Art

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As a disability-led organisation we are overjoyed to take part in today’s day of action by new emergency response campaign #WeShallNotBeRemoved

Today, from 12pm on our Twitter, we will be sharing the works of disabled artists alongside the hashtags #WeShallNotBeRemoved and #EndAbleism and targeting our posts at policy makers and influencers within the industry.

If you are a disabled artist or a disability-led organisation, and want to join the action right in the centre, just email weshallnotberemoved@gmail.com and ask to get signed up to the Slack channel!

If you’re a disabled artist and would like your work to be shared, please just pop us a message and we’d be more than happy to share!

The results of the online accessibility survey are in, and we’d like to invite you to join our (beta) experiment over on Microsoft Teams!

Because it is possible to personalise and re-calibrate accessibility features in Teams so much, we have decided to trial the group using this software first. Having an ongoing, always-there, safe chatroom and noticeboard seems a good way to ease us all into regular online communication that suits you personally and exists on your own terms. There is no pressure to download it as it can be used in browser, in your own time.

Wait, what did I miss?

Nice Time is going to attempt to host a safe and regularly available space online, through which we can later organise workshops and video meet-ups, depending on how people feel about these.

We’re still accepting responses to the Online & Accessible Survey 2020, so if you haven’t already, please head over there and tell us your thoughts.

Using Microsoft Teams

You can access and use Teams both through your web browser and/or through the Teams app, which is available for Microsoft, iOs, Apple, Android and even Linux. You do not have to download the app – feel free to ignore the shiny attractive purple button it offers you, and click the calm, grey ‘use on web browser’ button to its right.

I recommend waiting until I’ve emailed you the link to the group before signing up if you haven’t already, because that way it takes you through step by step into our group. If you want to set up beforehand, you can access the website here: https://teams.microsoft.com/

We’ve set up a ‘Group’ or ‘Organisation’ in Teams, called Indoor Explorers which you can join by by filling in the contact form below.

Alternatively you can email ellie@nice-time.co.uk with your email address, name, age and whether or not you’ve been involved with Pen Fight, Nice Time Arts or Still Ill OK before, either online or in person.

It’s tough at the moment for everyone, of course, and tougher for some than others. We thought that we’d put together a post of some recent disability x arts related resources, opportunities, news and whatnot for you to bookmark and check up on when you need a bit of inspiration or cheer. If you’ve come across something great, please get in touch and we’ll include it on our next update!

Creative Opportunities

The porcelain head of a doll stands out from a black background. The face is covered in tiny cracks and the top of the head is broken, revealing Victorian scrap paper and flowers inside. One of the doll’s eyes is ringed with pearls. It wears drop earrings and a choker decorated with a gold key. (c) Sasha Saben Callaghan 2019
[Click image for image description]
  • Not Going Back to Normal are looking for creative submissions to a disabled artists manifesto! The manifesto will take form as an exhibition and a book. This is a paid opportunity, and is based on the premise that “…we’re not going back to normal. The world is changing, so let’s remake it with our ideas. If we want an artistic revolution, this is our chance.”
    Follow the link to find out more: https://www.notgoingbacktonormal.com/
  • Still Ill OK (Ellie’s other site – hello pals) is always welcoming guest posts, interviews, artwork relating to health and/or disability, views on current issues and more. Please get in touch to help revamp the site during the lockdown: ellie@stillill.uk

Get Creative: Make a zine!

Our Vicky’s Pen Fight probably the best place for buying other zine prompts and collections of zines to read and be inspired by! Drawn Poorly have a great ‘How to Make a Minizine’ resource on their site that is available in various accessible formats, and our fab Still Ill X Pen Fight prompt zine still for sale in our shop and on Etsy.

Zines can be about absolutely anything . You can even break your ‘fear of the blank page’ by setting yourself a challenge of (this is a funny one we did at Zine club once) ‘A Zine of 6 Pokemon each drawn in 60 seconds’. Good luck, and if you’d like some more prompts or inspo, feel free to pop us an email: info@nice-time.co.uk

Theatre from Bed

  • HOME also have commissioned a series of artists to produce work from their homes, ranging from games to receiving short stories in the post, to theatre, music and more. They are offering tickets on a pay-what-you-feel basis, so you can watch some super current talent from your home for free!
  • The National Theatre is not only releasing some of its most popular plays on its YouTube channel throughout lockdown, but is also offering a series of insights into how theatre is made, rehearsal processes and lots of interesting bits and bobs.
  • BeAtHome Festival has a series of videos, performances, recipe cook-throughs and more from artists who were commissioned for the festival pre-lockdown.

Advice & Support

There are mental health resources available from the usual sources below, all of whom have put extra time and effort into producing advice and resources specifically relevant to the current lockdown.

Manchester City Council has a very plain but very practical mailing list for those of us on the government’s hypothetical ‘extremely vulnerable’ list, which I strongly recommend signing up to if you are within the Greater Manchester area: https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/100003/

Here at Nice Time, Ellie can offer professional advice and assistance in matters regarding benefits (PIP, Universal Credit, Carers Allowance, etc.) so if this is something you need, please get in touch: ellie@nice-time.co.uk

Firstly, we hope that you and those close to you are as well as can be during this very difficult time. Disabled and chronically ill people are disproportionately affected by new viruses, and as the media has made us painfully aware, this is sadly no different with the current coronavirus.

Unsurprisingly, we have no live events scheduled yet for this year in alignment with government guidelines and for the sake of everyone’s physical health. Well, that’s the sad bit of news out of the way, so bring on the good news and let’s end this post on a high!

Online & Accessible

We are really keen to continue to offer some form of creative social support throughout this time, as this is a very difficult time during which socialising and creative distraction could not be more important.

So, we are currently organising an online Spoonie Artists hangout to take place later in April/early May, and are looking into other ways of keeping our community going online in a safe and accessible manner. This might include blog posts with suggested DIY arts & crafts activities, inputs from our Zine Club, video tutorials, a private discussion forum on our website or quite simply a wider range of accessible ways to hang out online/at a distance.

If there is anything in particular that sounds fabulous to you in the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch either via email: ellie@nice-time.co.uk or via mobile: 07539371070 [text only].

What works best for you?

If you are able to, we would really appreciate it if you could fill in and share this short survey that we have put together.

It can be filled in directly below, where it is embedded into the page, or alternatively you can be emailed a link, a large-print Word document, or posted a printed copy with a prepaid return envelope. Just get in touch with us via one of the usual ways; ellie@nice-time.co.uk or text 07539371070

Next week in our fully-booked journalling course, we’ll be doing marbling alongside some organisational and practical CBT-based strategies.

I was just getting the marbling inks ready, and was reminded of one of our first official sessions as Nice Time, during our August soft launch. There was such a wide range of ages making beautiful and unique patterns non-stop, for three hours!

Looks like we’ll need to replenish the stock before next week – who’s up for another marbling session in advance of the festive season? Winter can be a difficult time for many reasons, in particular if you have a disability/long term health condition that is often made worse by the cold weather, being stuck indoors, and health services being a bit sporadic what with it being annual leave season.

Our November Zine Club is themed appropriately as ‘Winter Survival’, and we’re just looking to book in some more creative events and groups over the cold ‘festive’ period. I’m thinking marbling might be a good’un – what do you guys think?

What art medium or activity would you really like to try out?

Let us know in the comments, or get in touch via the social media options below!

F: facebook.com/nicetimearts
T: @nicetimearts
I: @nicetimeart

Email us at info@nice-time.co.uk or pop us a text on 07539371070