Friday, 29 May 2009

VisitKX Benefits - Evaluation of 2008/9

VisitKX is a unique support and development programme for London based cultural venues and arts organisations (priority booking given to resident organisations in Camden & Islington).

Following our big evaluation this week, we thought it would be useful to share some of the benefits gained by our participant organisations through the 2008/9 VisitKX Programme PLUS the hot topics we hope to tackle in the coming year...


Ø Gives their organisation context
Ø Offers realistic best practice – from practitioners in the field
Ø Forum for honesty and freeness
Ø Networking
Ø New sources of information
Ø Potential partnerships
Ø Breaks down perceived hierarchy in the sector


Ø Networking – through structured activity
Ø Confidence boost
Ø Sharing ideas and practice
Ø Reinforced relationships
Ø Specialist focus
Ø Strategic thinking time
Ø Reinforced common issues
Ø following up opportunities
Ø Inspiration & Bouncing ideas
Ø Combating isolation



Ø Creation of a forum/ directory
Ø Prompts and reminders after training – follow up material
Ø Facilitating links with other agencies/ regen groups/ policy groups/ businesses
Ø Provide as much info as possible ahead of the session: background on trainers, particular focus on the day, who might benefit etc to ensure relevance
Ø Techniques on making the most out of training: mini-session, or short ‘to do’ list


Ø Inspirational spaces & venues: less known places, revealing ‘behind the scenes’, relevant to the session
Ø Ice-breaker introduction to workshops – facilitated/structured networking
Ø Twilight sessions (4-6pm followed by networking over drinks)
Ø Host to introduce and mingle – aid networking
Ø Training by different artistic mediums: using creativity to learn/ enable discussion
Ø Opportunity to move about, work in different groups/pairs etc


Ø Case studies, practical examples
Ø Workshops aimed at specific types of organisations: depending on size, discipline, age and ethos
Ø Structured peer-support
Ø Bespoke/taylor-made seminars
Ø Workshops
Ø Pairing up organisations: match-making (cultural-to-cultural or cultural-to-business)
Ø One-on-one bespoke assistance/advice
Ø Mentoring scheme
Ø Surgeries/ labs for joint problem solving
Ø Action learning sets


How to manage, accept and make the most of change:
losing colleagues, funding
seeing out of the box and your job role.

How to thrive/flourish during a recession
seizing/knowing opportunities, pooling resources
repackaging product, skills sharing

Digital Resources: online social networking, marketing, what should we be using? how do we measure success?

Audience Development: Training and working with young people, Community programmes, older people and prisons, data use and analysis

Finance: Recession and its impact on funding, funding and support
Funding: information on local sources, overviews, finance strategies

Policy briefings

business strategy development

Evaluation: understanding how to demonstrate success and measuring outcomes, advocacy, influencing people

Managing workloads
new policy and strategy, realistic best-practice
Co-ordination of practical issues; eg IT, marketing, policy research.

2012: how to find opportunities

Internal Communications: partnerships and internal buy-in

-> If you are a cultural venue and would like to find out more please contact Catherine Packard on email What's more suggestions in the 'comments' below would be much appreciated, or if you prefer, email us directly with your own content proposal for VisitKX 2009/10.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Camden in Bloom

A perfect bankholiday challenge for those of you with green fingers, to get outdoors and creative... entries are open from 1st June for the annual horticultural competition Camden in Bloom. This is a great chance to contribute by making the borough look beautiful AND take up the challenge to enter and win great prizes. Not only could you win something, your efforts will be part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s London in Bloom regional competition entry. This is a lovely way to involve everyone in the community in brightening up the area! To find out more please visit the Camden in Bloom website

Upcoming CreateKX event Nanotechnology: Discover the Opportunities for your Creative Business.

Nanotechnology is a new manufacturing technology which can produce products which are lighter, stronger, cleaner and less expensive. From stain resistant cotton to anti-microbal pyjamas this really is a brave new world. Could you be a part of it? Our workshop on 3rd June will provide an introduction to the emerging sector and its potential to develop or influence your own practice.

