Bookings are now open for Factory creative industries training workshops in Stoke-on-Trent:
29th May: Brand development & implementation.
10th June and 11th June: Winning More Work: making more effective presentations.
17th June: How to get press interest.
19th June: Brand development & implementation.
20th June: How to build a better website.
26th June: Engaging Your Customers: social networking for business.
18th Sept: Brand development & implementation.
Date tbc: Intellectual Property Seminar.
The Factory creative industries magazine for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is now available for download...
Download (PDF, 5Mb).
The Staffordshire University Fringe Festival programme is now available online. Highlights for training and networking events include...
23rd May: Creating the change: Developing a sustainable social or community enterprise.
29th May: Social Media Surgery.
11th June: Creative Networking Breakfast (8am-10am).
12th June: Social Media Surgery (repeat).
12th June: "Where do I go from here?", career planning and coaching workshop.
13th June: Factory event, the Factory Floor creative industries debate.
Interested in exporting to high-growth markets? The UK's official Export Week is 13th-17th May 2013, and there are a number of events happening in the West Midlands and the North West. Stoke-on-Trent has "Any more for Singapore?" on 13th May; and a "China Export Clinic" on 15th May 2013.
Start Up Your Creative Business is a free two-day workshop (9.30am - 4.30pm on both days) in Stoke-on-Trent. This workshop is for any graduate based in the West Midlands who is starting up a creative business in the arts, design or media...
"We will cover all the essentials around your values, marketing, financial management, intellectual property, your legal structure (e.g.: self-employed, limited company) and your networks."
"...for socially minded businesses and social enterprises looking to network and develop their business"
The date set is 20th June 2013 (3.30pm - 5.30pm), at the Atlas Works on College Road, Stoke-on-Trent.
Here's the flyer showing the arts & crafts workshops dates and 'meet the artist' dates in Leek, part of the town's Astound 2013 show...
Grain is running a Portfolio Development Day for photographers on Saturday 8th June 2013. The venue will be the Learning Exchange in the Flaxman Building, at the Stoke-on-Trent campus of Staffordshire University. Cost is £20 for professionals, or £12 for students...
"During the day there will be a series of talks by experts, advice sessions and one to one reviews to help emerging photographers, artists who work in photography and students to develop a professional portfolio. The day is a must for emerging photographers who wish to understand how to develop their work and their portfolio in order to secure opportunities."
Job: Staffordshire University requires a Lecturer in Cartoon and Comics Arts (ACT12-23). Deadline: 12th May 2013.
Job: Staffordshire University requires a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design / Illustration (ACT12-25). Deadline: 16th May 2013.
Jobs: It looks like there will soon be ten Web developer jobs available at Ticketmaster in Stoke-on-Trent, according to a report in The Sentinel newspaper. The jobs will be at the Ticketmaster division, located at the Boothen end of Stoke town.
Graduates from B.A. and M.A. degree courses in 2012 and 2013 are invited to submit their ceramic work, for selection for the British Ceramics Biennial's Fresh 2013 exhibition in Stoke-on-Trent. Deadline: Friday 5th July 2013.
Added to the Directory: 3D Creation Lab offers 3d printing and prototype building services. Based at The Sutherland Institute in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. Below is a 3D printed sculptural bust of a celebrity they recently made for a TV company...
Evolve 13 will showcase the Staffordshire University 1st and 2nd-year media/film production students' final films, at the Staffordshire University Film Theatre, on 15th May 2013 (6pm).
Keele University, in North Staffordshire, is hosting a one-day academic conference on Britishness on 19th June 2013. The conference has a wide range, including discussing representations in media and the arts, and it may be of interest to creatives who are addressing or incorporating Britishness in their work.
Keele University, in North Staffordshire, is hosting a three-day academic conference titled Teenage Kicks: the representation of youth subcultures on 11th-13th July 2013. This event may be of interest to documentary makers and cultural historians.
Set of 480 costume photos of the recent Keele University AmeCon convention for fans of Japanese youth culture...
There's a new street photography blog, Staffs Street, for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, from the Staffordshire Street Photography Project. They're welcoming submissions via their Flickr group.
"Working in Leek", Staffordshire Street Photography Project.
The Staffordshire heats of the Red Cross's 'Dance: Make Your Move' dance competition are to be held at the Mitchell Youth Arts Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, on 15th June 2013. As well as the West Midlands Area Final on 29th June 2013. This national competition is for any dancer aged 4 to 18, regardless of their ability. The winners of the area finals will go on to perform in London.
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Libraries are seeking a young poet to represent the county.
Jobs: Stafford Gatehouse Theatre is seeking 6 x Casual Technicians for stage-hand work at the theatre. Deadline: 16th May 2013.
A new Knit and Knatter knitters' group starts 1st June 2013, at the Mitchell Youth Arts Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. From 1.30pm-3.30pm, every 3rd Saturday of the month.
Live-work apartments are available now for creative business or start-ups seeking affordable one-bed live/work space. In central Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, from c.£300/month. Interested? Contact John Webbe at: email@example.com
A new feature-length DVD film is available for order from Stoke-on-Trent's Re:Stoke. Made by local film-makers Junction 15 Productions, the film documents the recent Re:Stoke PALACE dance and theatre performance at the Bethesda Chapel in Stoke-on-Trent. A special screening of the new film will be happening at the Mitchell Youth Arts Centre in Hanley, on Sat 25th May 2013 (3pm-4pm), where DVDs will be available.
The BBC Performing Arts Fund distributes funding which raised via the phone-call charges on various BBC phone-ins. It has so far given away £3.5m, and the fund's 2013 focus is on theatre. Interested groups can apply here.
Jobs: Details of the creative commissions are now online for the Just So Festival 2014, the young children's creative and cultural festival located about five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent.
