New additions for 27th August 09

New! 27.08.09    
The town of Stafford will host an event for those involved in delivering youth arts, on 14th September 09. This free information event will be held at the Gatehouse Theatre, supported by the Staffordshire County Council’s Arts and Museum Service, and the Youth Service. Attendees will be able to hear from a variety of community arts practitioners about what works in projects that engage young people. Sessions are available from 2pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm. Places are limited, and can be booked via Sarah Bonam at:

New! 27.08.09    
Could you offer a young worker a job, if the job were to be supported by the Future Jobs Fund? GECKO, on behalf of the Fund, aims to create 200 jobs in the Midlands with voluntary-sector creative, cultural, heritage and media organisations. The Fund provides the wages (at least minimum wage, for 25 hours per week) and N.I., and may also include materials and supervision for a period of six months. If you are interested in offering Future Jobs employment within your creative or cultural organisation, please call Nick Roberts at GECKO on:  01902 837402.

New! 27.08.09    
Job:  Local commercial radio station Signal Radio is looking for a passionate Broadcast Journalist with a great voice and punchy writing skills to be part of the news team. Deadline: 14th September 09. To request an application pack contact:

New! 27.08.09    
Many graduates and lecturers will be aware of Erasmus, the European exchange-scheme offering students a semester at another university. Now Erasmus has launched Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, a new and similar European exchange-scheme aimed at helping new entrepreneurs acquire relevant skills for managing a small firm, by spending time working in a European country with an experienced entrepreneur. You’re eligible if you’re firmly planning to set up your own business, or have started your own business within the last three years. More details and application forms can be found at the website.

Additions for 26th August 2009

New! 26.08.09    
Advantage West Midlands is inviting enquiries from top venture-capital managers, to manage a new £45m business-support fund for the West Midlands. The fund will offer around £300,000 per successful firm. It will be aimed at small businesses which find it difficult to access loans from more traditional sources — such as creative industries firms, among others. Retail businesses are to be excluded from support. This new fund will replace a variety of current investment schemes (but not the Mercia Technology Seed Fund and the Advantage Enterprise & Innovation Fund), most of which have now been closed after helping 200 businesses over the past decade. The fund will be split into: early growth (£8m); growth equity (£9.2m), and a mezzanine fund (£9.2m).  The European Regional Development Fund will help match some funding, if the firm is located in a priority area (presumably including areas such as Stoke-on-Trent). The application deadline for fund managers is: 16th September 09. The fund aims to make a profit, and there will be performance-related bonuses to fund managers.

New! 26.08.09    
Crudgington Primary School, in nearby Telford, is seeking a drama practitioner and documentation assistant. The school has a budget for the project of £2,900 (to include fees, travel and materials). Application deadline: 10th September 09. More details from:

New! 26.08.09    
Gladstone Pottery Museum, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, is seeking casual crafts demonstrators, in the following areas of ceramics production: Throwers; Hand Painters; Flower Makers; and Casters. Pay is £6.91 per hour. Vacancies are available on a rolling basis and have no closing date. Applications will be accepted at any time.

New! 26.08.09    
The New Art Gallery Walsall is inviting proposals from disabled artists in the West Midlands, for its Outside IN scheme. On offer is the chance to develop your art over one year, with the aid of £5,000 plus expenses & materials, and in partnership with the gallery and its audiences. Artist will have access to the Artists’ Studio in Walsall, and will potentially contribute to the gallery’s events programme.

New! 24.08.09     The organisers of the Birmingham Black International Film Festival 2009 are calling for film submissions from black film-makers in the West Midlands. Film types that are acceptable are: Short Films, First Features, Documentaries, Music Video. Selected films will be screened throughout the festival in October and November. Deadline: 26th September 09. More information from Ashley Simmons at:

New! 24.08.09     Many in and around Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, will remember the dapper Derek Bradbury. Derek owned and ran the scrupulously-presented antiques centre opposite Ceramica. Sadly Derek died in March 2009, on his 67th birthday. Derek’s shop is now closed, and his enormous and discriminating personal collection of fine ceramics, much of it locally acquired and locally made, is to be auctioned off by Peter Wilson in Nantwich on 10th September 09. For more information about the auction contact 01270 623878 or email

Additions for 23rd August 2009

Additions for 23rd August 2009:—

New! 23.08.09     News from Maggie Lackey of Manchester-based Actors Centre North. Their popular training workshops will resume again in the Midlands in Autumn 09, thanks to a grant from the Equity Charitable Trust. The programme is not yet in place, so there is still time to send in suggestions for training needs and likely trainers. More information from:

New! 23.08.09    
The Arts Marketing Association is running a one-day training event in Birmingham, designed to help West Midlands visual arts organisations with collecting, analysing and interpreting audience data, and offers guidance on how to use it to inform strategic planning.The day will be on 4th November 09 at the C.B.S.O. Centre in Birmingham, and will cost £65 + VAT per person. More details from Emma at:

New! 23.08.09    
Staffordshire University will host a conference on “Women’s Life and Leisure in the Twentieth Century“, with a special focus on the Midlands region. Obviously the media and the arts may feature as one aspect of the discussion. The conference will be held at the Stoke-on-Trent campus on 21st November 09. More details from Maggie Andrews at:

New! 22.08.09    
Newcastle-under-Lyme Camera Club starts its Autumn season on 14th September 09, at Merrial Street in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Everyone is welcome, and the meeting starts from 7pm.  For more information phone: 01782 613069.

