It's been a busy year. I've not been blogging much, but I have been thinking and I have been practicing. This year I've visited Ashington, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bodelva, Bradford, Bristol, Cheltenham, Durham, Gateshead, Haworth, Huddersfield, Leeds, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Sheffield, Stockton, Sunderland, York, Walsall and Wolverhampton for work purposes. I've Skyped and called people all over the UK on projects such as evaluating the Arts Council and Baring Foundation's Celebrating Age programme and Baring/Social Tech Trust's Digital Arts and Creative ageing programme, which I've been working on with Imogen Blood and Lorna Easterbrook. I've also been proud to 'associate' with EW Group. I've facilitated in City rooms with Paul Nash paintings on the wall and in the horse-brass-laden function rooms of pubs. I've worked with individual artists like Jack Dean and national funders like the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and lots of great folk doing great work. I've even done a bit of writing. Variety has been the spice of life. There's been trickier and sadder stuff too, but that's for another day.
I've learnt a lot, including to stand up straight when talking to dancers, working with Dance Hub Birmingham. Amongst the things I've learnt are that 2019 needs to see some new thinking practices, and that the work of the people I'm lucky enough to work with, in the places they work, matters more than ever. The values of creativity, empathy, solidarity, imagination, equity, and yes, resilient peace, love and understanding are under threat from some quarters, which makes them even more necessary.
But it's time for a break now, before goodness know what next year, so more of all that in 2019 - Merry Xmas and peace, unity, love and