Staffordshire County Council's arts service has now publicly released its list of experienced artists and organisations (PDF link) who are able to deliver community arts workshops and projects in Staffordshire. To be in future editions, download the application form here.
Congratulations to: AirSpace gallery; B Arts; BiTjAM; Picl; and Re:Stoke. Together they've made a successful funding bid to the Arts Council's national Catalyst Arts scheme, which aims... "to enable arts organisations with an underdeveloped fundraising model to increase capacity". A two-year programme "Making It Work" will start June 2013, and will assist the consortium with with exploring effective new fundraising models.
StaffsLive has a peek behind the scenes at the garden design that Stoke-on-Trent is entering in the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show...
New Art West Midlands 2014, for contemporary fine arts graduates, now open for submissions.
The Stafford Town Centre Partnership and Stafford Arts Festival 2013 are seeking artists and performers for the town centre, for Saturday 7th September 2013.
An interesting short course is to run at nearby Wolverhampton. "Creative screen print for textiles" runs 5.30-8.30pm on Wednesdays at the University of Wolverhampton, starting 15th May 2013 for 10 weeks. The university is within easy walking distance of the intercity train station. Cost is £240...
"The course will focus on screen print for textiles and will include inductions in pigment printing, discharge, devore, printing with puff binder, and using flock, foil and pearlescent techniques."
The unique international festival of deaf culture Deaffest festival takes place 17th-19th May 2013, at the Light House arts centre and cinema, in nearby Wolverhampton.
The first pilot issue of the new Staffas magazine is now available online. This free 78-page PDF magazine is a personal 'zine for Stoke-on-Trent & North Staffordshire.
Download the PDF (19Mb) for your desktop or tablet PC
Cover photo: David Adams.
Burslem's 6 Towns Radio has announced they will apply for a license to broadcast on FM through a restricted service license (RSL).
6 Towns is a genuine community station, in broadcasting for the last two and a half years, and dedicated team of around 100 volunteers give
up their time every week to produce a wide variety of radio shows. If the RSL is granted, then 6 Towns Radio will have a short-term FM broadcast trial lasting up to 28 days.
Staffordshire Innovating for Impact is a Staffordshire University event, for businesses to discover the innovation help
available via the University. There are two dates: Thursday 16th May 2013 in Stoke-on-Trent, and Friday 17th May 2013 in Stafford. See the Web page for full details.
There's to be a free event on the use of QR codes, GPS and RFID technologies in nearby Telford, on 2nd May 2013 (12pm-2pm). The venue will be
the Business Innovation Centre at the Sutherland Institute, on Lightwood Road in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
For more information or to book your place, contact Sandra Butterworth at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre (BIC) has a two hour workshop on
"Using Social Media to Market Your Innovation", at the Stafford Business Village, on 12th June 2013 (4pm-6pm).
The art-led Bird Yarden project launches at the AirSpace contemporary art gallery in Hanley on Saturday 4th May (11am - 7pm).
A free day of activities and talks will
celebrate the launch of the Bird Yarden...
AirSpace contemporary art gallery in Stoke-on-Trent has three one-week exhibition slots available in their street-facing window.
Dates: 13th-19th May, 20th-26th May, 27th May-2nd June 2013. Application deadline: Sunday 5th May 2013.
Artists are being asked to submit proposals for works sited anywhere in Britain’s public forests, in Open Forest. The scheme will offer
£30k to make a commissioned idea become reality, and is a partnership between the Forestry Commission and Jerwood Visual Art. In 2012 Stoke-on-Trent saw the planting of three Queen's Jubilee Woods at
Chell and Fenton, a total of around 250,000 native oak trees. There are also Forestry Commission woods nearby at Cannock Chase and Dimmings Dale at Alton.
Five artists will be chosen to each receive a £2,000 development grant to explore ideas over six months,
with the best final proposal getting the £30k commission. With no brief, the projects considered could be permanent or could travel, and could exist in any medium.
Submission deadline: 28th May 2013.
Photographers' Collective North Staffordshire is calling for submissions of photographs for its annual Open, held at
the upper floor gallery of the Burslem School of Art, Stoke-on-Trent. Their annual 'Open For All' exhibition will run 5th May to 8th June 2013.
The Community Performance Arts Centre (CPAC) is now open at 19 Birch Terrace, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (opposite the new bus station). This serves as the home to CPAC Dance Academy, M.Y
Theatre Company and the M.Y Inter-Theatre Group. The venue is now available as an affordable city-centre arts venue for hire, suitable for rehearsals,
classes or workshops. There is a separate coffee lounge which can be hired as a package with cafe facility, or separately for forums and meetings.
Interested? Contact Jill on 07805 443595 or email@example.com for further information.
Jobs: St. Margaret Ward Catholic College, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, requires a Teacher of Music and a Teacher of Drama (0.8 as maternity cover) for the September 2013 term.
Job: St. Joseph's College, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, requires a Director of Music.
Job: Keele University's Faculty of Health has a vacancy for a Software Developer
to work with the Web and a 3D game-engine (Unity) to develop a Web-based virtual 'information assistant' for the university.
Job: Keele University requires a Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Marketing.
Darren Washington's new Gallery 116 is now open in Stoke town. It's the same site as the old SHOP artists' shop in 2010/11,
at the main road entrance to the Spode works at 116 Church Street. Contact via the Facebook group or firstname.lastname@example.org / 075 570 58582.
Good photos of your prized Spode teapots are wanted, for a summer exhibition at Spode in Stoke town. Ideally a straight-up view showing you holding the pot, and accompanied by some detail
on the pot and why it's special to you. Mail your pictures to: email@example.com
Stoke-on-Trent arts duo Dashyline are currently undertaking a commemorative sculpture for the Lidice Shall Live campaign. The sculpture will be made by small contributions from the community...