This is a great opportunity to consider how your work could benefit from nano-enhanced materials, and you’ll get the chance to road-test a few products already on the market too. Industry expert Victor Higgs will also highlight the current issues relevant to the importation and processing of nanomaterials and nanotechnology-based products. Book your place now!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Disco Dancing @ One KX!

There was no 3'oclock tea break in the CreateKX office today, oh no! Instead we chose a spot of 'Funk and Disco Dancing' at OneKX to revive our post-lunch fatigue. Kitted out with leggings and all (no leg warmers unfortunately!) and as enthusiastic as ever we joined fellow divas in the fantastic dance studios offered at OneKX. Led by a very energetic instructor, who seemed to have LOTS of faith in us all, we learnt 2 new routines off by heart, improved our disco style and learnt how to step to a funky beat. Powered by the motivational music we so love from the disco era, we were asked not to copy but to follow... so that we could bring our own unique touch to the hip swinging a-finger clickin' party grooves.

"I will survive" - WE did survive! What's more it was a great way to enjoy some free exercise in lively company.

If this sounds like fun to you then please visit the OneKX website because there is a whole range of different dance classes available to the King's Cross community.

OneKX, 120 cromer Street, WC1H 8BS
Tel: 020 7520 3070

Friday, 15 May 2009

William Hunt: Saturday Night TV

Bored of Saturday nights infront of immemorable and mindless TV? Looking for something to break the tedium of your 'weekend night out'? Want to be entertained, engaged and evoked?
You needn't look much further because next Saturday, 30th May William Hunt is celebrating the end of his artist's residency at the Camden Arts Centre"I don't belive you, you're a liar" with a major new installation and performance work at The German Gymnasium.

Described as a battle of the bands, X Factor hybrid, the work features live music and tough talking judges. Acts perform linked up to a lie detector and are critiqued not only on their singing talent but on their genuineness. The final is judged by a ‘celebrity panel’ along with the audience who are asked to shout “play loud, play real loud” or “I don’t believe you, you’re a liar”.

During his residency at Camden Arts Centre in April and May, Hunt transforms the Artists' Studio into a recording studio, and invites singer songwriters to perform hooked up to a lie detector (polygraph machine). He explores the ability to separate mind from body, asking is it truly heartfelt or are they just pushing our buttons? “I don’t believe you, you’re a liar” was Bob Dylan’s response to a heckler in 1966 during a performance at the Free Trade Hall when he had made the transition to electric. Acoustic and especially folk music had traditionally been associated with protest and the authentic.

Plus, join some members of the audience by dressing as Bob Dylan!

When: Saturday 30th may, 7.30 pm- 8.30pm
Where: the German Gymnasium, St Pancras Road, NW1 2TB
Tickets: £4, Book your place here.

This event is just one in a series of innovative, dynamic performance based artworks and projects which engage with the rich history fo the area in Kings Cross, its architecture and changing communities - past and present.

Junction: Artists' Projects, Commissions and Performance for Kings Cross

(March 2009 – March 2010)
Sites for events will vary from formal studio and gallery spaces to disused warehouses and the streets of Kings Cross itself.


March 2009 – June 2009 (double residency)
William Hunt: ‘I don’t believe you, you’re a liar’
Live Art installation and events on and off-site at Kings Cross, including open studio event at Camden Arts Centre. This residency will run over the course of two Camden Arts Centre exhibitions.
You can find more info here

March 2009
Billboard @ Kings Cross
Camden Arts Centre will launch Junction by producing a billboard poster of work by Liz Arnold in Kings Cross.

