We’ve been pleased to support the organisational development of Yorkshire Sound Women Network over the past few months and spent an enjoyable evening at DINA in Sheffield last Friday, celebrating the launch of the Network as a CIC. Board members, supported by Heidi Johnson – the Network’s Development Manager – have done a great job of securing additional funds to enable the Network’s valuable work to continue and expand and we wish them all the best for the future. For more details and to get involved, visit the Network’s newly revamped website at www.yorkshiresoundwomen.com
We’ve just been appointed by Yorkshire MESMAC to evaluate its HLF funded Queer Stories project which aims to collect and share the stories of LGBTIQ+ people from across West Yorkshire.
We spent the morning working with the delivery team thinking about what to measure, how and why. We were struck by the energy, thoughtfulness and compassion of the team and by their commitment to including as diverse a range of voices as possible. They’ve also got the best logo we’ve seen for a heritage project.
To learn more and to get involved, visit wyqs.co.uk
We were pleased to be invited to the opening of Jonathan Straight‘s new exhibition of street photography – Pride – which is at Victoria Gate in Leeds until 16 September and is well worth a visit. It was also great to catch up with lovely people like Bryony Bond, Creative Director at The Tetley.
Here at Armstrong Cameron, we’re very much committed to elevating the discourse surrounding minoritised arts and communities. So it was a great way to spend a very warm Sunday afternoon watching Dawn chair a panel at Bradford Literature Festival with Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, co – authors of Slay in your Lane.
The book’s now on sale and it was also Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4.
It was a privilege to work with inspirational producer, Debbie Chan, and the rest of the team at FACT on the evaluation of its ambitious Networked Narrative project. Unusually, I was engaged over the full duration of the strategic touring programme – almost four years. This meant that together we were really able to look at and think about impacts, both expected and unexpected. It was great also to gain the insights of artists, Mark Titchner and Hwa Young Jung who were commissioned by young people to make work for the public realm.
I think we all learned a great deal that we’ll take into future work. FACT has placed the full evaluation report on its website. There’s a lot of it so it’s probably best tackled in chunks!
You can find it here: https://www.fact.co.uk/media/86190632/networkednarrative_evaluationreport_dec2017_dcameron_covera_lowres.pdf
We had the pleasure of going along to Leeds Soup’s 9th event last night. We’d been invited by Loran Lewis, the brains behind the Let’s Do More CIC and one of the pitchers at the event.
Leeds Soup describes itself as ‘an experiment in micro funding, where like – minded individuals come together, pitch great ideas, eat soup and vote on the project they think benefits the Leeds community the most’. Tickets start at £10 with the winning idea taking away 100% of the evening’s takings.
All four pitchers were great and in the event Phil Pearce of Life Experience won. Life Experience takes personal stories into schools, bail hostels and prisons to enable children and young people to make better and more informed decisions.
Plaudits go out to the volunteers and sponsors of Leeds Soup for providing a great platform for social entrepreneurs to pitch great ideas and for Leeds residents to give seed money to fledgling organisations.
We’re delighted that Rommi Smith was successful in her application to Arts Council England for investment to support the exploration of performative ideas for a new work which will be an homage to historical Blues and Jazz figures.
This creative adventure will take Rommi and her eight artistic collaborators from Leeds to New York and back again, culminating in a live performance and special event at Leeds Art Gallery later in the year. Rommi describes the project as ‘a wonderful opportunity for professional growth, personal development, reflection and creative exploration.’
We’re very pleased to have played a small part in supporting Rommi and the team in this exciting venture.
To learn more about Rommi’s practice, please visit her website at www.rommi-smith.co.uk
We’ve been delighted to work with Yorkshire Sound Women Network to support it in developing an effective operational model to deliver to its ambitions.
Having worked with the Network over the past few months, we’ve learned a bit about digital sound technology and a lot about the under representation of women in music and sound production. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has highlighted the continuing failure of the sector to train and retain female employees, particularly given the fact that Britain is expected to need 1.2 million new digital workers by 2022. Women should represent a sizeable proportion of that workforce but UKCES’s model suggests that by 2022, the proportion of workers in the digital sector who are women will have barely risen, to just 30%.
In this context, it’s great to observe the strides that the Network is taking to address and challenge historical and current bias and to develop safe, accessible workshops and masterclasses for girls and women with an interest in sound technologies.
To learn more about the Network, please visit https://yorkshiresoundwomen.com
We’ve really enjoyed working on the evaluation of Square Peg – Artlink Hull’s year long disability arts programme – so it was a pleasure to catch up with artist in residence, Jason Wilsher – Mills, at the opening of his multi media exhibition – Unexpected Engagement. It’s a great show and highly recommended; it runs until 6 April at Artlink Hull. To quote Jason,
‘We took the city of culture to the people who really needed it.’
Jason’s approach, inspired by his long history of working with communities, was to engage a wide range of different people in Hull in a series of workshops to enable them to tell their own stories through art. This in turn has influenced the creation of his own work for the exhibition.
It was great also to meet Monique Lock and her family who had travelled up from London for the opening. Monique had attended one of Jason’s workshops and her work features in the exhibition.
PANDA arts (panda-arts.org.uk) PANDA supports venues, companies and individuals working in the performing arts sector in the North by facilitating networks, providing training and consultancy, offering professional advice and guidance, and creating connections. We’ve worked with PANDA on a consultation exercise with its members and supporters.