New! 21.08.09    
Added to the Events list:  Are you a North Staffordshire firm interested in participating in social networking websites, to develop your business? Learn more at a free breakfast seminar at Keele University Science and Business Park. The speakers will be: Kevin Holdridge, MD of Science Park-based internet company Kent House; Linda Jones, MD of local P.R. agency Passionate Media; and Keele University’s media and communications officer Hannah Hiles. This free event will be held in the new Ballroom in Keele Hall on 9th September 2009. A full English breakfast will be available from 8am, ahead of the seminar which will start at 8.30am. Early registration is recommended. To reserve your place, please email: to register.

New! 21.08.09  
  All the external web links in the Directory have been checked for viability. The following dead/domain-jacked links have been removed from the Directory:- Fired Up Marketing; George F. Holden; Association for Ceramic Training and Development; City of Stoke-on-Trent Male Voice Choir; the Media & Communications Centre website at Keele University; Red Workshop (crafts); and Fulmination Records. If anyone knows the new online whereabouts of these websites, please contact Creative Stoke.

New! 21.08.09    
Keele University is now inviting enquiries for its Bellringing courses in Summer 2010. These short courses are designed for ringers who already have some, possibly limited, experience of change ringing and who are keen to improve their method ringing and striking. Special emphasis will also be given to the development of students’ listening skills.

New additions

New! 21.08.09    
There’s a new Midlands Federation of Museums and Art Galleries.

New! 21.08.09     Local university student Simon Ward is seeking the help of a local ceramics firm. Can you supply Simon with bisque dinner-plates at a very low subsidised rate, for a student art project? In exchange for placement of your firm’s name and logo, and possible media coverage when the art project is realised? Please contact Simon at:

New! 21.08.09    
Job:  The Light House media centre, in nearby Wolverhampton, need two Events Researchers. The
posts are unpaid and so might suit those who are currently unemployed. There are two strands of research, to be completed by December 2009 —
‘Alternative Screen Content’, and ‘New Markets within the Facility Hire Sector’. Researching these will
involve qualitative & quantitative data collection and analysis, leading to and the production of a 3,000-word
report for each subject. Your reports will be used as a foundation to increase the entertainment and facility hire income opportunities at The Light House.
Each research task will take no longer than eight weeks, approx seven hours per week. Progress meetings will take place every two weeks.
Candidates are requested to email a statement of 300 words (maximum) explaining why they want the position, along with an up-to-date C.V., to Kimberly Forlini-Softley,
Light House Administrator. More information from:  Application deadline: 4th September 09, for interviews on 25th September 09.

New! 21.08.09    
Stoke-on-Trent film-maker and musician Jon Aldersea has established a YouTube channel for his videos. The latest July 09
addition is his recent video The Canal Key, a film funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund and coordinated by Groundwork Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 20.08.09    
Staffordshire University has two Open Days in Stoke-on-Trent
coming up soon, on Saturday 22nd August 09 and Thursday 27th August 09, offering talks and tours related to the many creative degree courses at the Stoke campus. The
programme can be downloaded here (PDF file).

New! 20.08.09    
Cheshire East Council is offering arts grants to voluntary organisations in the Congleton area, to engage the services of professional artists
to run community arts workshops. Up to £300 is on offer. Deadline: 28th August 09.

New! 20.08.09    
The Genesis Centre is a new serviced office development for start-ups and small businesses in North Staffordshire, located at
Chatterley Valley near Tunstall. The Centre opens in August 09 and currently has ‘Reroot’ business relocation grants on offer, offering up to £25,000 to cover up to 50% of the
costs of relocating your business within North Staffordshire.

New! 20.08.09    
West Midlands Graduate Internships launched on 13th July 09. The Advantage West Midlands
-supported scheme aims to find 250 internship places in suitable West Midlands firms, for unemployed students who graduated this summer. See the website for full details.

And even more…

A few more stragglers added today…

New! 20.08.09    
The ‘Art in Empty Spaces’ initiative, aiming to find innovative and creative ways to re-use empty High Street shops, is now accepting applications. Stoke-on-Trent has £52,000 to spend on the initiative.

New! 20.08.09     Birmingham-based First Light provides grants to groups of young people to produce short digital films. Several strands of their Youth Film Fund will be open for applications from 24th August 09.

New! 20.08.09     The Mix Mediabox scheme offers funding to community organisations, offering between £5,000 – £20,000 for youth-led (13-19 year olds) media production projects promoting community cohesion. Mix Mediabox opened for applications on 10th August 09.

New! 20.08.09     Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust is now seeking statements-of-interest from contemporary visual artists who would like to exhibit, sell and/or tender for commissions. There is no deadline to statements-of-interest; however, many departments are keen at summer 09 to start their arts enhancement programs as soon as possible. More information from: Juliet Cooper, Arts Coordinator at

New! 20.08.09    
Digital Mentors is a two-year nationwide programme to 2011, funding community-based digital media production projects in troubled areas of England such as Stoke-on-Trent. There will be one grant of up to £61,000, and 40 x £500 grants. More details at the website.

More items added today

Added today to:

New! 20.08.09    
Stoke Cine and Video Society are joining with Stoke-on-Trent’s Film Theatre to present a 90-minute screening of the best films produced by Staffordshire University graduates in 2008/9. This is a free event on 16th September 09. Sure to be a good networking and talent-spotting opportunity.

New! 20.08.09    
Stoke-on-Trent’s Film Theatre is putting on a free season of classic silent and early sound films this Autumn, shown on a big screen as originally intended. Titles include: George Formby’s No Limit (1935); James Cagney’s The Public Enemy (1935); Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929); and Keaton’s The General (1926). This is in addition to the Staffordshire Film Archive programme of screenings of vintage local documentary footage.

New! 20.08.09    
Birmingham City Council now has an invitation to tender online, for those capable of delivering a £100k “bold and inspiring public participatory programme” around Birmingham’s ‘Hello Digital’ festival (formerly the Birmingham Film Festival), including outreach to the rest of the West Midlands. Deadline: 1st September 09.

