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Creative How To’s

Creative Career Navigation for young people aged 16-24

For those of you craving some more nuggets of creative advice after the Cannon Hill Lectures, or for fresh faces seeking career navigation within the arts, look no further than a fresh series of brand spanking new Creative How To sessions, presented by mac birmingham in partnership with Amy Martin & Bearheart.

Starting Tue 14 Oct 2014 | 6-8pm fortnightly | Hexagon Theatre | Free

The Creative How To sessions aim to demystify the creative and cultural sector helping to find a route in, whether as an employee, freelancer or as an entrepreneur.

Tue 14 Oct – How to fail
Steve Jobs was a loser, well he lost a company and countless opportunities before gaining big time as the boss of Apple. In this session we’ll look at the positives behind failure and how to pick yourself up after a bump in the road.

Tue 28 
Oct – How to make a decision
Toast or cereal toast or cereal… Do you ever find it hard to make a decision? Maybe you’re not sure if you should go to Uni or perhaps you’re flummoxed by another of life’s options. This session will help you develop the where-with-alls to make a decision and the conviction to stick to it.

Tue 11 Nov – How to lead a workshop
Being able to lead a workshop is a brilliant skill to add to your metaphorical tool box. In this session we’ll look at the art of creative facilitation and how you can develop workshops from your creative passion.

Tue 25 Nov – How to budget & manage a project
In this session we’ll look at the deadly important skills of project management and how to wrestle a budget into submission. Knowing these skills will raise you head & shoulders above the competition.

Tue 9 Dec – How to change the world
Without creativity – creative problem solving, creative thinking – we don’t have a hope of making a positive difference in the world. We need to think outside of the box to come up with real, innovative, workable solutions to the problems that face us. In this session you’ll meet artists who are making positive changes in society and explore how you can too.

Tue 20 Jan – How to find the time
Your time is being zapped up by The Internet and the zillions of other distractions in life so how do you make the time to do the important stuff? This session looks at the practical skills of time management and reveals that there IS enough hours in the day!

Tue 3 Feb – How to tell your story
We want to know the story behind why you do what you do. Whether you have artwork to sell or an audience to entertain, people are far more likely to engage and connect if you deliver a well-crafted story with an emotional core. This session will help you to craft that story so people will listen.

Tue 17 Feb – How to get set up as a freelancer/start a business
Creatives don’t have a right to make money just an opportunity. In this session we’ll explore the business of creativity and the practical knowledge of tax, insurance, self employment and getting legally set up as a new business.

Tue 3 Mar – How to get a job
Are CVs old hat? In this session Top employers from arts & cultural organisations share their experience of hiring and firing creative talent and what they’re really looking for in an employee.

Tue 17 Mar – How to get big on the internet
What’s to gain from having bags of subscribers to your YouTube channel or thousands of followers on Instagram? In this session we’ll hear from arty types who are big on The Internet, discuss the benefits of having an online following and figure out how you build an online fan base.

For more information visit: macbirmingham.co.uk/event/ng-cht/

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What’s The Agenda in pictures

What’s The Agenda went off with a big festival BOOM, bringing in creative people from all over the city to create, instigate, and talk about art for social change.

“Occupying mac’s Foyle Studio for the duration of the festival, an array of installations and performances awaited those who entered. Haiku poetry, immersive theatre, sculpture, film and visual arts exhibition Side View were just some of the vessels employed here to investigate when art becomes a political act and how creativity can incite positive social change; a mixing pot which lay testament to both the collectives’ broad range of skills and the breadth of mac’s support for the regions diverse creative future.

Drawing in a variety of changemakers throughout the weekend, the final flourish was spoken word event Bare Bones and post-show discussion debate.4.social.change (DB84SC) with Birmingham gems Vanley Burke, Zia Ahmed, Jodi Ann Bickley and Immy Kaur making up the panel. An achievement in itself, the evening not only gave brand spanking new performers a stage and an audience, but created a meaningful discussion with the public about themes raised throughout What’s The Agenda? – loneliness, heritage and gender issues – acting as the exclamation and question mark at the end of a collective statement.”

