills I have always worked in the printing industry as a Finisher, for a number of different companies in Kent.

Who inspires you both locally and universally?

Locally I would have to say several people connected with Nucleus Arts who have offered me encouragement particularly at the shops in Rochester and Maidstone.

On a much wider scale – since much of my work makes references to my childhood growing up in the 60s-70’s then my parents must take some credit. We certainly never had the material things but we did have everything that really matters, resulting in some of the best times that live on in my memories and sometimes resurface in my works.

Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!

Inspiration maybe stretching it but my art tutor at school could take some credit for allowing me virtual carte blanche to express myself rather than push me into the “traditional” route as he did with most others – although I’d have probably done as I please regardless! Universally, Artists I admire – Dali and Magritte (obviously), also Brueghel, Bosch and Vermeer who weren’t surrealists.

The music of the Beatles (post 1967) and Pink Floyd has influenced my thinking certainly. I’ve long since found inspiration from the surreal humour of Python and more latterly Eddie Izzard as well as the dark tales of the Brothers Grimm. Anything that messes with the logical way of thinking, the absurd, random thought process, etc – that’s what fascinates me!

serving the master

What are your plans for the future?

The future?, who knows. Currently I’m nearing completion of a whole new set of work due for exhibiting in August 2013 at Nucleus Chatham. Ideally I would like my work to be acknowledged with more credibility but I won’t hold my breath. A wider audience would be nice – that’s all.

Are there any other skills you would like to learn?

Other skills – not really. I’ve already discovered what I enjoy most and indeed what I do best. I simply wish to continue improving on what I’m already doing. As long as I have the ideas and desire to paint I will do so, but if or whenever I feel my standards are falling or I become disillusioned again, I will stop.

Are there any website you enjoy looking at?

I view Deviant Art, Red Bubble and Saatchi Gallery from time to time.

Thank you so much David for talking to us, we are really looking forward to seeing more of your work at the exhibition in August!

toys in the attic

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland    South East South West    Wales   West Midlands

My Noise – A New Experimental Music Festival – 14th to 18th March 2013 – Medway

mynoise-620x350

An experimental new music festival arrives in Medway this March, which will focus on connecting musicians through various ways of noise making. Spread out over a few days, the festival will feature innovative live performances and participatory events. Some of the highlights include a live performance by ex-Can front man and Krautrock pioneer Damo Suzuki and Medway based aural innovators, Hand of Stabs, a live Twitter-based sound installation and a bring and share afternoon of your favourite noises.

 MY Noise will take influence from the creation of experimental music scenes over the last few decades and will encourage experimentation and collaboration in the Medway area.

The festival is being curated by not-for-profit arts organisation, TEA Concerts, who in the past two years have been bringing internationally renowned artists such as Jeffrey Lewis, Grandmaster Flash, The Wave Pictures, Com Truise and Sister Mantos to the South East. In the build up to MY Noise, TEA have set up a new scheme called Band Dating to encourage musicians to meet each other in a rehearsal setting and form new bands. The first outcomes of these rehearsals will be showcased during the festival and the final event will be an open ‘band date’. They have also been involved in setting up a DIY music project space in the area for new bands and music projects on a budget of just £20. TEA co-founder, Louise Micklewright explains, “You only need a space, a load of old mattresses and some gaffa tape”.

Wristbands for MY Noise will be £12 and some events will be free but with limited space.

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit www.mynoisefestival.com

Programme of events for MY Noise

 14 March (8pm): Band Dating showcase. Sun Pier House, Chatham.

15 March (8pm): Motherboy presents Houdini, Bear vs Manero and Frau Pouch. Singapora Lounge, Rochester.

16 March (2pm): Band Date open event – bring an instrument and experiment with other musicians. Music Project Space, Sun Pier House, Chatham.

(8pm): Damo Suzuki (Can) w/Hand of Stabs and Pity Party. Beacon Court, Gillingham.

17 March (2pm): Creatabot and TEA present MY Favourite Noise (bring and share event of favourite noise making instruments, effects, experimental albums, natural sounds etc). Sun Pier House, Chatham.

