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The Future of Small Scale Touring

This post comes from Julie’s Bicycle.

The Future of Small Scale Touring
An Independent Touring Symposium by Paines Plough

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30th January 2014, 11am – 6pm
The Royal Exchange, Manchester

Julie’s Bicycle will give a TED style presentation on how touring companies are developing more sustainable ways of working, as part of this day long symposium.

For ticket prices or to find out more click here.

Julie’s Bicycle is inviting anyone who cares about the future of small scale theatre touring to attend an independent touring symposium on Thursday 30 January 2014 at The Royal Exchange, Manchester. We are very excited to announce the line-up of speakers:

The keynote speech will be given by Vikki Heywood CBE. Previously Executive Director of both the RSC and the Royal Court Theatre, Vikki is now Chair of the RSA, having also been a board member of the Society of London Theatre, The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The day is broken into 3 parts, the themes being based on the responses to our survey in 2013 as the most common areas we all find challenging:

NEW TOURING MODELS AND APPROACHES TO TOUR BOOKING

Louise Blackwell & Kate McGrath, Co-Directors, Fuel Theatre:  ‘New Theatre in Your Neighbourhood ‘

Sam Eccles, Development Director, The Touring Network: ‘Tourbook: Joining the dots of touring performance’

Sophie Eustace, Executive Director, Fevered Sleep: ‘Future play – how can we tour ambitious work for he very young?’

James Grieve & George Perrin, Co-Artistic Directors, Paines Plough: ‘Roundabout and New Small Scale Touring Network’

Katie Roberts, Take Out Producer, Battersea Arts Centre:  ‘The Collaborative Touring Network’

Neil Murray, Executive  Producer, National Theatre Scotland

DATA AND AUDIENCES

Nick Bareham, Co-Founder/Managing Director, AU Insights: ‘Little Data. The new Big Data. The old Data’

Chris O’Connell, Artistic Director, Theatre Absolute: ‘Shop Front Theatre’

Jo Taylor, Senior Consultant, Morris Hargreaves Mcintyre: ‘Beyond the Box Office (or what you *really* need to know about audiences) ‘

Jonathan Waddingham, Social &Labs Product Manager, Just Giving: ‘Yimby and growing audiences from 0 to, well, lots’

Penny Mills, Director London and Touring, The Audience Agency

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP

Matt Burman, Head of Programme & Audiences, Warwick Arts Centre: ‘WLTM: working, learning, talking, making. New approaches to making new work.’

Charlotte Jones, Chief Executive, Independent Touring Council: ‘Negotiating for a sustainable relationship’

Mark Makin, Co-Director Makin Projects  & Programme Manager HOUSE: ‘Touring – What’s a partnership?’

Sholeh Johnson, Arts Manager, Julie’s Bicycle

Matt Fenton, Artistic Director, Contact Theatre

Julie’s Bicycle hopes the day will provide a platform for the industry to share their stories in a practically applicable way and to meet colleagues from across the country. Each speaker will speak for only 6 minutes and there will be an informal breakout session after each section where delegates will be able to discuss the provocations raised directly with the speakers.

At the end of the day, anyone who doesn’t have to shoot home is invited to the pub to keep plotting.

The conference will commence at 11.30am,  with registration from 11am, and will finish at 5.30pm.

Do you have questions about THE FUTURE OF SMALL SCALE TOURING: An Independent Touring Symposium? Contact Paines Plough

Sustainable Design and Production

This post comes from Julie’s Bicycle.

Sustainable Design and Production

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29th January 2014, 1.30pm – 5pm (followed by drinks)
Contact Theatre, Manchester

Sustainable Design and Production is a cross-arts event that invites practitioners in theatre, dance, music, festivals and outdoor arts, and visual arts to discuss how we can produce work to be more environmentally sustainable in the cultural sector.

The event will provide a platform for presentations, provocations and discussions that offer insight into integrating environmental sustainability into artistic leadership, performance making, design, and production management.

Speakers include:

Jack Thompson, Technical Director of Manchester International Festival

Professor Pamela Howard OBE, a scenographer and director

David Evans, Production Manager of National Theatre Wales

Click here to book a place or find out more.

Call Out for Associate Artist #climatechange

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow is recruiting a freelance artist to work with the gallery to explore climate change, sustainability and environmental issues while we host Early Warning Signs, a work by Ellie Harrison.

