Valuing Arts and Culture In Medway and Kent – 22nd February 2018 – Gillingham

Valuing arts and culture in Medway and Kent-daytime workshops

Supported and funded by Medway Council’s Arts Development Team in partnership with Look Kloser Performing Arts Company. 

A day of creative workshops by some of Medway and Kent’s best practice arts led projects for health and wellbeing with and for the community.
22nd February 10am-4.15pm 

Suitable for students 16+, graduates, artists, and those interested in the role of the arts for the health and wellbeing of the community. An opportunity to experience current arts led projects available in Medway and Kent. 

When: 22nd February 2018, 10am-4.15pm

Where: Woodland Arts Centre, Woodlands Road, Gillingham, ME7 2DU

Birch room 

10-11- Natasha, Creatabot. Community focussed visual artist.

11.15-12.15 – Lance, Physical Folk. Using all art for all abilities, ages, cultures to share stories and skills.

2-3- Chris and Wendy, MESS ROOM. The MESS ROOM hosts artist led projects in partnership with local communities and beyond.

Ash dance studio 

11.15-12.15- Laura, Look Kloser. A workshop exploring how to make performing arts inclusive and open to all.

12.45-1.45- Georgia, Loop dance Company. Contemporary dance workshop.

2-3- Luci, Edna. Edna explore innovative and inclusive dance, music and movement activities for older people in the community.

3.15-4.15- Rebecca, Active Armchairs. Dance for older people in residential and daycare centres.

To book onto any of the workshop and for any queries please contact Laura King, lookkloser@gmail.com, 07809641214. 

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

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!)

Trans Voices Cover
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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Creatabot Creative Workshops

Natasha Web-5

Natasha Steer, Founder of Creatabot, is a Creative Practitioner and specialises in using creativity to improve health, wellbeing and the promotion of self care.

Workshops can include anything from hands on creative workshops to community consultations and environment design sessions. Clients so far have included MHS Homes, Medway Council, UCA, The Improving Mental Health Provision, The University of Kent, Medway Youth Trust, Mid Kent College, Langley House Trust, Rochester Farmers Market and Medway Youth Service, Her Majesty’s Prison Service, The Prince’s Trust, Ashford Borough Council, AMAT UK, Age UK, Medway Home Education, See & Create and Medway Youth Service.

To see if Natasha can help you with an event or group contact her on natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Recommendations can be seen on LinkedIn at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/natashasteer

Follow Creatabot on Instagram – www.instagram.com/creatabot/

Natasha has Enhanced DBS clearance with Medway Council and has been trained in Emergency First Aid At Work as well as Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid.

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Natasha actively recycles waste from her workshops and trys to use sustainable and recycled materials as much as possible.

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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Creatabot Funded To Run Project To Help Mobility impaired

CreataboX at Home

Application now open – see here.

Creatabot has been awarded funding from Creative People and Places (Medway and Swale) to run a brand new project aimed at helping people with mobility problems to still be involved in their local arts community.

CreataboX At Home will provide 50 people in Medway and Swale with materials needed to create small pieces of their own choice for the CreataboX Art Dispenser, which is present at many events in the local community. They will be given photos and videos from events so that they can see their contribution is appreciated in the community. 

Additionally if they are on occasion well enough to attend events, then transport will be provided, and they will also be given the opportunity to be given transport to local creative classes if they are able. People will also be given, if they wish, a Crafting Companion – someone who will visit them and provide company and encouragement whilst creating their chosen pieces.

MakingApart from various basic council/government/food services there is little in the UK to help people who are housebound feel involved in their local community, especially when it comes to local arts. Even from their own home they can contribute and be valuable to their local area, and the CreataboX At Home project will help make this happen. 

The project will also support those whose contact with their local community is limited due to mental and physical health conditions.

We will soon be releasing more details as to how people apply to be involved, in the meantime we would like to hear from people who would like to help support the project, especially those who are able to transport the CreataboX vending machine to events (petrol costs provided).

