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We did the soundchecks back at our Penistone launch venue The White Heart today. Last time we were there the wifi was down so we were looking to hotspot one of our phones and skype call Anak in LA on for directors’ Q&A on Thursday. Luckily the wifi is back up so that’s one thing easier to sort out! We had a good chat with Anak on skype and sussed out the best spot in the room for the laptop for Q&A. The sound is better with another cable and we’re pretty much ready to go now. Just a printout to prep with event running order and artist/performer biogs.

It’s a weird feeling to think by the end of the week it’ll all be over and we’ll have launched our first issue. It’s been well over a year in the making! Our friend died in October 2017 and February/March 2018 we began initial conversations about something to raise awareness about mental health in his memory.

We also had a chat about future plans and what strategies we might take to develop the programme further. Some of this is intrinsically linked to funding but there are a few different strategies to consider. First things first after launch week: we will need a good celebratory debrief with the team!

We’re very proud of our publication and all the work that’s gone into it. It’s full of really great work and we’re immensely proud to platform all these artists. We talked about feeling a kind of parental ownership over these bits of paper: both keen for them to go out into the world to be discovered, but also a reluctance to let them be leaving; giving them away for free and how they may be (de)valued in these terms.

It was always our intention for them to be accessible and not exclusive to the art world; handing them out for free on trains and railway stations is at the core of our launch. Hopefully we will hear back directly about how it is received by the general public next week but it will also be great to find out how far they travel and who finds a copy left on a train table or in a railways station waiting room.