I hope that you have been enjoying the hot weather. I have – I even took the odd day off during the sunshine but now a rainy Monday afternoon prompts me to share more cultural news with you. Be warned, it's a long one...
Firstly, I am pleased to say that along with Hudson Architects and Erika Watson from Greenwell Consulting, I have been set to work in Kings Lynn for the next few months. As a group (the Norwich Consortium), we have been commissioned to deliver a feasibility study into whether or not a creative hub could be viable in Kings Lynn and if so, what form it should take – artists’ studios, meeting spaces, hot-desk facilities, startup retail, rehearsal or making spaces, a gallery, a hackspace or incubator units for creative businesses – or all of them – how could it be run and could it be financially sustainable. Should it be a new-build? Reuse of a heritage building (and Kings Lynn has some beauties) or maybe a campus approach using several smaller sites – it is all to play for. So I will be out and about asking questions and very happy to hear from anyone that has a view on what is needed in the West Norfolk area centring on Kings Lynn. Just reply to this email to get in touch.
Although we have had weeks of hot weather, we still have weeks of the summer left to go - with school holidays starting in earnest this week so look out for activities at The Garage in Chapelfield, Norwich Puppet Theatre, and Theatre Royal Stage 2 as they have all been busy preparing great stuff for your children to do. They also have many classes for adults too including 50+ ballet at The Garage which must be great for keeping joints supple and muscles strong, plus there are sculpture trails (see below) and many exhibitions to explore en famille as well as art summer schools run by Artpocket, Salt Glass Studios and Anteros Arts. There's a page of art classes on www.artinnorwich.org.uk as a guide to contact details.
I have just sent a new edition of Art in Norwich off to print and it will be out and about at the end of this week. Find a free printed copy (Arts Roundup racks, TIC, Norwich Cathedral, Sainsbury Centre, East Gallery, Norwich Arts Centre and many more venues, bars, cafes, churches, garden centres in Norwich and around the county too or download a pdf version from the website.
Although it is called Art in Norwich and centres around the city, the booklet also reaches out to major towns around Norfolk. This time I am pleased to welcome in the Corn Hall Diss and designermakers21 who are artists and makers based in Diss. As well as the printed booklet, you can download a pdf from www.artinorwich.org.uk. I will shortly be starting work on Music in Norwich too which will cover 6 months of classical music, jazz and world music from September 2018-April 2019.
You can’t have missed the GoGo Hares trail either – they are all around us and beautifully painted, mostly by local artists and illustrators. There are some events associated with the Hares trail so find out all about how you can get involved here https://www.gogohares.co.uk/. I think the hares are my favourite of these animal-themed sculpture trails so far.
Speaking of sculpture trails, the Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail is open at the Raveningham Centre from 17 August - 16 September with fields and woods filled with 3D art installations and sculpture. The Ravenous cafe is also open for the duration. It is also something that children will enjoy exploring.
And the Bedlam Triangle exhibition in the Undercroft by painter Gennadiy Ivanov has been extended to 5 August, open daily so you have a few more days to catch that too.
There are lots more exhibitions including East gallery, Sainsbury Centre, Norwich Castle, Time & Tide (fab Cotman and co show called Drawn to the Coast at Time & Tide), Fairhurst Gallery, Hostry, Mandell's summer show, Anteros and more on at the moment but I can't list them all here - you will have to pick up Art in Norwich to get the details.
Meanwhile, other news…
Write2screen/BFI Network meetup at Cinema City’s John Hurt Centre is tomorrow Tuesday 31 July 6-8pm – we haven’t had a w2s meetup for a while but things have been changing in the world of film and script-writing as responsibilities for funding many activities have shifted from Creative England to BFI Network. Creative England still manages Ifeatures but BFI Network is now taking over the provision of talent development in the form of support, funding and activities for first-time and emerging film-makers, so Lucy Ward from Wavelength Films will be telling us a bit about the new arrangements, plus there is the opportunity for a bit of general networking over a glass of wine. The event is currently booked up but keep an eye on Eventbrite https://write2screen-network.eventbrite.co.uk for extra ticket availability, and if you can’t make it this time, then we will be organising more meetups soon.
Cley Contemporary Art : Cley 18
Cley18 – it is the last week to visit this broad-ranging exhibition at Cley-next-the-Sea which closes at 5pm on Sunday 5 August. If you haven’t been yet, you can see over 60 artists exhibiting on a theme set by Dr Caroline Fisher, former recent curator of East Gallery NUA . The theme is The Greater the Distance the Clearer the View part of a phrase which comes from the writings of Max (W.G.) Sebald, much-loved lecturer at UEA who was heavily influenced by Sir Thomas Browne, 17th century physician, philosopher, early scientist and writer who lived in Norwich for most of his adult life. The Cley18 work is distributed between St Margaret’s Church, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Centre and the beach and is well worth seeing – not least because there is a piece by yours truly (and my better half Andrew Smith) calledHomesick – a tucked away neon sentence which aims to express the hidden away but intense and burning feeling that people sometimes get when they are away from home – anyway, go and see it in situ at the Church and you will see what I mean.