If you would like to help please email Natasha Steer on natasha@creatabot.co.uk 

CreataboX Creature

‘Trails of Thread’: Exhibition inside the ‘Adain Avion’ – The Mobile Arts Space Plane

The ‘Trails of Thread’ installation consists of artwork created during a series of Workshop sessions run by Llandudno based artist Wendy Couling. Working with the Textile-based group ‘Serentex’, including members of the Embroiderers Guild, and also a series of Masterclass sessions with members of the community. Using Wendy’s own work on perspex and aluminium as a starting point, the artwork is based on the participant’s collection of memories of Llandudno, and thus builds a connection between the fuselage of Adain Avion and the local landscape.

I was thrilled to be a part of the exhibition initially housed inside the DC plane that was the centrepiece of the Adain Avion project. The exhibition only lasted two hours and I was on hand to help with the install and take down, alongside our other studio-mates Gerallt and Toni. The exhibition then moved onto Mostyn Gallery where it will hang for two weeks [until July 25th].

Part of the London 2012 FestivalAdain Avion is one of 12 London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Artists taking the lead commissions to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in creative ways across the UK, and has been funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council of Wales. Adain Avion is Curated and Directed by Marc Rees, co-produced by Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University and receives additional funding from: Major Events Unit, Welsh Government; City and County of Swansea; Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Conwy Borough Council.

By Badge

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

‘Adain Avion’ mobile arts space lands in Llandudno

Photo by Marc Rees

On Sunday July 8th the fuselage of a DC aeroplane landed on the promenade in Llandudno, the third destination of the wingless plane’s “flight” around Wales, having previously nested in Swansea and Ebbw Vale, it will reach its final destination in August when it comes into land at the National Eisteddfod of Wales which in 2012 occupies a former airfield in Llandow, Vale of Glamorgan.

The wreckage of the DC-9 plane was discovered by Spanish sculptor and designer Eduardo Cajal in a scrapyard, having crashed with no fatalities, Cajal decided to transform the fuselage into a mobile arts space, his artist/architect led collective Trashumante finally unveiled Avion at the international art fair ARCO in Madrid. In 2009 Marc Rees was selected to represent Wales in the UK-wide project Artists Taking the Lead as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. His winning proposal was to bring Avion from its home in Huesca, northern Spain to travel around Wales. Rees acting as the planes Captain became the temporary custodian of this extraordinary sculptural object, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of its conception with an international cultural exchange titled “Adain Avion”.

Photo by Philip Andrews

Alongside “Captain” Marc Rees were 6 Stewardesses – The AAA Troupe [Adain Avion Attendants] played beautifully by ‘Kitsch ‘n Sync Collective‘ and decked out in dresses designed by Melyn Tregwynt  they performed routines around the plane, town and Mostyn Gallery creating a homage to the town’s theatrical entrepreneur Will Catlin who hired Pierrot groups and strategically placed them about town to publicise his shows. Will Catlin’s daughter Margot worked with dancer and choreographer Cai Tomos to develop a performance which took place on the site where Will once built her a roller skating rink.

Local Artists Nick Elphick, Tim Pugh and Wendy Couling staged exhibitions and workshops within the plane, and artists selected from the Helfa Gelf Open Studios Arts Trail took part in a sound and video installation. Aeroplane related films played on screens inside the fuselage and each morning the plane hosted a different fitness class.

The events, exhibitions and performances where all recorded and along with the footage from previous destinations will be edited to produce the planes ‘blackbox’ which will be presented by Marc Rees to the National History Museum at St.Fagans, Cardiff, where it will be archived in the Contemporary Folk Archive.

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By @badgemakesart

Area: Wales

Working For An Indie Record Label – Part 4: Making Sense Of Social Media – By Luke Crook

So, one of THE most important parts of being successful either as a band, a label or even a brand is how you connect with your fan base and demographic. Despite what people say, there are pretty much 2 major ways of getting in touch with your fan base to let them know what’s happening, Facebook & Twitter. Most of the courses I end up on are either about Social Media full stop, or have a massive section dedicated to it.