"To contribute you must make a promise; a promise to retell the story of Lidice to two people. Everyone who makes a promise has the opportunity to be
featured on the sculpture itself in the form of a large coal miner's tag etched with their own personal code (initials and your day of birth), alongside thousands of others who have made
the same promise."
For full information visit the project's Web page.
There's a new casting call for a short Staffordshire film by Stoke-on-Trent's Chris Stone Films and
Big Red Studio,
called The Saga of the Saxon.
An ambitious & committed young lad is required (unpaid, with supportive parents for transport) for a short adventure film in the vein of The Hobbit.
They need someone who can playing a boy aged between 13-15, ideally local to Stoke-on-Trent. You must physically look like a young warrior (think Anglo-Saxon/Viking), and
have a good range of emotional and improvisational skills. You will play alongside David Lemberg, who has been cast as the 'Old Man'.
Some rehearsals may be required, when convenient, in Stoke-On-Trent or central Manchester. Filming will be during half-term (27th May - 2nd June 2013)
in Staffordshire. Please be advised filming will take place in rugged terrain and caves, in any weather conditions. The film will also be partly animated.
Now online, a selection of the best films made by the second-year B.A. Film students at Staffordshire University.
If you're quick, you might just catch the big second-year B.A. Fine Art show at Staffordshire University. Ends today (Sunday)! Free. There's also the AA2A show in the Flaxman gallery on the
campus, which runs until Wednesday.
The nearby Chester Performs festival is calling for artists and creative collaborators, for summer projects on Saturdays in July & August 2013.
They need people who can create and run workshops, make props, make games, and do entertaining site decoration such as giant garden items, bendy mirrors, wind/solar powered props, giant storybooks, and more.
Deadline for proposals: Thursday 9th May 2013. See the website for full details.
Artists' Newsletter (AN) has a new report available to subscribers, The Lay of the Land: current approaches to professional practice in visual and applied arts B.A. courses (April 2013).
The report involved 25 of the UK's 149 fine and applied arts degree courses, and it explores key problems such as: how to overcome the alleged "boredom" factor in activities such as career planning or client research;
the fatal allure of London after graduation; and the teaching of transferable skills of use to non-arts employers after graduation.
Job: a Children's Library commission is on offer at the new Birmingham Library.
They require a series of illustrations — of characters and their environment — that will be produced as large-scale soft toys/furniture
and as vinyl illustrations on specified walls and floor. It is expected that children will be able to develop their own narratives and
play with the characters in both informal and workshop contexts." Fee: £1,000. Application deadline: 5pm on Monday 29th April 2013.
The new Grain photography hub, based the new Birmingham Library, now has its website online. Its aim is to become
a hub for photography in the whole of the West Midlands.
NESTA has just released its new Manifesto for the Creative Economy. Despite the fluffy title,
this is a substantial and and very well-researched 128-page document with a raft of footnotes. Its aim appears to be to aid the floundering new Culture Minister,
and also to help shape policy ahead of the General Election in 2015. It has a useful short summary of the UK’s post-1997 creative industries policies, and the various reactions to them among politicians
and vested interests. Local and regional efforts to develop creative clusters are pithily addressed on pages 58-62.
Job: a paid Evaluator is needed for the Enson Works Heritage Project in Stoke-on-Trent, between June and November of 2013...
"You will be collecting together information from our 10 projects, plus putting on fun, interactive evaluation sessions at our launch events,
before putting all the statistics and stories together an A4 PDF final report for our Heritage Lottery funders."
Application deadline: 12 noon on Wednesday 24th April 2013. For more information about the opportunity contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
There's a new Facebook group for scriptwriters in and around Stoke-on-Trent.
The Baring Foundation and Arts Council England have launched a new £1m fund for arts projects to bring arts to the elderly over the next three years.
Stoke-on-Trent's £3m Creative People & Places reports that their business plan has been accepted by Arts Council England. The programme will be branded as "Appetite", and aimed at adults who have not experienced the arts before. Appetite have now announced their new appointees:
Karl Greenwood – Project Director, previously a Project Manager for Multistory in Sandwell.
Gemma Thomas – Creative Producer, previously a freelance arts Project Manager, most recently working with DanceXchange.
Gary Cicinskas – Programme Manager, previously the Dance 4 Life Project Co-ordinator in Lincolnshire.
The new team will be introduced and the next steps in the programme explained, at the Mitchell Arts Centre on Thursday 9th May 2013 (5pm–7pm). "Spaces are limited so please email email@example.com to confirm your attendance."
Job: there's a paid opportunity to edit an 8-10 minute student film about the history of the Longton beerhouses in Stoke-on-Trent. Filming will take place in May 2013, supervised by professional film company Unique Media and supported by Staffordshire Film Archive. Deadline for quotations is 12 noon on Monday 22nd April 2013. For more information about the opportunity contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stoke-on-Trent's Burslem School of Art is to host a Spring "Wide Open" selling exhibition in the Atrium Gallery, 1st May to 29th May 2013. Photography can be entered for the Staffordshire Photographers' Collective Open, which will be run upstairs in parallel with the BSOA Wide Open. Full details from: email@example.com
Architects and cultural historians may be interested in a talk at the Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, "Utopias in Urban Planning: dreams and realities", on 15th May 2013 (from 5.30pm)...
"Utopian dreams in planning have too often resulted in disappointing realities. This lecture looks at garden cities, architectural modernism and the spread of suburbia, and their legacy in urban planning policy in the UK."
Stoke-on-Trent painter Rob Pointon now has a Kickstarter to send him on a painting trip to the streets of San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York.
Staffordshire Innovating for Impact is a Staffordshire University event for businesses to discover the innovation help available via the University. There are two dates: Thursday 16th May 2013 in Stoke-on-Trent, and Friday 17th May 2013 in Stafford.
