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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Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2018

Festive felicitations from everyone in Cambridge UK…

It has been a hectic quarter in the run up to the end of an already busy 2017. At SmithMartin Towers we are working hard to get back to our regular publication rythm for ConversationsEast in the New Year.

You can discover what we have achieved in terms of social enterprise development, literacy projects and all our usual books for children activities on our Partnership home page here.

Best wishes to all our readers and subscribers for the coming year…

The ConversationsEast team.

Christmas Tree icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com

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Making new friends in Europe?

European Week of Regions & Cities
Brussels 9-12th October 2017

European Week of Regions & Cities Brussels 9-12th October 2017
European Week of Regions & Cities Brussels 9-12th October 2017

A wide ranging sequence of workshops and event in Brussels, that will attract academics, poiticians and business organisations. We think there are elemental workshops that those of us, working in the social economy, will find useful.

Particularly useful is the opportunity to build new networks of contacts ahead of the social, political and economic schism that awaits us in the UK.

Apply online NOW!

Who should take part?

The European Week of Regions and Cities and its workshops, debates and networking activities are addressed to:

  • members of the European Committee of the Regions, members of the European Parliament and national, regional and local politicians;
  • European, national, regional and local government officials and experts in the field of managing and evaluating cohesion policy programmes;
  • representatives of private companies, financial institutions and European and national associations;
  • journalists from European, national, regional and local media outlets;
  • researchers, PhD or masters students and practitioners in the field of European regional and urban policy.

The typical participant is from the regional or local administration and new to the event, and is travelling to Brussels specifically for the event.


Discover now the 130 workshops, networking events and project visits organised in Brussels as part the 15th European Week of Regions and Cities!

Under the headline ‘Regions and cities working for a better future’, the programme tackles three main themes:

  • Building resilient regions and cities – #LocalResilience
  • Regions and cities as change agents – #TakeAction
  • Sharing knowledge to deliver results – #SharingKnowledge.

28 partnerships of regions and cities, 14 Directorates-General of the European Commission, several networks, associations and other institutions have partnered up for it. The Opening session takes place on 9th October in the European Parliament.


You can see the registration information and register on-line here.

An example of workshops across the event include:

  • The regional dimension of inequality: territorial policy responses in a rapidly changing economic environment
  • Territorial cohesion in the ’Brexit era’
  • Communities as change agents: local development in the EU beyond 2020
  • An alternative for the future: Silver Economy for cities and regions
  • Towards an online #cohesionalliance?
  • Boosting digital skills for youth employment: a challenge for regions and cities
  • Circular Cities: helping cities and regions to implement the circular economy

See more here

We look forward to making new friends in Europe and building bridges we can cross in the future.

Image: Creative Commons
“brussels” by edward stojakovic is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Looking for 25 under 25?

 Young people developing new ideas…

 

One of our editorial contributors is a member of The Internet Society, which as an organisation is now twenty five years old. We were excited to read his email about the latest prize programme being undertaken by the The Society.

To celebrate this quarter century anniversary the Society is undertaking a search for twenty five internet innovators, under the age of twenty five.

”Do you know someone between the ages of 13-25 who is passionate about using the Internet to make a difference? We want to hear about them! They could receive a trip to Los Angeles and a chance to connect and collaborate with other young leaders from around the world”.

25 under 25 - Internet Society nominations here image and link
25 under 25 – Internet Society nominations here…

You can read more about this search on The Internet Society web pages here. The qualifications for the nominees include the following…

  • They must be using the Internet to make a positive impact
  • Have a commitment and passion to make the world better
  • Be making a difference in their community
  • Have ideas that can be implemented around the world
  • Be between the ages of 13-25 by 31 December 2017

To nominate someone for a trip, and a networking opportunity, that can change young lives read more here – you can discover the nomination process and form here.

What can the entrants expect to secure, if they are successful?

  • Roundtrip economy-class travel for awardee and double occupancy lodging in Los Angeles from 16/17-21 September 2017
  • Formal recognition the evening of 17 September at a special reception
    Invitation to the Internet Hall of Fame inductee ceremony and dinner on 18 September
  • Opportunity to meet and engage with the Internet Society team and the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame inductees
  • Participation in Collaborative Leadership Exchange in an unconference format on 18 September
  • Leadership development and community engagement programmes on 19-20 September

Nomination deadline: 31st May, 2017.

