I am celebrating this evening as have finished the new Music in Norwich booklet and got it off to print so that it will be back and around the town in hard copy form before the Easter holiday and also as I head off to a cultural planning* conference in Finland for a few days. It is called Nordic Urban Lab 2018 and is the third of series of Labs run by Metropolis - an organisation based in Copenhagen headed by Trevor Davies who was worked in Norwich for a couple of years and also contributed to our Capital of Culture bid in 2003 - he also led Copenhagen 1996 and part of last year's Aarhus Capital of Culture year in Denmark . He has worked in Denmark for most of his career apart from a few years back in the UK. Franco Bianchini and Lia Ghilardi have also helped to shape Norwich cultural policy through Capital and City of Culture bids in 2003 and 2010, and Charles Landry, author of The Creative City and many other influential publications who making on of the keynote speeches is also an old-time friend of Norwich. So although I am starting this at the beginning of my travels, by the time you read this, I will probably sitting in a hotel room in Finland.
If you are interested in knowing more about cultural planning and the Nordic Urban Lab, download the programme here and follow my blog here as I will be sharing as much of the experience as I can as I hope that there will be some useful lessons and case studies for us here in the UK. It's quite an investment of time and money to go, and I can think of a few people I would love to take along with me so the more people that can benefit from my trip the better. If you are specially interested, get in touch and I will happily share materials and insights in more detail. It is especially relevant to city planners, artists, activists, architects and anyone interested in how we can creatively make our cities, towns and communities more liveable and better places to be and more inclusive especially. The early part of the 21st century the UK was moving quickly in this direction but when the Labour government was replaced by the Coalition government and austerity kicked in, many of the initiatives have closed down over the ensuing years. We need to bring the human being and social equality back into planning and development and and think about how artists and creatives can influence quality of life and community cohesion. I am hoping that I will be able to share some of Norwich's great projects and also learn from the places around the Nordic countries.
Creative Workspace Summit Friday 20 April in Great Yarmouth
original projects; are also running a really interesting day on Friday 20 April at St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth. It's a CREATIVE WORKSPACE SUMMIT: The Role of Creatives in Creating Great Places, with keynote speaker Charles Landry (again!) and many other excellent speakers and contributors on the subject of artists workspaces. Great Yarmouth is bristling with people who are creating projects and initiatives but the town is really lacking workspaces for creative people and other resources to thrive. There will be lots of case studies and stimulating discussion so book your place quickly. You can find out all about it and book here
Opportunity to meet the new Norfolk & Norwich Festival Director Daniel Brine
Many of you will know that Festival director William Galinsky left Norwich last year and we now have a new director Daniel Brine, formerly from the Junction in Cambridge who arrived in Norwich in January. On Tuesday 3rd April, 6.30pm at Norwich Arts Centre is an opportunity to meet him at an informal presentation at Norwich Arts Centre. Tickets are free but need to be booked - find out more here and take your chance to meet the new man. Also with him will be Liz Hughes, the new executive director. Liz used to spend a lot of time in Norwich when she worked for the Arts Council so it is good to see her back here - welcome Liz!
Incidentally, Festival tickets are now on sale for all events - sadly the launch had to be cancelled because of the snow so we didn't get the full excitement of the presentation but there are lots of wonderful performances of all kinds and one thing that will please lots of people is the return of the outdoor spectacular opening event on Friday 11 May in the Cathedral Close. Explore the programme, there are lots of brochures around the city and at last, the marketing team have devised some Festival 'journeys' to help you find your way.
Other highlights this weekend are the opening of SUPERSTRUCTURES : The new architecture 1960-1990 , a new exhibition at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and an exhibition of work by Damien Hirst at Houghton Hall, plus Norfolk by Design also at Houghton in the Stables - a showcase of Norfolk designers, artists and makers.
Stop Press: I believe that the Superstructures opening at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts has been postponed until 7 April but don't forget that you still have time to catch the Roger Law exhibition until 3 April which includes his massive ceramic vases, influenced by his collaborations with Chinese ceramic craftspeople as well as a history of his days as an illustrator and animator. It's a fascinating exhibition.