There are also still some events to go – on Friday 3 August 1.30pm, leaving from Cley Church landscape architect and artist George Ishmael is guiding a walk around Cley based on his View from a Pew installation. This two-hour ramble will help you to a new view of what is around Cley and also the artworks within the landscape and on the beach.
At 7.30pm on the same day Friday 3 August, classical guitarist, sailor and raconteur James Boyd will be performing in the church. Called Echoes and Evocations, James say of the programme: Many of you will know I have based much of my career around English music old and new. I was astonished to find, when sitting in the silence of St Margaret's just a few weeks ago, that the music that flowed into my mind evoked other countries.
I had expected that in creating a concert programme for this space, with the surrounding salt marshes and cobbled villages that have been part of my life since I was small, I would raise echoes of Britain.
Instead, a series of music from Bach to Manuel de Falla began to flow. And a return to some of the music that fascinated me as a young artist.
It is easy to see how Bach might come to mind in response to the vast architecture and presence of St Margaret's. The three preludes I have chosen, by turn seem to crystallise that space into musical form, stretch toward an elusive goal, and find joy in a return to earth.
The Villa lobos prelude that follows has faint traces of Bach's influence on the Brazilian composer and yet is firmly rooted in the folk music and poetry of his own land. A singing cello line with breadth and solemnity that soars into a dance like middle section before returning to its haunting beginnings.
Then a flight south of the Mato Grosso to the world of the guitar legend Augustin Barrios Mangore. His sublime le Catredal is a three movement work of great power moving from grief to exultation and then to chaos. This is followed by an earthy and seductive Moorish dance Serenata Morisca. Here is Barrios the showman, the improviser and playful virtuoso captured in a rarely heard piece.
And with dance in the air we'll turn to Rodrigo and finish with a masterpiece by Manuel de Falla - his only work for guitar. I'll tell you more about these pieces on the night. They are extraordinary.
NB Tickets for this performance are £10 and available on the door. There is plenty of space in the church so no need to book ahead
Supporting Cley Contemporary Art
When you are there don’t forget to buy a catalogue. It is only £2 and that just about covers the cost of production but it helps enormously. You could also consider donating the change to North Norfolk Exhibition Project whose volunteer committee organise Cley Contemporary every year. Initially, in 2000, their project was to create an opportunity for contemporary artists to exhibit and for people to be able to see good quality art without having to go further afield, plus it is an attraction for tourists from the Midlands and elsewhere but North Norfolk District Council and Arts Council funding has depleted and so in order to keep the exhibition going with free entry, the Cley committee are encouraging catalogue purchases and voluntary donations. If every visitor donated even just a pound, the picture would be much healthier. It costs around £20k per year to run Cley Contemporary as they pay for their venues, marketing, catalogue, curator and other support, even though all other time is voluntary so it is not a huge amount to raise for such a popular annual exhibition but nevertheless, it does need to come from somewhere so if you would like to see it continue, please visit and please donate what you can. If you have the means and desire to be a more substantial supporter, please contact Mary Crofts via email@example.com
Assembly House Classical SPECIAL OFFER !!
The next lunchtime recital will be from the award winning Sacconi Quartet - Thursday 13th of September at the usual time of 1pm.
Programme: Haydn; Quartet Op 76/3 Emperor, Debussy: Quartet in G min Op 10
Advance tickets are available online here or see below for a special offer...
Book all four remaining 2018 concerts for the total price of £40
(Cheque / Cash payments only) Cheques should be made payable to 'Assembly House Classical' and posted with a stamped addressed envelope to 'Assembly House Classical, 28 Leonards Street, Norwich. NR3 3BW'
The special offer price includes tickets for:
Sacconi Quartet - Thursday 13th September 2018
Tom Poster - Piano - Thursday 25th October 2018
Grimwood / Cohen / Rashidova - Piano Trio - Thursday 22nd November 2018
Ben Comeau - Piano - Wednesday 12th December 2018
You can of course also book for the events individually by cash or cheque for the advance price of £12 each. Just remember to let me know which event/s you would like to book for and include an S.A.E or email address for ticket delivery. Any questions please call 07786940878 and leave a message.
Norwich now has a National Centre for Writing nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk
Opening in late June, the newly extended Dragon Hall has become the National Centre for Writing, a more accurate description that Writers Centre Norwich. Why?? Because the reach of this well-founded literature development agency is much wider than Norwich. Norwich is a UNESCO City of Literature and the Centre organises and takes part in many national and international activities.