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/03/08/my-favourite-sounds-part-of-the-my-noise-festival-17th-march-2013-sun-pier-house-chatham/

(6pm): “Signal to Noise”. John Newman’s live audiovisual piece made using Twitter, and a performance by Black Palace Orchestra. The Deaf Cat, Rochester

18 March (7pm): Pop-up documentary screening. Manny’s Music, Chatham.

Area : South East  Kent   Medway

Medway Writer Wins Award and Commission From BBC Radio 4

Winners_of_inaugural_BBC_Writer_s_Prize_announced

Playwright and poet Sarah Hehir, from Rochester, Kent, along with published author Mark Wallington and first-time writer Simon Topping, have been announced as the winners of the first BBC Writer’s Prize.

Rock Me Amadeus by Topping and Bang Up by Hehir have both been commissioned for Radio 4’s Afternoon Drama slot, while Wallington’s comedy The Joy of Adult Education has been given a pilot commission.

The judges Jeremy Howe (Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4 Drama), Caroline Raphael (Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio 4 Comedy and Radio 4 Extra), Kate Rowland (BBC Creative Director of New Writing), Roy Williams (writer) and Miles Jupp (writer-performer) were impressed by the overall range and calibre of the drama scripts submitted for the competition, with Howe commenting “Sarah Hehir charts the developing relationship between a young offender in a Kentish detention centre and his teacher. It is tough, warm, beautifully observed and written from the inside with real heart. It pulls you into the worlds of the two central characters in such a way that makes you really care for them both, and takes us on a surprising journey.”

Talking about the award Sarah said “It really does feel like a dream come true! All those lonely hours writing late at night, wondering if I’m ever going to make people feel the way I want them to when they read a play – it feels so good to realise I got it right with this one. Hope I can write another now!”.

The Writer’s Prize was established to create a unique opportunity for new and established writers who want to write for Radio Drama and Radio Comedy. Over 1,200 original scripts were submitted to BBC writersroom, before the judges were handed a shortlist of 18 from which to reach a decision.

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland    South East South West    Wales   West Midlands

Creative People and Places Swale and Medway – Events – February to March 2013

Jellyfish created by the creative community in Medway on LV21 for the fish disco organised by Moogie Wonderland. LV21 is the venue for "Hooked Up".
Jellyfish created by the creative community in Medway on LV21 for the “Fish Disco”, organised by Moogie Wonderland. LV21 is the venue for “Hooked Up”.

An enterprising group with a £1.5million plan for the arts in Swale and Medway is inviting residents to a series of events to share ideas on how the money should be used.

Consortium members from Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway want to meet members of the communities the money will benefit and hear their views on the kinds of projects, events and activities that will improve the two areas. Each event will have creative activities for visitors to take part in as well as providing opportunities for discussion.

The grant is from Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme, which aims to make the arts accessible to everyone and encourage people and groups who don’t think the arts are for them to get involved. Therefore, the consortium is keen to meet both members of the arts community and people who do not ordinarily engage with the arts.

The events are…

  • Our Space, organised by Kent Architecture Centre, 10am to 1pm, Saturday, March 16, at Chatham Riverside (between the bus station and the river). Contact chris.lamb@architecturecentre.org or robert.offord@architecturecentre.org Join Kent Architecture Centre and students from the University of Kent’s Fine Art department to explore themes around public space. Artists Tim Meacham and Peter Hatton will work with students to run workshops investigating themes around future citizens, citizen animators and a space for everyone. Get involved and help manipulate the space, be it physically or virtually. There will be a range of fun activities for all ages to participate in and enjoy, from creative Mask Making to Gardening, showcasing your best dance moves to grabbing your shovel and joining in with an Archaeological Dig!

    Alongside these activities, plus many more, there will be live music from local performers and a delicious BBQ for you all to enjoy.

