APT – Artist Parents Talking is a network of professional artists with main caring responsibilities for their children. This blog documents the process of developing a meeting in Yorkshire, funded by NAN.
Right. I’m back.
2010 was a fairly arduous year for me, truth be told, but what doesn’t kill you etc etc. I turned 40 on the winter solstice, and I feel better for it! The magic ingredients included: A lunar eclipse seen only in my imagination (went in the garden in my nightie but couldn’t see the moon due to the pennines) – a grand party in a snowy yurt camp with the best people you could want to be with – a Rob Ryan cloth-kit skirt to challenge my seamstress skills (currently non-existent) – what could be better?! In the words of my favourite birthday card: ‘Amazingly enough, I don’t give a shit!’
New energy brings new plans, so – here we go…
I never managed to reconcile myself with the idea of having one meeting in Yorkshire and an online community of artist parents. If there’s one thing I’ve heard from parents it’s that they need to meet face to face, to get out of their domestic bubble and into the world.
So I girded my loins/gritted my teeth/took the bull by the horns – and wrote another Arts Council bid. We’ll hear in a few weeks, so be patient. I know lots of you are cooking up some interesting plans and events, so I hope it comes together.
http://artistparents.ning.com is getting busy, which is great.
It’s frustrating that ning are now charging for their services though. I’ve paid for the cheapest option, as it’s coming out of my own pocket at the moment. This means we’ve lost our ‘events’ function, which was a great way of promoting and keeping up to date with all the things that people were involved in. Maybe I’ll have to find a way to cover the extra $15 a month..
After lengthy (and boring to describe here) deliberations I have finally decided to use the NAN grant for an APT meeting in Yorkshire, and not resubmit my (rejected) ACE bid for additional funding to hold meetings across England.
Being an artist and a mother has proved to be particularly exhausting just lately, and I’ve had to face the fact that I can’t do everything I’d like to do. The online network (http://artistparents.ning.com/) is getting lively, and various groups are doing it for themselves around the country, so I don’t feel so guilty. The article in a-n magazine seemed to drum up a bit more interest, and I hope to get more opportunities like this to promote what we are doing.
I’ve had a long spell of weighing up all the different priorities in my life; all the usual stuff for artist-parents, so I won’t bore you with the details. In short, after an embarassingly long phase of deep thought, I’ve managed to reach a very obvious conclusion. Mental well being is quite important to art-making and parenting, and stress is very damaging to mental well being. Doing too much is stressful. So there’s the equation. Simple really.
So. Breaking it down into manageable chunks, starting with one meeting in Yorkshire. Just a case of organising it now…
I’ve just heard about a series of critical discussions about residencies with East Street Arts in Leeds; ‘[email protected] – residencies’
I’ve had email contact and will definitely be making sure I represent the voice of artist-parents at these discussions. Let me know your experiences. You can join the discussion on http://artistparents.ning.com or email me [email protected]
I had a bit of a dip in energy levels for a while, but I feel ready to take the bull by the horns again. A conversation with steering committee member Rachel Welford helped – I was feeling weary of having all the responsibility for APT, and no funding to pay me to work on it. A problem shared and all that.
I also had had a great conversation with Susan Jones at a-n, and identified ways they can support APT, building on their role as instigators for debate through the ‘Create or Procreate’ blog cluster last year – watch this space for details.
So – I’m back on the case, sneaking bits of APT work in between all the usual busy-ness…
I’ve written an article for a-n magazine to raise awareness of APT
I’ve decided to rework the ACE funding bid, so no meetings yet, but patience is a virtue or some such nonsense.
The ning site is starting to get lively, and is proving to be a great way to communicate with members: http://artistparents.ning.com