New! 20.08.09    
Deadlines are coming up fast for two major young entrepreneur awards. The British Council’s Young Entrepreneur of 2009 (21st Sept 09) which has a specific focus on the visual arts; and the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2009 (11th Sept 09).

New! 20.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Craig Faulkner is a newly-qualified Certified Master Teacher in
Estill Voice Training, a training methods used in the West End theatre, on Broadway, at Covent Garden, and in pop and rock music. Now certified Estill training
is available here in Stoke-on-Trent, with Craig able to offer regular practice groups for anybody who has done at least a Level 1 course.

New! 20.08.09    
The Traditional Vocations blog has the inspiring story of how a fine church was built ‘from the ground up’, and decorated by local people in Stoke-on-Trent during the Great Depression, part of a wider wave of fine ceramic decoration of British churches in the 20th century

Carmel’s research … resulted in a booklet entitled The Forsyths at St Joseph’s Church, Burslem.
It tells the incredible story of father and daughter artists joining forces with a priest and the local Member of Parliament to produce one of the
city’s little-known treasures. … it was paid for by subscription and congregation collection, and it was constructed by the hands of the unemployed
men of Burslem, brought together during a time of distress and mass unemployment … and paid with a daily bowl of soup and a chunk of bread.
… St Joseph’s rose from the ruins of an old pottery factory. Father Browne even got the men to demolish the potbank first as they daily got
stuck-in with pick and shovel. And as the church building grew, the newly appointed Burslem School of Art principal, Gordon Forsyth (1879-1952),
watched with interest, as did the newly-elected Burslem MP Andrew MacLaren. It was MacLaren who later suggested to Father Browne that because
the church had been built by Burslem’s unemployed men, they should be the ones to decorate it … He said they should be enrolled in the
School of Art so they could be taught the skills to make the stained-glass windows. Naturally there was no money to fund this notion
so MacLaren took his plan to Forsyth. Soon a free Saturday morning class at the Wedgwood Institute was up and running for 50 St. Joseph’s parishioners.”

There’s no sign of the Forsyths at St Joseph booklet on the web, but once the Franciscans arrive to take over the church (soon, according to the blog), doubtless they’ll be having heritage Open Days at which the booklet will be available for purchase.

If you’re interested in church decoration in the area, North Staffs Decorative & Fine Arts Society runs a church recording sub-group.

Added to the “What’s New?” page today

Added to the “What’s New?” page today. See

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: North Staffs Decorative & Fine Arts Society.  The Society has a substantial series of trips and talks during 2009 and into 2010, including lectures on church architecture, British sculpture parks, 19th Century American Art, and William Cavendish.

New! 19.08.09    
Are you selling visual arts via an online showcase of your work? PhotoShelter has undertaken an in-depth 2009 survey of 500 buyers and websites, to figure out what buyers want in terms of website usability. I’m sure you can guess at least one result. A whopping 96% of potential buyers hate seeing Flash. A free copy of the report is available by email.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Camila Prada / Vanila, a ceramic designer based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Michelle Saxon, an expert and highly-qualified crafts demonstrator based in based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Ieva Alksne, a ceramic maker based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Big Red Studio Animation, an animation provider based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Nic Winstanley, a freelance illustrator based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Adam Pryce, a freelance illustrator based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Alex Shimwell, a maker of ceramic Raku-type ware and based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Burslem Pottery. Fine stoneware based on Burslem Pottery / Moorcroft classics, hand-painted by Tracy Bentley and her team.

New! 19.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Rob Pointon, a freelance artist based in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Latest additions

Latest additions to the “What’s New?” page on Creative Stoke…

New! 18.08.09    
The people of Stoke-on-Trent are being invited to take part in a competition to design a logo to mark the centenary of Stoke-on-Trent.
The winner will have their design used on marketing material for 12 months, and be invited to the royal visit in March 2010.
The logo should be… “colourful with a clean and simple design that’s representative of Stoke-on-Trent.”
Deadline: 11th September 09. Entries should be sent to:
Tracey Harrison, PR and Communications Team, 4th Floor, Civic Centre, Stoke on–Trent. ST4 1RN.

New! 18.08.09    
Are you a British design-led firm hoping to break into the increasingly healthy Japanese market? DesignUK and the British Embassy in Tokyo are organising a trade misson to Japan, on behalf of UK Trade & Investment. There will be oppotunities at Design Touch, the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO), as well as press interviews and company calls. There may be the opportunity to take part in other networking events during Tokyo Designers Week. For more details, contact Akiko Yanagisawa, Senior Commercial Officer for the British Embassy in Tokyo at: Deadline: 3rd September 09.

New! 18.08.09    
Do you work for a museum, publically-funded gallery or cultural heritage institution in North Staffordshire? Intelligent Naivety: Commercial Opportunities for Museums and Culture Institutions
is a free downloadable booklet, recently launched in Birmingham at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The book is the brainchild of David Gilbert, former managing director of both Currys and Waterstones. The 4Mb 40-page PDF booklet asks…

“How can over-stretched museums and cultural institutions recognise consumer needs, exceed consumer desires, and leverage a sustainable source of income without wrecking the very special relationship they’ve created with their audiences?”

New! 18.08.09    
The Birmingham Queer Open Projection is called for short-form light-art and projected-media art from artists in the West Midlands. There’s a
£500 prize for the best 15-second projection. Works shown will be projected on the outside of major buildings in and around
Birmingham for one week in November 09. The theme this year is “Censored”. All work will be considered.
Deadline: 30th September 09. Full details from: davidviney _at_

New! 17.08.09    
The Screen West Midlands Investment Fund is now inviting online applications for grants for film-related projects in the West Midlands. The Fund can invest
up to £500,000 in a project budget. Deadline: 28th August 09.