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The successful artist will use their practice to help the gallery staff to learn new things about themselves as a community, and challenge them to explore the ways they work together as a staff team on environmental issues and sustainability in their programming. The ambition is to build a stronger internal capacity for collaborative, participatory working practice, which make a difference to our carbon footprint.

For any inquiries please see the contact details on the brief, although please note the gallery staff will be unable to answer any inquiries until after 6 January 2014.

Submission requirements
Submissions should be sent in electronic format to John Irwin (john.irwin@glasgowlife.org.uk )

Closing date for submissions: 12 pm Friday 24 January 2014
Interviews on Monday 3 February 2014

Image: Early Warning Signs by Ellie Harrison at GoMa

The post Call Out for Associate Artist #climatechange appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

———-

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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AV Festival Announces ‘Extraction’ as 2014 Festival Theme

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

EXTRACTION is the theme for the sixth edition of AV Festival in 2014, reflecting the subterranean map of the region from the mudstones, shales and coals of the Carboniferous coal measures, to the Ice Age boulder clay and marine limestone of the coast.

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AV Festival 14: EXTRACTION presents the work of artists who are re-imagining the geologic by responding to the natural landscape of the North East and beyond, from Neolithic rock art and glacial erosion to the remnants of the coal mining and minerals industries, and modern concerns with the global exploitation of material resources.  Through contemporary art, sound, music and film, the biennial event explores the raw materials that create our experience of the world, from their origins deep inside the earth, to their extraction and transformation through artistic, industrial and manufacturing processes.

The programme for 2014 features new commissions, UK premieres, solo exhibitions, group shows, concerts and film screenings by international and nationally renowned artists.

Running from 1 – 31 March 2014, the Festival includes over 10 exhibitions and over 50 concerts and film screenings, at venues including mima, Middlesbrough; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Laing Art Gallery, Tyneside Cinema, Star and Shadow Cinema, Castle Keep, the Mining Institute and other places in Newcastle as well as found spaces across the region.

To find out more visit: http://www.avfestival.co.uk/

Image: Lara Almarcegui, The Last Coal Extraction in Newcastlehttp://www.avfestival.co.uk/news/av-festival-14-announces-first-public-event-for-december-2013

The post AV Festival Announces ‘Extraction’ as 2014 Festival Theme appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

Third Green Teas(e) Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

On 16th December Creative Carbon Scotland met for the third in a series of Green Teas(e) which bring together artists, arts organisations and people working in sustainability in Glasgow for tea, biscuits and discussion, with the view to sewing together previously disconnected projects and initiatives in the city. Green Teas(e) aim to give all sides of the group a new perspective on what others are doing and enable them to work together more effectively towards building a more sustainable cultural sector in Glasgow which might in turn influence a more sustainable city and vice versa.

2013-07-26_MakeWorks-NorthlandsCreativeGlass-StudioRoRo-0159-e1387538618782

This time round a group of twenty people gathered in the Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art with an excitingly wide range of backgrounds and expertise to spur on discussion. Our invited speaker, Fi Scott, Founder and Design Director of Make Works set the tone with a quick introduction to what they have been up to over the past year. Make Works’ mission is to ‘make it easier for creative professionals to produce high quality work locally’ in Scotland. Earlier this year they embarked upon a 3000 mile tour, mapping the suppliers, trades and manufactures working in Scotland for the Make Works Directory which will make it simple for artists and designers to source factories, fabricators, workshops and facilities digitally.

With our first two events providing more general introductions to Green Teas(e), Creative Carbon Scotland wanted to use this third session to flesh out some of the components and characteristics that might make up a sustainable Glasgow and cultural sector. Make Works’ emphasis on building new links between Scottish artists and designers and manufacturers, making visible previously hidden possibilities for them to produce work more locally, thus potentially contributing to the sustainability of the product, was a good starting point for discussion.

So what might a sustainable Glasgow and cultural sector look like? Creative Carbon Scotland asked the group what sustainability meant to them, in their personal and working contexts. Ben, Director of CCS, started us off with the ‘triple bottom line’ of environmental, economic and social sustainability encompassed by a wider circle which can be understood within any number of frameworks including ‘culture’, ‘world view’, ‘values’ or ‘politics’.