It’s all about social media. You can’t get away from it, try as you might. The problem is, both the main social media platforms operate completely differently so different strategies are needed. Twitter never changes. 140 unadulterated characters of text to use and abuse as best you can, tag people in it and share that Instagram photo of your dog with your sunglasses on (don’t deny it, we’ve all thought about it). Facebook allows you to present music, videos, photos, competitions and all sorts of lovely things internally (you don’t have to leave Facebook to see them), but the buggers keep changing the format every 4 months, and by the time you’ve worked it out, they sweep the rug out from under you and change it all. Not to mention all their restrictions on advertising inside the website. Don’t put anything in your bands cover photo that tells someone where to buy a product. Facebook will take your page down without telling you. By all means say its out or available though! They do however have some insanely good (albeit slightly 1984/Orwellian) marketing devices. We’ll get to that later.

There are, of course, other ways of engaging your fans. That lovely website you spent £4k on development and that amazing feature that no-one else has done yet for example. The problem is, you’ll find it very quickly becomes a holding page for you to link to from your Facebook/Twitter account (We were actually talking about this in the office after I wrote this). However, it is an amazing way to archive your work and keep things neatly organized in a way that other places don’t. A good example is your gig list. Myspace makes it looks ugly in my opinion and that puts people off reading it. Keep it on your website, drive a bit of traffic that way and lay it out in a way you would like to see it. It’s your website after all!

Also, lets not forget the newsletter. Now this is still pretty effective, just don’t ever look at the stats, they’ll depress you. If memory serves, the average for people opening the email sits at about 9% and the average people that actually click a link in your newsletter is about 2/3%. Most good newsletter systems will give you a link to your newsletter too, so you can share it around to people to read in their browser. Some will even allow you to link up your Facebook or Twitter (Starting to see a trend here yet?) so you can spread the word further. Completely customisable from layout to content, its yours to design and make.

Now the major advantage of Facebook is the marketing aspect. No other social media does it as well, so if you’re looking to make some money and sell some product, its the place to be. Their marketing ability is spectacular, if not slightly bloody scary. The beauty of it is, is that you can spend as little as you like on it. £5, see how it does. If it does well, pump some more money in. If it doesn’t, you’ve only spent a fiver. You can tailor it to a fine point too. Target people that like similar pages. Show the punter that their friend likes that page too. The scariest aspect of it though, is the way you can target advertise through keywords. There’s a little text box in the Ad’s section where you can tap in keywords that, if people mention it in their status, relevant Adverts will start appearing in their news feed. “Oh fudge, I broke my bike chain” will soon become a little square box on the right hand ad feed saying “Cheap bike repairs in Chatham”. Incredibly clever, but a bit creepy at the same time. (It’s worth mentioning that you can turn all of this off, but it’s a bit of a ball ache (surprise surprise). It’s your privacy, think about it.)

So there’s a bit of an intro into Social Media. You might notice its heavily Facebook based, but that’s where you have to most control over what you can do. Twitter is much more to the point, so it’s fairly straightforward. Facebook is where you’ll make money from driving sales.

Oh, a few final things in this whirlwind social media ride, which were in fact my point in writing a blog on the topic.

There’s a technique that has various names but I’ll call it The Rule Of Thirds here. It’s very simple, and will prevent you losing followers and likes (although its rather difficult to mass unlike things on Facebook. Another advantage…). Don’t constantly spam your demographic with messages to buy your wares. People will quickly grow tired of this, especially Twitter followers (Twitter followers are much less forgiving than Facebook Followers. They tend to be a lot savvier and will drop you like a stone). So the trick is to make roughly every third message a marketing one. Buy the album, get my tour tickets, blah. Every third is also a minimum. I try and go for every five or six personally. Don’t forget to reward either. Free tracks or posters or a personal video of the band saying “HI WERE ON TOUR!!!!!  *cough*to support our new album*cough*” work very well, people love them, and are technically marketing without shoving it in the consumers face. Also, keep it relevant and not stream of consciousness type barrage of messages.

