Reflecting on glass!

We have been sinking deep into the sofa in the evenings to follow the craft, technique and skill offered to viewers in the BBC 2 broadcast The Repair Shop.

Myglassroom, Surinder Warboys course in stained glass
Artistry, craft technique and civility – the perfect workshop course…

As well as offering craft and artistry of the highest calibre, the programme is the perfect antidote and respite  from a stressful day at the office, that meeting you regret or that article idea that will not congeal yet in a tired mind.

In Mellis, Suffolk the workshop at Myglassroom is offering the opportunity to engage with this craft and artistry in stained glass creation.

Myglassroom: a studio committed to achieving excellence in contemporary architectural stained glass, conservation & restoration. Established 1990 by Surinder Warboys, Stained glass artist and conservator’.

Architectural Stained Glass /Painting on Glass Courses

One day taster sessions in painting and staining:

Saturday 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th Sept. 2018    10am – 4pm  IP23 8EE

You can discover more about Surinder Warboys one day courses, contact the workshop for details of fees applicable and to see the work of recent ‘glass’ students…see more at http://www.myglassroom.com/index.html

The essayist Robert Louis Stevenson said that ‘…no man lives in the external truth among salts and acids, but in the warm, phantasmagoric chamber of his brain, with the painted windows and the storied wall‘.

What better than a trip to Mellis in glorious Suffolk, in order to craft your own idea?

(…whatever your gender…Ed.)

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Disturbing the Beast – revisited

Boudicca Press - logotype image and web link
Discover the new work here…

We recently featured the work of Boudicca Press, in promoting new writing for women and in their current process of coagulating new pieces to publish under the banner of Disturbing the Beast.

Disturbing the Beast is a collection of weird fiction stories by some of the best women writers in the UK, featuring Kirsty Logan, Aliya Whiteley and other talented up-and- coming writers. It’s the debut collection from the new literary press, Boudicca Press, who celebrate the strength, courage and literary talents of women.

Great news. Disturbing the Beast Kickstarter launches 3rd September: Weird fiction
stories from some of the best women writers, including Aliya Whiteley, Kirsty
Logan and more.

Distrubing the Beast - cover image from Boudicca Press
The cover image for great writing! Support the work here…

The anthology will be funded by a Kickstarter campaign which launches on Monday 3rd September 2018 with a target of £2500.

Submissions, however, are still welcome from women writers until Friday 14th September. It is intended that the ultimate publication date for the work will be early in 2019.

See more here.

 

Boudicca is keen to unearth challenging subjects in a healthy and respectful way, something that they feel is not often considered in mainstream, contemporary literature. The work is intended to celebrate women’s voices in the weird fiction genre, in a publishing industry where they feel women are under-represented.

Do support this great women’s writing initiative and look for Boudicca Press and Disturbing the Beast on Kickstarter, from Monday 3rd September 2018.

 

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Arts & Business news

Cambridge Open Art Festival 2018 - image and web link
Read our original article here…

Just updated: 17th September 2018

Open Art Exhibition 2018 - catalogue image and web link
Exhibition catalogue available here…

This great exhibition is almost upon us. You can view, print or download the full exhibition catalogue here.

 

We recently ran an article on our pages about the Cambridge Open Art Exhibition 2018. Well the deadline for the submission of artwork for this year’s event is very close.

We have published the key dates, courtesy of the Open Art team, below. Don’t rush, but safely head towards the deadline at a good speed. Good luck too!

 

Key Dates for Artists:
Artwork entry/image deadline Friday 17th August 2018

Delivery of Artwork to Swavesey Village College:
Thursday 11th October 2018 between 4.30pm and 7pm

Collection of Unsold artwork:
Sunday 14th October 2018 between 4.15pm and 5.30pm

Exhibition Dates:
Preview Friday 12th Oct 6.30-9pm
Saturday 13th Oct 10am-5pm
Sunday 14th Oct 10am-4pm
at Swavesey Village College CB24 4RS

Read more about this energising, artistic project here.