Four key themes emerged from the groups’ definitions:

  • Making sustainability the cultural norm through strong leadership, influencing audiences and supply chains;
  • Increasing the transparency of the trade-offs and complexity of decision making (in the broadest sense);
  • Education playing a key role not only in increasing awareness but engaging people in a way that does not ‘impose’ or ‘withhold’ the ability to live more sustainably;
  • Supporting/creating more local, closed loop economies.

How do these feed into imagining a more sustainable city? More space for ‘thinking’ was one characteristic identified by the group. Chris Fremantle, independent producer and researcher, amongst others spoke about the pressure for cities such as Glasgow to constantly reinvent itself in order to maintain its position as an internationally competitive and appealing city to travel to or invest in. Chris gave the example of the plans for the new Clyde-wide Fastlink bus in Glasgow which would threaten the running of Govan Fair which requires a day-long closure of part of the bus route. Councils and organisations such as Glasgow Life face a huge challenge in keeping  up with the pressures to deliver ‘new’, ‘bigger’ and better’ events and programmes on increasingly tight budgets and staff time.

A ‘slower’ culture which values greater capacity for transparency in decision making as well as time to reflect, critique and make the most of what local resources and activities are already available was agreed upon as something which is currently lacking in Glasgow’s cultural landscape. This might in turn put greater emphasis on longer-term planning. Kenneth Osborne, financial director of the RSNO, spoke about their new building currently under construction which is estimated as functioning for only 60 years. How might we better approach such infrastructural changes so as to remove the financial driver as the over-riding position? A more locally driven engagement with city planning was one suggestion from architect Andy McAvoy, founder of Edo Architecture.

Bringing us full circle, Creative Carbon Scotland talked about grappling with the complexities of achieving triple bottom line sustainability. Fi Scott highlighted the many contradictions Make Works were faced with when learning about the processes of local production in Scotland. How does one value the financial sustainability of a rural community which itself is maintained through the importation and exportation of particular materials and products around the world? To Fi one of the most consistent forms of sustainability she has encountered is that of jobs available to more isolated settlements through the presence of local factories and manufacturers. Amongst the group there was the feeling that a first step towards a more sustainable city would be strong leadership which acknowledges these tricky trade-offs that we all face.

For the next meeting Creative Carbon Scotland will be back-casting from a sustainable Glasgow and cultural sector in 2020 to discuss how we might get there.

Green Teas(e) is part of a wider EU project called the Green Arts Lab Alliance. To find out more, click here.

Image: Make Works, Ross Fraser Maclean

The post Blog: Green Teas(e) Reflections appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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Sea Stories: Online Cultural Map for Barra

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

Launched on 16th Nov 2013, ‘Sgeulachdan na Mara / Sea Stories’ is an innovative interactive map that reveals Barra’s rich local knowledge, language and culture through the voices and experiences of the local community.

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Visitors to the map are encouraged to explore the audio, video, images and stories in any order they like and within a couple of clicks they can learn about Barra’s shipwrecks, listen to traditional songs, view images of the island’s dramatic landscape or even hear stories about lifeboat landings during the war.

Developed by artist Stephen Hurrel and social ecologist Ruth Brennan, in association with Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay (VABV), central to gathering content for the project was local school pupils interviewing local Barra fishermen and older members of the community – a successful collaboration that’s set to continue in years to come.

Housed in Barra’s Heritage Centre, the Sea Stories cultural map is now a permanent feature within the community and will be updated as further ‘sea stories’ are gathered by Castlebay School’s media students in the future. It will also be accessible to the public at local cultural events and to the wider world online via the project website. Sea Stories: Barra is also featured in the current exhibition ‘Sea Change’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh organised by Cape Farewell.

Sgeulachdan na Mara / Sea Stories was funded through Creative Scotland’s First in a Lifetime programme and Comunn na Gaidhlig with support from The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland.

The post Sea Stories: Online Cultural Map for Barra appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico

E-Waste Recycling Rally: The NFL is Playing for Keeps and Greening Broadway

This post comes to you from the Broadway Green Alliance

The NFL is Playing for Keeps

Author: James Gowen

Before the Super Bowl last year, more than 7.5 million households purchased a brand new television before the big game. Whether viewers are watching to catch the big game, the spectacular halftime show, or even for the striking commercials, everyone wants the perfect display to make their viewing a touchdown. If you’re one of these many devoted Super Bowl fans, you are probably searching for deals during Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. No matter how you watch your favorite team, don’t forget to bid farewell to your old TV sets responsibly.

