Creative Stoke news update, 25th November 2013

25.11.13   
Work:  Newcastle-under-Lyme’s B Arts are looking for artists and writers for their new project “The Box”, a three-year creative literacy programme with Stoke-on-Trent City Library. “The Box” will be aimed at boosting reading levels among children aged 9 to 13. B Arts now needs:

  * a Writer for Young People, deadline: 13th December 2013.
  * an Immersive Theatre Designer/Maker, deadline: 9th December 2013.
  * a Digital Media Artist, deadline: 9th December 2013.

25.11.13   
Work:  Coventry’s Creative Enterprise organisation, which sometimes runs workshops in Stafford / Stoke, wants to commission a new £3,000 promo video. Deadline: 28th November 2013.

25.11.13   
Work:  Stoke-on-Trent City Council is looking for a training provider to develop and deliver a series of business development workshops, preparing companies for trade show activity. Closing date is 5pm on Friday 29th November 2013. If you are interested in this opportunity, or would like more information, please email:  marc.wootton@stoke.gov.uk

25.11.13   
BIC Staffordshire has three new 2014 workshops in Stoke-on-Trent, all from 4-6pm at the Sutherland Institute in Longton…

  * 13th February: Profit from Innovation.
  * 27th February: Protect & Fund your Innovation.
  * 13th March: Leadership Skills for Innovation.

25.11.13   
Aiming to build on recent success of The Potteries Tile Trail project, the new Ceramic City Stories project is seeking help to identify, explore and tell your own stories about the people, buildings, and industry that continue to define our unique ceramics city today. There will be an initial briefing session on Wednesday 27th November 2013, 3pm-6pm at the CoRE centre, Enson Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. They are looking for volunteers who can commit to attending 12 sessions of approximately 3 hours each month, over the next 12 months. More details from Danny Callaghan at:  danny@mcardlecallaghan.com

25.11.13   
The 2014 Stoke Your Fires film festival in Stoke-on-Trent wants your movies. Do you have a feature-length production ready for screening, and would you like the chance to have it shown at Stoke Your Fires Film Festival 2014? The organisers are looking for a feature length production of any genre to add to next year’s 2014 programme and to potentially open the 2014 festival. See the website for full details.

25.11.13   
There’s a new Kickstarter campaign for the Stoke-on-Trent film Grandma’s Ashes.

25.11.13   
There’s now a new Facebook Group, Concept Collective, for discussion of the possibilities around setting up a central physical space or hub for local designers and makers from Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

25.11.13   
The Venue in Burslem is looking for new stage acts.

25.11.13   
Stoke-on-Trent City Council is hosting a training day for tattooists, at the Civic Centre in Stoke town, Stoke-on-Trent. This day should also be a good networking opportunity, as it is also open to tattooists from Staffordshire and Shropshire. Interested? Contact the Staffordshire and Shropshire Health and Safety Group on:  01782 232003.

25.11.13   
There’s a new Staffordshire County Council Superfast Staffordshire website which has news of the BT superfast fibre broadband fibre being rolled out into the rural parts of the county.

And according to BT’s superfast home broadband rollout plans, the wiring of the Stoke-on-Trent BT exchange called Stoke City WMCIT (which appears to be Stoke Civic Centre and Stoke town) has been brought forward. This is now listed as November 2013. The town of Stone appears to have slipped back to March 2014, and Trentham is now listed as May 2014. The key Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hanley exchanges already offer superfast home and business broadband.

As for mobile connectivity, the uSwitch 2013 mobile broadband speed survey shows that Stoke-on-Trent gets an average 14.34Mbps, and that the city has one of the most stable 3G city connection speeds in the UK…

“… Stoke-On-Trent having the average [3G] broadband speed change by just 0.7% between 4am and 9pm, showing they have a very consistent broadband speed” (uSwitch)

25.11.13   
Creative Nation is creating 6,500 UK jobs for creative people, in 1,000 days. Funding is available to arts and creative industries employers to take on apprentices and offer paid internships.

25.11.13   
Staffordshire University has a date for your shiny new 2014 calendar. The opening night of the 2014 art and design graduation shows will be Friday 13th June, with the shows then running through to the 21st of June 2014. They are also planning a third year for the accompanying Fringe Festival.

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Creative Stoke news update, 17th November 2013

17.11.13   
The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise has an Introduction to Self Employment (over 50s) workshop, on 4th December 2013 at Burslem Methodist Hall, Stoke-on-Trent.

17.11.13   
The Use of Social Media as a Marketing Tool is a workshop event on 20th November 2013 (11.30am – 1pm) in Congleton…

“Gain an overview of current Social Media trends and the most popular social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube. Understand how you as a small to medium sized business can use social media to promote your services […] The free to attend Hub workshops and networking events are aimed at anyone considering self employment, new and established businesses and the third sector (e.g. charities and social enterprises).”