Which leads me into my final point. Keep it personal. If it sounds like you are directly talking to that fan, they’ll like it more. Now, for a label or a brand I can appreciate that might be a bit tricky, but for an artist its imperative. Make it first person. I can’t stress this enough. You do NOT want to make it sound like someone is writing your tweets for you. Don’t con your fans. One of them will work out that you can’t have tweeted that, because you were either onstage or being interviewed live. They are much smarter than you think. If it is someone else doing it for you/them, set up a little system that lets the fan know when its you and with its you’re assistant (E.g. Tom Cruise. His Tweets end TC, his teams end TCHQ…I think. You get the point.).

So there you go. A quick, scatterbrained take on social media. Feel free to leave any questions below and I’ll try and dig the answer out of my seminar notes! I’ll come back later with another article about social media thats a bit more targeted, but this should (hopefully) get you moving in the right direction.

By Luke Crook

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

Introducing A New Creatabot Contributor – Badge – Artist

Badge is a unique artist from North Wales who has just joined us as a contributor. Badge will be interviewing creatives and talking about what is going on in his area. He was christened ‘Badge’ back in school for reasons unknown and adopted it as an alias for his artwork when he started college. We posed some questions to him so you can all get to know him better…

Badge, tell us more about your creative background…

Art was always by far my favourite subject in school, even in Primary School every project I did revolved around art. Towards the end of High School I’d become a bit disenchanted with it as a subject, it’d become very prescriptive so I never did an A-Level in it, and I almost went to university to study English Lit instead, fortunately I was convinced by friends to check out the art courses at the local college, and that’s where I ended up.

My time in Llandrillo College was amazing, I loved every second of it, and thankfully they prepared us well for the big bad world of art! I completed my Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Llandrillo and then nearly went onto uni to study something else I wasn’t sure about, so I took two years out from art education again, all the time filling up sketchbooks!

I then ended up back in the same college on the FdA in Art & Design – taking Fine Art as a major, loving every second of my time on the course and made some amazing friends and contacts! I topped that up with a nightmare final year at a university to give me the full BA hons.

What made you start making art?

I’ve always drawn/painted/coloured/made things ever since I can remember, I used to draw a family of teapots when I first started Primary School, and it quickly became second nature to draw and make things, I can remember begging for Skeletor’s Snake Mountain and the Thundercats Lair and never getting them so I built my own versions using cardboard boxes and papier-mache.  Fortunately my folks were both very encouraging of my creative side and approved of my ‘Art Attack’ approach to toy related dilemmas!

I also used to spend hours poring over encyclopaedias’ – usually reading up on things like natural disasters, cannibals and apocalypses – normal kid stuff! But it was also there I first realized that people actually made art for a living – and it was there the idea of becoming an artist set in.

As I got older I started to use art as a way of dealing with all the things floating around in my head, I used to have really bad nightmares as a child [no wonder considering the things I used to read!] and I’ve suffered with insomnia since I was little too, so dream and reality blur – art has been a great way to channel that and has proved a rich source of inspiration!

What career paths have you taken?

I’ve had ordinary ho-hum day jobs since I was 14 [cleaning hotels, retail, gardening etc] when I graduated I was fortunate to be invited to be part of an artist co-operative on the North Wales coast [Oriel Scala Artists Co-operative] complete with an artist run gallery. It quickly became a crash-course and very steep learning curve in maintaining a commercial gallery and community arts projects, I took on the marketing and online publicity – which having no real previous experience of was a true baptism of fire, but we banded together and I came out of it with far more confidence about myself and my artwork, and having a regular space to show/sell my work was a huge boost especially just after coming out of art school!

That experience helped me to secure a temporary position in the Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno working in the craft shop, and then to a permanent position as a gallery assistant, I’m still there as front of house and assisting on exhibition changeovers, and my studio which I share with 3 others from work and two from college is right next door – which comes in very handy! The studio [casc artist studios and project space] has a project space in the front which we use to stage exhibitions and workshops for ourselves and other artists, we’re hoping to develop its profile and make it a hub for the artistic community.