NYRP Tree Planting     VZW Electronics Recycling Pile

In the United States, more than 80% of TVs are left to be dumped in landfills. Landfill disposal poses a threat to the environment and well-being of the community. Certain televisions may contain hazardous and toxic materials, such as lead, mercury, and arsenic.

Recycling TVs will not only keep this toxic waste out of the ground, but it will also eliminate the need to extract other limited resources. Once a TV is dropped off to be recycled, it is taken to a special facility where it is taken apart and separated for recycled disposal. The glass from the screens, for example, is ultimately used in other products.

Huddle Up!

Landfill interception! Verizon and the NFL simplified this issue by offering an event for all their favorite fans. People were able to bring their old TVs and other personal e-waste to Verizon’s Recycling Rallies on 1/8 in Times Square and on 1/7 in Fair Lawn, NJ. To find a recycling center located near you, please visit  1800Recycling.com.

Enjoy your new devices, but don’t forget to recycle your old ones! Happy shopping!

Greening Broadway

By Rebekah Sale, Coordinator of the Broadway Green Alliance

For the past five years, the Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) — an industry initiative that educates, motivates, and inspires the entire theatre community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices — has been working to green-up Broadway. Besides working with theatre owners to replace all of their roof and marquee lights with energy-efficient bulbs, we now have a backstage liaison at nearly every Broadway show, operate a free binder exchange, circulate information on greener, better practices for all areas of theatre, and hold recycling collection drives four times a year.

For Broadway Green Alliance’s next drive, the alliance was thrilled to be partner with Verizon and the NFL Environment Program on a January 8th Electronic-Waste Recycling Rally in Times Square. Take a look at the website, BroadwayGreen.com, for event details as well as lots of resources and useful links.

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When the Broadway Green Alliance holds electronic waste drives we always save all iPods for our friends at the Broadway Alzheimer’s iPod Drive.  This inspiring program, started by Broadway musician Dave Roth, puts iPods into the hands of area Alzheimer’s patients through the Music and Memory Foundation (musicandmemory.org). The iPods are loaded with music familiar to these patients and what happens when these patients hear the music they remember is amazing.  As Dave explains,

“My mother spent her life devoted to conducting her folk choir in church for nearly 35 years. Unfortunately she has slipped into the fog of Alzheimer’s disease. She has not only lost memories but also the ability to speak. Using Music & Memory’s idea of personalized music, I decided to bring the music back in her life. The results were astounding because she surprisingly was able to recall lyrics and use words that my family and I hadn’t heard her use in years! “

Dan Cohen, the founder of the non-profit Music and Memory, explains:

“Although it doesn’t work for everybody and it is not a cure, it is turning out to be pretty powerful medicine for persons with dementia and others facing cognitive and physical challenges. Re-connecting nursing home residents with “their” music improves mood and enjoyment, increases sociability, enhances cognition, and reduces agitation.”

Dave Roth elaborated:

“Not only does the patient benefit but the families also feel the rewards from the therapeutic process of reminiscing about their loved ones’ favorite music of their past. It brings families together at a time when they already feel the impacting loss of their loved ones. The Broadway community has banded together and continues to ask everyone to donate their new or used iPods and to remember that ‘every used iPod can bring back a lifetime of memories!”

iPods collected at the January 8th event will go to Music and Memory to provide New York area nursing home residents with iPods with personalized playlists. Currently there is a waiting list of hundreds of residents who are waiting to enjoy their music.

The Broadway Green Alliance was founded in 2008 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is an ad hoc committee of The Broadway League and a fiscal program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Along with Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, the BGA is a founding member of the International Green Theatre Alliance. The BGA has reached tens of thousands of fans through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other media.

At the BGA, we recognize that it is impossible to be 100% “green” while continuing activity and – as there is no litmus test for green activity – we ask instead that our members commit to being greener and doing better each day. As climate change does not result from one large negative action, but rather from the cumulative effect of billions of small actions, progress comes from millions of us doing a bit better each day. To become a member of the Broadway Green Alliance we ask only that you commit to becoming greener, that you name a point person to be our liaison, and that you will tell us about your green-er journey.