The new extension will enable it to run more publicly accessible workshops and school sessions and has created a proper reception area which this beautiful building previously lacked. The opening follows many years of fund-raising and planning in order to move from its offices in Princes Street to Dragon Hall in King Street, (helped by the City Council, County Council, Arts Council, Norwich Freeman's Charity, Foyle Foundation and many more trusts and supporters) and then to rearrange the building to suit the new activities. You can see more and also sign up for updates of activities here
The changes are a good example of how architecture can develop over centuries without losing its integrity. Dragon Hall was a medieval merchant house and if you have never been in a visit to the National Centre for Writing in King Street is a must.
And if you think King Street is a bit out of the way you are wrong – opposite is the Butterfly Café and a little down the road is Bicycle Links shop and café, plus the coffee roaster Smokey Barn just alongside the Waterfront plus the Julian bridge over to pubs, bars, restaurants and the cinema on Riverside.
Noirwich 13-16 September
But the piece de resistance of the National Centre for Writing is that, in partnership with UEA they run the crime-writing festival Noirwich noirwich.co.uk in September (13-16 September). It runs over a weekend and brings together crime-writers and enthusiasts from all over the place. You can buy a wristband season ticket or drop in event by event. But remember, Norwich has the best crime-writing festival in the country and it is on your doorstep!
On the subject of writing…
Wells Maltings www.wellsmaltings.org.uk has opened recently on the north Norfolk coast – a significant investment into arts in this area. They have kicked off with an ambitious heritage art trail curated by John and Yvonne Millwood and are planning more exhibitions and events. I haven't been there myself yet but on the early doors is a course open to all.
Creative writing course at Wells Maltings
Tidelines at Wells Maltings Trust – short story creative writing course beginning September 2018.
This ten-week course gives participants an unrivalled opportunity to connect and engage with Wells Maltings its history, people and the coastal environment while developing creative writing and storytelling skills. There will contributions from heritage and visitor guides to help participants learn about the history of the Maltings and Wells-next-the-Sea.
Guided by local author Patricia Mullin, this is a chance to discover the mechanics and central tenets of creative writing; you will come away with a toolkit for writing; classes are fun and informative. This course is suitable for complete beginners and more experienced writers; an enthusiasm for literature and reading is all that’s required to take part.
Patricia Mullin (MA) is a published author and an experienced creative writing tutor.
Dates: Tuesdays 10-12.30 am Sept 18, 25 Oct 2, 9,16
Half term no session then Oct 30 Nov 6, 13, 20, 27
Fee: for all 10 sessions £180.00 Concessions: 2 places at £170.00 if in receipt of benefits.
Strictly limited to 12 participants, early booking is advised. Wells Maltings Trust will be taking bookings from 1st August. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01328 P711378
Feel free to contact Patricia directly if you would like any further information.
Telephone: 01485 578153 Email: email@example.com
Sculpture and painting summer schools in Whissonsett
Also, more summer schools out in the county - at Church Farm Barn Studios in Whissonsett there is a sculpture course starting towards the end of August. Sculptor Duncan MacArthur has worked for many years as a sculptural prop-maker for the film industry. Now returning to his teaching roots, he is running sculpture classes of the human form including modelling and casting. Duncan’s next summer school is 24–26 / 28 August 2018
Modelling the Head with Option to Cast
His partner Carolyn also runs drawing and painting summer schools and classes. Get the full picture from their website. Their beautiful surroundings mean that you will get a lovely country break at the same time.
Norfolk & Norwich Festival are recruiting for a new marketing and development officer and a Comms manager – details are below. These are great jobs for someone with the right experience and qualifications as the Festival is moving in new directions with a change of artistic director from William Galinksy who left in March 2017 to Daniel Brine, previously director of the Junction in Cambridge who took over earlier this year. Here are the details:
Norfolk & Norwich Festival Vacancies
We are restructuring to create a Communications and Development Team which will bring together income generation and management of our public profile.
The Head of Communications and Development is a new post which will lead the team and take the lead on brand management and income generation through communications, audience development, and fundraising across all activities and initiatives for Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
The Communications Manager is a new role in the team, which will deliver Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s communications and marketing, including taking the lead on delivery of print marketing.
These are both exciting opportunities for people who have the skills and experience to meet the challenges of these jobs and who can bring new energy to our organisation.
This is an exciting time to join us. Both the Festival and Festival Bridge are at the start of new four-year National Portfolio Organisation funding agreements with Arts Council England and we are taking this opportunity to refresh our artistic and organisational vision.
