Ideas for action

Things you could do to promote What Next? Messages!


Ideas for action
Here is the list of ideas that we identified which we hope you might take on as an individual or within your organisation, or wider through networks and beyond:

1. Co-chair the next six week block (dates needed: 19 and 26 Nov)
2. Use ACW’s advocacy infographics:
3. Take part in WN? Grid message 4 when announced
4. Offer to curate @cardiffisyours –
5. Stand as a school governor or local councillor
6. Have contact with other sectors via networks (eg health, business, voluntary, local communities, education (schools, teachers, students, etc), politics, etc)
7. Speak at Ignite Cardiff
8. Speak at TedX Cardiff
9. On the street engagement (eg the Stute)
10. Online – something like #24hourculture
11. Invite people to join Wed group and tweet/ fb/ blog etc
12. Write to or meet with councillor, AM, MP, MEP
13. Support another…

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Parting – art through psychosis – at King’s Place

Sounds like an amazing show that combines two on my passions!

Mind Hacks

If you’re in London on Sunday 16th March, there’s an amazing stage show at King’s Place about psychosis called Parting .

The performance has been created by talented twin sister composers Effy and Litha Efthymiou and, along with folks with first-person experience of psychosis, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with them during the development of the piece.

I met Effy and Litha when they asked me to give some input into the 2008 play Reminiscence about life through memory and temporal lobe epilepsy, and it’s been brilliant working with them again

This work is quite different, spread across five stages, and includes dance, video, two sopranos, theatre, a string quartet and a range of other musicians and is inspired by everything from personal experience to clinical case studies of people experiencing the world through altered beliefs and perceptions.

New contemporary art music, dance, theatre and film come together to…

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Valuing work with young people

In the UK we can be complacent about the fact that most arts organisations see it as essential to undertake education work alongside their main productions. Despite this commitment, most of the work that happens through education and participation departments still comes secondary and is not celebrated or marketed to the same level as the main programme. 

However, it has been wonderful to see two projects celebrated through award nominations in the last two months. Opera North’s flagship participation project, In Harmony, has been awarded the award for Best Classical Music Education Initiative at the Music Teachers Award for Excellence.The project focuses on one primary school in Leeds, aiming to aspirations and learning outcomes for children through an immersive programme of high quality music tuition.

Welsh National Opera Youth Opera production Paul Bunyan was nominated for the recent Sky Arts South Bank Awards in the opera category, alongside Written on Skin and Peter Grimes. Despite not winning, this was a major achievement, as this was the first time a youth company had ever featured in any category at the South Bank Awards. 

 We exist in a political system that appears not to value the contribution that the arts make to society, and budgets are being slashed across Europe. But these award nominations signal a shift in the way that youth and education work is being viewed by the mainstream. There are research projects under way in the UK exploring the value of culture, and the health sector is now recognising the contribution arts can make to health and well being. It seems that, despite politicians taking the opposite view, society does believe in the value of participation in the arts. 

For those of us who work in arts education and participation, it is time to stand up and be loud and proud about what our projects and initiatives achieve. Rigorously measuring and evaluating impact is important, but it’s the personal stories of transformation, profile through award nominations, and the use of social media to share good practice that will help the work we do to seep into the public conciousness. It should be the right of every young person to have the chance to get involved in high quality arts activities. And the art that they make should be recognised and valued.

Rhian Hutchings, Director of Youth & Community, Welsh National Opera