Creative Stoke news update, 22nd February 2013

22.02.13   
National organisation TACS (Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society) and local creative Danny Callaghan have been recruiting local people for a unique “community research team” on local ceramic tiles. Those taking part will visit key collections, access unusual archive material and visit recognised — as well as forgotten — architectural ceramics located on buildings across Stoke-on-Trent. The team will also visit key resources and locations in Ironbridge and London. Participants will also look at present-day production in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. The research team will then share their findings at events in each of the city’s famous Six Towns, to inform the development of a new Potteries Tile Trail.

There are still a couple of places up for grabs but you need to be quick! This opportunity is valuable and places are offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. You will need to be available and commit to four day-long ‘study visits’ taking place over six weeks and starting next Wednesday 27th February at Gladstone Pottery Museum. The other study visit dates are Tuesday 12th March, Wednesday 27th March and Wednesday 10th April 2013. For more information and to express your interest, please contact Danny Callaghan at email: danny@mcardlecallaghan.com

22.02.13   
Staffordshire and Keele Universities are jointly running a research project called “And the Doctor Said…”. An opportunity is now available for a freelance creative writer to run two x one-day workshops as part of the project. The purpose of the workshops is for people to discuss their experiences of health care, and to develop creative writing based on these experiences. If you are interested in this opportunity then please contact Jackie Reynolds, the Project Coordinator, for further details at: j.reynolds@staffs.ac.uk

22.02.13   
There’s a new Facebook group for Staffordshire and Cheshire Event Organisers.

22.02.13   
Staffordshire Moorlands Open Art 2013 now has details and dates. Bringing-in day will be Saturday 6th April 2013 and the exhibition will open Saturday 13th April 2013. Up to 3 submissions can be made for an entry fee of £10. See the Web page for an entry form. Part of the Leek Arts Festival.

22.02.13   
Added to the Directory: Andrew Cliff, aka Second Voice from The Moon. Andrew works in photography and pen-and-ink.

22.02.13   
Fifteen of Staffordshire Moodlands’s blog writers had a face-to-face get-together in Leek this month…

Yummy Mummy in Training has a Web links set for all those who attended.

22.02.13   
The Sentinel newspaper needs more local models for its Saturday Supplement magazine.

22.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Trentham Gardens is to run a Garden Design Workshop on Monday 11th March 2013 (9.30am – 4pm), with award winning Garden Designer, Clive Mollart. £39.50 per person, includes garden entry and lunch at the Italian Garden Tearoom. 10% discount for Annual Ticket Holders and Royal Horticultural Society members. Must be booked in advance, call 01782 646646 or visit the Gardens Entrance at Trentham Gardens.

22.02.13   
Stoke band GreaterGhost have posted two new video ‘studio diaries’, on their experience of recording their new Fear The Distance EP…

Part two.

22.02.13   
Two song tracks from Narn, as heard live this week on BBC Radio Stoke. Narn (Rheana Forrester) has recently made it through to the Regional Finals of Teenstar.

22.02.13   
Sledge Hammer Films, based in Newcastle-under-Lyme, are holding auditions for their planned feature-film BoXeD, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, this coming Saturday 23rd February 2013.

22.02.13   
Draycott, Derbyshire is to hold the Draycott Festival of Arts & Gardens 2013 (5th and 6th May) and is inviting artists and designer-makers to take selling pitches. There is an exhibitors fee of £35 for the whole weekend. To apply please send three images (at least one needs to be print-ready at 300dpi) with an artist’s statement and description of the works you would like to show, to:  startlearts@yahoo.co.uk

22.02.13   
Congratulations and good luck to four new graduate companies arising from the Staffordshire University degree courses in videogames design: Labyrinth Interactive; Expositus Games; Ridicule Games; and None Studios.

22.02.13   
GameDev Midlands 1: Insert Coin to Begin is the first informal networking get-together for creatives and indie developers working in the Midlands videogames industry. In central Birmingham (a very short walk from New St. station), on 9th March 2013. Free. (Note the change of date from the 2nd to the 9th).

22.02.13   
Ideas Fund Shorts 2013 is offering eight filmmakers or animators aged 16-25 up to £5,000 funding each — and expert mentoring — to turn their short film ideas into reality. Your finished film will be no longer than 20 minutes long, and must “do something that has not been done before” and “something that you would not be able to do without the funding”. Application deadline: 28th March 2013.