Don't forget that the deadline for application to the Staffordshire County Council Community Arts Fund is Tuesday 30th April 2013. One funding opportunity of £2,500 for each of the following districts: Stafford; Newcastle-under-Lyme; and Staffordshire Moorlands.
Gone in 20 Minutes will fund eight artists or performance companies with £3,000, to develop a small to medium-scale idea or project for a new outdoor performance. Applications are welcome from... "all art forms including circus, dance, theatre, music and visual arts or a combination of the above". Application deadline: Friday 19th April 2013, at 5pm.
Jobs: Volunteers are required for North Staffs TV, a new service which aims to start delivering local TV content for North Staffordshire via the internet.
They are holding two open days in Stoke-on-Trent. The first will be Thursday 11th April 2013 (6.30pm). The second will be on Saturday 13th April 2013 (2pm).
High demand for places is expected, so they require potential attendees to commit to attending by requesting a place via an email, clearly stating your skills...
"and how you think you can assist North Staffs TV". North Staffs TV is looking for a wide variety of skills... "from presenters, camera crew, editing team, production,
Web editors, journalists and content writers, administrators, graphic designers and much more."
The application email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chartered Institute of Marketing is hosting a talk on the art of sales copywriting, How to write words that sell... and engage, in Stoke-on-Trent.
This is stated on their website as being a... "Free event for members and non-members." It is set for the 24th April 2013, at Ashley Conference Centre, Staffordshire University (Stoke campus).
Full details from the Web page.
Denise O'Sullivan's Pop-up Emporium now has booking forms available for those wishing to
take a selling pitch at either the Lymelight Festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme (May), or the London Road Festival in Stoke town (June).
Artists are wanted by Tiled Space. Tiled Space is a Stoke-on-Trent company which manufactures bespoke ceramic tiles. This has led them into many different areas,
including community arts projects, supplies to tile shops and distributors, and services for architects and interior designers. They are now considering the
development of a range of Aga panels for kitchen splash-backs, for sale through independent tile shops and bespoke kitchen companies. For this they are asking
artists to submit their designs, with a view to compile a portfolio of suitable artists. Tiled Space hope to find designers who cover a range of different styles and
themes, but who can work to their specific need for custom-made panels and splash-backs.
For more information, or to apply, please send an artist's statement and up to 5 .jpg images to Mark Wood at: email@example.com
Added to the Directory: Tiled Space, a Stoke-on-Trent manufacturer of bespoke ceramic tiles.
Added to the Directory: Creative Walls and Floors, a specialist in... "unique natural, handmade and ceramic tiles,
featuring the largest variety of limestone, slate, terracotta, ceramic, porcelain, mosaic, glass, and feature tiles in Stoke-on-Trent."
Added to the Directory: The Firing Line, a Stoke-on-Trent firm offering bespoke runs of white and coloured biscuit ceramic tiles.
Added to the Directory: H&E Smith, specialist tile manufacturers based in Stoke-on-Trent.
Local artists are invited to submit work for the 2013
Staffordshire Open Art exhibition at the county's Shire Hall
Gallery in Stafford (18th May - 14th July 2013). Entry is limited to anyone... "who lives, works, studies or who was born in Staffordshire".
Full details at the Web page.
Job: A part-time Community Engagement Worker is needed by PiCL as part of Stoke-on-Trent's forthcoming £3m Creative People & Places programme to engage adults with the arts —
which will be branded as 'Appetite'. Application deadline: 19th April 2013. Full details from: firstname.lastname@example.org
The "new baby boom" is obvious all around us, and those shaping creative and commercial responses to this boom might be interested in the 2013
Children's Media Conference. This is being held on the other side of the Peak in
Sheffield, and is trailed as... "the most important event in the UK calendar for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing content for kids."
Dates are 3rd-5th July 2013. Also of note for those interested in creating products for the boom is the UK's major expo The Baby Show,
down at the NEC in Birmingham, on 17th-19th May 2013.
Burton-upon-Trent is to host a large conference for those who work with very young children and their music / movement skills.
The 2013 UpBeat Conference 2013 is set for 16th April 2013, and is being staged by Make Some Noise
with support from East Staffordshire Borough Council. The venue will be the town's Brewhouse arts centre. Full details at the Web page.
Added to the Directory: Stoke-on-Trent based Little Dreams, a bespoke furniture manufacturing firm with a wide range of products.
Newcastle-under-Lyme College has announced an investment of £5,000 in a new glass kiln, giving the region a glass production capacity in post-16 education lacking since the closure of the glass degree course at Staffordshire University in the early 2000s. The new specialist glass kiln extends the possibilities for full-time Foundation students, and the College has also added a new part-time recreational course for adults. The college's new 'CREATE Glass' course for adults starts on Wednesday 17th April 2013 and runs for five weeks from 6.30pm – 8.30pm. CREATE Glass will provide an introduction to fused glass, and students will make a glass item to keep. Full details from: email@example.com
Staffordshire's Shire Hall Gallery is seeking submissions from artists in all media who create contemporary portraits & self-portraits, for an exhibition in January 2014. Deadline: 3rd May 2013. Interested? Please send up to 6 JPG images (no larger than 1Mb per image), a current C.V. and an artist's statement by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The new Staffordshire University Videogames Design Showreel for 2013 is now online...
Would you like to be in the stage musical Guys & Dolls at Stoke's Regent Theatre? The deadline for submitting audition forms is fast approaching. If you are aged between 11- 25, you'll have a chance in the Audition Room to be a part of this year's Stage Experience at the Regent. If you need an audition form please email Laura at: email@example.com
The UK’s only Cartoon Festival takes place nearby, and now has 2013 dates and a full programme. The Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival is set for Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April 2013. The festival includes exhibitions of cartoon art, plus talks, workshops, and 'cartoon clinics'. See the website for full details.