SupportingCambs - image and web link
See more here…
Thirdsectorweb, our community web delivery arm, has been having a bit of a tidy up. We have been cleaning up some of our web assets, some of which, although worthy, now need refreshment.
 
 
Seeded and grown by a community interest company called ABMEC, our Partnership has continued to fund and maintain their web site and content.
 
The CIC Registrar dissolved the company in August 2015. We would now like to add two new categories to the list of featured content – which is being updated again as we write.
 
We now want to add two new buttons – The Arts and Enterprise/Business to the pages of Supportingcambridgshire.com
Partly to illustrate hope, activities which cast forward and stimulate creativity – as a break from engagement with crisis. We recognise that not all newly arrived residents fit this category, of course.
 
The Arts can include any welcoming, inclusive creative activity that supports newly arrived or minority community members.
 
Enterprise/Business can be services, free at the point of delivery, which will add to the enterprise creation expertise and knowledge of our communities of interest.
 
If you have a group, or project, that welcomes any new arrivals or BME community members in these categories, drop us a line and we’ll add it to our community gazette.
 
If you write a 100 words or so to tell us what you do, that would be great too. We will support contributors by using our publication skills to develop and promote the work of groups.
 

 

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Women’s Weird Fiction – Disturbing the Beast

Boudicca Press, creators of brave and powerful writing from women of weird fiction, are calling for submissions for their short story collections.

They are seeking…

  • Strong female-led stories
  • Stories that are filled with carefully considered, breath-taking prose
  • Stories that contain depth and reflection
Weird fiction from Boudicca Press - by women for all readers - image and web link
Weird fiction from Boudicca Press – by women for all readers – see more here!

Boudicca are encouraging female writers to submit original work, which involves lesser talked about female-centred topics such as sexual abuse, pregnancy issues and body image. ”Your work should be fiction, and not so on-the-nose of the issue”.

   You can find the Boudicca submission guideline here.

You must submit, as indicated, by Friday 14th September, 2018


Editors Note:

“Boudicca Press celebrates the strength, courage and literary talents of women. We publish weird, literary and relationship fiction by women in the UK.

We love strong female-led stories filled with breath-taking prose, in the genre of weird, literary and relationship fiction. Stories that stay with you. Stories that are reflective and deep. Stories that empower women“.

Source:  https://boudiccapress.wordpress.com/

Good luck and get writing today and we look forward to seeing your stories published. Congratulations to Boudicca Press for an empowering literary initiative…The team at conversationsEAST.

Enlightenment in the East of England

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Cambridge Open Art Exhibition 2018

Exhibition Dates: 12th to 14th October at Swavesey Village College

Cambridge OPen Art Exhibition 2018 - image and web link

Call for entries Open Tuesday 12th June 2018 – see below for details:

# Updated: July 12th, 2018  – ”We had a very fast sign up to this year’s exhibition in October and the exhibition is now full. Many thanks to all artists who have applied this year – we are set for another exciting exhibition.

There are tables still available for selling cards, small gifts and unframed prints on the Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday daytime at £15 per day for exhibiting artists and £25 per day for non exhibiting artists”.

    See full details of tables, waiting list and entry here


Exhibition dates and times:

Friday 12th October 6.30 – 9pm               Preview and Prize giving

Saturday 13th October 10 – 5pm             

Sunday 14th October 10 – 4pm                            

You may enter artwork on-line from Tuesday 12th June. The exhibition is non-selective. Only the first 270 artworks entered can be accepted.

The Closing date for Entries is Friday 17th August or earlier if fully subscribed.

Source: https://coax.org.uk/2018/05/conditions-of-entry-2018/

The Cambridge Art Awards, emerging from the exhibition, will give the top twenty artists selected the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Storey’s Field Centre, Cambridge during December 2018.

There will also be a Best in Show Prize available of £300, three runner-up prizes and a Win A Picture draw for visitors, the the value of £150.

You can find all the conditions for entry, fees and ‘get in and get out’ for the exhibition here:  https://coax.org.uk/2018/05/conditions-of-entry-2018/


About Cambridge Open Art:

The open art exhibition is owned and run by volunteer artists, to promote art, artists and well being through exhibition, education and participation.