22.02.13   
The Writing Platform Bursary is a fund… “designed to support inter-disciplinary learning and collaboration between writers and technologists”. The fund will support two one-off bursaries of £3,000. Application deadline: 12th March 2013. See the Web page for sull details.

22.02.13   
The North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce is taking bookings for a half-day training workshop, “Make an impact on your business with free PR and publicity”. The date is 16th May 2013, and the cost is £120.00 + VAT for members, and £160.00 + VAT for non-members.

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Creative Stoke news update, 14th February 2013

14.02.13   
Congratulations to 16-year-old Ciaran Algar from Stoke-on-Trent, who has won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards “Young Folk Act of the Year” title. Ciaran lives in Tunstall, and attends St Joseph’s College in Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent.

Ciaran’s new album The Queen’s Lover, made with Chester-based partner Greg Russell, is out now. Listen to track samples from the album for free on Amazon.

14.02.13   
Those interested in folk music in Stoke and North Staffordshire now have a new Stoke folk Facebook group for networking and information.

14.02.13   
The government will launch the new Creative Employment Programme in a few weeks time. The initial aim of this major £15m programme is to have 6,500 apprentices (aged 16 to 24) working for pay in the UK’s arts and creative industries, within two years. The National Skills Academy is heading the programme — and the National Theatre, the V&A Museum, and Covent Garden are all signed up to be among the first users of the service. Details of the launch, and the first national roadshows, are available here. Some local creative firms such as Burslem’s Barewall have already employed several apprentices, but this major new programme would seem to present a very substantial opportunity for creatives in North Staffordshire — both for creative young people and creative employers. More details as Creative Stoke gets them.

14.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Stoke Your Fires Film Festival now has the 2013 Festival brochure (PDF link) available for download.

As well as screenings, the programme launches with a practical day of workshops and talks in Hanley on Friday 1st March:

 * New Model Cinema student symposium, with keynote speech, starts 10am. This includes a lunchtime panel discussion, 1pm-2pm, on “Film In The Region” — with Stickleback Productions / Reels in Motion / Staffordshire University / Edge Hill University. Potential questions can be submitted beforehand to Jon Fairburn at:  jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk

 * Masterclass on Pitching and Packaging Film Projects, 1pm to 3.30pm.

 * Masterclass on Crowd-funding, 4pm – 5.30pm.

Also several other masterclasses on other days, plus a networking meeting for film-makers on the 4th March 2013. See the programme and website for full details.

14.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent film-makers Reels in Motion are set to make a bit of digital history by having their first feature-film, Pulp as the first ever movie to exclusively premiere and then be distributed on the Microsoft Xbox videogame console. The film’s Xbox premiere is on 4th March 2013. Here’s the trailer for Pulp

14.02.13   
Job: an Independent Evaluator is required for Stoke-on-Trent’s Stoke Your Fires Film Festival. Application deadline: noon on 15th February 2013.

14.02.13   
Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre is running a series of free free innovation workshops in Stoke-on-Trent, during February and March 2013. These are:

 * Protect & Fund Your Innovation, 27th February 2013 (4pm-6.30pm).
 * Leadership Skills For Innovation, 6th March 2013 (4pm-6pm).
 * Marketing Your Innovation, 13th March 2013 (4pm-6pm).

14.02.13   
The West Midlands Economic Forum is holding a “Stimulating Innovation: Financing Exports” business breakfast event on 22nd February 2013 (7.30am-9.30am), at room BG21 on Staffordshire University’s Stoke campus. Admission is free, but attendees must register in advance via:  stoke@westmidlandseconomicforum.co.uk

14.02.13   
Jobs:  Stoke-on-Trent’s £3m “Creative People and Places” programme has just submitted the business plan to the Arts Council, and if approved they will start in April — with the first activities rolling out in the city during June/July. In anticipation of approval they are now advertising three paid posts:

 * Project Director – £32,000.
 * Creative Producer – £24,000.
 * Programme Manager – £24,000.

All posts are fixed for the funding period, finishing between December 2015 and April 2016. Deadline is noon on 28th February 2013. For more information and an application pack please email:  appetite@picl.uk.com

14.02.13   
Job: The Faculty of Arts & Creative Technologies at Staffordshire University requires a part-time 0.8 Technical Instructor (ref: ACT12-15) at the Stoke campus. The role will be based within the 2D/3D technical team supporting the academic and technical areas in woodwork, plastics, resins, metalwork, fine metals, ceramics, surface decoration, 3D printing, laser cutting and traditional print services. Application deadline: 24th February 2013.

