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Young people and all that technology

I’m very pleased to say that I’ve just joined the board of directors of Worcester-based youth theatre group C&T. It’s all part of the Young Professionals on Arts Boards scheme I’ve taken part in run by Arts and Business and I’m the very first person taking part to be matched with an arts organisation.

I attended the C&T board away day last week and it seems like a really great group of people. Everybody seems very enthusiastic about C&Ts work which is not surprising as it’s mix of technology and applied drama result in some very entertaining productions from the young people that they work with. The board’s mix of members should result in a bit of healthy debate on all manner of issues, which I’m told is very healthy and something I’m sure I won’t shy away from.

As well as attending regular board meetings for the organisation, a major role of board membership is obviously advocacy. I have to say though that I feel a surprising amount of enthusiasm for the organisation considering when I started the YPOAB scheme I had no idea who I wanted to be involved with. C&T have been a perfect match though and in truth it’s very easy for the geek inside me to find any platform in which to get excited about the uses of technology. C&T are currently developing a national network of employed artist/educators called animatuers who each work very closely with a local school in their area to develop drama using technology surrounding both school subjects as well as social issues. C&T’s very welcoming artist director Paul Sutton can certainly articulate all of this far better than I so if you’re not familiar with C&T take a look at their website.

Paul has also been hosting some of the ‘board training’ sessions for Arts & Business which have been very enlightening. I took part in a ‘Personal Impact’ training day last week so I can now officially take command of any situation - all very Derren Brown (look into my eyes!!).

This week is the last of the training days which will be focusing on the slightly more tangible subject of presentation (powerpoint/keynote to the ready then!?). It’s an area I’m reasonably confident in, however I do tend to make far more sense on paper rather than face to face. Yes believe it or not, this is as good as it gets.

Anyway, I’ll keep up to date on how the training goes and any further developments with C&T.

Creative Compass film at The Electric Cinema

If you happen to be self-employed, a student or have a kindly boss, you might want to pop along to The Electric Cinema on Tuesday 11th March at 2pm.

There’s a showing of Birmingham: The Creative City – a short film about some of the folk who took part in an EU-funded programme to grow and sustain Birmingham’s creative community by helping people into careers in various creative industries.

The film’s director, BAFTA-winner Natasha Carlish will be there, along with a few of the people who benefited from the programme. (I believe there will also be something in the way of food and drink, which for me is always a big draw.)

If you do fancy coming along, RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

You can find out more about the programme at

Did the earth move for you?

Not sure, but it just felt like an earthquake outside. That or a very big goose just landed on our roof. The birds have suddenly started singing at 1 in the morning, so something big has happened.

Wards in words

Last week I discovered a surprisingly fascinating blog called Strange Maps. Honestly, it’s riveting! It’s an eclectic and informative collection of ... you guessed it, strange maps.

One of the maps featured is a typographical guide to Chicago’s neighbourhoods (by Ork Posters) which, to someone like me who loves graphical wordy things, is stunning. So I decided – Chicago being twinned with Brum and all – to have a go at creating a typographical ward map of Birmingham, for no other reason than to see how it’d look. (Geek!)

Anyway, this is what I’ve got so far. It’s a work-in-progress and needs a few tweaks but I like how it’s coming along ...

(It should be reasonably accurate but the borders have been fairly dramatically simplified, so my apologies if your area’s been short-changed. And if you spot a typo, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)!)