  • Pop-Up Cinema, organised by Artlands North Kent, 6.30 to 9pm, Sunday, March 24, onboard Thames sailing barge Edith May, Lower Halstow Dock, Lapwing Drive, Lower Halstow, near Sittingbourne.  Contact fiona@artlandsnorthkent.org.uk A free pop-up cinema event. The truly remarkable and acclaimed Terence Davies film Of Time and the City is both a love song and a eulogy to his native Liverpool, exploring memory, reflection and how a place can change and influence the people that live there. The inspiring film demonstrates an affinity between Liverpool and North Kent as it reflects upon the former’s industrial past, sympathetically and creatively articulating a sense of place. Refreshments will be served, booking is essential via the email address above, parking is available and access onto the boat is limited.

Three more public events, featuring a pop-up cinema, open discussions between active members of the arts and non-arts communities, and interactive performances, are being organised for March.

The consortium is also asking residents to nominate “community catalysts” – prominent members of either arts or non-arts communities who already do a lot locally and will be able to encourage others to get involved with activities in Swale and Medway. Nominations can be made at the events and via the website from March onwards.

Fiona Boundy, curator of Artlands North Kent, said: “Swale and Medway have exceptional and thriving community and voluntary sectors and we know there is a desire from these areas to engage in the arts.

“We will work collaboratively within these communities to share skills, knowledge and resources and adopt new ways of working to broaden and diversify opportunities for engaging with, and participating in, creative programmes of the highest quality. Starting conversations with members of the arts and non-arts sectors at the six events is the first step towards this aim.

“We are committed to ensuring that Swale and Medway become known as places where all forms of creativity can thrive; where communities directly benefit from the power of the arts to make positive changes in their lives; where new routes for engagement are opened up through our commitment to testing out pioneering and experimental approaches to working.”

This month the consortium advertised, in the national and arts Press, the role of “creative enabler”, which will be key to the programme’s delivery.

Fiona continued: “The creative enabler role is important because it will enable us to get on with the delivery of really exciting, engaging and inclusive creative programmes. The creative enabler will be crucial in terms of ‘putting into action’ feedback and ideas from different communities and will also be key in facilitating our open submission strand, where we will invite people to submit proposals for projects.

Sign up to receive regular updates and news letters about Creative People and Places: Swale and Medway atwww.CreativePeoplePlace.info Visit the soon-to-be re-launched website for more details on events and consortium members and to find out how the Creative People and Places programme is evolving in Swale and Medway.

Strood Robots And Other Medway Stories – Art Exhibition – Nucleus Arts Gallery Chatham – 16th to 28th February 2013

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Myths and Legends of the Medway Towns from BAN THE MIND READER, to the Walderslade Sprite, plus more pragmatic tales from modern Medway.

Artwork will be exhibited by peninsular exiles Shaun Hutchings and Sharon Cooper. Sharon has produced images of the Medway Towns sown on to canvases, whilst Shaun Hutchings paints pictures from his imagination, often in abstract form. Many are set in a ‘magical’ or ‘mythical’ future Medway.

The Exhibition runs from the 16th to the 28th of February.

Location: Nucleus studios and Gallery, Chatham – www.nucleus-arts.com/page3.htm

George RW Cutts – Archive from 1980 – Exhibition – 15th to 20th February 2013 – Margate

Typewriter Copperbox

A show of over 100 new drawings from George RW Cutts, featuring abandoned towns, Antarctic explorers, ACME whistles, badges, birds, brogues, buttons, clay pipes, clocks, coins, cycling jerseys, Delph tiles, desert boots, dogs, door bells, forgotten Olympians, hot dog carts, Margate, medals, mermaids, monkey paisley, pétanque, trophies, tuk-tuks, and typewriters.

The exhibition includes, The Margate Postcards, a new series of 30 blue monochrome postcards inspired by Margate past and present.

Every visitor can enter a draw to win a piece of work featured in the show.

Parade is an artist led space, 2 minutes along the sea front from the Turner Contemporary.