14.02.13   
Job:  Staffordshire University requires an Academic Group Leader in Visual Communications (ref: ACT12-06RA). This covers managing degrees in: Graphic Design; Illustration; Animation; Cartoon & Comic Arts; VFX; Photography; Photojournalism; Advertising and Brand Management; and Entrepreneurship. Application deadline: 27th February 2013.

14.02.13   
Job:  Stoke-on-Trent City Council are seeking an animator to create a Staffordshire Saxon Animation (Contract Ref. CR2013/848). You will create “a unique animation that will add value to the story of the Staffordshire Saxon”, which is the large figurative sculpture located in the foyer of the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, inspired by the Staffordshire Hoard. Application deadline: 5pm on 1st March 2013. Maximum budget is £10,000 (excluding VAT). If you are interested in a full brief for this commission please contact Paul Bailey, Cultural Development Officer at:  paul.bailey@stoke.gov.uk

14.02.13   
Jobs:  The Enson Works in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, currently has a variety of commissions for its “Past, Present and Future Project”. These include producing a community animation of approx. 10 minutes (£8,000-£10,000), and being a Facilitator for the projects (£5-7,000). Full details available on the Creative Stoke Facebook group page, or from  elise.turner@stoke.gov.uk

14.02.13   
There are now 2013 dates for Stoke town’s annual London Road Festival. The main days will be on the 8th & 9th of June 2013. Artists “from a range of art forms” are now invited to submit a commission proposal for the festival’s Open Air Gallery 2013. The full artist brief is available here (PDF link). Expressions of interest are also invited from potential volunteers, via emailing:  swoca.info@gmail.com

14.02.13   
Newcastle-under-Lyme town is developing a new Arts Strategy aimed at boosting town centre trade, and also developing ideas for commemorating the First World War during 2014-2018. They are currently confirming these strategic priorities. The schedule after that is…

 * March 2013: Develop Action Plan.
 * Up to April 2013: Develop ideas to encourage the creative business sector and cultural leadership.
 * April 2013: Publish (draft).

14.02.13   
Leek town’s ‘Astound 2013’ art exhibition has a Kickstarter-like crowd-funding call going on now, over at Sponsume. The exhibition (25th May – 15th June 2013) is being put together by graduates of the Foundation Degree in Contemporary Art Practice at the Leek School of Art. So far they’ve raised nearly a quarter of their target amount!

14.02.13   
Staffordshire University now has dates for its annual art & design and media graduation shows. Show & Tell 2013 will launch on the evening of Friday 7th June 2013, and the free shows will run from 8th-15th June 2013. The shows will again be accompanied by a series of fringe events.

14.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Prototype magazine is currently setting up the sixth issue, which will have the theme of ‘Enchantment’. To submit your work to issue six, simply add three to five examples of your work to the Prototype Flickr group or post them to the magazine’s blog. Work must be in PDF or JPG, sized for print, and saved at 300dpi. Please also include a paragraph about yourself and your work. Deadline: 11th March 2013.

14.02.13   
Staffordshire University has produced its first ever magazine for its alumni, SA, designed by Birmingham’s Pink agency…

14.02.13   
Volunteer job: Hanley’s Stroke Art Cafe requires a volunteer. The Stroke Art Cafe runs fortnightly in Stoke-on-Trent, helping those who have had strokes.

14.02.13   
The Staffordshire Festival of Performing Arts has announced that in 2013 there will be — for the first time — an art exhibition as part of the Festival. If you’re an artist (of any style, including live art) and would like to show your work then please contact them.

14.02.13   
Job: A musician is wanted to run a ten-week group project at Ellesmere House at St George’s Hospital in Stafford, a 12-bed low-secure ward for men with a range of needs including mental health problems. £1,000 to cover artist fees for ten two-hour sessions. Deadline: 15th February 2013. Details from Eleanor Babb at:  eleanor.babb@sssft.nhs.uk

14.02.13   
Job: a Graphic Designer is wanted at Panda Press in Stone town.

14.02.13   
The Robbie Williams Give It Sum Fund Community Chest is offering up to £1,000 grants to voluntary organisations in North Staffordshire. Latest application deadline: 27th February 2013.

14.02.13   
The nearby Wolverhampton Art Gallery is offering a 3-week artist’s residency opportunity, 11th-28th March 2013. This will provide a studio for the making of new working in any medium. Application deadline: 5pm on 15th February 2013.