It is a not-for-profit, self-funded organization run by volunteers.  Presently the volunteers are assisted by the local Arts Development Manager at Swavesey Village College. We are actively seeking business sponsorship to support the exhibition. We work with a charity partner and are hoping to gain a media partner“.

See more at: https://coax.org.uk/who-are-we/


If you are already preparing your palette good luck from us all at conversationsEAST.

Enlightenment in the East of England

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Once Upon A Festival – Suffolk Libraries

We love libraries!

 

 

 

 

In 1851 J.W.Hudson, speaking at the opening of the Mechanic’ and Apprentices’ Library in Liverpool, opined that a visit to the library would, for the reader, lead to them ‘…receiving cultivation, not in reading the latest accounts of mis-demeanours and local calamities…but in imbibing instruction and high gratification from the perusal of select and valuable works whether they lead him with the traveller, across the pathless tracts of oceans, or cheer and console him, with moral sketches of human nature’.  (Source: Mid-Victorian Britain 1851-75, Geoffrey Best, Fontana Press, 1985, London, p.232)

Once Upn a Festival button, image and web link
See more about the Festival here…

Whilst the publicly accessible library, after nearly a century or more of rising literacy in our country would then clearly stir the intellectual interest of Everyman (and Everywoman and Everychild too – Ed.) the message is still clarion today, stimulating the autodidact to seize the high ground of undiscovered knowledge and learning.

The adult, or child reader, will today find a mesmerising range of interests available at their local library that carries the long echo from that opening event in mid-nineteenth century Liverpool. Experience is still to be garnered for the mind, in the face of closures, funding cuts and, perhaps, even a topical turn away from the intellect towards ‘accounts of mis-demeanours and local calamities‘.

Suffolk Libraries web button - image and web linkSuffolk Libraries, during June 2018, are teaming up with Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds to host five performances as part of the ‘Once Upon A Festival’ children’s arts festival.

The Suffolk Libraries festival programme looks like this:

Once Upon a Festival: Pied Piper

Sat 16 June – 1045 to 11.30
Bury St Edmunds Library

‘When the Pied Piper plays his flute the rats run, the greedy mayor rubs his hands and the children dance… Norwich Puppet Theatre’s humorous and irresistible one-person show combines a skillful mix of puppetry, foot-tapping music and storytelling and will have audiences young and old entranced’.

Once Upon a Festival: The Children in the Moon

Sat 16 June – 1430 to 15.15
Newmarket Library

‘The Children in the Moon is a wonderfully visual and original take on centuries old children’s verse, packed with puppetry and live music this is an ideal show for all the family. Tickets for this show are £1 per child’.

Once Upon a Festival: Graffiti Classics

Wed 20 June – 1530 to 1630
Newmarket Library

‘6 strings, 8 dancing feet and 4 voices with 1 aim: to make classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating for everyone, young and old. Graffiti Classics burst the elitist boundaries of the traditional string quartet with their hilarious all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy show’.

Use the Suffolk Library links to check out these gems of ‘library performance’ and kick-start the 7 to 13 year old auto-didact in your family today.


Context and Editor Notes:

Libraries and the Arts are deeply embedded in our culture and history. By the 1680’s, in England, libraries were growing more common, from the large installation in the affluent country house, to ‘the more modest bookshelf in the yeoman’s farm‘. Public libraries, as we might understand the term, were extremely rare outside Oxford and Cambridge.

In 1684, the Rector of St. Martin’s in the Fields, working with Christopher Wren, set out to build a library ‘for public use’. The Rector and Wren built a large house in the grounds of the churchyard, using the upper story as an accessible library and the downstairs as a ‘workroom for the poor’.

Thus beginning, arguably, the long tradition of the library as a multi-use space, feeding the individual mind, raising community social capital and road-mapping the way to the intellectual horizon.

Everything we might want today.

