Friday, 22 February 2013

HuGAs at Ort

Another memorable evening at Ort cafe, this time for our Convention.  After minor blip me failing to arrange childcare and turning up late, on positive side also doubling our under 12s presence (5), total of 39 people over course of evening, convention began without some of the visuals I had been preparing, but in hindsight, emphasis should be on chat anyway, so all for the best.

Brief 2 min presentations ran well and plenty of comment on usefulness of format to increase opportunity for everyone to let us all know what we're up to and where projects going.  Also plenty of time after to find the people you want to find.

Next convention I'd like to introduce 'the HuGAs' - awards for achievement and commitment to the cause of HGA - spreading arts and culture across our district!  Not sure what the categories should be, and budget restraints means it'll probably be more an honorary thing, but I think special mention should go to some of the dedicated folk out there.

You've all been wonderful, and I'm sure I've missed loads of what's been going on, but I'd like to mention a few people by name - my nominees (please add more on comments):

Josephine Reichert from the Ort has been great in hosting events, and work for Ort Gallery - I missed the Gambian band last night, but it's impressive how much else is going on at the old printworks too.

Catriona Heatherington was outstanding at Hall Green winter market and worked hard to make arrangements (and deliver workshops) with Sarah Robbins for the fantastic Springfield Creative Family Festival.

Michael Donalds working hard for neighbouring Billesley community, represented at HG Winter Market, and probably travelled the furthest from across our extended District to make it to our Convention.

John Hill-Daniel who sadly couldn't be at our Convention, but has filmed with the young folk of Calthorpe Park (Field for the Olympics), at Paganel Primary for their Archives, and is now leading Space Exploration across our district.

Foster Darby, Tony Spencer and Pyn Stockman for pulling off a fantastic event at Calthorpe Park for Torch relay and is keeping on plugging away for local communities despite major cutbacks and setbacks, and Laura Watts from Park4Play as partners and digging deep into own resources when we ran out, to host Kings Heath Park Olympic Celebrations

Clare Bell and family who have made it to most of our meetings, including Convention.  Fantastic artists, all of them, and writers too, always generous with contacts, funding sources, everything.

Siobhan Hebert treasurer of Kings Heath Community Centre Playgroup, and her family also artists who supported the Moseley Folk Festival with wand magic, and arranged the Kings Heath CC Art fete before xmas

Big Huggies, or HuGAs to all of you! and to everyone I didn't mention.

Enclosed is comments for you to read.  One not so positive one makes me realise how important it is to keep plugging at being an inclusive friendly bunch, and to make sure our structure and attitude to open dialogue and open access should reflect that.  We've worked on social media representation with open access to all information we have, a googlegroup (like a mailing list) where anyone can write directly to all our members (just email, place our meetings deliberately in public spaces like cafes, and in libraries (not a room at the back, but in the library itself).  Thanks to David Hunt, and I still owe him a bit for refreshments from last Ort - will make sure refreshments sorted in advance for next one.  But as per report, I'm aware we are not having enough art surgeries to be properly sustainable, or in enough different venues.  There has been an offer to run one in a children's centre, and I'd love to do a park one sometime too (last years was rained off).  Please send suggestions how we can make our group open and inviting.

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