You can download job packs and the relevant forms from our website https://nnfestival.org.uk/about-us/vacancies/
Deadline for applications for the Head of Communications and Development is by 12 noon Monday 13 August 2018.
Deadline for applications for Communications Manager is by noon on Tuesday 28 August
What Next for What Next? – long entry alert! Read on, especially if you work in the arts and culture sector but you might want to make a cup of tea
I have kept this till last as it is a long topic. Some of you may have vaguely wondered what happened to What Next? Norfolk. Well just a few words of explanation of where we are.
What Next? is a national campaign to advocate for the value of arts and culture in our society, both to policticans and decision-makers but also to members of the public, increasing awareness of the difference that creative, arts and cultural activities of all sorts makes to the cohesion of our communities, the well-being of individuals and the economic development of our region. This value is often hugely under-estimated with the arts being seen as ‘frilly’, high-brow activities for a minority of people that don’t compare to the real needs of our society. Well, I would argue that, as human beings, we need our health, we need employment (and therefore food and clothing) and we need housing – no-one would disagree with that – but if that was all that we had, what would we do? We would be bored, dissatisfied and under-stimulated.
Without activity our brains and personalities would shrivel up, we would fight (exactly) and we would get depressed. Some people are lucky enough to have jobs which are fulfilling, stimulate them and occupy their minds, but for many, a job is only part of their satisfaction in life. People love music, either making it or listening, they love making things – ceramic, wood, textiles, knitting and much more, they love finding out about history, food and different cultures – everyone needs something that can stir their passion and stimulate their minds. Education and learning comes into this sphere and we need people who can help people to unlock their innate creativity, and as a society, we need to divert money to help to find some of these things to benefit us all. We need culture at all levels – from everyday participation to high-brow excellence which may only appeal to a few but help to develop the artforms generally.
What Next? is a campaign to help to stand up for arts and culture, crafts, heritage, film, writing and other life-enhancing activities. There is a national base in London which meets at breakfast-time every Wednesday (at the Young Vic and open to absolutely anyone) and then Chapters all over the country including Norfolk. What Next? Norfolk started up about three years ago with NNFestival director William Galinsky and Writers' Centre Norwich CEO Chris Gribble as co-chairs, with myself joining as a co-chair later.
At that time there were regular weekly meetings, open to everyone, at Norwich Playhouse either in the morning or in the afternoon. However, the time and energy to sustain the meetings started flagging after a couple of years and so they were put on hold, pending a review. There is a Chapter in Great Yarmouth which has also struggled with keeping up regular meetings.
The Chapter Chairs have met to discuss whether we should continue the Norfolk and Great Yarmouth Chapters given that no-one really has the resources to fully service them with no funding, although Gemma Layton (NNF) continues to send out weekly email updates. My own opinion is that What Next? is valuable - a good way to keep abreast of national issues, government policies and other matters which may affect us as cultural professionals and users/consumers of arts and culture.
It also means that even if we cannot meet regularly we are an ‘action-ready’ groups of people who can respond when there is a threat or an opportunity – look at how the public leapt into action when the Forestry Commission threatened to sell off woodland a couple of years ago, the whole country was in uproar, quite rightly. Just think of the benefit if we can generate that kind of marching power over music education or creativity in schools, protecting cultural venues and campaigning for proper pay for creative practitioners. It is also a platform for anyone to bring to the attention of the wider sector and public any ideas they have or support they need eg artists in Anglia Square.
Membership is free - it just requires a sign-up - and is open to anyone. At best, it is a really good opportunity to network with other professionals in a relaxed and informal way, and as a vehicle for information from other forums such as Norwich BID, New Anglia LEP, Arts Council England, Norwich City and Norfolk County Councils. But it does need interest from more than a handful of people to make it worthwhile
So, in the interests of deciding a way forward I would like to canvass opinion about whether or not
- we should continue What Next? Norfolk
- we should try and instigate regular meetings
- if so, weekly, monthly, three monthly
- are email updates enough to keep the basic membership in place?
- any other thoughts?
In the next few days I will post a short survey on the What Next? Norfolk website which will be sent out to signed up members - although we will be glad for input from anyone that cares enough to fill it in.
And so, the end for now and the sun has come out again. Sorry if I left out your news, there is so much going on but at least this offers you some updates.
I am going to leave you with a lovely piece of archive film I found recently. I grew up in Harlow in Essex, at that time a new town with a new idealistic vision for the future. Whilst it didn't all come to pass, I thought that this view of their approach to music education was worth looking at. This film was made a few years before I was at school there but I did benefit from a very rounded arts education including music - which probably explains a lot! The film is called the Pied Pipers of Harlow - watch it if you can
all best and see you soon I hope
ps as usual there are unsubscribe links at the bottom of the page
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