So a week of talk and developments after last week’s Irish singing Fest.
Sad to say another of the RAE Team is currently out of action. Tina McKevitt has been ailing with a virus which sounds really nasty affecting ear, nose and throat. Good wishes Tina for a speedy recovery, we hope to hear you singing, and joining in on the discussions very soon.
Lisa Marie, the victim of the hit and run in Broom a couple of weeks ago is going through that really uncomfortable time when the bruising comes out and the pain kicks in. The whole team send out their best wishes and trust that it will not be long before your hard-nosed negotiating skills are available to us once again.
A bit head scratching this week, as we attempted to secure a venue for The Banners High Festival. We had hoped to secure the Old Market Gallery, but The Council had already press ganged the premises into use as part of the Mayor’s Diamond Jubilee Street Party. The location would have been ideal placing the event at the centre of the Day’s activities. Not to be though.
So with an empty wallet but considerable charm Mick was dispatched to seduce venue B into hosting the event, a great positive response, and we can announce that the day time activities for Banners High will be centred on The Rotherham Trades Club.
This is a fantastic venue offering first class facilities in terms of accommodation and staging, and our thanks go to The Secretary for being so supportive. In addition, if the venue proves popular one hopes that we might be able to place some events in Slamfest and the Fringe in the Club.
It does mean that we are a little tucked away from the Mayor’s Street Party, and considerable thought will go into how we can make our presence felt on the day.
Just to be clear about this. Banners High is not about being spoil sports or about ruining the fun of those who wish to enjoy the hospitality of the Mayor. However, we do think it is important to make the point that this is a Council who will be laying off 200 workers, cutting back on front line services, and in terms of the Arts will be making significant budget cuts. Many people believe that under such circumstances that it is a little strange that a Labour Council should be spending Council Tax money to celebrate a Royal event. We take the view that if Communities wanted to hold Street Parties etc., then these could have been accommodated and probably would have been of more significance in terms of bringing people together. As it is, one might also argue that the Mayor’s event will distract from the local celebrations already being organised within the Communities, not to mention the Townships – I wonder how much money the Council be spending on them?
But we don’t want this to be the centre of the Day though. Banners High is about how the Arts can be used as a positive tool of protest and regeneration of Communities and “self”. That investment in the Arts can lead to jobs and massive economic benefit to Communities.
So the Rally in the morning of Banners High will concentrate on “The Cuts” and how cuts that may seem insignificant can have a snowball effect by the time that they are translated into actuality when delivering services.
The afternoon will be giving to some performances from some of the best Yorkshire talent, including music, theatre, comedy and poetry.
And in the evening we’ll be having a rite knees up as Ed Tudor Pole heads a bill of local Rock talent at The Rotherham Titans Rugby Club.
You can find and view the details as they develop HERE
There will be a brochure printed for the event, and we’d like to feature some Art / poems from the Rotherham Community. You can find the Email address to send submissions to HERE We need submissions by 30th April 2012.
Rotherham Art Events took another step towards proper Constitution this week and three Members of the Team had a very constructive and informative meeting with SYFAB and Jane and I have been signed up for Funding Courses.
You can find an updated consultative Aims and Objectives for RAE can be found HERE
Yes we still need to fill that essential role in the Team. Commercial Fund Raiser. Emails and begging letters are not enough to recruit Sponsors and advertisers to the cause, we need to reach out, so it takes someone with a very confident personality to make it work. You can find general details HERE
This week I managed to get an opportunity to have a chat with Graham at Getsorted Music Academy about involvement in Slamfest and The Fringe. It’s always good to have such whole hearted enthusiasm and support for the ideas being put forward. As a result it’s great to be able to add Graham and Paul as members of the Team and Getsorted as a Partner.
Considerable process is being made towards the formulation of Rotherham’s bid to the Creative People and Places Fund. This week there was formal approval for ROAR, who have lead open weekly discussions at Westgate Chambers, about how the bid should be formulated, to take on the role of lead Organisation for the bid in Partnership with the Council and RotherFed who have been invited to help with Community engagement.
For those who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about I’d advise you to head off to the Arts Council site HERE to discover more about what the CPP Fund is all about. In short though, we can say that it is a one off opportunity to attract major funding for the Arts in Rotherham.
There are considerable opportunities for Artists and Arts Groups to get involved in the Community projects, and ROAR have put out an initial Pro Forma Form to help assess the skills and talent that might be available. You can find the a link to the form HERE
Don't worry there will be plenty of opportunities in the months ahead to get your ideas and skills involved.
The task is a huge one, as those who go to the Arts Council page and or the form will discover, which is why the bid and if successful the delivery receives the full support of the Arts Community.
Just a reflection, these brain storming type Committee Meetings leave me just a bit cold, one never feels that anything has been spotlighted or decided which leaves one wondering if time has been well spent. I’m of the old school, saddo that I am; I like to see something concrete which can be amended. There is of course the cynical side of me; so many fine words and intentions were spoken at the Meeting, it’s often the case, and I really hope that we can make it all happen.
Which brings me nicely to the RMBC arts initiative the “ArtNav, Direction Finder for the Arts”, document, which is supposed to act as a strategy for the development of the arts in Rotherham from 2012 – 2015.
This week the overview Document was signed off by the ArtNav Steering Group for presentation to the Council Cabinet.
Look out for it’s publication which should happen before the end of March. “It has to be before the end of March” said Lizzy, “because I don’t have a budget for next year”. A statement that sent a shiver down the spine, I just hope she was referring to the Document and not the delivery of what it contains.
The Document is a worthy one. Many fine words and objectives. So why do I feel that the glass is half full? Maybe it’s because my limited experience to date of the Council has been one of muddled Committees and direction purpose. I hope I’m wrong about this.