Who inspires you both locally and internationally?

We’ve got some amazingly talented folks in North Wales; I met an illustrator called Karen Cheung last year on the annual open studios trail and fell in love with her drawings of specimens in jar drawn in science museums and her quirky semi-autobiographical rabbit cartoons.

Bedwyr Williams is also a big favourite of mine; he mixes self-deprecating humour and observations of Welsh culture with installations and performances, I was lucky enough to be taught by him as a visiting lecturer in college.

Also…Glenn Brown, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Conor Harrington, Audrey Kawasaki, Frida Kahlo, Goya, Antony Micallef, Jenny Saville, Eelus, Mark Titchner, Derek Riggs, Ian Francis, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, the list is endless!

I tend to draw inspiration from a lot of places, music is big one for me I’ve always got music on in the studio, headphones on the bus home, and for each project I’ll make a soundtrack that I’ll listen along to whilst working and more often than not lyrics end up being used as titles. Popular culture, literature, fears and science also inform my work.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

The dream for me is to be in the financial situation where I can just be in the studio 7 days a week painting and making, but at the moment I need the day job, however I’m very lucky to work within the arts so it’s not too bad – I can network and get inspired/sketch whilst in work so it could be worse!

I’ve always said I want to help encourage the art scene in North Wales, we have a real variety of media and styles here it needs showcasing to a wider audience! So if I can somehow aid that I’d be very happy with myself

Can you recommend a creative website you love?

www.juxtapoz.com is a must! The magazine is also somewhat of a Bible to me!

www.myloveforyou.com is also great for finding quirky and unusual creative’s!

We are really glad Badge is working with us and we really look forward to hearing more about the creative scene in North Wales!

To find out more about Badge please visit :

www.badgemakesart.co.uk

Badge on Facebook

Badge on Twitter

Area – Wales

Introducing A New Creatabot Contributor – Jennifer Denty – Illustrator and Designer

We welcome a new contributor to Creatabot – Jennifer Denty is a freelance illustrator and designer from Hertfordshire and we are really glad to have her input on Creatabot. Jennifer will be posting articles about events and creatives in her area as well as the creative subjects that interest and inspire her. We asked Jennifer some questions to find out more about her…

So Jennifer, who inspires you?

That’s a big question!  I’m inspired a lot by what’s around me, people I encounter on a day-to-day basis, bits of conversations, vintage and retro design style.  Illustrators and artists wise, Quentin Blake, Mary Blair and Amano Yoshitaka. Mainly line artists that use bright and bold colours, I remember being awed by Naoko Takeuchi’s illustrative style when I was a lot younger.

Do you have any pets?

I personally have a Hedgehog, not the garden variety, an African pygmy breed.  But I also currently live with 3 cats and a dog (a time-consuming Malamute).

Any claims to fame?

I definitely invented the DVD player. I distinctly remember drawing a CD player that plugged into the telly..then the drawing mysteriously went missing, right before the DVD player came out!

Maybe you can predict the future…do you have any other predictions for future technology?

Haha! I do! I see a future filled with floating holographic signs stuffed full to the brim with advertisements, there will be no escape!

Whats planned in the not too distant future for you?

I’m in the process of creating a ‘Sew-Your-Own’ range, using some of the surface pattern designs I’ve created recently.  So I’m really wrapped up in getting that packaged up and finding stockists at the moment.

You can find out more about Jennifer at:

http://jenniferdenty.com

and

http://jenniferdenty.blogspot.com

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Area – Nationwide, London, South East

Developing Your Creative Writing – Free Short Course – Starting April 25th – Gillingham

Interested in creative writing, but not sure how to get going on your own? Perhaps you would like to join in with others to share ideas? Harness the power of the round and gain inspiration.