What:George RW Cutts, Archive from 1980
Where:Parade, Marine Drive, Margate, Kent CT9 1DH

When: Fri 15 Feb – Wed 20 Feb, 11am-5pm daily
Further Details: www.archivefrom1980.com

Contact: georgerwcutts@archivefrom1980.com

Badges 1989

Area: South East     Kent

Call For Traders For New Outdoor Market In Chatham! – Sun Wharf Market – Sunday 24th March

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Pitches are available to take part in the first Sun Wharf Market, a new quarterly outdoor market in Chatham.

The market is new for 2013 and pitches are available for a variety of makers. The first Sun Wharf Market will be held on Sunday 24 March in the Sun Wharf car park, Medway Street in Chatham.

 Market organiser and local resident Heather Burgess, 27, hopes to create a complimenting combination of stalls including art, craft, local produce, jewellery, fashion, antiques, vintage and collectibles. Limited pitches are available now for £15 each, trading hours will be 10am – 4pm. To avoid disappointment early applications are recommended, closing date for all applications is Monday 4 March 2013. All enquiries should contact Heather by emailing heather.sunpierhouse@gmail.com

Area:    South East    Medway   Kent

Creative Minds Literary Potlatch – A Feast of Inspiration – 23rd March 2013 – Strood

Creative Minds Literary Potlatch - A Feast of Inspiration - 23rd March 2013 - Strood

Creative Minds Literary Potlatch. Interested in art and creativity? Feeling a little stuck? Come and mingle with like-minded individuals and share coffee and ideas. Open to everyone interested in creativity, if you’re a beginner or someone more advanced.

Activities planned include; speed debating, Parashare; bring a paragraph to share from a favourite book or your own writing, and other writers games.

This event is part of the Other worlds, other voices Rochester literature festival.

Saturday, 23 March 10am – 12 noon Strood library

Book your free place by calling 01634 335890 or just turn up on the day!

Craft Central Gets Hitched – London’s Handmade Wedding Fair – 21st to 24th March 2013

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Wedding coming up? Fed up of sprawling soulless commercial wedding fairs? Get personal at Craft Central 21-24 March 2013! All you need to add a handmade touch to the big day. From the bride herself to guests looking for the ideal gift, there’s something for everyone… and, what’s more, IT’S FREE!

Join Craft Central for a drink at the Special Launch Night on Thurs 21 March, 4-8pm Late Night Shopping on Fri 22 March, 4-8pm

Avoid the high street on Sat 23 March, 11am-5pm & Sun 24 March, 12-4pm

LOCATION: 33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1M 4DS

http://craftcentral.org.uk/craft-central-gets-hitched

More Info from Craft Central

Craft Central Gets Hitched returns for 2013… Give your wedding some character with unique, handmade products by almost 50 designer makers. Browse ready to buy products, commission your own piece or discover a bespoke service. Our designers are as excited as you are about your big day (well, almost!) so come and meet them!

We’ll help tackle those long wedding ‘to do’ lists! From ‘classic’ wedding essentials, to the slightly more unusual, handcrafted products include: Bridal fashion; Invitations; Millinery; Jewellery (rings in particular!); Gifts (such as Ceramics, Interior Products, Silversmithing); Father/Mother of Bride/Groom fashion and accessories; Bunting; Decorations; Floristry; Favours and table paraphernalia. Also, don’t miss hair and makeup demonstrations; scrumptious wedding cake solutions; music from DJs The Wedding Smashers; Rhapsody Road Photography’s pop up photo booth; gorgeous floristry by Flor Unikon and our wedding food market in St John’s Square.

It’s not only future brides and grooms who’ll appreciate Craft Central Gets Hitched. The entire guest list (from family and bridesmaids/groomsmen to the evening guests) will be thoroughly spoilt for choice…

For the Bride… Once the dress is sorted you can relax (well, it’s almost that simple!), so come and meet our couture bridal wear designers who will be showcasing stunning gowns. Not planning a traditional veil? Or fancy a unique headpiece to compliment the dream dress? We have an array of milliners with sumptuous vintage-inspired bridal hats and fascinators. Bespoke handmade shoes are the perfect finishing touch!

Don’t forget the Men… Our designers are on hand for all your wedding jewellery needs! Personalise wedding attire with handmade cufflinks and don’t forget the rings – you’ll find a super selection of wedding bands and engagement rings here!