New! 17.08.09    
A new art gallery at the refurbished and rebuilt Low Level Station in central Wolverhampton is calling for
potential exhibitors. With almost unlimited space along the original Brunel train track, all types of artwork can be accomodated
as long as you can get them there and out again! The first opportunity is for a two week exhibition from 25th Sept – 9th Oct 2009. Cost is
just £25! More details from Antoinette on: 07794 459330

New! 17.08.09    
The annual Longhouse programme moves to Walsall in 2009, titled as “Interrogation”. The project will…
“explore the impact that one artist (you) can make in one place, in one day.” The programme, organised by Longhouse
and the New Art Gallery Walsall, working with lead artist Anna Francis, is designed to investigate the impact of
short, sharp interventions within the public realm. More information from:
 Deadline: 28th August 09.

What’s New? additions to Creative Stoke, August 2009

Your RSS update from: The Creative Stoke “What’s New” page. This is a big one, so I’m embedding links and pictures, although you’ll probably just want to click the link to the actual web page.

New! 15.08.09    
The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has produced an excellent free A Guide To Sources Of Small Business Finance In The West Midlands (July 2009). This detailed and concise 28-page guide has everything you need to know about current regional and specialist sources of funding for your small business.

The Guide is a long list to plough through, but perhaps of special note to local design-based firms is the Advantage Proof of Concept Fund. This can offer successful applicants up to £30,000 to help with prototyping, expert consultancy and the development of software for research. The scheme provides grants of up to 75 per cent of a project’s cost, to a maximum of £30,000, for universities and businesses to prove that their innovations may have significant economic potential. The Fund is “expecting to make more than 200 awards by March 31st 2010”, and is now accepting applications on a rolling basis.

New! 15.08.09    
The Careers Centre at Staffordshire University is offering free one-day workshops for unemployed graduates (from any university). The day aims to help you target and prepare for getting a graduate-level job. There are three possible Stoke-on-Trent dates:

* 30th September 09
* 28th October 09
* 11th November 09.

Interested? To book a place, please email:

New! 14.08.09    
Self-employment is currently excluded when the National Office of Statistics examines how art & design courses create employment, despite the ease of obtaining such data from tax returns. Official statistics and national arts support policies can be skewed as a result. The Artists Information Company is currently attempting to take a ‘snapshot’ of self-employment after graduation, and are asking art & design graduates to complete a one-minute online survey.

New! 14.08.09    
The Keele University SPEED and EFS Business Schemes are recruiting potential entrepreneurs now, for an October 2009 start. If you have a business idea and want to turn it into a profitable business in just one year, these part-time schemes can offer between £4,000 to £8,000 of seed-money to help you start your business, practical business training workshops, access to a desk at Keele’s Incubation Unit, expert mentoring and opportunities to network with other entrepreneurs and established businesses. A limited number of places are available on this programme. More information from Dee Frankish, Research & Enterprise Services at:

New! 14.08.09    
The UK’s Young Design Entrepreneur Award 2009 is now open. Can you clearly demonstrate your design entrepreneurialism? Either in your own business, or within your organisation or charity? Are you between 25 and 35, with at least three years of industry experience, and a UK resident? If so, the Young Design Entrepreneur Award would like to hear from you. Those selected for interview will have the chance of exhibiting an example of their work at the 100% design show in London. Finals will be offered the chance of an overseas tour. Deadline: 24th August 2009.

New! 14.08.09    
Are you a entreprenurial new talent in fashion, furniture, hats, handbags, craft, cushions, silverware or ceramics? The Best of British Design: Liberty’s Open Call would like to hear from you. Liberty’s Open Call is an ongoing bid to recognise and support new and emerging British design talent, and is calling for all potential designers and creative talents to come forward with their ideas. You’ll be judged by a panel of experts comprising of the Liberty buying team, now headed by ex-Bergdorf Goodman Senior V.P. Ed Burstell, alongside industry experts including top names from press and fashion retail. But don’t expect a Dragon’s Den, it’s a chance for new designers to get sympathetic and helpful advice from experts on how to nurture and develop their ideas. The best designs will get the chance to have their products sold at Liberty, one of London’s best-loved emporiums of style and design.
To register your interest send an email to:

New! 14.08.09  
  The David Canter Memorial Fund is offering a Grant for Craft Artists (usually between £500 and £1,000) to those working in the crafts for special projects, travel for specific research and for educational work. Awards are made every other year, each time focusing on a specific craft discipline. In 2010, the special focus will be on paper, calligraphy and lettercutting. Applicants should have finished formal training, and be working full or part-time in the UK. Examples of eligible costs include: setting up a workshop; buying equipment; research; and travel. The Fund does not have a website, but more information can be had from:

New! 14.08.09    
Stoke-on-Trent’s British Ceramics Biennial has announced it will administer a new £90,000 scheme,
offering support to three new start-up ceramic businesses. The Biennial organisers will also provide advice and help to the most exciting business propositions
coming from North Staffordshire’s students and graduates, and help provide placements for artists at local ceramics businesses. Watch their
website for future details and application deadlines.

New! 14.08.09    
The British Textile Society Conference and AGM will this year take place not
far from North Staffordshire, at the Macclesfield Museums & Heritage Centre on 25th – 27th September 09.
There will be a programme of lectures on: Art and Science; Craft and Industry; Ancient and Modern; East and West. There will be a visit to Leek to view
Leek Embroideries in the churches for which they were made, an opportunity to view sample books from Macclesfield Silk Museum’s collection, and a
Macclesfield Pattern Books study session.