The BGA is co-chaired by Susan Sampliner, Company Manager of the Broadway company of WICKED, and Charlie Deull, Executive Vice President at Clark Transfer<. Rebekah Sale is the BGA’s full-time Coordinator.

Go to the Broadway Green Alliance

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International Uranium Film Festival

From International Uranium Film Festival 

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• Rio de Janeiro – New Delhi – Berlin – Window Rock – New York – Copenhagen – LA

In 2013 the International Uranium Film Festival organized festivals in Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi, Mumbai,… Berlin, Munich, in New Mexico and in Window Rock Navajo Nation and showed more than 60 documentaries and movies about the risks of nuclear power, atomic bombs, uranium mining, nuclear waste and depleted uranium weapons: From Hiroshima to Fukushima. Thanks to all friends, partners and supporters the International Uranium Film Festival could show these important films to hundreds and thousands of people in three continents and more than a dozen cities.

Please support the International Uranium Film Festival  in 2014, so that it can continue its important mission. In 2014 the festival will begin in Washington DC (Feb 10-12) and New York (Feb 14-18). Then comes in May, the main event of 2014 – the 4th International Uranium Film Festival of Rio de Janeiro. Further festivals are planned in Nepal, India, Germany, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greenland, United States and more. The festivals can only be realized with generous support from environmental and socially conscious people, companies and institutions.

For more information on the films shown at the International Uranium Film Festival:
Women of Fukushima
Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1
New York Brooklyn Program

Donate directly through Paypal.

Festival Office and Film Entry Address:
Uranium Film Festival
Rua Monte Alegre. 356 / Apt 301
Rio de Janeiro / RJ
CEP 20240-194 – Brazil
info@uraniumfilmfestival.org
www.uraniumfilmfestival.org

Call for Proposals 2014 Power of Words Conference

Call for Proposals 2014 Power of Words Conference.

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Transformative Language Arts Network – Power of Words Conference

Call for Proposals-Deadline, January 15, 2014

The Transformative Language Arts Network 2014 Power of Words Conference, is to be held September 19-21 at Lake Doniphan Retreat Center near Kansas City, Missouri, and we are seeking your proposals. You can find the Proposal Form here.

This powerful conference brings together writers, storytellers, performers, musicians, educators, activists, healers, health professionals, community leaders, and more! Together, the conference explores the written, spoken and sung word, seeking to find how it can bring liberation, celebration, and transformation to individuals and communities. The Transformative Language Arts Network invites your proposals for experiential, didactic, and/or performance-based proposals that focus on writing, storytelling, drama, film, songwriting, and other forms of Transformative Language Arts (TLA).

This conference also offers workshops in four tracks: narrative medicine (healing and health related to the written, spoken and sung word), right livelihood (making a living from what you love in service to your community), social change (community building, ecological awareness, activism and more), and engaged spirituality (spiritual and/or religious practices related to TLA). Because the Transformative Language Arts Network is strongly committed to including individuals from diverse backgrounds, they encourage workshop proposals from people of color and all ages.

You will be notified if your workshop is accepted by March 1, 2014. Please note that the Transformative Language Arts Network is unable to offer presenters payment or waivers of conference fee (although we do work work-study and scholarships for conference fee reduction), and that presenters must register and pay for the conference by the early bird deadline of May 1st. For further information, please contact Deb Hensley, TLAN Network Coordinator, 576 N. Palermo Road, Freedom, Maine 04941. 589-944-4039

Keynoters are Kelley Hunt, international touring artist and singer-songwriter; Kevin Willmott, award-winning filmmaker, writer and director; Doug Lipman, storyteller, coach, mentor and author; and Scott Cairns, poet and writer. Artists-in-residence are poet, painter and muralist Jose Faus, and storm and weather photographer Stephen Locke. A special pre-conference reading features five Missouri and Kansas poets laureate: Wyatt TownleyWilliam Trowbridge, Walter Bargen, Denise Low, and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg.

Read about the whole conference here.
To access the Proposal Form, go here.



The 2014 Power of Words Conference will be held September 19-21, at the beautiful Lake Doniphan Conference and Retreat Center just outside Kansas City, Missouri.

