“What Next?” and the “National Campaign for the Arts” recently came together to create the Hearts for the Arts Awards, a new initiative to reward and thank Councils, Councillors and Council officers who are overcoming financial challenges to ensure the arts stay at the centre of community life. London Borough of Lewisham won Best Local Authority Arts Project encouraging community cohesion for Meet Me At The Albany Entelechy’s shared project with the Albany .
Months later she finds herself back in the arts centre after weeks of being away: an extended period in hospital, and then time at home. Away but still connected. Her new friends had telephoned and shared texts. And now her daughter has wheeled her back into the familiar space. Tables and paint and seashells and wire, tea and so much conversation.
I heard about the story later. How in the room with the choir she broke down with the emotion of it all, hearing her poem set to music and the choir singing it, their first adventure into contemporary music.
And I am constantly taken by surprise by this organic interlinking of relationships between artists and emerging artists –the peripheral vision of poet and composer working in unison: art being conjured out of this everyday being together, out of the urgency held by people to tell stories, to sing out who they are.