The Light House, in nearby Wolverhampton, is to run a writing course "From Idea to Publication". It will run every Tuesday from 16th April for 8 weeks, 6pm – 8.30pm. Cost: £100. Interested? Please contact Alex Davis at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Granary Gallery, at nearby Weston Park, has opened its 2013 Fine Art Open Competition. There is a £15 entry fee per work. If sold, works attract a 40% (+ VAT at 20%) gallery fee. Overall winner receives £2,000. The Shropshire / Staffordshire award winning artist receives £500. Deadline: 28th June 2013. Exhibition dates: 2nd to 29th August 2013. See the website for full details.
The Creative Employment Programme is the government's new £15m fund for arts and cultural apprenticeships and internships opportunities for those aged 16-24. Interested employers should note that the first application deadline is Friday 29th March 2013.
Staffordshire County Council has a new Community Learning Trust Responsiveness Fund of £100,000. This is available to fund needs-based learning projects across the county. The Fund is available to learning providers from all sectors including private sector, public sector and voluntary and community organisations. Application deadline: 31st March 2013.
Job: An Art Teacher is wanted for a June start at a North Staffordshire school.
Congratulations to the organisers of the new 'Park Traces' arts project in Stoke-on-Trent. They have secured funding from Staffordshire University's Teaching Enhancement and Student Support (TESS) fund for... "15 students and 3 artists" to document Hanley Park, in Stoke-on-Trent. The Park Traces team now have a weblog for the project, which has all the details.
The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has just launched a new two-year search for evidence of the real impact that culture makes on the UK. The AHRC's Cultural Value Project will aim to broaden the existing evidence base, and to provide a framework for deeper public discussion on the topic in 2015. If you are part of a cultural institution which would like to participate, please note that the closing date for funding applications is 16th April 2013. For more details contact project researcher Patricia Kaszynska at: email@example.com
Added to the Directory: Joanna Dawidowska, ceramics designer-maker.
Added to the Directory: Denise Maloney, ceramics designer.
Added to the Directory: Anne Mychalkiw, a surface pattern designer and ceramics designer.
Added to the Directory: Quirky Bird, hand-maker of silver and lampwork glass jewellery.
Added to the Directory: Nicola Blaize Ceramics.
Added to the Directory: Gillian Laverick, maker of porcelain and gold jewellery.
Added to the Directory: McCullough & Howard Guitars, an electric guitar repair and refurb service based in North Staffordshire.
Added to the Directory: Taurus Entertainments, the website of card and close-up stage magician Damen William Lewis. Damen is also set to be a lead actor in the Accolade to Evil segment of the forthcoming Stoke-on-Trent feature film Inquisitous (being made by Stoke's Chameleon Monkey Ltd).
Stoke-on-Trent's BIGred Studio has released a super new five-minute animated documentary.
This creative film celebrates the life of the neo-gothic architect Pugin (1812-1852), with some especially delightful animated ceramic tiles seen in the introduction. The eastern part of
North Staffordshire has been called "Pugin-land", because there are so many of Pugin's great gothic buildings there. The animation has been funded via the Heritage Lottery and local sponsors...
Shane Oakley's new Channel Evil graphic novel
(with major writer Alan Grant) was published by Renegade on 13th March 2013. Shane is an internationally-acclaimed professional comics artist, and an illustrator of horror and the gothic.
He works from the Wolstanton Marsh area of the Potteries.
Somewhere Nowhere is Sam Dahl's documentary graphic novel, illustrating five
stories of homeless people living in Stoke-on-Trent. It appears to have been made available for free in a limited-edition b&w print form, at an event last year on homelessness — but
is not yet available for public purchase. A possible opportunity here, for a local publisher or digital distributor?
The UK's Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has unveiled a new £4m initiative
to use the new digital technologies to help communities explore their culture and heritage. The funding is available to AHRC-accredited research institutions, including museums.
The new initiative was launched at a showcase event in March 2013, as part of the Connected Communities Programme. A podcast about the programme is
Job: Staffordshire University requires a Senior Lecturer in Journalism, specifically...
"a pioneering digital journalist". Application deadline: 1st April 2013.
The Technology Strategy Boards's National Innovation Voucher Scheme can help UK small and medium businesses to
pay the cost of working with a consultant from a local university — specifically, to explore the innovative uses of 'open data' (i.e.: official data sets and databases, openly published under permissive usage licences).
This Innovation Voucher application system opened on 26th November 2012, and is currently still open.
The Innovation Networks scheme for the West Midlands has been awarded
funding to carry on until March 2015. The scheme offers small £10,000 grants to West Midlands projects that are...
"...truly innovative, resulting in a new product, process or service and provide tangible benefits for the West Midlands economy"
Create Innovate is a new six-month development programme for feature-film producers interested in online content. The programme is being delivered by Northern Film & Media, but appears
to be open to experienced filmmakers who are... "based in one of the English regions", rather than being restricted to those based in the north of England.
The Create Innovate programme will support
four teams... "as they explore the commercial and creative potential of their feature-film story-worlds online". Application deadline: 30th April 2013.
Job: Chester Council wants to commission a lead artist... "to have an overarching view" of a project in their Odeon Units (a new theatre and public library), and
then to coordinate a programme of creative activity within the spaces. Fee of £6,000. The project's start date is May 2013, running until the end November 2014.
Application deadline: 15th April 2013. For a full brief please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Job: The managers of Stoke-on-Trent's Local Sustainable Transport Fund want to commission a new design concept for the Fund. Application deadline: 28th March 2013. A copy of
the design concept brief for 'Tender CR2013/878 New Design Concept'
is available now from Natalie Baker at: email@example.com The scheme is part of the government's £266 million investment in local sustainable transport schemes.
It's been a week in which North Staffordshire's ceramics industry has had good news to celebrate on keeping energy costs static, but also a week in which we've also seen the stability of the UK's
shaky energy-supply system severely tested by the bitter weather.
