Jeremy Corbyn visited COoL organisation Pagoda Arts where he watched the Chinese Youth Orchestra play, drank tea and even had a go himself after brief lessons from musician Charlie Wardle. He was welcomed by Zilan Liao and introduced to many people from the community. Another COoL organisation First Take filmed the visit and you can see highlights here – https://vimeo.com/232688928
COoL member First Take is celebrating after receiving nearly £155,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund
This Liverpool-based group use screenwriting, filmmaking and acting as tools to empower people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. The new grant will fund a three-year project ‘Reel Recovery’ where people write, film and produce ten short films and in the third year a feature length film!
Lynne Harwood, a director at First Take explains the value of the work: “Making films is such an amazing and empowering thing to do. We worked with a group of people from the recovery community in 2015 and created five short films. It was a brilliant project and at the end of it people wanted more, which is why we made this application and devised it around what people wanted. Liverpool City Council supports First Take, which was invaluable in making the bid. It’s going to be a fantastic three years and we can’t wait to get started.”
First Take works collaboratively with recovery organisations across Liverpool who signpost people onto the project once they are abstinent. Michelle Johnston previously benefitted from the programme and is now a member of the steering group. She said, “Working with First Take stopped me being isolated, gave structure to my week and being involved in making a film was very rewarding. The last film we made with First Take I played Carol, a homeless woman who was an alcoholic and the film was ‘Christmas Carol’ and it was selected for International Film Festivals and did really well. Coming up with ideas, writing and making films is really special. First Take is an organisation that encourages all your artistic talents and brings out the best in people.”
During the third year of the project a Reel Recovery Production Company and an online Channel will be set up to enable the project to be sustainable and the group to continue to make films. For information about the project and screenings of the films visit www.firsttake.org.uk
We are happy to welcome our newest member, Wired Aerial Theatre.
Wired Aerial Theatre is an internationally acclaimed aerial theatre company and the creators and world’s foremost performers of Bungee-Assisted Dance technique.
As an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation, Wired specialise in creating inventive aerial productions with the use of flyable set pieces as well as performer/animation interaction and enjoy sharing our harness techniques with directors and choreographers to make our other aerial productions.
Welcome to COoL, Wired!
COoL was invited to give a talk in Limerick about its development into the leading cultural partnership model of its kind in the UK, its achievements and plans for the future.
COoL representatives Emma Smith, Director of Liverpool Irish Festival (left) and Karen Gallagher, Artistic Director of MDI (right) travelled to Ireland to deliver the public talk at The Hunt Museum, Limerick, on Saturday 18 February, invited by Professional Limerick Artists Network (PLAN) and LACE.
Emma ‘it was a positive moment to reflect on our achievements, reconsider the power of engagement and make rich new connections – at home and abroad. It very quickly brought about a considerable amount of knowledge exchange, interactive visioning and deep relationships’
‘People spoke about COoL and our work as inspirational, hopeful and beneficial. Surprises seemed to include the sheer variety of art forms represented within the COoL membership and the development transitions of the organisation as a whole’.
You can find out more here.
Exciting news! 67-17: 50 Summers of Love has been announced. The programme marks the summer of 1967, and the subsequent summers, which were landmarks in modern culture. Liverpool played a central role in the outpouring of creativity in 1967, as the year saw the release of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the publication of one of the world’s most popular poetry anthologies The Mersey Sound and the opening of the Metropolitan Cathedral – all of which will form part of some of the activities taking place.
The programme features a strong line up of cultural events with strong COoL representation from Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, The Atkinson, Milapfest, Africa Oyé (Official), The Comedy Trust and Open Eye Gallery.
This demonstrates the important contribution COoL members make to Liverpool City Region through quality cultural work nationally and internationally. As Major Joe Anderson says, “It’s not only the quantity of events – the quality is outstanding.” We can’t wait.
To find out more, visit our friends at Culture Liverpool.
We’re pleased to announce that Africa Oyé, the largest celebration of live African music in the UK, have joined COoL. Originally part of COoL during our early days, Africa Oyé have been a vital part in helping to forge Liverpool’s reputation as an international Festival City. We look forward to working with Africa Oyé once again and the rich expertise they will bring to our Festival Forum.
Have a read of Dean Freeman (Unity Works) great blog post about Wakefield Arts Partnership’s visit to COoL in September.
Thanks to Dean for the write-up.
In May 2016, Wakefield Arts Partnership hosted a public event to discuss the kind of group or organisation it may develop into, and how it could represent Arts Organisations and individuals in Wakefield.
We invited some guest speakers from other areas, including Bev and Jack from the snappily titled COOL (Creative Organisations Of Liverpool). COOL was formed in 2007 as a way of representing small / medium sized organisations in the city, with one eye on the legacy of the city’s successful Capital of Culture bid. It has since gone from strength to strength, currently with 30 members and we were delighted to be invited to shadow their September meeting.