(Source: English Social History – Chaucer to Queen Victoria, G.M.Trevelyan, Penguin Books, London, 1978, p. 279)

Once Upon A Festival is now in its fourth year and aims to make performance art more accessible in theatres, schools and communities by taking the performances to children in their school or community. For more information visit www.onceuponafestival.co.uk   

Melissa Matthews, Suffolk Libraries Art Programme Co-ordinator, says: “We’re delighted to host these events. Once Upon A Festival delivers high quality dynamic performances from a variety of companies and libraries are a great place to host exciting events like this in the community. We want to deliver more events like this as part of our Arts programme to open up new and accessible arts experiences for children and young people.”

(Source: Suffolk Libraries Press Release, June 2018 – https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/news/once-upon-a-festival/ )

Love your library, whatever age it is – we do!

Enlightenment in the East of England

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Artist in Residence, Culture LAB: Arts in the Community

We publish a continuous arts job feed here:

Ipswich County Library

Week-long, mixed media residency working in partnership with METAL

Sullfolk Libraries web button 4 - image and web linkMonday 30 July – Friday 3 August 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘As part of Year 1 of the Suffolk Libraries Arts Programme, we are inviting Suffolk artists to take over the top floor of Ipswich County Library to explore the role creativity plays as catalyst for nurturing confidence and well-being in young people’.

Source: https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/about/jobs/ipswich-artist-in-residence/

In April 2018, Suffolk Libraries were awarded NPO status by Arts Council England. Following the residency, artists may be approached by Suffolk Libraries to be commissioned to deliver pilots of their projects from September 2018.

Discover this arts opportunity, and others, on our regularly updated arts job news-feed here.

See the job description, duration, remuneration and audience focus for the work. Check back regularly for updated feeds on arts-centred employment in the East of England. See more here.

Enlightenment in the East of England

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JDRF Cambridge – Gala Dinner 12th June 2018

It has been a busy last quarter and we have not featured  JDRF, our favourite charity here at conversationsEAST.

JDRF Dinner table image and web link...
Discover more details here…

With a sparkling fund-raising event, a Gala Dinner, pending at Madingley Hall, University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education this article rectifies our omission.

This gourmet event will, in the surroundings of 16th Century Madingley Hall, afford you an opportunity to eat well in convivial company, but also to catch up on JDRF’s latest research and to hear how your funds are spent seeking a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

Book your table here 

 

 

Event details: Tuesday 12th June 2018 – 7pm to 11pm – CB23 8AQ

(For further details you can contact Celia Joseph at cjoseph (at) jdrf.org.uk  – there are opportunities for Partnership tables, where your company or organisation can benefit from a collaborative approach to the event.)

  You can download an event leaflet with venue, date and programme details here.

About JDRF: 

 ‘There are currently 400,000 people in the UK with type 1 diabetes, over 29,000 of them are children. We are committed to eradicating type 1 diabetes and its effects for everyone in the UK with type 1, and at risk of developing it.  To work towards a day when there is no more type 1…’ read more here.       Source:  https://jdrf.org.uk/about-us/


The team at conversationsEAST and SmithMartin LLP are proud to be recognised as supporters of the good work that JDRF undertake.

Book your ticket, enjoy a fabulous event and support a lifesaving cause too. Thank you.

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Finnish art in the Public Domain

The Finnish National Gallery has made twelve thousand works of art available in the Public Domain. Free to use, they are licensed and distributed under the CC0 license.

Not all of the Finnish national holdings have been released, but this substantial artistic trove can be deployed for teaching, as well as research and for commercial use.

An arts journey in the Public Domain courtesy of The Finnish National Gallery

This featured image, entitled  Sarjasta Suites francaises 2 (1999): Léscapade á bicyclette, by Elina Brotherus is an example of the contemporary works that can be found on-line. See more here

You can search the Finnish National Gallery archives by artist/creator, date, theme and technique using the search pages here.

Finnish artists like Helene Schjerfbeck, Albert Edelfelt and  Hugo Simberg represent home land creativity. However, you can also find internationally famous artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch.

