Andy’s visit to Creative Minds North!

Last Thursday (21/04/16), Andy G. attended the Creative Minds North Steering Group meeting at Manchester Metropolitan University. Supported by Allie and Laura, the team set off from Central Station, Newcastle at 7:30am arriving at the Brooks Building, Birley Fields Campus at 10:30.

During our journey, we bumped into Toby from Dark Horse – a theatre company just like ours at Headway Arts.  What a small world! Great to meet you Toby!

The Steering Group was brilliantly chaired by Sarah from Brighton-based Carousel and Gus Garside from Creative Minds National. We were joined by artists from BlueRoom/Bluecoat Centre in Liverpool, Mind the Gap from Bradford, First Step in Liverpool and Venture Arts.

To begin the meeting, the Steering Group were reminded of the aim of Creative Minds – to get people talking about how we know that art by learning disabled artists and performers is good and of a high quality.

The artists introduced themselves to the group with their name, their artistic skills and role in their organisation. Andy says he loved getting to know everyone in this way. It helped him to put names to some old faces and meet new ones too.

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Artists were then asked to produce a picture of their idols. Andy chose Britney Spears! This helped us to think about and understand why we like specific artists and art-forms and what makes them good.

The Steering Group then discussed the logistics of a Creative Minds North Conference for Spring next year inspired by the recent CM conference in Ipswich. The Steering Group looked at the Brooks Building as a potential venue for the conference. Andy says he thought the venue was great, especially the sports hall as it was so big! He did however think the small lecture theatre there might be a bit cramped so we may need another one!

After lunch, the Steering Group started to plan their event. The group began by discussing some of the different events they host in their organisations and then the different roles required to run an event were discussed. Roles discussed included admin, marketing, stewarding and compering.

Before we knew it, it was time to return home. When we asked Andy what his favourite bit was, he said: ‘Everything!’ Overall, it was great to begin the planning process and an excellent opportunity to get out of the office and see some friendly faces.

Until next time,

Andy, Allie & Laura.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of all our funders which currently includes:

  • Arts Council England
  • Blyth Town Council
  • Community Foundation
  • Edward Gostling Foundation – RW Mann Trust – Shears Foundation
  • Erasmus+
  • Great Northumberland
  • Hadrian Trust – High Sheriff of Northumberland – Rothley Trust
  • Heritage Fund
  • National Lottery Community Fund
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Postcode Community Trust
  • Sir James Knott Trust
  • The 1989 Willan Trust – Wellesley Trust
  • the Coalfields Regeneration Trust