Music-wise, Norwich Baroque are playing at Norwich Cathedra with St John Passion just in time for Easterl and young musicians from Norwich School are also playing at the Cathedral on Thursday - see here for details
22nd Norwich Cathedral : Making Musicians : 1.10pm
22nd Assembly House Albion Quartet 1pm
24th Norwich Baroque : St John Passion : Norwich Cathedral : 7.30pm
see below for details
Various exhibitions are running - Katarzyna Coleman at Mandell's Gallery, Elm Hill- Katarzyna will be in the gallery on Saturday 24 March from 12-4pm which is a great opportunity to see her work and also talk to her about it. She works mostly in monochrome, paint or drawing, of industrial areas of Great Yarmouth which is where her studio is. It's a brilliant exhibition of work.
Colin Self and Jim Moir aka Vic Reeve at Fairhurst Gallery, Anteros Arts Foundation in Fye Bridge Street keeps developing new activities and extending its programme - I am not even going to try and summarise it but here is a link so that you can explore their programme yourself. They are running concerts, gigs, art classes, poetry sessions and much more.
22-23 Augustine’s Street, Norwich
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March 2018, 10am-4pm
Artpocket presents...Immersive: Exhibition : Natasha Day, Catherine Laura Ward, Shathy Bano
Immersive showcases students work from term 2 of the Artpocket Post Graduate Programme in Creative Practice, and is the result of personal themes, concepts and concerns translated into processes, made solid by the art making using different mediums.
You are warmly invited to the Private View on Friday 23rd March 6-8pm
Anglian Potters in Norwich are exhibiting in the Undercroft in Norwich this week everyday until April 1st. It is a very well-presented exibition of work by a wide range of ceramicists in the region - if you are in the city, please pop in
Print-maker Annette Rolston is running a series of print workshops in Diss where she is a member of DesignerMakers 21 - a collective of artists occupying a former shop in the middle of Diss were they run lots of activities and sell their work. Have a look at www.artinnorwich.org.uk/annette-rolston-printmaking.html
Squaring the Circle - A talk by artist Michael Horn - Tuesday 10 April 7.30pm, The Auditorium, The Forum, Norwich
ncas and Norwich 20 Group member Michael Horn is giving an ncas talk on Tuesday 10 April,
Michael will explain how his work often contains contradictory aims and influences battling it out in search of some sort of resolution–a battle between a rarefied idealised world and an actual, often disordered one.
His later work draws together strands from earlier abstract painting and combines it with elements from the natural world and the mood of the area in which he now lives, North Norfolk, giving a sense of place and continuity in the tradition of English landscape painting.
Michael has exhibited widely, including the V&A, Kettles Yard, Wolterton Hall and Düsseldorf.
Tickets on the door : NCAS Members £2.50, non-members £4.00
Concert at the Chapel 64 Park Lane, Norwich
Gloria Campaner – piano Sunday 25th March, 6:30pm
The young Italian pianist GLORIA CAMPANER, who was quite a hit when she was in Norwich last year, returns on Sunday for an interesting recital based on J S Bach – details of this and other chapel concerts below
And at The Assembly House today (Thursday 22 March) at 1pm the ALBION QUARTET lunchtime concert .
They are playing Schubert Rosamunde and the always popular Dvorak American quartet – lots to see and hear so if you have tie for a little lunchtime music go along to the Assembly House
Making Musicians is also at 1.15pm on 22 March - Young musicians from the Norwich School perform in Norwich Cathedral in a free concert
As predicted, this email took longer to write than expected and I am now in the Hanaholmen Cultural Centre just west of Helsinki in a lovely hotel room surrounded by snow (don't believe the pictures which were obviously taken in summer. I am hoping to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights tonight - apparently it is possible that they will show - I'll let you know how it goes!
*Cultural planning is essentially a cross sectoral approach to development (of anything really), using the assets and resources of a community to strategically plan and find solutions to civic problems/issues. It is not about planning culture, more thinking about the way we live using the culture of a place or community as a starting point to come up with a creative solution.
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