New! 14.08.09    
The Staffordshire Open Studios event makes a welcome return in 2009. The 2009 weekend dates are
19th/20th and 26th/27th September 09. Creative Stoke’s slideshow of photographs from the 2008 Open Studios can be found here.

New! 14.08.09    
Mid-career designer makers who are interested in finding out about the Designer Maker West Midlands mentoring
programme “Future Forward 2”, are invited to attend an afternoon meeting in central Birmingham on 10th September 2009 (4pm-6pm).
Three selected mid-career designer makers will have the opportunity to be mentored on a 1-to-1 basis by an arts professional,
to develop and showcase new work and access new market opportunities. At the meeting you’ll be able to hear from three previous mentees:
metalsmith Cathy Miles; illustrator and metalsmith Melanie Tomlinson; and
textile artist Karina Thompson. Booking is essential, please email Natalie Cole at:
by the 1st September 09.

New! 14.08.09    
Are you a professional crafts maker? Concerned about the future of your craft? The first ever national skills review of the crafts sector has
been undertaken (2006-2009) and published (2009). As a result of the Craft Blueprint: A workforce Development Plan for Craft in the UK
report, craft employers and practitioners have agreed… “on a series of actions to address the urgent skills needs in traditional and contemporary crafts.”
There is also a short film online about the report. The report identifies the need to…

* expand entry routes and diversify the workforce
* enhance leadership, professional development and business support
* review craft qualifications
* restore and reinvigorate craft education in schools
* raise the ambition of the sector

New! 14.08.09    
In July 2009 the WMRO published its recession snapshot of the cultural and creative industries in the West Midlands (PDF link).
Sadly it reveals that..

“evidence is now emerging of widespread cuts to local authority arts, culture and tourism budgets and/or small grant schemes. This coincides
with a reduced Advantage West Midlands budget and reduced availability of funding from private investment … The number of
advertised cultural sector vacancies has dropped again in recent months to nearly half what it was during the same period last year.”

The Advantage West Midlands cuts mentioned include schemes relevant to the creative industries in North Staffordshire: Business Brokers for High Growth (North Staffordshire);
Regional Advantage Creative Fund – Extension (North Staffordshire); and Skills Solutions for AWM Business Clusters (North Staffordshire).
Similar findings were also reported in by a letter by the The Artists Information Company, published on 4th June 09 in The Guardian

“Our research into artists’ employment in 2008 shows an 81% reduction in volume of openly offered work in October to December –
63% fewer commissions, 95% fewer residencies and no academic jobs listed. Factoring in evidence from the first quarter of 2009
suggests the reduction in the value of paid work this year could be as high as 44%.”

New! 14.08.09    
The West Midlands-based 4iP Fund funds innovative public-service websites, games and mobile ventures. The deadline
for the Autumn 2009 ‘call for proposals’ has recently been extended to midnight on 23rd August 09.

4iP are also involved in the UnLtd 4iP Awards, which will award up to £5,000 to help
UK individuals turn their innovative media project into a reality. More information at the UnLtd website.

4iP are also partnering with Polis to present a debate in Birmingham on 17th September 09 — “The myth of digital democracy”.

New! 14.08.09  
Are you an established West Midlands creative professional who needs to investigate the business opportunities offered by interactive media?
The Institute for Creative Enterprise (ICE) at Coventry University is offering a new F2 Digital Creative Development programme,
aimed at forming new collaborative partnerships and developing new ideas. The programme will offer 25 creative practitioners
an intensive personal and project-development path, at the end of which they will be provided with opportunities to present
their new project ideas and prototypes to a panel of funding agencies, curators and commissioners. To apply, you must first attent the F2 Future Forum meeting
being held on 10th September 09… “to provide more information about the F2 goals, the Lab process and how to apply to the programme.” Applications
will then be submitted online by 2nd October 09.

New! 14.08.09    
If you’re reading this from a little way north of North Staffordshire, and thus you count as being located in ‘the North West’,
you may be interested in the North West b.TWEEN TV Platform.
Pitch your idea for the future of TV to BBC Future Media Platforms to win an industry placement, and free attendance to a BBC training workshop.
Your idea will combine existing web and broadcast technologies to enhance the TV audience experience. The deadline is: 31st August 09.

New! 14.08.09    
Now that browser-based and downloadable independent videogames are fashionable again, potential indie games developers / animators might like to look at
Lost Garden‘s excellent and detailed guide to exactly how the economics of Flash games work
(part one and part two)
in an age of abundant talent, abundant tools, and abundant games.

Or if your ambitions lie with tying yourself to the gaming consoles, Get in the Game grants
of £10,000 are on offer to create UK content for Sony’s PlayStation Network. Sony will run a three-day pitch event
in Autumn 09, in collaboration with Pixel-Lab and Northwest Vision.

New! 14.08.09    
The BBC and BAFTA have joined together to offer the chance to win £3,000 to make a TV programme and have it shown on BBC2.
You must be aged between 16 and 19. Submit your short programmes (less than five minutes in length) by 30th September 09. Focus in particular on editing, scriptwriting,
composing music, or direction of photography. Entries can be any genre. The eight winners, two in each category, will secure a bursary of £3000 to work
with professionals over a six month period to produce a new piece of work. See the website for full details. Deadline: 30th September 09.

New! 14.08.09    
The Chartered Insititute of Marketing is holding four useful-sounding local talks soon.
Membership of the Institute is required in order to attend (contact Roger Foster on 07866 430585), but these four events look like they could justify an annual membership cost
on their own…

* 19th October 2009: Peter Walshe on “The Digital Consumer” in Wolverhampton.
* 27th October 2009: Paul Connor on “Marketing Performance Metrics” in Birmingham.