Our region is bursting with ‘tech talent’ of all ages. Nominate a young person today and help create the next game changing web innovators, pursuing real impact for good!

 

 

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Bologna, books and biglietti

Animal illustrations for the Book Fair in Bologna...
Dining in Bologna at the Children’s Book Fair 2017…

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We hopped on the bus near the Ospedale Maggiore di Bologna, having purchased our biglietti for Euro 1.50, and found we could ride the autobus, through the medieval cobbled streets of the city, in any direction for ninety minutes”.

Our Partnership team were in Bologna, Italy last week. We were attending the Children’s Book Fair to meet with publishers, authors and artists, and to soak up the atmosphere of world class creativity and dynamism that is the book trade for children in Italy.

Being regular attenders at the London Book Fair, it was noticeable that, although the giant Amazon had a media stand at the week in Bologna, there was nothing like the all pervading presence they seemed to have in London earlier in the year.

Indeed, for the retail giant Italy is still a market in development. We noted that “…Amazon’s Prime service offers one-day delivery of a million products in 6,000 Italian towns and 2-3 days for the rest of the country“.  Read more here… Source: Italy24 web pages.

Bologna Book Fair 2017 image
Bologna Book Fair detail…

With a significant Amazon building and development programme in Italy under way, the diversity and complexity of the other international publishing presences in Bologna, from traditional publishers to independent writers, artists and agents, was a sign that the trade in Italy is perhaps conditioned and delivered still in a very traditional way. Affording much opportunity for disruptive innovation in retail distribution we suspect.

As a micro-publisher, establishing our own tentative foothold in the Italian market, what was stunningly noticeable was the available space and ease with which new graphic artists, illustrators and designers could display their work.

Whatever language children are reading in, the quality of the illustrative art applied to the story enhances and opens that bridge to the imagination. It is as important as the ‘book’ itself, or the page layout or font choice, we would argue. The simplest narrative story can become an exciting page turner with the addition of wonderful artistic creativity. There was much of it evident in Italy last week.

Entering the exhibition halls at the event in Bologna Fiere was like stepping into a giant gallery. With a fantastic display of artwork in the principal foyer, annexed to a series of giant display boards for the young and independent artist to display samples of their work. Although the book trade is about business, the Italian approach led with free form creativity and individual design expertise in a way that we felt was unusual in the English book trade.

Some simple highlights for us during the week

Illustration by Marco Bonatti image
Illustration by Marco Bonatti

 

 

 

 

Marco Bonatti

We enjoyed the informal display of Marco’s work. He produces character with a gentle style, with which to enhance any children’s story, we felt. Engaging, friendly but equally up to the illustration of a more challenging narrative.

Based in Desenzano del Gardo, Italy – you can find Marco Bonatti’s work on the web here.

Katie Rewse

Katie Rewse image
Katie Rewse, using blue to effect…

Katie both studies and lectures in the Arts at Bournemouth University. She also runs Seablue Designs, a wonderfully evocative title for her business, which encompasses oceanic themes and a subtle and diverse range of blue in her work.

Katie’s palette, even informally displayed,  is striking when seen from a distance, which is what caught our eye, but is equally as powerful on the page when feeding a child’s imagination.

See Katie’s work on the web here.

 

 

 

Natasha Durley

Natasha Durley, pattern and proportion…

Another graduate of Bournemouth University Arts faculty, Natasha produces images of plants and animals that are bold in structure and colour, but which are always seemingly ‘anatomically’ sound and proportionally framed.

We liked her structured pattern work particularly, standing out as it did from many of her contemporaries on display in Bologna.

You can find Natasha’s award winning work on the web here.

 

 

 

 

Alessandra Fusi

Allesandra Fusi - a traditional style - image
Allesandra Fusi – a traditional style?

An artist and animation specialist, resident in Bologna, Alessandra has exhibited her work across not only Italy, but also Europe and the USA.

Her pen work was superb we thought, creating striking black and white images for her clients.