– Taken from online review by Illustrated Brum.

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What’s The Agenda?

What's The Agenda?
Cannon Hill Collective present: What’s The Agenda?

Sat 29 – Sun 30 Mar, 2pm-9pm | Foyle Studio| Free Entry

Launch Party Fri 28 Mar, 6pm-9pm | Please RSVP nextgen@macarts.co.uk

A festival of visual art, performance and debate curated by mac birmingham’s next generation of artists, Cannon Hill Collective (CHC). Working with producer Amy Martin and social provocateurs Stan’s Cafe, CHC have created a unique programme of events at mac fuelled by a united desire to incite positive social change and explore when art becomes a political act.

Archival Activism evokes responses, prompts anecdotes and defies assumptions surrounding heritage and identity, subverting society’s box-ticking mindset.The more we learn about ourselves, the better we can relate to one another. Share the story of your heritage on twitter @ArchivalAct

Bare Bones
A dynamic and thought-provoking evening of spoken word and performance poetry, hitchhiking through the themes discussed in What’s The Agenda?

A hive of activity housing and encouraging creative happenings, the structure will be redeveloped and transformed over the course of the event, inviting audience interaction and investigation by mirroring the possibility for change found within it.

DB84SC is an ongoing discussion platform running both on and offline during What’s The Agenda? culminating in a live debate for you to have your say. @DB84Movement

Estranged Voices is an immersive 15 minute spoken word performance exploring the unnatural existence of isolation within a loving relationship.

The Hikikomori
New media provides us with an eternal eye on the world that surrounds us, so why should we leave the comfort of our own walls? Step into The Hikikomori to visualise a life alone.

Side View looks past media influence to how sexual objectification affects everyday interactions and perspectives of the opposite sex. Through film and visual art the project explores responses to sexual objectification and the role gender continues to play in today’s world.

So It Goes
A film that explores whether society’s ‘big’ issues are actually the issues we need to be focusing on and whether history is simply repeating itself. See the film in full online here.


Illustration by Louise Byng.

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Cannon Hill Lectures: Autumn 2013

Following on from this summer’s Cannon Hill Lectures, a new series of sessions is upon us this Autumn at mac birmingham, led by totally awesome creative producer Amy Martin.

CHL can help you to shape your creative ideas and explore how to make them work. The lectures share case studies and tips from successful creative entrepreneurs and arm you with the skills you need to succeed.

Getting Your Creative Project Off The Ground
Tuesday 8th October | 5pm-8pm | Alex McCorkindale
So you’ve got an idea for an awesome creative project but don’t quite know where to start? This lecture will give you the rocket fuel to get going and the key to making it a success.

Knowing Your Audience
Tuesday 22nd October | 5pm-8pm | Amy Martin

For a successful creative career it is important to know your audience, and understand the demand for your product or service. In this lecture we’ll look at how to match your skills to the right audience, how to get your voice heard and your work in front of the right people.

Events Management and Festivals
Tuesday 5th November | 5pm-8pm | Ian Francis

Got a killer festival idea but not sure how to make it happen? This lecture will help to demystify events management and break it down in to an easy peezy step-by-step guide.

How To Not Give Up On Your Creative Career
Tuesday 19th November | 5pm-8pm | Jodi Ann Bickley

Choosing a creative career can be hugely rewarding but also pretty tricky to navigate, with plenty of twists and turns. Building up your resilience can help you to bounce back from set backs, help with stress and cope when things change. This lecture offers practical skills, strategies and insights that help you not to give up on your creative career.

Skills for the 21st Century
Tuesday 3rd December | 5pm-8pm | Amy Martin

Did you know that Sixty-five percent of today’s schoolchildren will eventually be employed in jobs that have yet to be created. How do we prepare for jobs that don’t currently exist? This lecture looks at the skills needed for the 21st Century and why a creative career is a good choice for a changing future and an increasingly connected world.

Illustrations by Louise Byng.