* 3rd November 2009: Keith Batchelor on “Customer Focus-Group Interviewing” in Crewe.
* 14th January 2010: Simon Harrop on “An Introduction to Multi-sensory Branding” in Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 14.08.09    
An interesting legal decision that you may have missed over the holidays.
Lord Justice Moore-Bick of the U.K. Court of Appeal ruled that a series of e-mails and phone calls were not sufficient to establish a business contract.
It seems that those who may have been relying on such things will now need to get a more formal
contract written or printed, and signed by both parties, at the conclusion of informal negotiations.

One can apparently still legally conclude a contract by phone and email, but only if “all
the qualities of a contract were present”, presumably including valid electronic signatures. Freelancers and employees are still advised to
play safe and put “subject to contract” at the head of negotiation e-mails, to avoid accidently entering into a contract.
Seek qualified legal advice, if you think these matters might affect you or your business.

New! 14.08.09    
Google are giving away free Google AdWords adverts to arts charities. The Google Grants UK beta programme supports organisations sharing Google’s
philosophy of open community service in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts.
Designed for registered charities only, Google Grants UK provides free advertising on Google AdWords. Applications can be made at any time.

New! 14.08.09    
The Live Work Network and Regen WM are holding a half-day masterclass on “Economic development and design: how to make ‘live/work’ really work“,
on 14th October 09 in nearby Telford.

New! 14.08.09    
Are you a West Midlands organisation looking for more information on major European Union Funding opportunities for the cultural sector?
EUCLID is running a Cultureuro Seminar on the subject, on 5th October 09. This half-day 10am – 1pm seminar costs £70 + VAT, and
will provide detailed information on the EU’s Culture Programme, research & development programmes, Structural Funds, EUCLID 2009-2013, and possible new opportunities for rural areas from changes
to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budgets. The event will happen at the CBSO Centre in Birmingham City Centre. More information from the website or from:

Also available from Europe — the European Social Fund (ESF) has a Community Grants programme which gives grants to local groups and voluntary-sector agencies to help them engage with
give basic skills training and employment opportunities to the unemployed. Grants range from £1,000 to £12,000. Deadline: 31st March 2010.

New! 14.08.09    
Can’t find funds for your arts project? The Elephant Trust was set up to make it possible for artists to undertake and
complete UK-based projects when frustrated by lack of funds. It only helps artists and institutions that…. “depart from the routine and signal new, distinct and imaginative sets of possibilities”.
Given the Trust’s modest resources, grants have usually been limited to £2,000 — but larger grants may be considered. No grants are available for study, residencies or research.
Deadline: 21st September 09. See the website for full details.

New! 14.08.09    
Urban Vision North Staffordshire is inviting proposals from local visual artists for national The Big Draw event in 2009.
The selected artist will be given £600 to spend on running creative workshops involving any kind of drawing activity, from 10th to 17th
October 09. Deadline for proposals: 4th September 09. Interested? Send your up-to-date C.V. and a brief proposal to: , telling UVNS…

* What you would like to do
* Media, methods and materials you would use
* Where the workshop/event will take place
* How you would engage with participants
* Estimates of how the £600 would be spent

New! 14.08.09    
Samba Mela is a samba, dhol and bhangra festival happening in Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent,mela
on 27th September 09. The organisers are
seeking people who would like to run creative activities, or put on a performance. Interested? Email Atiqur Rahman at

Asian foot painting in progress, photo by Creative Stoke

New! 14.08.09    
Do you have idea how to give children high quality music-making activities? Youth Music’s Open Programme provides grants of between £5,000 and £30,000 to do just that.
They are seeking projects which clearly progress the musical skills of children, and/or provide them with clear pathways for further progression. They are also
interested in projects which are particularly distinctive or innovative in their approach. Interested? Visit the website for full information.

New! 14.08.09    
Does your organisation operate within the boundaries of either Staffordshire County Council or Stoke City Council? Are you engaged in community
consultation and empowerment? If yes, then the Regional Empowerment Programme
is now inviting tenders for the first round of project commissions under the following themes: Disability and Empowerment; Black and Minority Ethnic Empowerment;
Young People and Empowerment; Community Based Research; and Engaged Citizens. Deadline: 28th August 09.

New! 14.08.09    
The Creative Communities Unit at Staffs Univiersity is holding an Open Day and
Free Taster Workshop on 16th September 09, for those considering undertaking one of their courses. Bursaries are on offer to all applicants applying for
a place on the ‘Developing Arts for Health’ course. This means the price has been reduced from £500 down to £250, for all those offered a place on that course. See the
website for contact details.

The Unit also has a variety of new courses for 2009, including: Project Cycle Management; Community Arts in Global Perspective; and Equality and Diversity, among many others.

New! 14.08.09    
Adde to the Events Listing: Noted community artist Nick Clements will host a free “evening of creative conversation” at Staffordshire University, to mark his appointment as
Honorary Professor in Community Arts. The evening will be on 14th October 09 (6pm) and is titled: “Stoke-on-Trent — Dreaming for Real”.
Please book a place first via:

New! 14.08.09    
Given that North Staffordshire is now a large provider of healthcare, the workshop “An Insider’s Guide to Delivering Arts in Hospitals” will be of interest
to many. This free workshop day will be held on 21st September 09 at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Limited places are available. To register your interest in the workshop,
contact Claire Carter: or call 01694 731 759.

Of related interest, and also in the West Midlands, is “Dance 4 Health”. This event (£40/£20) will be on 16th September 09, at the Trident Centre in Warwick.
It will offer an opportunity to hear from health professionals, artists and
commissioners about their role in the programme and the results of a six month action-research project
exploring the impact dance has on participants’ social engagement, health and wellbeing. More information can be had from
Warwickshire County Council’s Arts Service on 01926 412492.