The look and feel of the day… With beautifully designed invitations, bespoke bunting, favours and table decorations – we’re here to help!

The perfect wedding gift… There’ll be plenty of handmade options, including ceramics, silver smithing and other tempting products for the home.

The wedding party… Seeking a special gift to thank your bridesmaids? Our jewellery and accessories designers can provide affordable options.

Last but not least, the Mother of the Bride… With exceptional milliners on board, the fear of someone sporting the same hat as you becomes a thing of the past.

Almost 50 designers will be cherry picked to assist with your big day.

Area: UK   Britain   South East     London

Call for Artists! Registration is open for Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival – 13 – 21 July 2013

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Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival is a community arts festival celebrating the wealth of creativity in Medway. Now in its second year, applications are open to all Medway based artists to take part this summer.

The festival will take place from Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 July 2013 across the Medway towns, and promises to include work from a variety of art forms. Jewellery, sculpture, print, paint, and photography are all popular examples of work created in Medway that will be exhibited during the Festival. 16 venues and over 70 local artists took part in the first year of the festival in July 2012, many will be opening their doors again and inviting visitors to see their work and learn more about their craft.

Apply early and benefit from a reduced application fee. Applications received before 1 February will get 20% off. If you miss this deadline but apply between 1 February and 8 March there is a 10% discount. The final closing date for all applications is 26 April.

Full details about the Festival and how to apply can be found on the Festival website – www.medwayopenstudios.co.uk.

Area: South East    Kent    London

Cake International – 12th to 14th April 2013 – London

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Has your secret passion for pastry or craze for cake decorating taken over your day to day life? If the answer is yes, then Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show at ExCeL, London from 12-14 April is just the ticket. Celebrity bakers and TV personalities Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry and 2012’s winner John Waite will be opening and appearing at the show and meeting their thousands of fans in a question and answer session. As well as this, visitors to the show can discover their top tips and baking inspirations in the Bakery Theatre at the show.

Other features include over 80 exhibitors from across the globe offering cutting-edge cake decorating and baking supplies; Competition Classes for all ages and abilities; two Demonstration Theatres with the greatest talents from the UK and abroad; Paul Da Costa Greaves taking centre stage in The Bakery Theatre; Tracey Mann showcasing her latest project, a giant cake construction of Life Under The Sea; A Taste of Sugar Workshops for newcomers to sugarcraft and much more! Please visit www.cakeinternational.co.uk for more information.

FACT FILE

Cake International – The Sugarcraft, Cake Decorating & Baking Show

ExCeL, London

12-14 April 2013

Ticket Prices:

Adult £14.00 (£12.00 Advance Price)

Senior £13.00 (£11.00 Advance Price)

2 Day Ticket (Advance Only) Adult £18.00 Senior £16.00

3 Day Ticket (Advance Only) Adult £25.00 Senior £23.00

Children free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, otherwise £5.00

All advanced tickets need to be ordered by 5pm Mon 8 April

Book tickets online at www.ichf.co.uk or phone the Ticket Hotline on 01425 277988.

Follow on Twitter @thecakeshows or find on Facebook – Cake International

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts – 4th to 6th April 2013 – London

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Embrace the handmade and personal trend that is sweeping the nation by visiting Creative Stitches Hobbycrafts taking place for the first time at the ExCeL, London from the 4-6 April.

With over 100 exhibitors offering the latest craft inspiration and advice; a selection of stunning Jane Austen costumes; Catwalk Fashion Shows; advice and top tips in the Sewing Hub and Knitting Parlour; a free programme of quick and easy workshops, talks, demonstrations and much more! To find out more details, please visit www.ichf.co.uk.

FACT FILE

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts

ExCeL, London

4-6 April 2013

Ticket Prices:

Adult £10.00 (£8.00 Advance Price)

Senior £9.00 (£7.00 Advance Price)

Children free if accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket, otherwise £5.00

All advanced tickets need to be ordered by 5pm Mon 1 April

For more information please visit www.ichf.co.uk. Book tickets online at www.ichf.co.uk or phone the Ticket Hotline on 01425 277988.