In such a context one might also ask: are there also energy savings to be made in cultural buildings? The UK Theatres Trust has recently published a substantial free report on this very topic, titled
Energising Culture: a guide to future energy for cultural buildings...
"Energising Culture surveys strategic issues around energy demand, supply and
implications for business models; the current range of financial incentives and sources of funding and investment models available; and
examples of innovative and bold responses to the energy challenge showing the potential of the cultural sector."
Staffordshire University and Enterprising Futures are surveying the current 'social enterprise' activity in North Staffordshire. They would like interested
parties to complete their online survey.
Lloyds Banking Group's Social Entrepreneurs Programme is now available, for the first time in the Midlands, to help local
community projects. For successful applicants the package includes: training; from £4,000 to £25,000 in project funding; and a senior mentor from Lloyds Banking Group.
Application deadline: 2nd April 2013.
Royal Bank of Scotland has a free "Kick Off in Business" course from 22nd-23rd April 2013 (9.30am-4.30pm), at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent.
The aim is to give participants the basic knowledge needed to set up in business on their own.
After a slow start, the UK's Startup Loans service has now loaned "more than £10 million" to 18-30 year old entrepreneurs in the UK.
They now report that they have another £5.5 million to spend, taking the Startup Loans fund to £117.5 million. The service is intended for those who would rather start a business than go to university, and offers
low-rate £2,500 loan to fledgling entreprenuers.
Burslem's 6Towns Radio has available... "discounts [on radio advertising] to new business startups trading in Stoke-on-Trent". They also have the ideal vehicle for
ads for new creative firms and services, in the form of the regular Leeka's Kulture Klub show on Wednesdays. Interested? Email:
The Staffordshire Moorlands now has all the dates available for their
informal Arts Forums networking events, from May to November 2013.
Want to try market trading on local markets? The 'New First Pitch' initiative
will offer six free market-stall spaces in Stoke-on-Trent. Five in Hanley and one space on Longton Market, available for five days from mid-May 2013.
The Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University is to run a one-day masterclass workshop in coaching skills, on 16th April 2013.
Cost is £60 to £100, with discounts available. Full details from: 0800 169 2148.
Developing Arts For Health Training is a professional development programme
accredited by Staffordshire University. It costs £300 and is aimed at artists, arts development workers and health workers using the arts.
Includes three days of workshops, and a practical work placement. The deadline for expressions of interest is: 12th April 2013. Full details at the website.
All the Web links in the Creative Stoke directory have been checked by hand, with dead links being either repaired or deleted.
The government's new £15m Creative Employment Programme is holding an arts/cultural employer roadshow with Creative & Cultural Skills, in Manchester on the 26th March 2013. Over the next 2 years this £15m programme will aim to generate:
1,600 Pre-Apprenticeships, targeted at 16-18 year olds
2,900 Apprenticeships, targeted at 16-24 year olds
2,000 paid Internships, targeted at 18-24 year olds
Job: Newcastle-under-Lyme's B Arts now has a paid Web development tender available, part of the £3m Creative People & Places programme (aka 'Appetite'). There is no graphic design requirement, as the graphics and branding are being done by someone else. The planned Artsbank phase of the website (local community-arts resources directory + a 'skills swop / time bank') will come later, and is not included in the tender. Total fee is £8,000. Application deadline: 2nd April 2013.
21.03.13UK Steel Enterprise is set to launch a new Access to Finance scheme for former steelworking areas. Grants of between £25,000 and £750,000 are available for growing companies creating "sustainable jobs". Eligible areas of the Midlands include the Black Country and Stoke-on-Trent. Details from UK Steel Enterprise on: 0800 915 1188.
Staffordshire County Council's "New Markets, New Horizons" event for potential local exporters in "manufacturing and service companies" is to be repeated. The new dates are 19th April 2013 at the Stafford campus of Staffordshire University; and 26th April 2013 at the Westwood Golf Club in the Staffordshire Moorlands town of Leek.
The young children's arts Just So festival, a major annual festival located just five miles north of Stoke-on-Trent, has filmmaking opportunities available for students...
Added to the Directory: Lou Marshall, a fashion designer based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Jobs: Several rare funded PhDs are on offer at Loughborough University, over on the other side of the Peak. These are in: Drawing and Visualisation; Textiles; Visual Culture; and Texts in Context. Deadline for applications: 13th May 2013.
Stoke-on-Trent's Regent Theatre has an event of interest to local crime writers, on Tuesday 28th May 2013 (5.30pm). 'Go Back for Murder' is to be a discussion panel of "the country’s leading crime writers", talking about their profession and discussing their latest novels. Cost is £3.
21.03.13Moving Forward is a free community crafts course at the Mitchell Arts Centre. The 12-week course is free to people who are unemployed, working part time (less than 8 hours per week), or who are registered carers. Starts 16th April 2013, (10.30am-12.30pm).
The Community Performing Arts Centre (CPAC) of Congleton is moving to Hanley, to the old Jewish synagogue on Birch Terrace. It'll be home to the M. Y. Youth and Adult Theatre and M. Y. Inter-Theatre Company, there be a dance academy, art and drama sessions for the disabled, and a coffee lounge. The place is being renovated now, making it suitable for disabled access, having previously been in a bit of state. Opening is set for April 2013. Can you help? Tradesmen are particularly needed Sunday March 17th – Sunday March 24th. Contact Jill on 07805 443595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Government's new Cultural Giving Scheme has launched. If you have a masterpiece tucked away in a safe deposit box, why not donate it to the nation, during your lifetime, and claim a nice reduction in your tax liability? The scheme is capped at £30 million per year — first come, first served.
2013 BUDGET NEWS:Disclaimer: this is my early understanding of the key budget measures for the creative industries. I haven't had time to delve into the core documents with all the fine print.
