Creative Stoke news update, 29th March 2013

29.03.13   
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:  info@nulc.ac.uk

29.03.13   
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:  kim.gould@staffordshire.gov.uk

29.03.13   
The new Staffordshire University Videogames Design Showreel for 2013 is now online…

29.03.13   
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:  stokecreativelearning@theambassadors.com

29.03.13   
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.

29.03.13   
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:  alexdavisevents@hotmail.co.uk

29.03.13   
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.

29.03.13   
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.

29.03.13   
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.

29.03.13   
Job:  An Art Teacher is wanted for a June start at a North Staffordshire school.

29.03.13   
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.

29.03.13   
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:  p.kaszynska@ahrc.ac.uk

29.03.13   
Added to the Directory: Joanna Dawidowska, ceramics designer-maker.

29.03.13   
Added to the Directory: Denise Maloney, ceramics designer.

29.03.13   
Added to the Directory: Anne Mychalkiw, a surface pattern designer and ceramics designer.

29.03.13   
Added to the Directory: Quirky Bird, hand-maker of silver and lampwork glass jewellery.

29.03.13   
Added to the Directory: Nicola Blaize Ceramics.

29.03.13   
Added to the Directory: Gillian Laverick, maker of porcelain and gold jewellery.

29.03.13   
Added to the Directory: McCullough & Howard Guitars, an electric guitar repair and refurb service based in North Staffordshire.

29.03.13   
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).

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Creative Stoke news update, 25th March 2013

25.03.13   
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…

25.03.13   
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.

Shane Oakley

25.03.13   
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?

25.03.13   
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 available here.

25.03.13   
Job:  Staffordshire University requires a Senior Lecturer in Journalism, specifically… “a pioneering digital journalist”. Application deadline: 1st April 2013.

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
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”

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
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:  artswest@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

25.03.13   
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:  natalie.baker@stoke.gov.uk  The scheme is part of the government’s £266 million investment in local sustainable transport schemes.

25.03.13   
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.”

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
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 a low-rate £2,500 loan to fledgling entrepreneurs.

25.03.13   
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: sales@6towns.co.uk

25.03.13   
The Staffordshire Moorlands now has all the dates available for their informal Arts Forums networking events, from May to November 2013.

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
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.

25.03.13   
All the Web links in the Creative Stoke directory have been checked by hand, with dead links being either repaired or deleted.


Creative Stoke news update, 21st March 2013

21.03.13   
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

21.03.13   
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.

21.03.13   
UK 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.

21.03.13   
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.

21.03.13   
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…

21.03.13   
Added to the Directory: Lou Marshall, a fashion designer based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

21.03.13   
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.

21.03.13   
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.

21.03.13   
Moving 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).

21.03.13   
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 elizabethjillyoung@gmail.com

21.03.13   
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 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 employer National Insurance 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%”.


Creative Stoke news update, 15th March 2013

15.03.13   
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 30th 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,
  Staffordshire University,
  Faculty of Arts, Media and Design,
  College Road,
  Stoke-on-Trent.
  ST4 2DE

15.03.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s 2013 British Ceramics Biennial will be requiring about 50 volunteers this year (28th Sept – 10th Nov 2013). For more information on becoming a volunteer, please contact Dena Bagi at:  dena@britishceramicsbiennial.com

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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 a 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.

15.03.13   
SPEED 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.

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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:  j.holland1@keele.ac.uk

The organisers also need volunteer seamstresses or dress makers, hair stylists, make-up artists, and general sewing assistance.

15.03.13   
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…

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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

15.03.13   
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?

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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: arts.development@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk and put “Craft Cases at The Brewhouse” as your email subject line.

15.03.13   
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: hello@simplystaffordshire.co.uk

15.03.13   
“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:  alexdavisevents@hotmail.co.uk

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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: kategant@creativehealthcic.co.uk

15.03.13   
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: creativecommunities@staffs.ac.uk

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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”.

15.03.13   
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: staffordshirefestival@gmail.com

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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.

15.03.13   
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.


