Archive for April, 2011

Payback time

Heard yesterday from a Foundation student… “[university] tuition fees don’t bother me. You only pay it back if you get more than £21k a year. I mean, c’mon… that’s [earning] £400 a week. [I’ll be a] male arts graduate, y’know – I know we don’t earn much. So I’ll never have to pay it [the […]


Birmingham Zine Festival, 9th July 2011… “The Birmingham Zine Festival will feature a wide range of self-published books, comics and magazines. We’ll also be showcasing a selection of artwork from artists connected to the alternative press.”

Staffordshire Hoard Symposium online

The Portable Antiquities Scheme has placed online the full-text proceedings of the first Staffordshire Hoard Symposium (held at the British Museum, March 2010). Ceramic vase inspired by part of the Hoard, by Anita Harris.

The ballroom, the cheesy nibbles, the panel discussion…

Diane Ragsadle, on why the format and approach of large national arts conferences is ripe for change.

The Corner Shop

The Corner Shop… “The Corner Shop Project is a social history project documenting Black Country shops from 1950 — 2010.” Above: 1976 picture by Nick Hedges, for the Community Development Project based in Saltley, Birmingham. (Yes, I know that’s not Black Country — but it’s on The Corner Shop website).

“It’s all done with smoke and mirrors, and it always will be” – Tilda Swinton

“Rethinking the Creative City” (2010), part of a new Complexity and the Creative Economy AHRC project that aims to align complexity theory with UK creative industries research… “This article engages with the current research and debate about the creative city and the importance of cultural infrastructure in contemporary cities.” … “Drawing on interviews with creative […]

Why regional theatre needs new media

“Keeping it local: regional theatre needs new media”… “The challenge for arts organisations outside London is to embrace the blogosphere, and fast. I think we need to work hard to nurture the brave souls who are often spending their free time running what’s-on sites and blogs — invite them to our shows, treat them like […]

Knowledge Map of the Virtual Economy

New report from the World Bank, Knowledge Map of the Virtual Economy: converting the virtual economy into development potential (PDF only, no Kindle version). The April 2011 report describes… “in detail the main areas of the virtual economy, their economic impact, business models and value chains. The two major areas of the existing virtual economy […]

New Staffordshire Hoard website

A website makeover for the official Staffordshire Hoard website, plus a new(?) events list with a handy RSS feed. There’s also news of an emerging new Mercian Trail (no, it’s not a long-distance footpath), developing to entice visitors to the Midlands to stay longer in order to see all the Hoard-related displays. The new website […]

Trees in puddles

Ingrid Nelson finds and photographs trees reflected in puddles…

The way of the rain

The ‘Creative Speed Ticket’

A quick idea: simple national subsidy of transport costs for accredited creative graduates / underemployed creative talent, in order to attend events / conferences / free training workshops / expos. The aim would be to boost their employment prospects. * The recruitment process needn’t be lumberingly bureaucratic. Skillset or Creative England might simply appoint regional […]

Peter Mandler claims the Observer completely misquoted him on the AHRC

Peter Mandler, on the AHRC “Big Society diktat” hysteria, and the dubious Observer report that started it… “The Observer misquoted me on the direct political pressure applied to the AHRC [Arts & Humanities Research Council] – I was referring to direct pressure from BIS [Department for Business, Innovation and Skills] that I believe was applied […]

New Enterprise Allowance “applications to run” invited

Bids are now being invited to help deliver the New Enterprise Allowance in Birmingham, the Black Country, Solihull, Coventry, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Deadline: 8th April 2011. The New Enterprise Allowance will be available (from late April?) to people who’ve been claiming Jobseekers Allowance (aka ‘the dole’) for more than six months, to help them […]

‘Samuel Palmer : Towards the Light’, New Art Gallery Walsall

Samuel Palmer : Towards the Light, at the New Art Gallery Walsall, 23th April – 10th July 2011. Free. “This exhibition explores the work of Samuel Palmer (1805-1881) in relation to the themes of light and literature. … a visionary landscapist, Palmer played a key role in the development of Romantic art. Bringing together works […]

Werewolves in Literature: an anthology of classic stories

For those who prefer print books over ebooks, my Werewolves in Literature: an anthology of classic stories is now available as a 540-page, 160,000-word printed book. This anthology contains 25 classic stories and tales of werewolves from the 13th century through to the 1920s, in a uniform and carefully-presented print edition. It combines my two […]

HBR on humanities recruitment

The Harvard Business Review blog, on why businesses should hire from the arts and humanities people who are now being made redundant from teaching or who are graduating into unemployment.

A quick round-up of April Fools Day 2011

Labour’s secret plans to order street parties for the Miliband wedding, in order to out-shine the Royal wedding (Daily Telegraph) Gorillas being given iPads to use, in a ‘Planet of the Apps’ experiment (The Sun) Space flights from Scotland to boost tourism (Express) Gang of feral chickens terrorise a small village near Southport (Daily Mail) […]

More substantial posts on the Arts Council funding settlement

More substantial Arts Council funding reactions and round-ups:— Orchestra expert Norman Lebrecht sums up orchestras. Cuts to orchestras appear to amount to a blanket 11% fall. Animate Projects rightly asks why animation is not considered an art form by the Arts Council. Deemed too likely to morph into ‘video art’-by-another-name, would be my guess. East […]