Britain listened to the annual Budget from the Chancellor on Weds 20th March 2013. The main news for Stoke-on-Trent was that the local ceramics industry will be exempt from a new energy tax... "the industrial processes for that [Stoke-on-Trent ceramics] industry and some others [will be exempt] from the Climate Change Levy." There will also be a 20% rate of corporation tax, "the lowest business tax of any major economy in the world" — which should benefit larger firms such as those operating in ceramics. The only drawback may be if this measure gets tangled up in the EU's "state aid" rules.
There are planned new Tax Credits, to be aimed primarily at the UK's leading visual FX industry — including advertising, high-end TV shows such as mini-series, and documentaries using 3D visualisation. These Tax Credits are seemingly set to be introduced on 1st April 2014, subject to EU approval. Tax Credits support for videogames developers, announced in the last budget, are reportedly delayed because they are tangled up in EU red tape.
These new VFX Tax Credits should provide a 25 percent tax break on qualifying productions. To qualify, productions are likely to have to meet the same rules as for earlier Tax Credits — to include a significant British cultural element, and to be valued at roughly more than £1m per episode or product. The government estimates that this will cost the nation £65m a year by 2017/18 — but that this spending will bring in £12 income for the UK, for every £1 of taxpayer cash spent on the measure.
The current filmmaking tax credits will also reportedly stay in place until 2015, allowing filmmakers and their funders a 20% tax break.
The Skills Investment Fund will be increased by £10m, providing match-funded training for over 5,000 people working in film and TV mini-series, visual effects, animation and videogames.
There will be an extra £15 million for the Technology Strategy Board, supporting digital content production in the UK via industry-level competitions.
The government will... "increase by fivefold the value of government procurement budgets spent through the Small Business Research Initiative."
There will be "growth vouchers available to small firms seeking advice on how to expand". No further details on these yet, it seems.
The innovative and very successful Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is being expanded and improved, which will make it even easier to attract investors to small startups needing up to £150,000. Filmmakers are eligible for the SEIS.
There will be a new tax relief to encourage private investment in social enterprise, with legislation brought forward in 2014 to enable this.
Radical and very well-funded measures to stimulate house-building and home ownership may (in time) have knock-on effects in boosting UK demand for home furnishings, interior design, and garden design. That's just my guess.
Everyone will benefit from the new £10,000 Personal Allowance tax threshold. No-one will pay any tax at all on the first £10,000 of income, from April 2014. The former 10% tax band will also be reduced to 0%, effectively making the Personal Allowance £12,000 for some types of people. These changes are likely to help many low-earning artists and crafts makers and/or those growing their business while only taking out a small amount in income.
Small businesses wanting to employ people will benefit from the whopping £2,000 that has been chopped off an employer's National Insurance wages bills.
Being an employee shareholder will become subject to "more generous" measures.
There was apparently an increase for "above-the-line" R&D Credits "to 10%".
Stoke-on-Trent's 2013 British Ceramics Biennial is now inviting submissions for...
"ceramics films, of no more than 30 minutes, to be included as part of the programme to be delivered at the original Spode factory site [in Stoke town]"
Interested? The deadline is 30 April 2013. Please mail by post clearly labelled DVDs with the name of the film, date, length and appropriate credits. The envelope should be marked 'Ceramic film submission'. The postal address for entries is...
British Ceramics Biennial,
Faculty of Arts, Media and Design,
Stoke-on-Trent's 2013 British Ceramics Biennial will be requiring about 50 volunteers this year (28th Sept – 10th Nov 2103). For more information on becoming a volunteer, please contact Dena Bagi at: email@example.com
Stoke-on-Trent's AirSpace contemporary art gallery has a commission to make new artworks responding to the AirSpace Bird Yarden, an urban yard space with a planting scheme and landscaping. Deadline: 17th March 2013.
Stoke-on-Trent's AirSpace contemporary art gallery is now offering a graduate residency for 2013-14. You are eligible if you are a graduating student from an B.A. and M.A. Fine Art degree course. The successful applicant will have:
* a shared studio space within the AirSpace building
* monthly support meetings
* your first solo show at AirSpace
* access to all studio facilities and support structures
Apply in a maximum of 1,000 words, setting out: why you are right for this opportunity; how you would approach the six months in terms of research and development towards your first solo show; some details about your current work and ideas for involvement with the gallery and studio. Include any Web links, and a maximum of five images (2mb each) and send by Monday 3rd June 2013.
15.03.13SPEED Plus is a six-month, part-time business startup project which offers Keele University students, graduates, alumni and staff, plus "other graduates returning to the West Midlands region", the opportunity to develop their idea or hobby into a business. The second cohort of students will be starting 16th October 2013 for a course that ends 31st March 2014. See the Web page for full details.
Job: Staffordshire County Council requires someone to undertake an 'action research' project to...
"identify existing creative practice with young people 0-19, and develop a range of creative commissions [for them]."
The fee, inclusive of expenses and VAT, will be £8,000. Plus an additional £1,000 for marketing, consultation and arts activities to deliver the brief. Application deadline: 19th April 2013. See the Web page for full details.
Stoke-on-Trent's Trentham Estate is offering one-day garden design workshop with award-winning garden designer, Clive Mollart. £39.50 per person, includes garden entry and lunch at the Italian Garden Tearooms. Must be booked in advance. Dates in 2013 include: 8th April; 29th April; 13 May; and 31st May. Inquire via the Trentham Gardens ticket office.
Interested in having a stall at the Keele Fashion Show 2013, on 27th May 2013 at Keele University? The organisers are seeking... "local designers who produce ethical clothing and accessories, 'eco' items and recycled accessories" A small donation to the charities Oxfam and Staffordshire Wildlife Trust will be required on the night, but the stalls are otherwise without charge. If you are interested in attending this event with a stall please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The organisers also need volunteer seamstresses or dress makers, hair stylists, make-up artists, and general sewing assistance.