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Cannon Hill Collective on tour!
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Some of our collective were lucky enough to go to Leipzig, Germany this month, a historical city twinned with Birmingham. Working with young people from all over Europe (France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Ukraine, Russia, Poland to name but a few) we discussed ways for young people to learn more about Europe’s past, exploring how to carve out their way as part of Europe and what their collective future might be like. The visit formed part of an International Summer Camp led by Karolina Iwa to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Nations. It was a totally amazing experience full of new friends, new ideas and new ways of working. We will miss our Leipzig family!

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Cannon Hill Lectures: Summer 2013

 cannon hill lect  Illustration by Louise Byng
Cannon Hill Lectures

Cannon Hill Lectures are for young creatives aged 16-24yrs from the West Midlands. The sessions aim to de-mystify the creative and cultural sector and help young people to find their route in, whether that is as an employee, freelancer or as an entrepreneur.

Creative & Cultural Sector an Overview
Tuesday 30 April | 5-8pm | Amy Martin
This session will introduce you to the Creative Industries; Architecture & Design, Craft, Digital Media, Fashion, Film & Video, TV & Radio, Photography, Music, Theatre, Dance, Literature & Visual Arts. We will look at which ones belong to the cultural sector and why John Maynard Keynes is such a dude.

Portrait Photography Session with Kate Green
Tuesday 7 May | 5-8pm | Kate Green
Learn the basics of portrait photography with Kate Green and go home with a good shot of yourself that you can use online or as part of your CV or portfolios. Remember to scrub up and wear your best garms!

Think Like An Artist Act Like A Boss – Tips for a creative career pt 1.
Tuesday 14 May | 5-8pm | Amy Martin
What’s your ambition for yourself? To be like your creative hero? To earn a living from what you love? To be the best in your industry? To change the world or make people think differently? This session looks at your goals and how to achieve them

Creativity & Goals – Tips for a creative career pt 2.
Tuesday 21 May | 5-8pm | Creative Shift
What’s your ambition for yourself? To earn loads of money, to solve important problems through your art, To Inspire people? This session continues to look at your goals and how to achieve them.

Tuesday 28 May | 5-8pm | John Berkavitch
The art of creative collaboration is a careful mix of communication, clarity, cooperation and creativity and collaborating across artforms can create true innovation. This session will explore collaboration with Hip Hop Theatre specialist John Berkavitch.

Networking  – more than just business cards
Tuesday 4 June | 5-8pm | Creative Shift
This session will look at networking in its broadest sense and will consider how important building networks and getting mentored are to grow a successful creative career. Creative Shift Coordinator, Dean Melbourne, leads this session

Ca$h money – Funding Pt 1.
Tuesday 11 June | 5-8pm | Amy Martin
What is the difference between finding funding and earning money? How do you learn the language of CSR, G4A, Trusts & Foundations, Individual Giving, Sponsorship What funding is out there for young creatives and what are your options….?

Crowdfunding – Funding Pt 2.
Tuesday 18 June | 5-8pm | Sarah Gee
Crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money often via the Internet. Artists and arts organisations can use crowdfunding to raise money and awareness for projects. Come and learn more about what works, what doesn’t, and how you can be part of this emerging trend with Sarah Gee.

Twitter, facebook, Instagram, Vine, Flikr, Tumblr, WordPress, Vimeo, YouTube & your Personal Branding online
Tuesday 25 June | 5-8pm | Amy Martin
They do not like you, they cannot find you, and they do not know you exist. How to improve your presence online to help you in your creative career.

Next Steps
Tuesday 2 July | 5-8pm | Amy Martin
This final Cannon Hill Lecture will conclude the 10 weeks with a round up and highlights from all the best bits of the series. Bring a tissue it could get emotional…

Illustrations by Louise Byng.

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The Internet Has No Edges.

Internet believer and all-round modern maverick Andy Field visited the mac today. He spoke to us about how to make the most of representing ourselves idiosyncratically online and the www’s potential for dynamic collaborations. Here are the notes I made, including his wise words that the internet is limitless and ‘not finished yet’, an interesting thought that lead me to see the internet in a new way – a vast, albeit unregulated, universe of information that we can find our place within.

Inspiring stuff.

Plus a drawing for good measure.