Beyond vanity: new partners here and abroad

Stitched Panorama
Stitched Panorama

Since our press release in May, we’ve heard from a lot of artists, arts organisations and arts enthusiasts who are looking for a way to partner-up and challenge the notion of the arts as a waste of money.

We’ve also had some great comments in the Press from new supporters, thanks to all of you who took the time to write in. You can read some of the letters in our comments section.

We’re really grateful for the support we’ve been offered both at home and abroad and we think that this could be the start of some beautiful relationships…

Local partnerships and a city-wide creative collective. 

Thanks to Greg and Rebecca of Harper and Carr we were invited to meet other artists and creative organisations at an open discussion at their shop at 41 Fossgate this month. One of the results of that meeting is an exploration of the idea of creating a new association for the arts in York. The exact form of the association hasn’t been finalised – initial research is being done by York writer Mike Kenny – but it will definitely be a positive force for arts in the city and we hope that as many people and groups as possible will want to be part of it. We’ll keep you up to date on progress but please get in touch with Greg and Rebecca if you want to be part of future events at their shop – we might need to get a bigger place to meet!

Pecha Kucha Nights

pecha kucha

We’ve recently been given permission to revive Pecha Kucha Nights in York and we’re working on an agreement with them now about how we’ll do that. These events started with the aim of offering young designers and architects a way to show their work within their community but the scope has widened to involve a broader interpretation of the word ‘creativity’ and means that we’ll be able to use the format for other arts-related projects. We’ll be posting more about how to get involved in these events soon. Read more about Pecha Kucha. 

Artwways – a new European collective

Even before vanitygate , we’d been contacted by David Edwards-May, President of the European Inland Waterways Association who is currently trying to put together a European collective of arts-barge projects – yes there are loads of us out there! The initial plan was for us to travel to Mons (European Capital of Culture 2015) in August and meet people who are running arts projects on barges in Europe

When David saw the difficulties we were experiencing locally, he brought forward our involvement and Marcia went over to Valenciennes earlier in June to meet other prospective partners, share our experiences and decide whether to form a collective. Again, the exact form of the collective isn’t yet decided – there’s a whole piece of work to do on deciding on its form and governance structure – but this is a really exciting development and one which is going to provide support not just to us but to any future river-based projects here and abroad. One proposal is to offer the designation ‘Cultural Port’ to any location which actively welcomes river-based activities. It would be based upon city’s willingness and practical ability to welcome floating arts projects, as well as their general attitude to use of the river and riverbanks. We want York to be a Cultural Port of course.

There are some AMAZING projects out there and here are just a couple of examples from the Valenciennes meeting:

Convivencia (France)

canal map

An annual month-long tour of world music along the Canal de Deux Mers (literally the Two Seas Canal) or Canal du Midi in southern France which connects the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The barge moors up in locations ranging from tiny villages of a few hundred people, to large cities with audiences upwards of 5000 and events are entirely free. Artists are on the specially constructed barge-stage with audiences on the bankside.


Azart, Ship of Fools  (La Nef des Fous) Holland

It’s hard to know where to start with Azart but we think their current plan to move the ship over land across Australia as a demonstration of a ‘fools errand’ pretty much sums up their anarchic creative approach. Their energy is amazing – we’d love to get them to the UK although the ship wouldn’t fit in York – it needs a harbour. Hull maybe….

ship of fools
Azart – Ship of Fools

Fairy, le bateu feu (France)

Brainchild of pyromancer Pierres D’Haenens this beast will be part of the Mons Armada des milles Feux (Armada of a thousand lights) on 27th August. The barge is being transformed with the help of finance from a crowd funding campaign. If you can get to Mons you can meet us there! It’s only about £20 for a flight from Manchester to Belgium…

hyppoHD (2)
Fairy le bateu feu


More updates as things develop – thanks for your continued support.

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