July 2009 – September 2009
Public Works (tbc)
Public Works will present Live Art performance, installation and events across Hampstead and Kings Cross. Residency will include a Ranters’ Café event at Camden Arts Centre and an open studio event. You can find more info here

October 2009 – March 2010
International residency, activity tbc
Will include two open studio events, off-site activity at Kings Cross and a series of talks and events at Camden Arts Centre.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Crypt: The Other Side

Fighting off ice cream cones. Weaving through 'urban fossils'. Enjoying a home video music performance. The current exhibition at The Crypt Gallery, The Other Side has really appreciated the potential of this unique space with work integrating drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, sound, video, text and performance.

The Other Side curated by Erika Winstone has been exhibited in The Crypt Gallery because of its dual history as a place of sanctury for both the living and the dead (the crypt was an air raid shelter in both world wars). It takes its title from the novel written by artist Alfred Kubin who found himself incapable of drawing due to emotional and spiritual trauma. Eighteen artists have been asked to explore the other side through working with real and imagined relationships, exhibiting work with an 'other' across time. Mark Dean's video of St.Pancras church graveyard capsures both 'sides', with the living movement of people and trees made so resonant against the stillness of the head stones.

An 'other' indicates a realm of uncertainty, an area to explore. The nature of relationships vary, but they are reciprocal, and so the artists work explore the influence of their 'other' side. The creative value of this relationship is encompassed throughout the exhibition.

The delicate, small scale paintings by Trevor Jones titled 'remember me' and 'forgotten' explore his relationship with wife and daughter, showing how the fear and uncertainty left in their lives since his recent stroke has influenced his creative work. I love the photograph of Tony Hill's striking 'Broken Shells'. His hands are holding as many shells as possible and the shapes are so harsh against his caring hands. The photograph is influenced by the material qualities of the work produced by his late wife and artist Lynne Davies-Jones. From the present to the past and beyond. Erika's own cross generational work brings film footage from the past into the present and in doing so creates an imaginary happening that could never take place in reality but conveys how relationships sustain through time.

By looking at 'the other side' of relationships the artists have reflected upon their own work from a different perspective and produced an innovative and very personal exhibition. The Other Side is showing at the Crypt Gallery until 17th May, if you can, do pop down into the cavenous space just off Euston Road for a moving and thought provoking exhibition.

Friday, 1 May 2009

The October Gallery, Bloomsbury

It is Friday 1st May and everyone is smiling! With high hopes for the sunny bank holiday weekend ahead I took an enthusiastic stroll through Bloomsbury this lunchtime. After passing packed lunch-box eaters, inspired summer shoppers and the lucky mid-day wine sipping sorts I reached the perfect picnic spot when I stumbled across Queen Square. The surrounding Victorian buildings and carefully gardened square gives this little city haven a peaceful garden like feel.

Just off the square lies the October Gallery, appropriately named after the month it was built, the lovely space represents artists from around the planet, promoting Transvangarde art - the trans-cultural avante-garde. After finishing my sandwich I stepped from the sunny outdoors into its airy and bright atmosphere. With pieces from11 artists the room displays a range of bold canvases, small sculptures and prints.

Rachd Koraichi, an internationally reknowned Arab artist, explores Sufi mysticism (the mythical aspect of Islam) in his work and the detailed lithographic etchings really grasped my attention. All the detailed signs and numerology speak of a dimension quite unknown to myself. Another artist whose work engaged my basic understanding of Islam was Tajammul, whose aim is to give visual expression to the verses in the Quaran, and like Koraichi, bring out its mystical meaning through art. From intricacy to ethereal oversize plastic bags! Huan Xu, a Chinese artist looks at the fragile nature of the contemporary global econony.

Bloomsbury is home to both the British Museum and School of Oriental and African Studies, making the October Gallery the perfect place for the Transvangarde artists. This exhibition is showing until 16th May but it is shortly followed by Beninese artist, Gerard Quenum's 'Stowaways'. His work comprises of whimsical portraits made by recycled objects that speak of a diverse history but also represent individuals observed in Quenum's local environment. - What's more the exhibition space offers a very tempting lunch-ing location!

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