Creative Stoke news update, 3rd March 2013

03.03.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Factory has small capital grants of up to £1,500 for equipment, tools, software etc. These must be 100% match-funded by the applicant. Applications are now invited and will be reviewed from 1st April 2013. For the application forms and to get on the Factory mailing-list please contact:  factory@stoke.gov.uk

03.03.13   
Ready to export? There’s a Staffordshire export support breakfast event for business, called New Markets : New Horizons. The date is Thursday 7th March 2013 (7.30am-10am) at Keele Hall, Keele University. This event is… “particularly aimed at businesses which have no or limited previous experience in exporting” and is aimed at “manufacturing and services” businesses.

03.03.13   
Job:  Stoke-on-Trent City Council is seeking to commission an artist/design agency to develop and design a sculpture trail for the city’s public art infrastructure. The trail will be both Web based and a print “pullout” version that can be popped into a bag or pocket. Especially welcome will be submissions offering an innovative and dynamic approach to animating a sculpture trail, while at the same time engaging a range of ages, interests and abilities. Submission deadline: 18th March 2013 for delivery by 26th July 2013. Maximum budget is £12,000 (excluding VAT). Details from Paul Bailey, Cultural Development Officer at:  paul.bailey@stoke.gov.uk

03.03.13   
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), in partnership with the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, would like to invite local businesses to come and find out more about the work of the LEP, and to seek your views on its future priorities. This is a free evening event at the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, on Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent. The date is Wednesday 6th March 2013.

03.03.13   
Artist Willard Wigan MBE will be giving a free talk about his well-known “micro-sculptures”, as part of Staffordshire University’s “Art Meets Science” talks series. The date is Saturday 16th March 2013 (11am), at the Staffordshire University Science Centre on Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent.

03.03.13   
Those developing interactive media and services for digital might be interested in Mobile computing: connecting the world, an open showcasing event at Staffordshire University on 20th March 2013 (10am-2pm)…

“See examples of recent work in this area and meet the people who are currently delivering successful projects with commercial and academic partners.”

03.03.13   
The Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre has a range of free business development workshops in Spring 2013…

  13th March 2013 (4pm-6pm), “Marketing your Innovation” in Stoke-on-Trent.

  11th April 2013 (9am-1pm), “What Intellectual Property (IP) do you Own?” in Stoke-on-Trent.

  17th April 2013 (4pm-8pm), “New Product Development” in Stafford town.

  1st May 2012 (12pm-2pm), “Research & Development Tax Relief to help fund your Innovation” in Stoke-on-Trent.

The BIC also has dates for workshops later in the year. For full details see their 2013 brochure (PDF link).

03.03.13   
The Women in Rural Enterprise annual conference is set to happen nearby. The WiRE Annual Conference 2013 will be on Tuesday 9th April 2013 at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire.

03.03.13   
Stoke-on-Trent’s Middleport Community Design Festival is running a photography competition, “What makes a house a home?”…

“We are seeking your photographs of what makes a house a home. What makes it more than just a building, what makes it special, something attractive, a home to enjoy, a home to be jealous of, a design feature you would include in a self-build housing project?”

There are £200 in prizes on offer. Deadline: 5pm on 20th March 2013. The pictures will be printed for display at the Middleport Community Design Festival on 22nd & 23rd March 2013 (at St. Paul’s Church, Dalehall nr. Middleport). Submit up to five pictures (up to 2Mb each, at a print resolution/size if possible) to:  bmlocalforum@gmail.com

03.03.13   
Stoke-on-Trent F.E. College currently has grants of £1,500 per business, for any enterprise which takes on young apprentices (up to ten per firm). Details are available from:  business@stokecoll.ac.uk   Newcastle-under-Lyme College also has the same £1,500 offer available, with details available from:  employers@nulc.ac.uk   Bear in mind also that the government is about to launch a major arts and creative industries apprenticeships programme. See the last Creative Stoke News Update for details on that.

03.03.13   
Newcastle-under-Lyme is seeking private and public sector partners for a new £40,000 youth apprenticeships scheme. For details contact the N-u-L Apprenticeship Helpline for Business on 0300 111 8002.

03.03.13   
The ACAVA (Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art) has been asked to do a preliminary assessment of supply-and-demand for artists’ studios and similar creative production spaces in Stoke-on-Trent. If you’d like to have your say, either on your past experience or your future plans, please contact ccheung@acava.org and they’ll send you some questions by email.