14.02.13   
School art teachers in the Midlands are having a free get-together evening in Birmingham. 4MAT: Network Meeting for Midlands Art Teachers will be on 6th March 2013 (5–7pm), at the contemporary Ikon Gallery near Birmingham city centre (a moderate walk from Birmingham New St. station).

14.02.13   
The New Art Gallery Walsall is to host “Outside the Box: developing art projects for beyond the gallery space” on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd March 2013. The event is free but limited to 40 places. Please book via an email to:  andersonh@walsall.gov.uk

14.02.13   
Birmingham’s queer arts and cultural festival, the Shout Festival, is calling for volunteers for 28th February – 10th March 2013. Full details from:  abberobinson.blgbt.org

14.02.13   
The Perform Rights Society’s New Music Biennial commissioning scheme is open to organisations (not just those working primarily in music) which would like to commission a music composer to write a new work for 2014. The programme will support and promote up to 20 new works selected from around the UK, to be performed in 2014. Any kind of organisation is welcome to apply. Deadline: 4th March 2013.

14.02.13   
The UK’s Perform Rights Society’s new Music Industry Development Fund is offering grants of up to £15,000 to… “help talented artists and bands to take their career to another level”. Application deadline: 31st May 2013.

14.02.13   
DepicT! 2013: the UK’s Super Short Film Competition asks screen creatives to create “a 90 second masterwork” in film or animation. £1,500 prize money, a national broadcast slot on the UK’s Channel 4, valuable industry exposure, and other exclusive prizes. All screen production techniques are welcome, including animation. Free to enter. Deadline: 8th July 2013.


Creative Stoke news update, 1st February 2013

01.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s BitJam has a free Stoke-on-Trent Opendata Hackathon set for 23rd February 2013 (9am-10pm) at the YMCA Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent…

“we plan to bring together the finest creative minds in the area, and develop something exciting using open data. We plan to hack together an ‘interactive something’ that uses open data to trigger cool things, that could be audio, visual or hardware. This could be: using a hacked Kinect sensor to navigate a map application that when someone interacts it triggers audio; or something way much better than that!”

They will have available 12 iMacs, fibre optic broadband, plenty of software, soldering irons, electronics bits and bobs, iTunes and Spotify.

The context for this is the UK government recently completed changing the law to allow data mining and data analytics for non-commercial research, without any need to consult data owners about copyright. This newly enacted policy runs alongside the government’s ongoing radical commitment to open data and open access.

01.02.13   
Local small to mid-sized businesses are invited to skill up their local workforce, via signing them up for subsidised Higher Education courses specially designed for local workforces. The Staffordshire University courses on offer include:

   * University Diploma in Leadership and Management (level 5).
   * Institute of Leadership and Management Certificate in First Line Management (level 3).
   * half-day or one-day Leadership and Management masterclasses.

Priority will be given to those who have not engaged in any type of training or development with the university in the past, and funding will be dependent on starting the programme before 31st March 2013. Interested? Contact the University’s For Business team at:  forbusiness@staffs.ac.uk

01.02.13   
Staffordshire University’s Enterprise and Commercial Development (ECD) are hosting an “Innovation Clinic” on Thursday 21st February 2013 in Stafford. They are seeking innovators who have: a new invention; a new design; a new process; a new material; or a new business model. The aim is to offer ways to help protect and create impact from your innovation. To arrange an appointment please email:  rachel.watmore@staffs.ac.uk

01.02.13   
Youth Enterprise CIC, a not-for-profit organisation founded in Stoke-on-Trent, is running a national competition with support from Lord Sugar and Staffordshire University. The National Enterprise Challenge has two age categories, for pupils in Years 7 and 8 (aged 11 to 13) and Years 9 and 10 (aged 13 to 15). Entry will be limited nationally to 100 schools. Lord Sugar has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the final event. Schools wanting to secure a place should contact Youth Enterprise CIC by phoning:  01782 367148.

01.02.13   
Staffordshire Business Loans Fund offers loans of £10,000 to £50,000 to small businesses based in Staffordshire. To apply you must be employing less than 50 people, and have been turned down by the conventional banks.

01.02.13   
An inaugural Tourism and Attractions Show is to be held at the Wedgwood Visitor Centre & Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, on 2nd March 2013. This is a new trade show organised by Stoke-on-Trent Tourism, and it… “will showcase more than 50 tourism destinations, attractions, tour operators, event venues and accommodation providers”. This could be of interest to readers in the wider cultural and heritage industries.

