Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Fierce Earth NE: Friday 25th July

On Friday Helga had a meeting with Ilana Mitchell who is a live artist based in the North East who is carrying out the feasibility for a live art festival in the area.

Fierce Earth won the tender for the feasibility as there ethos is the audience is at the heart of everything they do. I was invited to sit in on the meeting as they went over all the finer details and planning. Helga knew it would be useful for me with my interests.

Ilana and I chatted for a while about the projects she is involved with further to the feasibility and she is involved with artist led space and cinema, Stars & Shadows and a peer network further on than New Work Network.

Helga and Ilana began to work through the existing gantt chart, deleting those tasks completing and further developing those areas that needed to be planned more thoroughly, allocating accountability and time frames to individuals. Key components were Staffing, Press and PR, Formal Consultation, Professional Development for artists, Marketing and Audience Development, Programme Development, Organisational Development, Evalation/Reporting and the Route to Realisation.

It was clear that Ilana had already completed a lot of research, consultation with potential partners and collaborators, and already began to put together a potential programme for the festival. The feasibility and festival in next year is part of a 2 year development process and it was important to leave a legacy to continue the festival after the consultation has ended. This legacy is Ilana.

Following this meeting I began to work through Ilana’s list for the programme grabbing images to be used in the focus groups on developing the brand. There was a range of emerging and existing artists and groups…I would tell you but I’m not sure whether it is a secret or not…so watch this space!

I’ll be back soon x


Focus on Metapod: Thursday 24th July

Pre-arranged Andy Bass and Helga were meeting today to discuss the revamp of the Metapod website.

A little background on Metapod, I personally took part in the Metapod Be Effective Training when the first course was brought to Stoke earlier this year. Metapod Be Effective is training especially tailored for creative start-ups or those businesses looking for a new direction. Metapod is tailored, yet diverse enough to bring together the most varied range of creatives, in Stoke we had photographers, scenery builders, artists, writers, jewellery makers and face painter/costume maker.
It gives full-day workshops covering finance, legals, marketing and all those elements needed for business planning.

I sat in on the meeting and picked up any points which they needed help with in terms of management of a wordpress template. The website will offer the community option for current and past participants to interact and share experiences along with further information for prospective participants and supporters.

Later in the day I began to compile the feedback received from the courses in Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Stoke and those from even earlier in 2006. All the feedback was genuinely really good and once compiled my next task would then begin to pull out the best quotes for the testimonials for the site.

I also sent out an email and questionnaire to a number of varied participants to get more detailed testimonials and examples of work to be featured on the website. A great showcase opportunity!

We have asked for them to be back for next Thursday so we can begin to get things moving.

Six Towns, One City Carnival – 10th August

Stoke-on-Trent has what is dubbed as “Our equivalant of the Notting Hill Carnival!” on Sunday 10th August at Hanley Park.

They expect thousands to attend and the deadline to take a stall is Thursday 31st July before 12p.m.

For more information contact NORSACA on 01782 267888 or

Stoke Sounds Launch Event – Sat 2nd August

Although I wasn’t at the Fierce office on Friday I had arranged a meeting with Soul Monkey’s Melodie to discuss the Stoke Sounds Launch Event taking place at Burslem Park on the 2nd August.

Helga and Jemima thought that this event would be an opportunity to promote Creative Republic, so that was my agenda. I know Melodie from Stokes Metapod course that we were both participants on earlier this year.

She gave me a brief description of the event and gave me some flyers to put out and about.
There will be two stages: Main Stage and Acoustic Stage and performances from the Street Dreams Crew (Free- Runners), Unity, DJ Fresh and Planet Sound. Plus stalls, arts and craft and much more…

So I arranged to take up a stall and advertising space on the site and in return whilst promoting Creative Republic attempt to gather feedback for the organisers of the event – two birds with one stone!

Now I just need to rally some troops to help me out and decide with Helga and Jemima what they would like me to do…just email capture, or sign ups to the Charter?

Already they have sold over 400 tickets and it has promise of being a really great day!

Let me know if you are going along to the Stoke Sounds launch…
Your thoughts on the creative scene in Stoke-on-Trent…
I also would like your thoughts on Creative Republic…

The Calm after the Storm

On Thursday there was a weird feeling going to the Fierce Earth office, all my days were mixed up. My second day is usually a Friday and to be honest it doesn’t take much to disorientate me!

On my way into the office I ran into Caroline, an artist who was involved with the Artsmark event, she wanted to pick up the badge makers used on the day. We arrived and it was only Fiona and I for the first hour or so.

Our first task was to do the recycling! We got into the freight lift and all the previous days rubbish was there so we chucked that away too. Once I got back upstairs I confirmed my tutor visit for the 31st July with Helga and then began to input the data gathered on the festival feedback forms into the mailing list database.

Once I had finished I followed up on a number of emails and compiled notes from my meetings the previous week with Danny and Sara. I forwarded this to Helga and Jemima with a list of queries and action points.

Helga mentioned the work of Dean Melbourne in passing so I looked at his blog – From to Perfume to Bird Song. Dean is an artist from Wolverhampton and I met him at the last Creative Republic meeting on 26th June, he mentioned he had started a blog but wasn’t sure whether to carry on with it…it seems he has been persuaded to carry on!

In the last hour I looked for alternative conference venues within an hour’s drive of Birmingham for the residential Metapod ‘Fast Forward’ planned for autumn of this year! I managed to come across a few but I’m not sure if they were too expensive for approx 14 people for 4 nights?! I’d love any suggestions…

Before I knew it 5.30 was upon us and I set off on my power-walk to New Street, but not before I arranged with Helga to work on the Metapod website on my next day in the office.