These sessions will provide you with some starting points for new pieces of writing, and some suggestions on how you might continue. There will be the opportunity to try out different techniques for writing stories and poems and have a go at creating some pieces, all in an informal and positive atmosphere.

The Creative Writing course will start on Wednesday 25th April, 6pm – 8.30pm at Brompton Academy, Marlborough Road, Gillingham, Kent ME7 5HT.

For further information or to book your place please contact Mary Murison on 01634 583536 or email marymurison@bromptonacademy.org.uk

Fashion On Trial – Presentation and Discussion -19th April – Rochester


FASHION ON TRIAL is all set for Thursday 19th April. It will be held at the Good Intent pub, John Street, Rochester, from 8pm (in the back bar, accessed via the garden). Come and join Medway Mutiny in the middle of London Alternative Fashion Week, for an evening of discussion and entertainment on the theme of…you guessed it…fashion. We’ll be talking about clothes, brands and nudity; plus there’s comedy, music and storytelling. Including, of course, the ever popular speed debating. And it’s free!

We’ll be hearing from Marta Patlewicz and Abigail Ziering-Dalmedo (fresh from taking part in Alternative Fashion Week herself) about the downside of the fashion industry. Kevin Elam makes the case for nudity. Sam Hall talks about tattoos, and there will be a rant against retro-ism.  Abigail will also be contributing on the musical side. There will be stand-up comedy from CO Jones and Mat Wills; and storytelling from Philip Kane.

Most importantly though, FASHION ON TRIAL is all about opening up a space for discussion and debate, a place where your voice can be heard.  So come along and take part in the most exciting forum in Medway.  Everyone who came to Love On Trial, in February, agreed they’d had a brilliant evening.  And hopefully we’ll get even better at this as we progress!

FASHION ON TRIAL is organised and hosted by Medway Mutiny, a loose collective formed in broad sympathy with the Occupy movement.  Newcomers are welcome to get involved with the collective, and with planning or participating in the On Trial events – just let us know that you’re interested.  If you have something that you’d like to promote at On Trial evenings – whether it’s an event or a cause – and have material (eg flyers) that you’d like to distribute – please turn up as early as possible so that your material can be included in our Goodie Bags, which everyone can take away with them at the end of the evening.

Look out for the next event after this, too.  MONARCHY ON TRIAL is due on Thursday 21st June – a good antidote to the Jubilee festival of sycophancy and forelock-tugging!  Keep an eye on the blog at http://medwaymutiny.wordpress.com for news and updates.

You can also contact Medway Mutiny direct by emailing medwaymutiny@btinternet.com.

Area – South East and London

Contemporary Art and Craft Fair – Henley on Thames – 22nd to 24th June 2012

The organisers of The Craft and Design Experience are once again staging their contemporary craft fair in June at The Henley Showground within the Hambleden Estate, near Henley on Thames. 

The Craft and Design Experience has earned an enviable reputation for selecting only the very best professional designers, artists and craftsmen and, with the resurgence in interest in designer crafts, the event is expected to be as popular as ever.  Visitors are able to shop for unusual contemporary items in a relaxing atmosphere, view a wide range of demonstrations or take part in various craft related workshops.  For children there will be a storyteller, a make and take area and lots more.

Work will be on sale from exhibitors working in many disciplines including furniture, textiles, jewellery, leatherwork, glass and more.   Design of the exhibitors’ products must be of the highest standard to be selected, and must show true innovation and originality ensuring only the very best in UK design is represented. 

Opening times are 10 am – 5 pm each day.  Advance tickets are now on sale at a reduced price or purchase on the door at £7.00 for adults, £6.00 for over 65s or children 5 – 16 £1.00.  For further information and advance ticket sales contact CDE Ltd on 01622 747 325 or visit the website at www.craftexperience.co.uk

Area – South East 

Attention Film Makers – Virgin Media Shorts Competition 2012 is Here!