Green Teas(e) Reflections

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

2013-07-26_MakeWorks-NorthlandsCreativeGlass-StudioRoRo-0159-e1387538618782

On 16th December Creative Carbon Scotland met for the third in a series of Green Teas(e) which bring together artists, arts organisations and people working in sustainability in Glasgow for tea, biscuits and discussion, with the view to sewing together previously disconnected projects and initiatives in the city. Green Teas(e) aims to give all sides of the group a new perspective on what others are doing and enable them to work together more effectively towards building a more sustainable cultural sector in Glasgow which might in turn influence a more sustainable city and vice versa.

This time round a group of twenty people gathered in the Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art with an excitingly wide range of backgrounds and expertise to spur on discussion. The invited speaker, Fi Scott, Founder and Design Director of Make Works set the tone with a quick introduction to what they have been up to over the past year. Make Works’ mission is to ‘make it easier for creative professionals to produce high quality work locally’ in Scotland. Earlier this year they embarked upon a 3000 mile tour, mapping the suppliers, trades and manufactures working in Scotland for the Make Works Directory which will make it simple for artists and designers to source factories, fabricators, workshops and facilities digitally.

With the first two events providing more general introductions to Green Teas(e), Creative Carbon Scotland wanted to use this third session to flesh out some of the components and characteristics that might make up a sustainable Glasgow and cultural sector. Make Works’ emphasis on building new links between Scottish artists and designers and manufacturers, making visible previously hidden possibilities for them to produce work more locally, thus potentially contributing to the sustainability of the product, was a good starting point for discussion.

So what might a sustainable Glasgow and cultural sector look like? We asked the group what sustainability meant to them, in their personal and working contexts. Ben, Director of CCS, started us off with the ‘triple bottom line’ of environmental, economic and social sustainability encompassed by a wider circle which can be understood within any number of frameworks including ‘culture’, ‘world view’, ‘values’ or ‘politics’.

Four key themes emerged from the groups’ definitions:

  • Making sustainability the cultural norm through strong leadership, influencing audiences and supply chains;
  • Increasing the transparency of the trade-offs and complexity of decision making (in the broadest sense);
  • Education playing a key role not only in increasing awareness but engaging people in a way that does not ‘impose’ or ‘withhold’ the ability to live more sustainably;
  • Supporting/creating more local, closed loop economies.

How do these feed into imagining a more sustainable city? More space for ‘thinking’ was one characteristic identified by the group. Chris Fremantle, independent producer and researcher, amongst others spoke about the pressure for cities such as Glasgow to constantly reinvent itself in order to maintain its position as an internationally competitive and appealing city to travel to or invest in. Chris gave the example of the plans for the new Clyde-wide Fastlink bus in Glasgow which would threaten the running of Govan Fair which requires a day-long closure of part of the bus route. Councils and organisations such as Glasgow Life face a huge challenge in keeping  up with the pressures to deliver ‘new’, ‘bigger’ and better’ events and programmes on increasingly tight budgets and staff time.

A ‘slower’ culture which values greater capacity for transparency in decision making as well as time to reflect, critique and make the most of what local resources and activities are already available was agreed upon as something which is currently lacking in Glasgow’s cultural landscape. This might in turn put greater emphasis on longer-term planning. Kenneth Osborne, financial director of the RSNO, spoke about their new building currently under construction which is estimated as functioning for only 60 years. How might we better approach such infrastructural changes so as to remove the financial driver as the over-riding position? A more locally driven engagement with city planning was one suggestion from architect Andy McAvoy, founder of Edo Architecture.

Bringing the group full circle, we talked about grappling with the complexities of achieving triple bottom line sustainability. Fi Scott highlighted the many contradictions Make Works were faced with when learning about the processes of local production in Scotland. How does one value the financial sustainability of a rural community which itself is maintained through the importation and exportation of particular materials and products around the world? To Fi one of the most consistent forms of sustainability she has encountered is that of jobs available to more isolated settlements through the presence of local factories and manufacturers. Amongst the group there was the feeling that a first step towards a more sustainable city would be strong leadership which acknowledges these tricky trade-offs that we all face.

For the next meeting Creative Carbon Scotland will be back-casting from a sustainable Glasgow and cultural sector in 2020 to discuss how we might get there.

Green Teas(e) is part of a wider EU project called the Green Arts Lab Alliance. To find out more, click here.

Image: Make Works, Ross Fraser Maclean

The post Blog: Green Teas(e) Reflections appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.

Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;

Communicating with their audiences;

Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

Powered by WPeMatico