Also of related interest, Creative Remedies UK: Linking Arts and Health across the West Midlands will
rebrand and launch their website in September 09, including new case studies… “which illustrate the range of arts and health work happening in Staffordshire”.
One to watch.

New! 14.08.09    
Praxis Arts and Health will be a new West Midlands network
for those working in community arts in the field of arts and health. Subject to funding, they hope to launch their 2010 programme in December 09.

New! 14.08.09    
English museums, libraries and archives can now apply for the MLA‘s “Setting the Pace: People’s Record Phase 2” funding scheme,
which offers grants in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Small grants of between £1,000 and £4,000 will support small partnership projects which
will contribute to a… “community archive of people’s responses to the London 2012 Olympics”.
Funded projects will take place between September 2009 and March 2010. Full information can be had from:

New! 14.08.09    
The Social Enterprise West Midlands Survey is now underway, and there’s
an online survey that seeks to collect data from 500 social enterprises across the West Midlands.
The survey should take just five minutes to complete. This will be followed later with a more detailed survey aimed at
particular groups of social entreprenuers and their service users.

New! 13.08.09    
Interested in community media production with your local community? Community Voices seeks to support disadvantaged and isolated communities across
England. Funded until March 2011, Community Voices will fund projects by 26 community groups, alongside one major new £60,000 initiative and a further 40 x £500
grants for smaller start-up digital media projects.

New! 14.08.09    
Volunteers are wanted at the Film Theatre. Stoke-on-Trent’s only independent art-house cinema relies
on the services of volunteers to keep running costs down. The only paid member of staff is a part-time administrator. The Film Theatre does not rely on external
grants and supports itself through box-office receipts and bar sales. Volunteers sell tickets, serve at the bar, collect tickets, project films and
manage the cinema. Organised into eight teams, volunteers work once a fortnight and get a free ticket for every shift worked. For most, the commitment works
out to less than one hour per week, plus travel. Can you help out? Please contact the Film Theatre on 01782 411188 and leave your contact details, or write to:
 Gill Yates, Film Theatre Administrator. Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent. ST4 2EF.

New! 14.08.09    
The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists‘ Open Ceramics Exhibition is on in Birmingham until 5th September 09.
This is apparently the first ceramics Open in the Midlands, and – although Creative Stoke doesn’t generally cover exhibitions – it
might be useful for local ceramic makers to visit the show if they want to judge the type of work chosen, with a view to entering the Open in 2010.
The Open aims to…

“cover all aspects of the contemporary
ceramic scene – studio ceramics, sculptural forms or experimental pieces – be they established or emerging makers. This includes ceramic students
and enthusiasts”.

If you can’t get to the Open, Terry Grimley of The Birmingham Post has reviewed the show,
although sadly without any pictures.

New! 14.08.09    
Culture 24 has a long interview with Gaye Blake Roberts, Director of the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston near Stonke-on-Trent.
This local Museum was, of course, recently the winner of the national Art Fund Prize.

If you like what you see at the Wedgwood Museum, another fine local collection of ceramics will be on show at Keele in the Autumn. The Raven Mason Collection of Mason’s
Ironstone and Porcelain at Keele will get a rare free public showing, on 13th September, 29th September and 27th October 09 (from 10am until 4pm). The Raven Mason Collection is said to be…

“one of the finest displays of Mason’s
ceramics you will find on public display. This invitation provides visitors with a rare opportunity to view some of the most important items made over a
200 year span of the company’s history displayed in historic Keele Hall, former home of the Sneyd family.”

New! 14.08.09    
Shots from the Heart is a Midlands photography competition. Select your area on the website’s map,
upload your photo and then… “tell us what you love about the Heart of England. The best pictures will win a free day out for a
group of four people to a top attraction in the Heart of England.” It looks like they could currently use a few more entries from North Staffordshire. Deadline: September 09.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Destination Staffordshire is a joint-marketing body for Staffordshire, aiming
to support local businesses in leisure and heritage.

New! 14.08.09    
Culturing Stuff is a new website
that aims to be a social network for Stoke-on-Trent’s creatives…

“Culturing Stuff is an arts, music and social creative community, based in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.
A place where creative people in Stoke & Staffordshire can get together, make friends and create a buzz,
be creative and express our cultural side. A place to share videos, audio, photos, stories and our culture.
Watch live music and listen to bands. Listen to tracks from Stoke’s music making locals. Find out what’s
happening on the stoke music and arts scene and share your own music, art and thoughts with us. We’re
creating a tourist map of information about Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire and it’s all made by you.”

New! 14.08.09    
Creative Boom is a new website that aims to be a social network for Stoke-on-Trent’s creatives. Launched in July 2009 by Kidsgrove-based
Boomerang P.R., Creative Boom aims to support freelancers and businesses of all sizes, helping them to gain new contacts…

New! 14.08.09    
The informal HeadTalk meetings, being held at Fat Cats in Stoke-on-Trent, now have a website

New! 14.08.09    
Arts Compass is running a training event for creative industry advisors, trainers, coaches and mentors.
It’ll be held at the Light House in Wolverhampton, on 5th October 09. The cost is £80. More information from the website or from:

New! 14.08.09  
30th September 09 is the deadline for visual creatives to claim a share of the £3-million DACS Payback fund.
If you’ve had an image of your work published in a British magazine or newspaper, or seen on a TV programme, yet not been paid for it — then applying could
get you a DACS cheque. The Payback money is raised from the annual photocopying & video/TV/DVD duplication licenses paid for by schools & colleges.

New! 14.08.09    
The Leverhulme Artists in Residence award would like your
idea for an arts residency in a British institution of higher education (including museums), a residency which would… “contribute recognisably to the life and work of the host department
or centre”. The award covers a grant for the resident artist, plus up to £2,500 for costs. The maximum total cost can be up to £12,500
overall for a typical residency, which would usually take ten months, based on the artist being present at the host institution for two days per week.
Next deadline: 1st September 09. Full details can be found at the website.