17.11.13   
Oatcake Camp 2 is a unique Stoke-on-Trent grassroots discussion and talks evening, to be held at the YMCA North Staffordshire. There will be three sessions on ideas for improving city life, with media and innovation strongly to the fore. The line-up is:

   * How do we measure success of community engagement across social networks? (Carl Plant, BiTjAM).
   * How can local institutions be #morelikepeople? (Clare White, WEA).
   * Is innovation in the public sector dying? (Dan Slee, Comms2point0).

Grab a brew and cake from 6pm, and Oatcake Camp 2 officially kicks off in the YMCA Sky Room at 6.30pm on Tuesday 26th November (finishes at 8.30pm). This event is free, book your ticket now.

17.11.13   
The curators of the AirSpace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent are inviting submissions from walking artists, and artists who walk, to send in documentation of their practice. This can be historic or current, in all forms of media. Submissions will form part of their forthcoming The Walking Encyclopaedia show at AirSpace, timed to coincide with the Richard Long touring exhibition at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery (opens 30th Nov). Deadline: 13th December 2013. Email to:  mail@airspacegallery.org

17.11.13   
“Robots, Cyborgs and the Ghosts of Christmas Future” is the title of a public talk/demo at Staffordshire University (Stoke campus), on 11th December 2013…

“Intelligent robots and real life cyborgs will be on view in this exciting interactive presentation. You will be able to see if you can tell the difference between humans and machines in conversation and will have to think about what it means for a robot to be intelligent. Can robots have a biological brain like yours? Have you thought about what Christmas present to get your robot in the future? Suitable for both humans and robots of all ages as long as you have an open mind! Booking required:  public@staffs.ac.uk

17.11.13   
18th – 22nd November 2013 is Global Entrepreneurship Week at Staffordshire University. Details on the flyer, or email:  beinspired@staffs.ac.uk

17.11.13   
Added to the Directory: photographer Alex Harford.

17.11.13   
Alex Clowes writes that he is looking for volunteers to help set up an arts group at the day centre he manages in Stoke-on-Trent, for older people with physical disabilities and dementia. He would like to hold an art exhibition in the Spring of 2014. Interested? Please phone 01782 324715 and ask for Alex, or email:  alex@thegrocottcentre.co.uk

17.11.13   
Small Business Saturday (7th Dec) will see a Christmas market at the Burslem School of Art and another at the Victoria Hall in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Spaces are now available for creative businesses and small traders. Businesses who attend will also be given a free business training guide, and have the opportunity to attend free business training workshops through the Make It Your Business project. Interested? Please contact:  business.growth@stoke.gov.uk including contact details, a description of the business, and your location preference.


Above: Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent.

17.11.13   
The major Acoustic Festival of Britain, held at Uttoxeter, now has 2014 dates: 30th May to 1st June 2014. Note that this may also be a selling opportunity for crafts makers and instrument makers — enquire for details of market pitches / tables.

17.11.13   
Jobs: Artist-led children’s artist workshop providers are needed for hospitals in Sheffield, on the other side of the Peak District. Application deadline: 29th November 2013.

17.11.13   
The Manchester Writing for Children Prize is offering a £2,000 first prize for the best individual portfolio of poetry that is aimed at children aged between five and 12. The competition is open to all writers aged 16 or over, whether they are established or unpublished. The portfolio should consist of between three and five poems of no more than 120 lines in total. The poems must not have previously been published anywhere else. Deadline: 28th February 2014.

17.11.13   
The leading PC operating system Windows 8.1 is now available free from Microsoft, for charities and non-profit companies.

17.11.13   
The Design Council’s Design Leadership Programme is open to larger UK-based businesses, offering a subsidised programme of up to 10 days of design and innovation-focused mentoring, over a period of 6 to 18 months.

17.11.13   
The New Art Gallery Walsall will be hosting a two-week artist residency from 20th January – 2nd February 2014, to be awarded to an artist living and working in the West Midlands. Applications are now invited. The selected artist will receive a fee of £500, plus £250 towards travel and materials. Application deadline: 29th November 2013.

17.11.13   
Congratulations to Stoke-on-Trent Library Service and Newcastle-under-Lyme’s B Arts. Together they’ve recently had £90,000 of Arts Council England funding to produce a new project called The Box, aimed at boosting reading levels among children aged 9 to 13. The Box will travel around North Staffordshire during the school holidays during 2014-2017, encouraging children to devise short one-to-one mini theatre productions. There will also be a showcase exhibition of children’s work in the City Centre Library in Stoke-on-Trent (for which local sponsors are needed, up to £9,000).


Creative Stoke news update, 3rd Nov 2013

03.11.13   
The Factory creative industries conference for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire is coming up soon, and free places are still available. This major conference will be on 21st November 2013, at the Victoria Hall in Stoke-on-Trent. See the latest quarterly Factory magazine for full details and speakers…

03.11.13   
Volunteer jobs: Volunteers are required for North Staffs TV, which will soon be in a position to start delivering local TV content to North Staffordshire and the world via the Internet. North Staffs TV will be holding two open-days at the Staffordshire University campus at Stoke. The first will be on Wednesday 6th November 2013 at 6.00pm, with the second on Saturday 9th November 2013 at 1pm. See the website for full details and the application form.