Virgin Media Shorts is a leading short film competition for the UK and is open to all to enter. Now in its fifth year the competition is bigger and better than ever before giving even better opportunities for filmmakers. With an extra 13th spot on the shortlist they are ready to uncover the best film making talent Britain has to offer.

Entries will be judged and the top 13 entries will have their work screened at over 200 cinemas nationwide for a year. A Grand prize winner will be chosen by a top panel and this winner will get £30,000 funding to make their next film with the BFI.

There is also a Peoples Choice winner that will by selected by the general public through Virgin Media TiVo boxes, the Virgin Media Shorts app and through the Virgin Media Shorts website. The Peoples Choice winner will get £5,000 towards the making of their next film with BFI mentoring.

Entering the competition couldn’t be easier; simply upload your film (no longer than 2 minutes 20 seconds) to www.virginmediashorts.co.uk between 19th April and 12th July 2012. The concept is your choice so surprise us!

If you enter please let Creatabot know and we can add to the promotion of your entry in collaboration with Virgin Media Shorts!

Every entry will be showcased to thousands on the Virgin Media Shorts website, as well as through the iPad, iPhone and TiVo® apps – so even films that don’t make it to the final will get heaps of exposure.

For those who prefer watching films to making them, there are plenty of ways to get stuck in this year. You can vote for your favourite short, join the debate online, win prizes and come along to our swanky screening events. Plus for the first time ever, you can help nudge your favourite film into the spotlight with the ‘Lucky 13th’ place on the shortlist.

Previous judges for the competition include actor John Hurt (1984, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), director Paul Greengrass (Bourne Ultimatum), director Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), actor Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, The Usual Suspects) and director Duncan Jones (Moon).

The winners don’t just get their work seen by millions in cinema; they turn industry heads, too – 2009 winner Luke Snellin clinched a BAFTA nomination for his winning Virgin Media Shorts film ‘Mixtape’, and is now working on his first feature. Oscar Sharp, 2010 winner, was nominated for a BIFA for ‘Sign Language’ and his latest short, starring Olivia Colman, will be unveiled shortly!

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

Evolution Of Consciousness – Exhibition – 1st April to 31st May 2012 – Chatham

 

The UCA gallery in Chatham is holding a collaborative exhibition that explores how if we want to survive as a species on this planet we desperately need to develop our consciousness.

Artists featured include Allegra Ally, Augustinas Neslenas, Carolyn Birchall,  Curt Wilhelm Ostlund, Dane Horsley, Helen Butler, Joseph Webb, Luka Lukasik, Michal Janowski, Michael Turley, Natasha Steer, Philip Kane, Simon Pruciak, Vesko Nickolov and Winifred Baker.

The exhibition also features a short film by Mr Young called “The Moon The Eye”

Here is a sneak peak of the exhibition!

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The UCA pop up gallery is on the upper level of the Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham.

Area – South East

Artistic Solutions – Exhibition – 28th May to 2nd June 2012 – Historic Dockyard Chatham

Artistic Solutions is an exciting showcase of artworks by University of  Kent Fine Art students in their final year of study. The debates brought to issue show that this is just the beginning of the artists creative explorations. Through installation, film, sculpture, painting and drawings, they exhibit contemporary arguments and re-examine older ones, which narrate our 21st Century culture.

For more information please visit any of the following links –

Tumblr page is http://kentdegreeshow.tumblr.com/

Twitter page is https://twitter.com/#!/Kentdegreeshow

Area – South East

Celebrate Medway’s Creativity On 23rd June 2012

Medway is the centre of a flourishing creative community and on June 23rd the Nucleus arts centre in Chatham welcomes everyone to join them in the celebration of their 10th anniversary. The day of celebrations will run from 11am to 11pm throughout the town centre and will include a mixture of exhibitions, open artist studios, street performers and live music.

The Nucleus arts centre in Chatham, which resides next to the Trafalgar centre on the high street, opened its doors to a variety of artists in June 2002. Since then over 400 creatives have used the valuable work space to produce their work as well as exhibit to the local community.