01.02.13   
Job:  The government is expanding the Business Class programme to young people in a range of new areas in England, over a 30 month period. Business in the Community now requires an Education Manager based within easy reach of Stoke-on-Trent, Telford, Shrewsbury, Worcester, to serve those places.

01.02.13   
Stafford Chamber of Commerce are running a one-day “Making Sense of Advertising and Promotion” event on Tuesday 12th February 2013, at Commerce House, Stoke-on-Trent. Trainer Yvonne Nolan will be helping businesses examine their advertising and promotion and set it in the wider marketing context.

01.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Creative Minds Festival has announced a new Playwright Competition. They’re looking for three x ten to twelve-minute plays, to be staged during the 2013 festival (2nd–6th July 2013). £350 prize per winner. The theme is Local & Global… “with particular reference to Stoke and Staffordshire”. The work should be able to easily provoke discussion – in terms of having the audience “look at issues” and explore “attitudes and values”. Scripts must be no longer than six A4 pages, double-spaced (a reading time of around ten minutes); a maximum of ten speaking parts, with a total cast of thirty. There is no fee for submitting. Email your text — including your name, address, email and phone number — to ianmoore@theambassadors.com

01.02.13   
Jobs: 8 x Trainee Community Organiser jobs available via the Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University. These will be at locations in Burslem & Shelton, in Stoke-on-Trent. Pay is £8.50 per hour, for 30-35hrs per week. Information “Drop-In Days” are set to be held on 7th February 2013 (2pm-5pm) in the Courtyard, College Road, Staffs Uni’s Stoke campus; and also on 11th February 2013 (4pm-7pm) at the Burslem School of Art, Queen Street, Burslem. Application deadline: 25th February 2013.

01.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Twitterati are having a face-to-face meetup at The Leopard pub in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, on the evening of 5th February 2013.

01.02.13   
Added to the Directory:  Brek Seae, the American ace football player who has just signed to Stoke City F.C. on a four-and-a-half year contract, is also a fine artist

01.02.13   
Production of a new 2D animated movie gets underway today, and it features the famous Stoke football player Sir Stanley Matthews. The movie Spirit of the Game will portray the great man returning from the dead to help a troubled young boy with a ball. Directed by BAFTA award-winning animator Tony White, the film is based on the young adults’ novel written by Saatchi-shortlisted artist and author Geoff Francis. Auditions have been held in Stoke, and the film will feature authentic local voices. Business sponsorship and donations are welcome. Individual donations will also be accepted soon.


Character concept art for Spirit of the Game.

01.02.13   
Stafford’s Shire Hall Gallery (2nd July – 6th July 2013) is seeking visual artists and crafts makers to exhibit November 2013 – January 2014 in an exhibition themed around “Light”. Deadline for submissions: 11th February 2013. Email up to 8 JPGs, an up-to-date C.V, and an artist’s statement, to Owen Hurcombe, Staffordshire County Arts Development Officer, at:  owen.hurcombe@staffordshire.gov.uk

01.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Central Library has a free local Writers’ Networking Morning set for 16th March 2013 (10.30am to 12.30pm). Places are free but limited, so to reserve your place please email:  joanne[at]writingwestmidlands.org

01.02.13   
Added to the Directory:  Stoke-on-Trent film maker Philip Kempson (Chameleonmonkey) is currently in production at the moment for a new locally-made horror film Accolade to Evil, written by Steven K. Beattie. Filming will take place in and around Stoke on Trent starting in March 2013. Here’s the trailer…

01.02.13   
First Light is looking for young West Midlands filmmakers aged between 18 and 25 to take part in a 4-day residential “Show Me The Money!” course in Birmingham. The course takes place in March 2013 and will offer practical workshops, talks and screenings on film financing. Deadline for applications: 8th February 2013.

01.02.13   
Newcastle-under-Lyme College now has details of its 2013 courses online. In Art & Design bespoke training courses are available in: Adobe Illustrator; Photoshop for Beginners; Photoshop Advanced; Setting Up and Using a Photographic Darkroom; Setting Up and Using a Photography Studio. In Music, there is a bespoke course in Pro Tools and they apparently have places available for a January 2013 start on the Foundation degree (Fd) in Music Technology. Regular creative courses are also available, see the website for the full list.

01.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Bertarelli Foundation Creative Minds Festival is looking for 40 schools and / or community groups to join them in the 2013 Festival. Selected groups will work with a professional arts practitioner in their own spaces, to put together a fifteen-minute “event”. This could be a theatre piece, songs, a music or dance piece, a five-minute film, or the creation of an artwork to be performed / shown / exhibited at the Regent Theatre during the Festival week. Deadline: 28 February 2013. A full “Fact Pack” is available on the website.