Follow on Twitter @ICHFUK or like on Facebook – ICHF Events

Area:         South East        London

Writing, therapy and positive outcomes by Jane Ayres

photo by Jane Ayres
photo by Jane Ayres

When I was younger, writing poetry which described and explored my state of mind during major depression may have saved me from a nervous breakdown.  Artists and writers can, and do,  use their art as a form of self-therapy. Reflective writing with a purpose, intentional or otherwise.

Writing is how I express myself.  I can struggle with words when I speak.  Writing everything down first provides the chance to ensure clarity.  I’ve been doing it all my life.  Fiction, non-fiction, copy-writing, blogging, emails, to do lists……So why am denying myself this proven therapeutic tool now? When I am still coming to terms with losing both my parents to pancreatic cancer in the space of 6 months. Burying the grief, the profound, deep sadness. The anger.  Why do I feel uncomfortable writing about it?

I don’t have children of my own.  Years ago, my maternal instincts found an outlet through caring for a special, adored young cat and when I lost him, I channelled my grief and helplessness into volunteering and fundraising for the Cats Protection League.  Eventually I was able to write about it. Over the past year, I’ve raised funds and tried to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.  When I lose loved ones, I have a desperate need to find a positive outcome from all the tragedy.  It’s a useful way of focussing creative energy.

There is currently a high profile media campaign running which promotes the importance of cancer research.  What it doesn’t say is that not all cancers are equal.  To quote from the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund:

“Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers – just 3% of those diagnosed survive for five years. It is also the only cancer that has seen no improvement in this figure over the last 40 years.

Overall, half of all those diagnosed with a cancer now survive for five years or more. For many cancers, five year survival rates have increased hugely since the 1970s. For breast cancer – where large amounts have been spent on research – five year survival rates have increased from 50% to 80%.

Yet despite its high death rate and lack of improvement in chances of survival, pancreatic cancer attracts little research funding in comparison with many other cancers.”

Although I’m not yet ready to write about my feelings,   I’m glad that I can use what I write as a tool to raise awareness of issues that concern me which relate to my bereavement.  So if this results in even one reader making a donation to, or getting involved with, these charities, then the words have done their job.

Links:  http://pancreaticcanceraction.org/    http://www.pcrf.org.uk/

On therapeutic writing:  http://www.lapidus.org.uk/about.php

Jane’s recent e-book, Coming Home, is available from Amazon, with all author royalties going to the charity Cats Protection.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AGZV9WM

www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk

Medway Photo Festival – January 11th to 15th 2013

Photo Fest 2013

The Medway Photo Festival happens once a year in January and takes place in Rochester and Chatham. The photography exhibitions will all be open during the third week of January. Exhibitions will feature exciting new work from students in their 2nd year studying Photography as Contemporary Practice at the UCA Rochester.

EXHIBITION DATES and INFO

Sin City
Private view 11th January, exhibition open 11th – 17th January
Address: Nucleus New Art Gallery Chatham, 272 Chatham High Street, ME4 4BP

Nyctophobia
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th – 18th January
Address: Nucleus Art Centre, 75 Rochester High Street

Repeat to Fade
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th – 18th January
Address: 66 Rochester High Street,  ME1 1JK

Eyedentity
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th – 18th January
Address: Singapora Lounge, 51 Rochester High Street, ME1 1LN

Suddenly No
Private view 14th January, exhibition open 14th January
Address: 161 Rochester High Street

Close Your Eyes
Private view 15th January, exhibition open 14th – 17h January
Address: Sun Pier House, Sun Wharf, Medway Street, ME4 4HF Chatham

Novo Aspect


Private view 15th January, exhibition open 16th – 18st January
Address: 86 High Street Chatham, 1st floor

Paramnesia


Private view 15th January, exhibition open 16th January
Address: The Brook Theater, Studio room, Old Town Hall, ME4 4SE

For more information please visit www.medwayphoto2013.tumblr.com 

Get Into The Creative Industries With Creative Industries Pathways Programme – Medway

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Icon Theatre in Medway are running a special programme for people who are looking to get into the creative industries. The programme offers anyone who is unemployed (working less than 15hrs/wk) or economically inactive (e.g. a stay at home mum, full-time carer) the chance to work one-on-one with a creative industries mentor, to go on short courses, and develop a professional portfolio in order to improve career prospects in any creative industry.

