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information nine


Spring has sprung!

Time for reflection is for me a lifesaver; it is not just a nice thing to do if you have the time. It is the only way you can survive. Margaret J. Wheatley

people at the Expo.

This month and next is all about reflection for the Sync South East individuals programme - helped by the spring sunshine and new shoots popping up all around us.

The individuals programme is half way through. For those on the programme this means half way through the coaching process and half way through our cycle of looking inwards, looking at our business skills and looking outwards to how we interact with the various communities within the South East. For the development team, it means time to reflect on what we have done, what's worked and what could be better and most importantly what we want to change as we enter our second cycle.

We are asking all those on the individuals programme to redo some exercises they did at the beginning of the programme so we can all see what, if anything, has shifted for people. We know Sync SE is one catalyst amongst many so we are also asking what else is happening for people that causing shifts in how they think, feel, act and achieve.

We should have the results of this ready by the end of April - so watch this space to see what's changed and how!

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Its all about the money!

"I really enjoyed the event today, the pace and energy is exactly what I needed. I feel inspired and energised to tackle finance and funding within my organisation. Thank you!"

Photo from the groove showing a table with balloons and paper from one of the exercises

The Sync South East organisations programme doesn't reach its half way point until the summer, so its less like reflection here and more like steaming ahead!

We've just had a Groove session - when all the organisations come together to look at a specific topic or theme that impacts on all of them. The idea is to use these sessions to share practice and experience and to build a growing community of interest, with our organisations gaining peer to peer support through the programme too.

This time it was all about the money - how our organisations think, feel and act around funding and finance.

We started by examining our attitude to money - are we embarrassed by it, do we want it, do we prefer to give it away? - and moved on to look at how our organisations were 'shaped' by finances. After some thought provoking sharing, we had some no nonsense input from our guest speaker Hilary Hodgson (now freelance, but formerly Head of Education at Esmee Fairburn) on how to approach Trusts and Foundations and heard all about how Graeae had moved from a Portacabin to their beautiful new building - how long it had taken and how they'd had to shift their thinking to work at the finance needed.

In the afternoon, we looked at the metaphors we used to describe our organisations - and how funders might receive them - and finished with a panel including Chas de Sweit from ACE, Michael Blake from Arts & Business and Hilary Hodgson looking at how we shift orbit - move from our traditional paths - as we respond to the changes in the environment around us.

Thanks to Jon Pratty from DAO for photo's - you can see more on DAO's Flickr stream at

Nice doing (Arts &) Business with you...

Logo from the Subsidy Junkies event

Our relationship with Arts & Business continues to build. We already have two of our organisions taking advantage of free bursaries with them (Freewheelers and Creative Futures) and are just offering a few more now to DAO and Outside In.

Michael Blake also offered us two free places to the national Arts & Business Subsidy Junkies event - a day of practical survival strategies for arts funding. Thats taking place today, as I send this out so again - we'll have to wait until next time to find out what the symposium delivered!

We hope to work with Arts & Business more in the next few months to plan a specific seminar just for members of Sync South East - from both programmes - to look at sponsorship and individual giving, both possible sources of additional income for artists and organsations.

We are always on the look out for new partners and associates - or as Gavin Stride from Farnham Maltings said at the Sync South East Expo - new people to have relationships with!

At the moment there are two things we are looking for that people out there might be able to help with.

  1. We are always looking for good, accessible and creative spaces to hold our events in - perhaps you know of somewhere that can help?

  2. We are looking for good sources of basic financial management advice to point organisations towards - read any good books/been on any good courses we should know about?

Focus on…

“Life is full of ups and downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs.”

A red and blue rollercoaster with ups and downs and many turnings

Sad news for many of our members this month. Despite a number of applications from the region, no South East based bid made it through to gain funds from Unlimited this time round. Unlimited is the UK's largest ever disability arts programme, being delivered by London 2012 as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Only 10 bids from across the UK made it through in the first round but a number of South East bids have been encouraged to resubmit for the next round so fingers crossed for then!

Having said that, there are loads of positive things to report on too:

  • DAO has been nominated in the Best of the Web Awards at the Museums and the Web conference at Denver, Colorado, this April.

  • Dada-South staged a Creative Careers Seminar at the Space Gallery, University of Portsmouth this month launching its new installation for its 5th birthday celebrations enitled 'Dada Fuss'

  • Mike Fryer is starting work on a new project, a 360° panorama of London and putting together a 'slide show' for the BBC's 'Big Screen'

  • Pauline Alexander is working on the Enquire 4 project which involves Turner Contemporary Arts, Stour Valley Arts and Canterbury Museum and Galleries, delivering workshops with other artists to local young people with behavioural difficulties

Well done to all - and I'm sure there is more good news bubbling under too for many of our organisations and individuals.

What's next?

"If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.” Anita Roddick

a drawing of 'ensemble' - thick black lines join music staves, a clock, a guitarist and red/pink swirls building an idea of a composition, an essembly of parts.

Our next public event will be our Sync South East Ensemble focusing on our organisations and what they do best. The theme will be building on this idea of confidence and strength and highlighting their achievements, progress and potential.

This is due to take place in July. We are choosing a date and venue this month so more news shortly...

That’s all for this month,

Jo Verrent

Sync South East Project Manager

and the rest of the Sync South East team

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