Dr Nick Owen MBE PLUS

Working in and on the Business of Cultural Education

…  45 .. …  ..  … …  …. ..: Reimaginings

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On 26 October 2022, Arts Council England will announce the results of their long-awaited investment decisions into which arts and cultural organisations have been successful in their applications to become National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) or Investment Principles Support Organisations (IPSOs) between 2023 and 2026. The Mighty Creatives are in the same position as everyone else in the sector and are ready for the email on 26 October which will tell us about what our relationship with Arts Council England will be over the next 3 years.  

So, in the meantime, in the spirit of hoping for the best but planning for the worst, here’s another reflection which highlights some of the amazing work the charity has done for children and young people in the East Midlands over the last ten years.

Today’s reflection: A Mighty Love Letter

To be mighty is to be creative, we know that much already.

Our drive is a renowned one. An engine of empowerment – 

our heart a toll-free motorway pumping access region-wide,

merging and emerging, fighting and defending.

We filled in the surveys like good tick-box others,

it’s all there – to be mighty is to collect the figures.

To be mighty is to untangle them. To feel the injustice within them.

The figures are Midlands children after all –

our seaside souls, our urban underbellies, our rural roots,

our stuck schools, our underrepresented origins, our ravaged resources. 

To be mighty is to fight for their voices.

There are still so many kids with austerity-plucked wings,

their potential fenced in, caught in netted thought.

To be mighty is to fall in love with their stories

and fill their heads with feathers and glue

and no instructions, only encouragement – 

let them be the architect of their own flight.

We find patterns amid the arrows, 

the splashes and swaths that point to transformation –

an arts award has direction, imagination can travel, 

change makers are the future.

To be mighty is to keep on doing. To see ‘young’ as a doing word.

Young poet, young confidence, young leader,

young purpose, young festival, young teacher,

young dancer, young education, young skill,

young conference, young artist, young will.

That’s all we’re doing, really – 

passing on the things we’ve learnt, the love we believe,

and what our mighty vision hopes to achieve.

And you, my love, for reading this, are mighty too. 

You feel our fight, hear our voice,

and we hope you will fall in love with our story.

(Commissioned from Charley Genever, Emerge Young Artist 2017, to mark the TMC Business Plan from 2019 – 2024)

The Mighty Creatives staff team took part in the Mighty (UN)Mute, a day-long vow of silence, on 5th October 2022. You can check out the campaign here or donate your support to it here.

Or if neither of these is possible (and heaven knows we’re all in tough financial times right now), then anything you can do to share and shout about the campaign would be equally welcomed and appreciated.

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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