The winner of the 2013 Stoke Your Fires film festival's "48 hour film challenge" (to make a short film in just 48 hours) was The Paper Boy, now available online...
Added to the Directory: Steve Perry a designer and web developer based in Oakamoor, Staffordshire. Steve specialises in design and web development for the sports and outdoor adventure markets.
Added to the Directory: Zankyo UK, a niche record label which specialises in promoting selected Japanese artists in the UK. Currently based in Stoke-on-Trent.
Added to the Directory: Luke Brookes Illustration, a graduate of Staffordshire University who is currently living and working in Leek...
Illustration from Luke's book The Littlest Mammoth...
The University of Wolverhampton is hosting a "Pathways to Making: developing your craft career in an expanded field" symposium on Friday 3rd May 2013. Cost is £15, and the booking deadline is 19th April 2013. This event is billed as...
a one day symposium to debate craft as an expanded field. How are makers diversifying their practice? What potential avenues are there for the application of creative thinking and skills?
The Stafford Music Day is the annual learning day for the county's folk musicians. This year the learning day will be held on Sunday 12th May 2013. See the website for full details.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Museum & Art Gallery is inviting crafts makers to rent a stall in their main gallery, for the B(u)y Me! Craft Fair. This will take place on Friday 17th May (6pm-9pm), and Saturday 18th May 2013 (10am-4pm). The cost will be £20 per stall for the two days. They are looking for makers of "quality, hand made items". Stall holders are encouraged to dress up, to give the Fair a vintage feel, as the event will be in conjunction with the Museums at Night event.
Nearby Burton-on-Trent's Brewhouse Arts Centre is calling for crafts makers to exhibit in the Brewhouse's changing display programme of contemporary craft. They have a six to eight week changing programme of themed exhibitions. They are currently looking for participants in "Wood You" (work made using sustainably sourced/reclaimed wood) on 17th May until 22nd June; and "All Creatures Great and Small" (any work that relates to the title), on 29th June to 10th August 2013. Brewhouse take a 30% commission. Application deadline: 13th April 2013. Apply to: email@example.com and put "Craft Cases at The Brewhouse" as your email subject line.
Emily Whitehead Consulting is running a "Pinterest for Business!" workshop, offering fresh ideas and new directions for your social business. Pinterest is one of the most compelling social sharing services, set to become the second biggest social media platform during Spring/Summer 2013, and has a huge audience of affluent American women. The workshop date is Monday 25th March 2013 (9.30-12.30pm), at Beechenhill Farm, Ilam, in the Peak District. £25 per person including refreshments. Book a place at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Summer of Science Fiction: a residential writing weekend" will be running at the Dove Valley Centre, near Buxton, in the Peak District. Dates are 10th-12th May 2013, and the weekend will offer...
"workshopping opportunities, feedback sessions, group discussions plus a host more activities."
The guest author is Jaine Fenn, a short story writer and novelist, and author of the Hidden Empire series. Cost is £150 including two nights accommodation, meals, tea/coffee throughout, a goodie bag and a host of writing activities. To book your place, please contact Alex at: email@example.com
Job: Birmingham University's Barber Institute of Fine Arts art gallery is looking for a Writer In Residence for 2013. You must be from the West Midlands. The scheme is in its third year, and this year it will run for six months from June – November 2013. The fee is £1,600 (inclusive of all expenses). Application deadline: 25th April 2013.
Creative Health CIC and Staffordshire University are running a 'Developing Arts for Health' development programme for community artists. Participants will attend three day-long training workshops, be supported to undertake a short practical placement, and will meet professionals working in the field. This year the programme will be based at Friction Arts, in Birmingham. Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 12th April 2013. If you are interested in applying for a place, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University are running a community course in digital storytelling in Stoke-on-Trent. The course is to run on Fridays (10am to 3pm) on 12th April; 3rd May and 24th May 2013. Full details from Samantha Rushton at: email@example.com
The disabled people's drama club at Elite Staffordshire is asking for volunteers. They also run an arts and crafts groups in Leek each Thursday and in Chesterton each Tuesday and Thursday. If you would be interested in getting involved - please get in touch. Call on 01782 611992.
Staffordshire County Council’s Community Arts Fund is now open for applications of up to £800, for arts activities or events which... "benefits the community, widens participation and promotes accessibility". Activities must take place between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014. The deadline for the current round of applications is 20th December 2013.
Staffordshire County Council also offer a Community Arts Development Programme for parts of Staffordshire. This can offer up to £2,500 in Newcastle-under-Lyme or the Staffordshire Moorlands. Deadline: 30th April 2013. The funding is specifically for...
"arts project which specifically address social issues, develop new audiences [for the arts], target marginalised groups and support community development".
The Staffordshire Performing Arts Festival is calling for artworks, for its first venture into a visual arts show. The gallery venue will be the Cadman foyer at Staffordshire University on 3rd May 2103. Full details from: firstname.lastname@example.org
The UK Museums Association is currently surveying how digital technologies are being used by UK arts and cultural organisations. The survey is available to take online.
In the Staffordshire Moorlands? Fancy adding a creative studio to your period home? People living in the Staffordshire Moorlands can apply for grants of up to £4,000 to help improve their home or business, via a building restoration scheme "which must preserve character and heritage". Information about the scheme is available from Gill Bayliss at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council on: 01538 395576.
The venerable Birmingham Press Club has finally arrived in the 21st century in its annual Midlands Media Awards, with two all-new prizes for 2013: for Blogger of the Year, and Best News Website. Entries are now open for the Awards, which cover newspapers, magazines, websites, TV and radio across the East and West Midlands. Deadline for entries to the awards is 22nd March 2013. For the first time, submissions will be accepted in digital form as well as by post.