Icon Theatre are funded by the European Social Fund and welcome anyone who lives in the Medway area. There are certain criteria for the programme, but people are encouraged to get in touch as there are a wide range of projects planned that are suitable for many people.

To find out more please contact Katie Charlton –  katie@icontheatre.org.uk

www.icontheatre.org.uk

Area: Medway   Kent    South East

Ideas Tap Offering Student Loan Repayment – £9,000 Available! – Closing March 2013

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Saddled by student debt? 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 explain to Ideas Tap  in 100 words or less what you could offer to IdeasTap’s network in exchange for the money. It could be an idea or a service, for example “This is how you could improve your site…” or “I’ll run this Spa event for your members…” ­ the more imaginative, original and feasible the idea, the better!

Find out more and apply by 29 March at www.ideastap.com/unifeefund

My Favourite Things – Free Creative Inspiration Event – 18th January 2013 – Rochester – PLUS Competition! Win a copy of Paintshop Pro X4

Favourite Things
“My Favourite Things” is an opportunity to discuss your favourite “things” to other people in a relaxed atmosphere over tea. Talk about things that inspire you, inspire others and build confidence in speaking in front of others so that you can express yourself better as a freelancer. For those that are shy please just come and listen and meet some other local creatives. If you are happy to present your favourite “thing” then just pick one “thing” and discuss it with others in the room. Be prepared for others to ask questions (you can always Google!)

Subjects could include books, films, music, art, food, animals, people…anything you love talking about. It is a free event, but we would appreciate if you book a ticket so we know how many people are coming!

You can book a FREE ticket here: www.favouritethings.eventbrite.com

The event will be held at:

161 High Street

Rochester

Kent

On the 18th January 2013 at 7.30pm

COMPETITION! Tell us what inspires you and why  – Our favourite answer will win a copy of Paintshop Pro X4 (for Windows)

Competition closes on the 1st February at 8pm.
Please note, our venue (http://coFWD.org/) is a very old bank building that is being slowly shaped by a community of individuals for long-term Community Interest. Sadly the startup project is in its infancy and being run on limited funds so the building currently has some accessibility issues. If you have specific access or disability requirements and would like to participate in an event or activity please let us know at least 5 days before the event date so that we can do our utmost to resolve any potential problems to accommodate.

Margate Based Marine Studios Launch Adventures in Comics Competition – deadline 25th January 2013

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Celebrating illustration, writing, making, sequential narrative, and all that is Comics, Margate-based Marine Studios has just announced the launch of its 2013 Adventures in Comics comic competition.

AIC3 is inviting UK-based creators to respond to their annual two-page-comic challenge. Simply create a 2-page-comic* in response to this year’s theme – The Great Tree.

All entries will be showcased in an exhibition and free printed publication in February 2013 and the winning entry will be judged by comics aficionado Paul Gravett.

To enter, send your 2-page-comic to:Kam@hkd.uk.com or RickAThkd.uk.com

The deadline for submissions: 25th January 2013

• Visit www.adventuresincomics.org to find out more. Previous AIC entries can be seen on our website and blog.

• Marine Studios Margate is at 17 Albert Terrace, Margate, Kent CT9 1UJ. Tel: 01843 282 219  info@marinestudios.co.uk. Web:marinestudios.co.uk

Creative Courses Being Offered For 2013 Through Canterbury Christ Church University

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Canterbury Christ Church University is offering the opportunity to study interesting creative subjects across its universities in Kent. Various short courses taking place during 2013 include the subjects of music, art and literature.

To take a look at the courses and to book please see the university website:

www.canterbury.ac.uk/community-arts-education/short-courses/spring-2013.asp