Myself, Dean Freeman from Unity Works, and Kate Watson from Beam braved the brisk late September weather to catch the train from Westgate at a few minutes to 7am. A few hours later, we arrived at Bluecoat, a centre for contemporary arts housed in a beautiful 18th century grade 1 listed building with a huge offer including multiple gallery spaces, creative business and community participation programmes.
The meeting, which takes place monthly, saw the organisations share information on work undertaken since the last meeting, and a notable discussion was held on the various sub-groups that exist outside the main group. Members of the main group also participate in smaller groups, which lead on items such as Marketing & Advocacy, Development and the Festival Forum.
With a proven track record there was a clear enthusiasm and shared sense of purpose around the room that manifested itself in the fact COOL has so many members and active sub-groups. Wakefield Arts Partnership doesn’t yet have the numbers of dedicated members to undertake this amount of work, yet the scale of the work being undertaken and the level of shared working also outreaches our own, meaning WAP should not see this as negative.
It was interesting to see how the role of Jack as the group Co-ordinator worked. This is a funded role and as Jack updated the group on the work he and Bev (not at the meeting) had undertaken recently, it became apparent how essential that was. The work of the two roles cover differing areas, but combined they looked at funding opportunities, maintain the strength of the group by keeping in contact with the members, sharing and collecting information and – recently – working on a business plan for the group and completing work on the groups new website.
There were some interesting parallels with Wakefield; The Atkinson, a venue in Southport, was attending the meeting for the first time, and they were the first member from the Boroughs of Liverpool. Traditionally COOL has only represented Liverpool city based organisations, and this brought to mind WAPs discussions on its obligations (or otherwise) to Wakefield’s Five Towns and the organisations and artists within.
After the meeting, we spoke to Peter from Hope Street Limited who originally setup the group in 2007. I asked how important the shared purpose of something like the Capital Of Culture accolade was, and he agreed it was imperative. Within WAP, but also other groups such as Wakefield First, this same point has been noted, that a collective goal to rally behind is essential in getting the ball rolling. When I visited Sunderland on behalf of WAP last year, I was told the same thing in reference to their City Of Culture bid.
We offer our thanks to COOL for allowing us to snoop on their activities – it was certainly inspirational and gives us good guidance for developing WAP in the coming 12 months.
by Dean Freeman
The Snowflake Trail returns for a third year on 1 December 2016 and Open Culture CIC and Liverpool BID Company are once again seeking proposals from artists and creative organisations to design and decorate fibreglass snowflakes to form part of the trail. The snowflakes will be 1.5m tall and will be installed for the duration of the trail, abortion from 1 December 2016 – 3 January 2017.
Commissioned artists will be paid in instalments totalling £800.00 (excluding VAT) per snowflake. This fee must cover the artist fee, time taken to decorate the snowflake, plus all materials and varnish.
The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 23 October 2016.
Visit the Open Culture website for full application and technical information.
dot-art receives Highly Commended Certificate for Independent Culture and Tourism Business of Year at the MIB Awards!
The dot-art team were delighted to receive a certificate of high commendation at the Merseyside Independent Business Awards in acknowledgement of their commitment to the arts. Over the past 9 months dot-art have launched a brand new gallery in Liverpool city centre, approved doubled the size of their art class programme, welcomed a full-time Gallery Manager to the team, celebrated their 10th birthday and launched their fifth annual dot-art Schools programme in a new partnership with Liverpool John Moores University.
Running 13-23 Oct, 2016’s Liverpool Irish Festival will focus on conviviality. How does our liveliness and friendliness bring people together? It might be over a music session, through a story or just by sharing an event together, we’re bringing together new writers and new sounds, with old stories and traditional instruments.
So what do we have? Well, Alsop Drama perform Three Plays: Riders to the Sea, The Shadow of the Glen and Purgatory. There’s “whiskey soaked folk” from The Logues and soaring sounds from Lisa Hannigan at the Arts Club. We Banjo 3 return to Liverpool Philharmonic’s Music Room. We’ll explore James Joyce’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ in its centenary year and of course have our traditional family ceílí. And there’s plenty more!
With less than a month to go, we understand you’re itching for the fun to begin. Why not sneak an early peek by visiting some of our partners early?
You can find Irish music sessions at some of the city’s fabulous pubs, such as The Caledonia and The Edinburgh, who take part in the festival again. There’s also St Michael’s Irish Centre, where you’ll find folk nights, film and storytelling between now and 13 Oct. The Institute of Irish Studies holds regular talks and events exploring Irish culture and Community.