The Finnish National Gallery also makes the collection meta-data freely available as an API, so that you can add standardised biographical data to your web installation or application, if using the API. See more details here

We like the international flavour, and the wide variety of images, contained within such a flexible license, immensely. We know that we will be using this resource in our creative projects in the future.

Other freely licensed image collections are available. We have added a flavour of the resources below.

Bravo Finland and its artistic freedom!


Other Public Domain Art resources:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York Public Library – Digital Collections

Public Domain Archive

Getty Museum – Open Collection

Yale University Art Gallery

A Euoropean art resource to be savoured can be found on the web pages of Europeana – see https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/collections/art

Europeana also offers its readers a very sound Public Domain Charter – helping users of Public Domain works to better understand and deploy items in their own works. We recommend it.

See more at… https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/rights/public-domain-charter.html

 


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Whither libraries?

Too old, too big…too little used?

Article update: 28.10.2017  – A really sound article on the utility of libraries by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett –  No one needs libraries any more? What rubbish  from The Guardian of Thursday, 26th October, 2017.

In it Cosslet takes to task the political pundit Andre Walker, for his omnipotent vision of the library service in the UK. Namely that no-one visits them anymore and they should all be closed down and the books given to schools.

Is there something Presidential in this decimation of the library service by Twitter?

Rhiannon goes on to thread her story with her use of the public library when young – developing intellectual curiosity, cultural awareness, knowledge of the world and taking up the rich opportunity public libraries offer to graze the landscape of the word, six books at a  time.

We recommend the article to our readers.


Original text: In the Spring of 2015 the Adam Smith Institute published an article entitled ‘The End of Local Authority Libraries‘. As the economic ice age of Osbornian austerity descended upon us, the Press was full of cultural turbulence about the closure and operational rigidity of our national literacy assets.

Although the general  Press attention has diminished, it is telling that the dilution of the library service has continued unabated, albeit with increasingly diminished media currency, as we have been further overwhelmed by matters of political moment in and about Europe, perhaps.

View, print or download the full report here…pdf

Central government, arguably, remains enthusiastic and espouses a positive vison for the library service. The recent report Libraries Deliver: Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021 from the Libraries Taskforce, is almost entirely upbeat about the half decade ahead. They offer a vision of a multiplicity of supported delivery systems for a local library in section 6.3 of the report.

The website Public Libraries News, in July, declared that now ‘there are at least five hundred libraries that are staffed, if not entirely run by volunteers’. On the one hand, this is a sign, we would argue, that there is profound suport for the local library at grassroots level. But it is also a sign, looking at the plethora of continual changes and negative reviews of library services across the country on the website, that there is no clear, effective and equally profound form of new governance emerging for libraries.

One that, at once taps into localism, yet satisfies the need for an eclectic and near universal access to knowledge and leisure, free at the point of delivery for those who need it most.

The trade union Unison are to hold a National SOS Day on the 19th of October, 2017. Save our Services is designed to show that ‘...libraries are a hub and a haven in our communities. They offer a place for people to work, relax, discover and think.They are a source of local knowledge and history and give everyone access to books, DVDs, music and more, for free or at a very low cost.

But libraries also do a lot more than lend books. Many hold events, anything from story time for children to yoga classes for adults. Library workers help people look for work, advise on using IT, organise talks by authors and so much more‘.

Source: https://www.unison.org.uk/blogs/2017/08/sos-day-17/

The debate, then, continues to have currency. The Adam Smith Institute argued, in its article by Eamonn Butler, that the free market was the solution to the ‘library deficit’ issue, as to be expected. That exemplars of library innovation, in the shape of American organisations such as Library Systems and Services, were to be the saviours of a moribund library market.

However, research shows that the accession of LSSI to the pinnacle of library stewardship has not been entirely successful in the USA. An earlier article in the New York Times shows how both library staff and users, even in the more affluent cities where LSSI has obtained contracts, have been happy to lead protests. Dissenting voices to the ending of  unionised services, diminution of book stocks and antagonism towards the ethics of ‘libraries for profit’.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/business/27libraries.html

The City Library, Birmingham

The Butler argument, from the Adam Smith Institute, saw the then new Birmingham City Library building as an example of ossification of service. The £188 million building began to operate on a ‘self-funded’ basis for events, for example, in the context of author events or arts activity. Both previously seen as draws to footfall for the library service. Indeed key activities in a wider cultural obligation for libraries, we would argue.