01.02.13   
The nearby Light House in Wolverhampton has film industry placement opportunities for unemployed / under-employed film and media graduates in the West Midlands. 19 internships are available in 2013. After an initial two weeks of training in Wolverhampton, these take place in Ireland in one of several locations, from rural Ireland to Dublin to Galway. Application deadline: 15th February 2013, for training starting at Light House on March 11th 2013.

01.02.13   
The organisers of the major annual Just So Festival (the young children’s arts and storytelling festival, held 5 miles north of Stoke-on-Trent) have commissioned a new report (read online) on the effect of the natural landscapes in which arts events are held. The report, from Big Art People and Abigail Gilmore (University of Manchester), is freely available.

01.02.13   
The North Face Explore Fund is aiming to “inspire and enable the next generation of explorers by funding non-profit organisations that are working to re-connect children with nature”. This is a response to research which shows that children’s first-hand encounters with nature across the developed world have dropped precipitously — to less than 10% of what they were just one generation ago. The few encounters with nature that kids do get are much more tightly controlled and policed, and take place in much more sanitised environments than a generation ago. The Explore Fund will support organisations that encourage youth outdoor participation, focusing primarily on creating more genuine connections of children to nature, increasing access to both farmland & wilderness recreation. Financial support will be given up to 2,500 Euros. Application deadline: 28th February 2013.

01.02.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s FRONTLINEdance have an excellent new video available online, “Moving Together”…

01.02.13   
Good news for online creatives who rely on working digitally from Stoke-on-Trent. A new uSwitch broadband survey, using the results of 2.3 million speed tests across the UK, found that Stoke-on-Trent came top in the UK for consistent speeds…

“Stoke-on-Trent residents see the most consistent broadband speeds throughout the day”.

A similar uSwitch survey in 2012 also found that Stoke-on-Trent was third in the UK for mobile broadband speed, with 3.19Mbps. Birmingham has the fastest average UK broadband speeds at peak time: 12.88Mbps.

01.02.13   
The Cake Tin Foundation is organising a free artists’ debate in Manchester, on “The Future for Queer Artists in North West England”. The date is Saturday 9th February 2013 (11.30am to 2.45pm).

01.02.13   
The University of Birmingham is seeking a Research Assistant on a project examining… “research-driven collaboration between academics, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and small cultural organisations, especially in their engagement with digital technologies.” Deadline: 6th February 2013.

01.02.13   
Manchester is to host a Digital Transformers Symposium in May 2013…

“A one-day academic event aimed at postgraduate students and early career researchers in the humanities, on the methodological and conceptual approaches and techniques required for the study of digital data and digitally mediated environments.”

01.02.13   
Staffordshire University has won a place on the Design Council’s Design Leadership Programme. The programme is a unique opportunity to work with the Design Council and their Design Associates, to help use design in the commercialisation of local research. The programme runs from November 2012 through to Spring 2013, and over that period the university will have up to 8.5 days of Design Associate Jonathan Butters’s experience. Jonathon will be talking at the University’s Enterprise Exchange Meeting on Wednesday 27th March 2013. The Enterprise Exchange is a quarterly meeting run by the Enterprise and Commercial Development team, as a forum to share best practice and showcase projects and activity. If you are interested in industrial and commercial product design, and would like to attend please contact Information Officer Elizabeth Plant at:  e.j.plant@staffs.ac.uk

01.02.13   
Job:  The Victoria & Albert Museum has created an unusual residency opportunity for a videogame designer, creating work inspired by the museum’s collections displayed in the Britain 1500-1900 galleries. It lasts six months in London, followed by a stint in Dundee. A monthly bursary is included. Full details for applying can be found on the V&A website. The deadline for applications is 8th February 2013.

01.02.13   
The BIG Assist is a new £6m funding stream from the National Lottery, aimed at organisations which support the work of other groups in the voluntary and community sector. On offer are voucher awards for help with:

* Strategy, planning and managing change.
* Financial sustainability.
* Innovation, new products and ways of working.
* Marketing and building strategic relationships.
* Supporting and developing people & your organisational culture.

01.02.13   
The contest to find the UK’s next City of Culture (2017) is now open. Could it be Stoke-on-Trent, perhaps? We seem to bid for everything else, so why not this? Cities need to register with the DCMS by the end of February 2013. Outline bids must be in by the end of April, for a June shortlist.