The Meeting was great fun though giving us the opportunity to enjoy the luxury of the new Council Offices on Westside. The Fort Knox of Rotherham, or so it seemed. We had to sign in and sign out, were issued with little chipped badges that we had to wear that allowed us access to the lifts to the upper floors, (how much do they cost as they are all valid only for one day only?) and then there was the fun of finding our way around the various wings. It’s an impressive building. The fact that I am at my desk this morning is testament to the skill of our guide, without her I fear I may still be in the building somewhere.
And high tech! wow all mod cons – isles of committee rooms with big screens allowing Power Point presentations and the like. All state of the art, forgive the pun!
Warning, if you are having to visit the new Council building for any reason allow time for queuing, it could take some time to get booked in.
It’s worth noting that the move has not been without casualty. We’ve lost a performance area in the form of the small Library Theatre, which is a great pity, and exhibition space will be limited. Another loss. It’s ironic that we should loose the little Theatre at a time when we are crying out for modern up to date performance spaces.
As I was held in barracks under armed guards following last Saturday’s excess and punishment to the body I’ve had to rely upon my spies out there to report in on the activities of the week.
I’m told that it’s congratulations to the ROMPers for a successful first gathering at SNAFU on Wednesday night. Exhausted by the day’s meetings I couldn’t make it myself, and I was really disappointed not to see any pictures of musicians sharing this event. I think the next one is the 18th April, so let’s see if we can motivate one or two singers to play a tune or two.
And it was a fantastic night at Crookes Folk on Thursday, where I’m told that man of Rotherham Memories, Roy Blackman, made a short appearance.
You can buy Roy’s CD HERE
Finally on Saturday I’m informed that Crafty Jack put on an excellent show at The Bridge.
For my sins I was sentenced to a Saturday night at home and chose to cook tea just in time to see Britain’s Got Talent. There were few stand out acts, the Boys Only Choir from Wales were simply brilliant, Sam had a singing voice to kill for (many of us could learn from the difficult song he chose to deliver, it’s the difference between brilliance and mediocrity), and the big lad with his young lady, Jonathan and Charlotte partner were very good, although lacking that extra magic needed.
But those aside the standout performance of the night for me was the duo Barbara and Bradley, who one suspects must be the toast of their Home Town Poetry Slams. The act consists of Barbara reciting her poetry to the accompaniment of dramatic music while Bradley, the description given was, danced around behind her. It had to be seen to be believed. So for the next ROMP night armed with my trusty cassette recorder, I shall recite poetry while John Statter dances behind me, it will be a miracle of entertainment and art.
I thought Barbara’s parting shot was classic though, having been slatted by the Judges, she said to Ant and Dec on the way off, “you’d have to pay £90 million quid for publicity like that”. Just brilliant.
Worth staying in for.
OK some great stuff has been going on this week media wise. First to a brand new song from Wendy Arrowsmith, “Six Boys” a tribute to the six young men killed in the Afghanistan incident a couple of weeks ago. It’s a proper song of respect – I’m told that Wendy hopes to record it and have it out for digital download with all funds going to one of the Soldier Charities in the very near future. In the meantime have a listen to it HERE
And another of them North Yorkshire folky ladies has a CD coming out very soon. Rebekah Findlay. Her last album got fantastic reviews, and this one judging by her cruel taster video is even better and should rocket her into the main stream of must have acts. Improvising Around the Sun will be out in April (I think) but check out the pre-launch video featuring extracts from the songs HERE
I’d also bring your attention to a local digital artist, Karen Gilmore. Here’s a very talented lady who has been struggling away on her own with no support and so far little recognition. You can find examples of her work HERE, it’s gritty and real in my uneducated opinion, and on the basis of I know what I likes, I like it. I hope we’ll be able to find a suitable Exhibition space for her work during Slamfest.
I’d just add, please take the time to tell Karen what you think of her work and I know she would really love to feel connected to the Rotherham Art Community so touch base with her.
And so to the week ahead. And I’m sorry it’s back to Art Administration again and questioning what we are doing within the genres to promote ourselves. Next Saturday Folk21 will be holding the first of their Regional Days in Cleckheaton at The Music Rooms. It promises to be an interesting day for Organisers of guest booking Folk Clubs, topped by a brilliant evening’s Showcase Concert, with some brilliant performers on the Bill. You can check it out HERE
You will also find a Fund Raising Concert for Folk21 in Newhampton, unfortunately the 109 does not take me there! But it’s another fantastic line up for a very reasonable price.
I’m holding my judgement about Folk21 at the moment, I’m still to be convinced that yet another nich Organisation is the way forward, especially one that is so limited in it’s scope, e.g. Guest Booking Folk Clubs.
And a busy week ahead locally. It’s the monthly meeting of Nellie Folk on Monday at The Bridge, and reminder, a big reminder that it’s Open Mic Jazz at The Bridge on Wednesday night. Two great opportunities to play a tune or two.
The Doncaster Pride Season kicks off with a launch Party next Friday, and we have of course it being the last Friday of the month the Doncaster Oen Mic Poetry event will be taking place at The Leopard.
Check out all the usual regular listings and more coming your way this week HERE
So a rather full Blog this week……….. hope you made it to the end.
And whatever you are doing this week, have great fun, support your local artists and KEEP IT LIVE.
OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS
ENTER WATH FOLK FESTIVAL SILVER ROOTS (OVER 45) HERE
SEND YOUR SCRIPTS FOR SLAMFEST HERE
ENTER THE CORPORATE IMAGE CONTEST DETAILS HERE
FIND OUT ABOUT THE EARLY FRINGE FESTIVAL DETAILS HERE