03.11.13   
Job: Painsley Catholic College, in Cheadle, near Stoke-on-Trent, requires a temporary Teacher of Art. Deadline 15th November 2013. Apply via:  janekelly@painsley.staffs.sch.uk

03.11.13   
The Axis Arts Centre, at nearby Crewe, is hosting a Brand Me workshop on 3rd December 2013 (6pm-8.30pm), a practical workshop on branding. Cost is £10 for non-CIM members. For more details contact: cimevents@cim.co.uk

03.11.13   
Youth Enterprise CIC is the local delivery organisation for the government’s Start-Up Loans for people aged 18-30 in North Staffordshire. Despite their name, Youth Enterprise can now offer Start-Up Loans to those aged over 30, following recent national changes to the scheme’s age limits. Last month the government also approved another £34m for the Start-Up Loans scheme, as well as promising dedicated special help for former members of the armed services to start their own businesses.

03.11.13   
There will be a free life drawing class in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, on 15th November 2013…

03.11.13   
“Drawing with Light” is the title of a two-day masterclass in experimental tonal drawing. The dates set are 23rd and 30th November 2013 (10am-4pm), at Shire Hall in the centre of Stafford. Cost is £25. Other upcoming adult arts workshops at Shire Hall include :

* “Landscape, developing a personal response”, on 1st February 2014 (£25)

* “Portrait Drawing with David Gleeson”, on 8th February 2014 (£25)

See the new 2013-14 Shire Hall brochure for full details of all adult workshops.

03.11.13   
Sarah Armitt at The D.J. School in Stoke-on-Trent is looking for a volunteer Building Manager, with experience of working in a community building, to help manage the repairs programme. Interested? Please email your C.V. and experience to:  info@djschool.org.uk

The D.J. School also has an Open Day on Thursday 7th November 2013 (12 noon till 3pm). All invited. Free drinks, entertainment, and much more with info packs for all. Also free D.J. sessions for the unemployed — send a txt to book a slot to: 07816 318676.

03.11.13   
Stoke-on-Trent artist Rob Pointon has a new 2014 calendar, made with images from his “Year of the Boat” project. Sales help to support the Canal and River Trust, the self-funding successor to British Waterways.

To order please email:  enquiries@robpointon.co.uk

03.11.13   
Cat’s Curiosity Shop is a Stoke-on-Trent based online shop, specialising in hand-crafted and unusual steampunk/gothic accessories.

03.11.13   
Waterside Arts Centre in Cheshire is offering… “£3,000 + support, for an emerging theatre company to develop a new work for The Chambers space at the Arts Centre in April 2014.” Deadline: 15th November 2013.

03.11.13   
Added to the Directory: Richard Swancott Associates, a public relations firm based in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

03.11.13   
UKTI, the UK’s official export support service, now has over 50 useful Web seminars, using online video listed and coming very soon. Many of these are multi-sector introductions to the export markets in particular countries.

03.11.13   
UKTI, the UK’s official export support service, is running Great Creative Weeks, which will bombard selected export nations with large numbers of creative firms at any one time. Cost of participation in a “Great” overseas sales trip will be just £700. These Great trips will run across a period of 18 months, and our UK ambassadors overseas will actively help push the export sales events. See the Great website for full details.

03.11.13   
Creative England has launched a new £250,000 Innovations and Partnerships Fund. The Fund is looking for… “companies who have new and innovative ideas for ways to help the film sector to grow and develop outside London.” The funding on offer is between £10,000 and £50,000 per project. They are especially “looking for projects that demonstrate a commitment to cross-sector collaboration and to the use of new technologies and platforms.”

03.11.13   
The Big Music Project is a new £4 million investment from The BIG Lottery Fund, recently announced. As part of this the BPI will deliver a… “music-focused programme of training, job opportunities, and community outreach for young people aged 14-24 across the UK, focussing on deprived areas.” The programme is expected to start in Spring 2014 and run until 2015. There’s no website yet. More news on the The Big Music Project as Creative Stoke gets it.

03.11.13   
The Spectator magazine has a new UK wide competition for cartoonists. Win a one-year contract with The Spectator.

03.11.13   
Interesting national news: peer-to-peer funding (such as Kickstarter) is to be regulated in the UK from April 2014 with new EU laws. The main legal change with be that those pledging funds will not be “locked in” at the end of a successful Kickstarter, as is currently the norm. Instead they will be given 14 days in which to cancel their pledge to you.

03.11.13   
New funding of £260,000 has reportedly allowed Shropshire’s Business Enterprise Fund to extend to cover… “the Telford & Wrekin and the Staffordshire area”…

“The programme has grants available of up to £1,500 for individuals to start-up a company, and £5,000 for existing businesses to improve performance, enter new markets or to assist in diversifying. The capital investment has to be match funded at least 50% by the business.”

Shropshire County Council’s website appears to have totally crashed over the weekend, but if it’s still not up by Monday then an enquiry via  customer.service@shropshire.gov.uk  should get you some details.