New! 14.08.09    
Artists Access to Art Colleges scheme is offering artists residencies at universities within easy reach of North Staffordshire by train — such as
Birmingham (BIAD), Coventry, Wolverhampton, Manchester, and Derby.
Most of the application deadlines are in September 09.

New! 14.08.09    
Keele University is offering creative writing workshops on the ideas of Charles Darwin. The workshops are part of a day of
creative writing, drama, lectures, laboratory visits and field walks to explore Darwin’s work and legacy, happening at Keele on 21st November 09.
A new publication will also be launched during the day, including original poems by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Ian McMillan and Polly Clark.
Cost is £12 (£6 concessions). For more information contact

New! 14.08.09    
Are you a graphic novelist who would like to see their work in print? Major publisher Jonathan Cape and the Comica Festival have teamed with The Observer newspaper
to offer you the chance to publish your graphic short story. The first prize is £1,000, and the publication of your story across four pages in
The Observer‘s magazine (or in The Guardian website if the Observer closes soon, as is expected). The runner-up will receive £250
and your work will appear on The Guardian‘s website Deadline: 25th September 09.
See the website for competition rules.

Entrants may also like to listen to
this frank podcast interview with the graphic novel editor at Jonathan Cape.

New! 14.08.09  
Our local Arvon Centre for creative writing, located in nearby Shropshire, now has details of
their Autumn/Winter 2009 residential courses.
Autumn/Winter 2009 courses include, among others: Writing for Radio; Comedy Writing; Film Writing; and Writing for Television.

New! 14.08.09    
Our local Wedgwood Memorial College has a variety of creative short
residential courses for the Autumn. Among those relevant to the arts and creative industries are: Beginners Guide to Investment; Painting Light and Atmosphere;
Making Facsimile Music; and Writing News and Features.

New! 14.08.09    
Advance news of Typographics Horizons, a one-day symposium for Midlands typographers. It’s being organised by UKType in collaboration with The Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD).
There are no further details of website yet, but if you’re a typographer or graphic designer the date for your diary is 18th November 09.

New! 14.08.09    
The next Stoke-on-Writing group meeting is scheduled for the 5th September 09, 10.00am at the Bentilee neighbourhood centre in Stoke-on-Trent.
All writers are welcome, please just bring something you’ve written. Dates for future meetings are: 3rd October; 7th November; and 5th December. The group hopes to publish the Write On Anthology later this year.

New! 14.08.09    
There’s a new book by acclaimed author Stephen Foster, launching on the 3rd September 09. It’s titled
And She Laughed No More: Stoke City’s Premiership Adventure.

New! 14.08.09    
Would you be interested in being part of a project about the canal network between Stoke-on-Trent and Lincoln? Amelia Beavis-Harrison and Cameron Craig,
proposing the Project 120AD project, are seeking early-stage responses from artists in Stoke-on-Trent. The Fossdyke Canal in Lincoln is said to connect with Stoke-on-Trent, and the focus of the project
will contrast the possible Roman history of the canal with the modern-day canal culture. If you are an artist with an interest in Midlands canals, and especially with canals that shadow the Trent,
please contact Amelia and Cameron at:

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Events List: Ceramic City: Design & The Public Realm is a conference at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. The conference will
talk about the role of crafts in public spaces, with special emphasis on the role of ceramics. The event will take place on 9th-10th October 09.
More information soon.

New! 14.08.09    
Stoke-on-Trent is to get £50,000 in seedcorn funding to explore “creative ways” to use empty shops
for the benefit of the public. No further details at present, but it’s one to watch out for.

New! 14.08.09    
The owner of the well-publicised Painted House at Goldenhill in Stoke-on-Trent is
seeking potential house-share tenants.
Interested? Email: or phone 07919 817914.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Stoke-on-Trent silversmith and designer Joanne Panayi.
Joanne recently won the Goldsmiths Company Craftsmanship & Design Awards, and won the Goldsmiths Precious Metal Bursary in 2008.

New! 14.08.09  
  Local artist Rachel Grant has recently updated her website, and added fresh images from recent projects such as the
Place Space & Identity 2 project in Stoke-on-Trent.

New! 14.08.09  
  Added to the Directory: Leek All Saints Operatic Society.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Daniel Challinor is a magician based in Stoke-on-Trent, who has a new website…

New! 14.08.09    
Subsonik is an excellent free weekly podcast, featuring new local bands and the music being made across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire.
They can also be found on MySpace.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: The BitJam website features experimental music from Stoke-on-Trent

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: There’s a new web address for the  North Staffordshire Folk Diary.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Barefoot Doctors is a blog for the new skills-development project in North Staffordshire which is being run by Newcastle-under-Lyme’s B Arts.
The project is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. More details at the blog.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: A new website for Stoke-on-Trent’s Nicholas Hudson Paine

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: DB Digital 3D is based in Stoke-on-Trent,
and offers 3D visualisation, modelling and animation with Maya, Photoshop, and RealFlow.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Helen Billingsley is a studio potter living and working near Stafford.

New! 14.08.09    
Added to the Directory: Etsy Midlanders is a new blog and networking hub for UK Etsy sellers in the Midlands. For those who don’t know,
Etsy is an open online marketplace where everything for
sale has to be individually hand-made by the sellers.

New! 14.08.09    
Stoke bands which recently had notable media coverage, and which have a web page: Herzoga; This Machine is Off;
and Bleached Wail.

New! 14.08.09    
The Stafford Film Festival, set to happen in October 09, has been cancelled.


     ~~ Summer holidays ~~