The Spa, Scarborough, a glorious venue, I'd never been there before.
I nearly didn't go - I was feeling very tired after a busy week with the builders and re-painting furniture.
But I did go, along with Pete, (I've not seen him much over the past month or so, I bought him a ticket; how could he refuse?) We were accompanied by Yvette Turnbull, Creative Economies Officer, RDC and made a merry trio.
I am glad I did go: it was really fab! Apart from missing the talk with Jeremy Deller and Cornelia Parker, we were running very late for making this and then we got stuck in the lift. How many men does it take to find the key to a lift? Answers via the comments box please!
Opening the conference; the Mayor of Scarborough, left; Bob and Roberta Smith, centre and Stewart of Crescent Arts, right.
For details of the progamme, speakers etc use this link: http://www.artpartyconference.co.uk/ and for a brief report on the conference:
Aside from being stuck in the lift, another cause for excitement and slightly overawed giggling happened when Cornelia Parker suddenly sat next to Yvette during the talk we attended about the importance of Art! Our favourite speaker on the panel for this talk was Sam West, actor; he put into words with passion the importance of the subject so succinctly that he has become one of my new favourite people in the world.
I have amassed a goodly collection of posters, fliers and info regarding arts groups, projects etc. There was cake too! The stands were manned by people eager to impart information about their projects/organisations, there were many, many regular short speeches about the importance of Art in education, in society, in life. In fact there was so much to see, listen to, contribute to, it was all a bit of a blur!
Congratulations to Crescent Arts and Bob and Roberta Smith for organising this conference, which I believe is the first of its kind. I hope there will be more. After all, if artists do not agitate for their subject and careers, who will?
Bob and Roberta Smith's web site contains his letter to Michael Gove:
For information about Crescent Arts:
And here, Susan Jones argues that new measures are needed to support artists financially: