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Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) is delighted to announce the 60 successful recipients of the first round of COVID-19 Creative Commissions. The Creative Commissions programme is designed to provide paid opportunities for creatives in Greater Manchester while creating an archive of artistic responses to the coronavirus crisis, with songs, poems, illustrations, video games and more exploring and documenting the impact of the pandemic.
The Commissions, each worth £500, were initiated by the GMCA when national Government enforced closure on theatres, music venues and night time economy establishments, leaving many in the culture and creative industries unable to perform, operate their businesses or have an outlet for their creativity.
These paid assignments are for artists and creators based in the city-region and cover a wide variety of art forms including: music, illustration, art, poetry, theatre, short stories, design, gaming, stories and performance. Artists featured in this first round include Al&Al, Dan Hett, James Holt, Mateusz Beznitz, Liam Frost, Maya Chowdhry, Stanleys, Toreh O’Garro and Tracie Daly. A full list of recipients and examples of previous work is included at the foot of this release.
Political news commentary and analysis from today's most popular conservative columnists. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Douglas Eby, M.A./Psychology, who is a writer and researcher on the psychology of creative expression, high ability and personal growth. Click on the set of lessons for your child’s year group. Watch the video (either on your own or with your child). Find a calm space where your child can work for about 20-30 minutes. In order to stay creative, I use Evernote to capture all my ideas (I carry my iPhone with me at all times). I used to carry a notebook, but Evernote is awesome. Capturing the right ideas are important to write creative articles. When I write, I usually don’t think about what’s right or wrong. I just write how I feel like writing.
One of the creatives awarded a Creative Commission is Bolton-born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist James Holt, who said: “I'm elated to be invited to contribute to the GMCA creative archive. I will be composing and recording a song responding to the way we've adapted our relationships with our friends and family in spite of the situations that COVID-19 has brought.
“This is a perfect opportunity for artists and creatives to share our personal experiences of self-isolation, which I'm sure many people in Greater Manchester will relate to, and collectively the archive will serve as a unique artistic expression of our time.'
Another recipient of a COVID-19 Creative Commission is Kate Feld, a Bury-based writer, who said: “My commission will take the form of a lyric essay and photo series about my experience of the start of quarantine out on the edge of Greater Manchester. In Ramsbottom, where I live, we are seeing a return to a more rural way of living. As a journalist I am interested in capturing the details of daily life now for the historical record, as in the Mass Observation project of the 1930s. As a poet I am interested in capturing the peregrinations of the spirit as we complete this transition, and honing in on how it is changing our relationships ― to ourselves, to others and to the land.
“I’m so happy to have received this commission, because it will enable me to make new work about a collective experience that is unparalleled in living memory. It feels exciting to be working in such close response to current events – this will be a new challenge for me.
“It’s wonderful that GMCA are supporting individual artists and practitioners at a time when much of the creative economy has been shuttered, and we can’t make a living in the same way. But it’s a recognition of the value of what we do; Greater Manchester can’t have the creative scene that brings tourists, money and acclaim to the region without artists.'
These COVID-19 Creative Commissions are part of a package of support to the city-region’s cultural sector that already includes six month advanced payments to the 35 organisations awarded grants as part of the £8.6m Greater Manchester Culture Fund for 2020/21.
The package of support also includes United We Stream GM, which sees live DJ sets, music and performances broadcast at www.unitedwestream.co.uk (opens new page) over the weekend from 7p.m, uniting the city-region during the COVID-19 outbreak and raising funds so GMCA can continue to support the amazing creative community of Greater Manchester.
The Culture team at the GMCA were inundated with 470 applications for COVID-19 Creative Commissions from creatives across all 10 districts. Further awards will be made in coming weeks, once processed by the team at GMCA.
Another beneficiary, Stockport-based animator and visual artist Luca Shaw, added: “My commission involves magnifying the intimate domestic rituals that have become centre stage during this lockdown. I intend to explore it through experimental animation and work in conjunction with musician Nishla Smith, who has also been selected. Both of our projects look at ritual, repetition and minimalism - as life is so reduced and stripped back right now.
“It's wonderful to be able to explore these ideas and to be supported in doing so by being one of the GMCA Covid-19 Creative Commissions.”
Cllr David Greenhalgh, GMCA portfolio lead for Culture, said: “We wanted to help individuals, freelancers and small businesses from our arts community, as many of them have lost their jobs and direction because of the national shutdown.
“These COVID-19 Creative Commissions will give artists, performers and creators an opportunity to express their creativity during this crisis by commissioning them to contribute to this lasting legacy.
“These are unprecedented times; however, this extremely proactive step from our GMCA Culture Team provides both remuneration and focus for local talent to use their creativity, and build a unique cultural archive which will be made available online for everyone to enjoy in the future.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “This is a positive intervention designed to create a lasting legacy – one that demonstrates our appreciation of our local artists, creatives, composers and storytellers, and the vital role they will play in our civic recovery over the coming months and years.”
Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “We know what a hard time this has been for freelancers and the self-employed, across all sectors. We’ve been speaking to artists and creatives who have told us how many of their commissions and contracts have been cancelled, and we’re trying to help where we can.
“We hope these commissions keep our creatives creating and shine a light on the amazing talent we have in every district of Greater Manchester.”
Creative commission applicants were asked to provide information on previous work and a brief summary of the work they would like to create.
Applications were reviewed by panel of independent industry experts, including Sacha Lord (WHP, Parklife), Thom Hetherington (Buy Art Fair, Manchester Contemporary, Rebecca Suarez (Rebbecca Never Becky), Claire Tymon (Future Everything), Erika Rushton (Islington Mill), Martyn Walsh (Inspiral Carpets), Jay Taylor (Night and Day), Neil McInroy (CLES) and Tom Besford (English Folk Expo).
The COVID-19 Creative Commissions are part of a package of support that already includes six month advanced payments to the 35 organisations awarded grants as part of the £8.6m Greater Manchester Culture Fund for 2020/21.
United We Stream GM is also a GMCA culture concept launched last month that sees live DJ sets, music and performances broadcast at www.unitedwestream.co.uk (opens new page) over the weekend from 7pm, uniting the city-region during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Viewers can watch for free or buy a ‘virtual ticket’ for whatever price they choose to enjoy the channel, with all proceeds going to the city region’s night-time economy, cultural organisations, Nordoff Robbins and Mayor Of Greater Manchester charity
Upcoming acts on United We Stream GM include a Madchester special on Saturday 18 April with renowned DJ Paul Oakenfold exclusively recreating his Spike Island set, FAC51-Hacienda on Saturday 9 May, Radio X DJ Gareth Brooks and poets Lemn Sissay and Tony Walsh.
Article Published: 16/04/2020 17:42 PM
In this topic we explore how you can actively develop your creativity.
Big Ideas Summary
In our last feature article we talked about the powerful applications of mindfulness, and its role in developing good leadership traits among entrepreneurs. Similarly, mindfulness can be used to inspire and develop your own brand of creativity through self-awareness, understanding, and self-acceptance.
This month we are pleased to present our featured topic on how to inspire creativity in yourself. Here you can find new avenues to invigorate and develop your creative drive through tips and activities found in the following articles, websites, apps, and twitter feeds to use in your everyday life. After all, a healthy state of creativity is the key towards affecting positive social change in an innovative and engaging way!
At some point in everyone’s life they will have to become re-inspired, and reconnect with what truly drives and motivates them. People grow, interests change, and if you are a social innovator, maintaining your creative edge will help to keep your social venture thriving. The ability to be mindful can come in handy when you find yourself lacking inspiration and motivation. Think about these three suggestions the next time you find yourself in need of some creative inspiration:
1. Discover YOU. As your interests and ideas change over time, it is important to always be in a constant state of learning and discovery about who you are and what you want in life. Discover and question your own brand of creativity by trying new activities, contemplating divergent ideas, meeting new people, and making time for yourself every day. When you find yourself in a comfortable rut, sometimes experiencing a little discomfort helps to invigorate and motivate you to take action towards a new and exciting path. Check out the following infographics for some great tips on how to inspire creativity:
Check out this piece fromLifehack to discover 40 different ways to stay creative.
Buzzfeed Life features a series of life-changing diagrams that cover a wide array of interests.
An Ethical Island features this infographic on how to inspire innovation in your life.
2. Take action NOW. As the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung once said, 'You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do'. Those who truly seek change, will do whatever it takes. Find out what it takes, and go do it! You don’t have to get it right the first time, or second. You don’t even have to finish right away. What’s important is that you start. Feeling insecure? Talk to like-minded people to gain support or enlist a trusted mentor to help your confidence and get advice. Feeling overwhelmed? Carry a pen and notebook with you to record thoughts anywhere and anytime you feel inspired. Above all, don’t be afraid of where this may take you, as there is always the opportunity to learn something new.
3. Make sure it’s FUN! If you are going to set out to become inspired, it’s definitely going to be more challenging if you don’t plan to have fun along the way. Part of re-discovering what motivates you, is doing the things that you are passionate about. Spending time doing the things you enjoy doesn’t have to be frivolous- hobbies can strengthen skills and create new opportunities for learning and adventure. It’s up to you to take the plunge!
Books on Creativity
Robinson, Ken. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. (2011). John Wiley & Sons Publishing.
Robinson, Ken. Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life. (2013). Viking Adult publishing.
Robinson, Ken; Aronica, Lou. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. (2009). Penguin Books the reprint edition.
Quirk Packaging Inc. Creativity Workbook: 100 Exercises to Stimulate Creative Thinking. (2011). Sterling Publishing.
Pasricha, Neil. The Book of Awesome. (2011). Berkley Trade Publishing (The Reprint Edition).
Articles on Creativity
In this article by Tiny Buddha, fifty different tips and ideas are explored to inspire creativity in terms of mindfulness.
Fast Company provides a great article that outlines five of the most common ways we can neglect our creativity, and how to bring it back.
The Freedom Experiment features 17 great tips to get you back on your feet, and motivated, after you’ve faced some life challenges.
Idea Champions features this interesting article about some of the greatest creative moments in the history of mankind.
Other Topics The Creative Archives
Scott Berkun provides an essay that helps identify when you are in a state of creative burnout, and how you can turn that around.
Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner shares an essay arguing that in order to be fully effective, creativity needs to be framed as a solution to a challenge.
Websites That Can Help Spark Creativity
At Creativity Post, you can find loads of useful articles and insights on creativity, innovation, and imagination.
StumbleUpon is a website generator that filters content according to your interests.
Pinterest is a pin board of images with links that include DIY websites, idea pages, toolkits, journaling exercises, and much more.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers free online courses in almost any topic you can think of.
Kickstarter is a great place to view other people’s innovation ideas and get inspired.
At 16 Personalities you can take this free psychology personality test based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to discover your personality type and activities that may be best suited for you.
Twitter Accounts to Follow
Creative Inspiration @galvaniseyc
Tiny Buddha @tinybuddha
Mike Brown @Brainzooming
Maria Popova @brainpicker
Videos to Watch
In this TEDx talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, she challenges the expectations that come with the concept of being a genius, and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person 'being' a genius, all of us 'have' a genius.
The New School presents this video asking how, and if creativity can be taught in the classroom.
In this TEDx talk by Susan Conley, she discusses the power of telling your story in the quest towards positive self-expression.
Apps About Creative Inspiration
Oflow sparks your imagination with more than 150 proven creative prompts for having ideas and using your imagination whenever you feel stuck.
The Mind Tools app allows you to Learn more than 100 management, business and personal productivity skills from the MindTools.com toolkit. Build useful skills whenever you have a spare moment.
The Creative Whack Pack features 84 creativity strategies that will “whack” you out of your habitual thought patterns and allow you to look at what you're doing in a fresh way. Use the workshops to stimulate your thinking.
Creative Computing Archive
Redefining Disability, Inclusion and Access
Explores various perspectives on disability. Highlights that disability is much more than a condition or diagnosis.
Digital Fabrication refers to different forms of modern manufacturing and fabrication, driven by computers.
Web accessibility is a part of inclusive design that means that people, particularly people with disabilities, are..