However, debate about the capital cost of a building in austere times is one thing, but the Institute author’s position somewhat fails to recognise that it is free market policies which have led to the very fiscal landscape that has so diminished the library service.

If a library is battered by exogenous fiscal policy upheaval, it is somewhat unfair to blame the librarian for lack of service, or diversity in activity, surely?

Is there hope for change? We think so.

We were pleased to see that there is widening acceptance by Councils that the community should have control of libraries as a community resource. At the beginning of August, for example, Derby City Council declared for the cessation of control of ten libraries, which will see ‘…the loss of at least 39 library assistants’ jobs and two library managers, of almost 100 staff who work for the authority. Community groups will get £17,500 a year each to fund their own managed libraries until 2022…’

Source: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/attempt-stop-biggest-ever-shake-265614

What is concerning, in this case, is the timetable and the level of grant in aid ceded to the community organisations in the City, to effectively manage the transfer and creation of a new community organisation to deliver the service.

More positively again, Bury Council this month have approved a new community asset transfer plan. ‘The new policy means applications from groups to buy community assets from the council will be considered against ‘key tests’ designed to ensure a deal which is best for the council and residents‘. The landscape of community opportunity grows!

Source: http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/15439093.New_policy_hopes_to_make_it_easier_for_groups_to_take_ownership_of_council_buildings/

However, it is entirely possible, we would argue, to imagine the creation of community libraries as Social Enterprises, where the not for profit governance model delivers a mix of volunteer and employee led services, bolstered by an admixture of social business services to support and maintain the core library provision.

A community cafe, a learning centre, a gardening or horticultural project…the list could easily be imaginatively extended by a dynamic, active community. The whole focused upon the creation of ‘…a place for people to work, relax, discover and think‘, to remind us of the Unison observation.

If the trade union are having an SOS Day, why do we not start a new think-tank movement, LASER – Libraries as Social Enterprise Renewal.

Write to conversationsEAST if you are interested in social enterprise, passionate about libraries and learning and keen to develop governance-sound, community led, not for profit library buildings.

We’ll publish a web site, host a meeting and give the idea traction?


Additional narrative – 20.08.2017

Read more here…

We have just come across a recent article in Wired by Susan Crawford, where she argues for a resurgence in phiilanthropy to revitalise the library service.

In the text, in response to a recent tweet by Jeff Bezos asking for suggestions about a new shape for his giving, she argues for an Amazon/Bezos programme of giving to libraries.

Developing Jeff Bezos’s current long term view of his ‘social investments’ towards, arguably, a philanthropic delivery that would cater for the short and the long term. Mr. Bezos describes his search for a new intitiative ‘…to help people in the here and now’. Our new library programme, as described, would do that, but also cater for the long term too.

Namely a series of Amazon Memorial Libraries, or Bezos Community Cultural Centres, would benefit the communities they were placed in, but they would also create new readers and enhance human capital in the hinterland of their sites, as well as delivering a major philosophical boost to the image of Amazon as a socially beneficial company.

You can read Susan Crawford’s piece on the pages of Wired here.

We understand Jeff Bezos reads every email sent directly to him. We’ll write to Mr. Bezos and make a suggestion supporting a new philanthropic venture into the British library landscape, and explore the models that might be created.

We would argue that history has been kind to the Carnegie model of library establishment, why should not future generations look as kindly upon Jeff Bezos?

Watch this space for an update, even if we don’t get a reply!


Useful links to accompany this article:

Library over-watch!

http://www.publiclibrariesnews.com/

Use it or lose it! – The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/16/library-use-in-england-fell-dramatically-over-last-decade-figures-show

City Library Birmingham: Image by Gareth Williams - Creative Commons

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