10 years ago local sculptor Hilary Halpern found there was a limited amount of creative working space available in the Medway area. After speaking to local artists it was established that there was a great demand for such a place and this evidence was taken to Medway council and the arts council. These authorities gave the go ahead and Hilary found 272a/b in Chatham High Street which was the perfect building for the concept. Previously used for a number of businesses including a health food restaurant, bakery and even a builders yard, Hilary and his daughter developed the building into artist studios and exhibition space. A month after opening the Nucleus cafe was opened at the same site which added a social and community dimension to the studios.

Since then Nucleus has extended its studios in Chatham and also runs a shop in Rochester and Maidstone. In the future Nucleus want to hold more workshops and educational projects which can support more people within the community. They are also planning to involve themselves more in media such as You Tube and hope to soon have an online store for their artists.

See you on the 23rd of June for the anniversary celebrations!

About The Day

On the stage at the art centre there will be local bands playing for you for free until 8pm. They have a fantastic Stones tribute band, a Jazz band, Acoustic and Folk bands and alternative rock to keep you entertained throughout the day. They also have comedian Nigel Adams and book readings from Wolf Howard and Jim Hill at the Centre. There will be arts and craft stalls along their driveway and portraiture/cartoon drawings as well as face painting and Henna/glitter tattoos for the children.

The Rochester Coffee Company will have food and drink to keep you refreshed including an outside bar and a scrumptious BBQ!! 😎

Along the High Street at various times there will be performances by Circus Street Performers Jugglez and Street Theatre too.

In the Central Theatre between 1pm-4pm they will have the Kent County Choirs and Musicians, Walk Tall Theatre Group, Force 10 and dance groups Dance Alley and Medina Belly Dancers. All of these acts will be performing for you and the whole of this event is FREE.

Finally, upstairs in the Pentagon there will be theatre and dance acts from the Central Theatre performing for you between 1.30-4.30pm.

Here is a slideshow of how the Nucleus art centre has developed over the last 10years.

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Area – South East

Heroes and Villains: Poetry workshop for World Poetry Day – Strood – Kent

Saturday 24th March 2012

From Greek myths to fairytales, football to politics, TV to comic books: who are the heroes, who are the villains?

An inspiring creative writing workshop for new and established poets led by Maria C. McCarthy, author of Strange Fruits.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

10am to 12.30pm

 Strood library, Strood, Kent

Booking is essential for this free event by phoning 01634 335890

Area – South East

Potential New Community and Creative Centre – Chatham

A community group in Chatham have been looking for a new hub for their events and groups, and they have found just the place! The Magpie Tavern in Magpie Hall Road has remained abandoned for some time and the group is looking for extra funding through Natwest community force to get the place up and running. The pub has the potential of being a local hub for creative groups and events in the area so it is worth while that local creatives vote for the new centre at http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/440

UCA Gallery Workshops – Chatham

The UCA gallery in Chatham – Kent, runs various short creative workshops and talks for the local community.

The best way to keep up to date with these events is to keep an eye on their Facebook page.

For more information please pop into the gallery (Unit 64 Pentagon Centre) or email uca.popupgallery@gmail.com

Area – South East

False Realties – Exhibition by Christina Lai at UCA Gallery – Chatham – August to December 2011

Discover the curious world of False Realities, Christina Lai’s ceramics and mixed media art at UCA gallery near scenic historic Rochester, Kent. Having recently exhibited at New Designers in London, Christina’s work will featured in the newly opened gallery, along with artists of diverse mediums (painting, printing, sculpture, digital art, photography, fashion and textiles) from campuses of University for the Creative Arts.  Continue reading

Submit your work to ME4′s ‘Short and Nasties’

ME4 writers are looking for submissions for an upcoming horror project. Submissions should feature the Medway towns and be in one of four categories: slasher, creature feature, supernatural or psychological. They are looking for short stories, scripts or poems no longer than 1000 words.

Selected pieces will be recorded as a podcast and may be used at a live event.
Please submit in Word format to ME4writers@gmail.com by 31 August.