Alessandra has an ability to portray character through her artistry, but holds her style very much in the traditional fairytale mannerism, to which she expresses an enduring fascination.

You can see Alessandra’s work on the web here.

(All artist featured images captured from the Bologna Children's Fair ad-hoc display boards in 2017. Copyright remains entirely with the individual artist).

It was the artistry and illustrative energy that was the touchstone experience for us in Bologna this year. Although we were able to build a number of new partnerships and projects for 2017/2018, it is the imprint of ‘the image’ that will stay with us, particularly the energy of the work typical of the artists we have championed above.

Historical linearity in illustration:

We were looking, on behalf of another project before our departure for mainland Europe last week, at the history of children’s book illustration. The Digital Bodleian in Oxford have a wonderful new web resource featuring a number of historic children’s books and games.

You can trace a linear development between the Bodleian web holdings, many dating from the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, through to the modern day.

Not only in their stories about children, but also how the imaginative landscape is pictured, focused on illustration as we are in this article. Innovation was the driving force even then.

Colouring instruction - 1824
Colouring instruction – 1824

 

 

 

 

 

We particularly liked the game Choriama, dating from 1824, which serves as a ‘youth’s instructor’ in the drawing and colouring of landscape. The work being made up of a number of individual landscape sections, which can be folded and re-folded to create new topographies of play. See more at the Digital Bodleian here.

 

A Round of Fun - education and art? - image
A Round of Fun – education and art?

We also warmed to depictions of  A Round of Fun. Pleasant illustrations of classroom activity where imagination and fun, with guidance , are the focus of the day’s activity. Is this not how school should be?

This work, in the Digital Bodleian, was created in England but was printed in Germany. See more of the Round of Fun at the Digital Bodleian on the web here.

Our whole Digital Bodleian experience, looking back, has been resonant with echoes of  our contemporary take on the Book Fair in Bologna.

Creative and imaginative illustrations, some classical and others traditional in feel, the many with a modernist take on old themes – the whole utilising the practised hand of the artist, European production skills and education marketing.  A creative journey from the Nineteenth Century to now, following enduring first principles.

Our biglietti:

We are already booking them for the 2018 event! Perhaps we may see another blue crocodile?


Editorial note on Italy:

Italians, in a recent report, the Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries, lay claim to being some of the healthiest citizens in the world. Despite the prolonged downturn in the country’s economy and with up to 40% of the young unemployed.

It is the proximity to high art and culture, as well as a high vegetable and fruit diet, that must be responsible for the continual flowering of Italian artistic endeavour surely?

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Project Torino – inclusive learning for visually impaired children…

 Building blocks of code for young leaners – code creation in new ways from Microsoft

 

Microsoft researchers, at their Cambridge UK facilities, are in the midst of developing a new set of coding tools which will support children with additional sight needs in exploring the creation of code, commands and programs.

Torino is a physical programming language, which will, it is hoped, enable children with visual impairments, to take part and contribute in coding classes. Sharing the world of code and developing an understanding of the structure of programmed technology with their peers.

It is hoped that the project, when fully realised can be useful to other cohorts of learners, from adults to those who can be constrained by dyslexia and autism, to be able to access careers as computer scientists or software engineers.

The World Health Organization estimates that 285 million people worldwide are blind or visually impaired, and the vast majority of those people live in low-income settings. In the United Kingdom alone, the Royal National Institute of Blind People says only one in four working age adults who are blind or partially sighted are doing paid work.

Source:  blogs.microsoft.com  Accessed – 28.03.2017

Recruiting young people and educators for the project:

The Project Torino Beta – Expression of Interest page is still live on the web. You can subscribe to receive more detailed information from Microsoft and Project Torino when the beta evaluation goes live.

The process is available  to educators and parents in the UK. See more here.

Inclusion at the heart of technology:

Reading the project detail, it is clear that inclusion for all learners lies at the heart of the project. The research and design work, initially geared towards children in the seven to eleven age group, has already created a curriculum for teachers to be able to use Project Torino. (No prior coding skills are needed…Ed.)

An ‘app’ has also been created to enable children, once having mastered their physical language coding skills, to move on into text based code, wherever appropriate.

Great news from Microsoft Research in Cambridge. We shall follow the project with interest.

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