03.03.13   
The 2nd Stoke Craftworkers Bazaar has set a date for Saturday 5th October 2013 at the Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Stalls are £20 each, but all items for sale must be handmade only and stallholders must have relevant insurance in place.

03.03.13   
As part of the London Road Festival 2013 in Stoke town, this year there will be an even bigger arts, crafts and makers market. The Pop-up Vintage market will also be there, along with bands and other musicians, so a good crowd is anticipated. The pitch fee is £20 and you need to bring your own tables and chairs. They’re trying to have a wide variety of stalls, but… “we won’t exclude anyone if we have space for you. However, we are limited to space, so please get in early”. They can have about 20 makers. Interested? Contact Alan via the Facebook page.

03.03.13   
Artists, makers, local producers and vintage sellers are invited to take putches for a FABulous series of festival days at the Arts & Music Festival in Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre (outdoors, 4th, 5th, 6th May 2013). To express interest please email Denise at:  info@popupemporium.com

03.03.13   
It’s good to hear that the historian Nigel Daly is set to publish a book on the life and work of the neglected artist from North Staffordshire Robert Bateman (1842–1922). Bateman was one of the “last romantics” in the school of Burne-Jones, and also one of the Bateman family sired by botanist and garden designer James Bateman (designer of the eccentric gardens at Biddulph Grange, now in the National Trust). Nigel wants to locate images of Robert Bateman’s large major oil painting “Saul and the Witch of Endor”, given into the trust of the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery — but which has since been mislaid. The painting was last heard of hanging in Longton Town Hall in the early 1950s, and it appears that not even a photographic record has survived. If you know anything of this painting, please contact Nigel at:  nigel@nigeldaly.co.uk

The leading art critic Walter Crane wrote of Bateman that…

“His best-known picture is perhaps “The Witch of Endor,” which was in the Royal Academy Exhibition. It is a very weird and powerful conception of the scene of the Raising of Samuel, and is worked out with extraordinary invention and resource in symbolic and subsidiary detail.”


Robert Bateman, “The Pool of Bethesda”, 1877. Currently at Yale University in America.

03.03.13   
ReStoke are looking for volunteers for their “Palace” site-specific performance project in Stoke-on-Trent. They are asking for each volunteer to be able to work a minimum of two performances between: 27th and 30th March 2013, in the evenings, or a matinee on Saturday 30th March. Full details from:  gemma@gemmathomas.co.uk

03.03.13   
Ready to rock? In the coming Easter Holidays there’s to be a youth rock music event at the Mitchell Youth Arts Centre in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. 10-16 year olds will have two days of workshops and stage performance opportunities, 5th-6th April 2013. Details from: info@waltonsway.co.uk

03.03.13   
Futura is a one-day science-fiction convention (literature oriented, not TV-and-Trek), which will be running at the Light House in nearby Wolverhampton on Saturday 15th June 2013. It sounds like a great chance to network with other Midlands SF writers…

“A £25 ticket will get you access to a range of activities from 11am until late — including readings, panels, Q+A sessions, our fabulous book market and much more.
Guest of Honour author line-up: Ken Macleod, Adam Roberts, and Ian R. Macleod”.

03.03.13   
Added to the Directory:  Soul and Jazz, based in Leek and run by Brian Hurst (a well-known DJ in the soul and jazz scene in America and the UK). His website offers a subscription-based curated programme featuring HD audio streaming over the Web, letting you hear neglected gems from the back catalogues of record labels from across the world. Currently a subscription to his commercials-free programme is just £57 a year, a bargain compared to what the records might cost a collector. There is also an iPhone app, and a series of albums called The Hurst Selection.

03.03.13   
British Telecom has this week announced details on when it will expand its fast 24Mbits/sec+ broadband Internet service to Stoke-on-Trent and adjacent areas. The so-called “superfast” broadband should be available by the end of 2013 for the telephone exchanges at: Dimsdale; Burslem; Longton; Kidsgrove; and Stone town. Work should be completed by the end of Spring 2014 for exchanges at: Hanley; Stoke City; Blythe Bridge; Trentham, and Milton Lee. The exchanges at: Newcastle-under-Lyme; Biddulph; and Alsager are already wired for 24Mbits/sec+ broadband, and are accepting orders now.