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information: thirteen


Long time, no news?

a newspaper saying latest news

There's been a gap in the information bulletins - not because there is no news - but almost because there has been so much of it! We've been busy at Sync South East working with our individuals and our organisations and projects - many of whom are experiencing great success... read on to find out more!

We've just held an Open Space event for our individuals to look at how to get the most out of the rest of our time with Sync, and have just committed over £20,000 to our organisations for our consultancy programme designed to strengthen and build capacity - busy times.

And we've been plotting and planning for 2011 too. We've decided to hold one large public event for both programmes in 2011 - rather than two smaller ones, and we wanted you to get the date in your diaries as soon as possible.

Its going to be on Wednesday June 15th - so mark that off now and we'll give you more information as and when we have it.

Congratulations to...

special - Caroline Cardus art work of the word 'special' used like a swear word

So what news do we have for you from our individuals and our organisations and projects? Are you sitting comfortably? Now we'll begin!

Firstly, congratulations to Caroline Cardus. Caroline has been announced as the recipient of the Shape Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary 2010 -11 and will receive £5,000 and enjoy a three-month residency at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead from March to June 2011. Caroline’s work explores the themes of language and identity, and the juxtaposition of popular culture and sub-cultures. Caroline commented:

I’m fascinated with language and its place in visual art, notions of power and authority, and my experiences as a disabled person. I plan to use the residency to explore the way online culture is changing the way people communicate, and what I believe is a natural link between using language subversively and the potential to use it creatively to explore, subvert and reveal the unspoken dynamics surrounding it.

And also to Mark Smith who has gained great exposure for his dance work this month with a great interview on BBC's See Hear. It’s a great piece, with a great deal of impact and clarity for many who have and will watch it (but watch out for the misleading subtitles - he never said he invented sign dance, just that he works with sign dance!)

He has also gained excellent reviews for All Male – Iolanthe,

And to top it all, we've just heard that he'll be collaborating with another Sync South East artist, Rachel Gadsden, in a Without Walls commission in 2011. Congrats Mark!

And more...

Photo of members of My Life My Choice receiving the award

My Life My Choice, the charity run by and for people with learning disabilities in Oxfordshire that run Stingray which is part of our organisations programme, has received the distinguished Guardian Charity Award for 2010. A team of eight travelled to London to receive this fantastic accolade, from a distinguished panel of judges including Sarah Brown, Jane Asher and David Brindle.

From a charity that began in 1998 with just three people with learning disabilities, to a charity that boasts numerous innovative projects and 400 members, this award represents a massive achievement for people who are often left excluded and vulnerable.

Paul Scarrott, My Life My Choice Trustee responded to the award, saying, “Winning this award shows our outstanding work and all our effort that we have put into all the different projects such as Stingray nightclub, Travel Buddy, Power up, the Cafe, Champions work and all the local groups is worth it and recognised. Winning this award makes me feel powerful.”

My Life My Choice will enjoy £6,000 prize money, one-year free National Council for Voluntary Organisations membership, a mentoring and training package from the FSI, plus a personalised package of media and communications support from Media Trust.

To read more about the award...

Its not all easy...

I've had depression since I was 14. I spent most of the last two years of my high school bunking off, wondering around a park, sometimes crying, nearly always listening to music, wondering why the hell I was born. Wondering what the hell I am going to do, and wondering when it's all going to end. And can I make it end? I couldn't see a future. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and I thought I'd be dead by the time I'm 30....

still from 'Early One Summer' of two men in bed

Don't let the above fool you into thinking its all easy - many disabled artists still hit huge barriers.

Gary Thomas, one of our Sync South East individuals has had a startlingly successful year - in May he was filmed at the BFI talking about film development for the Uscreen website, a couple of months ago he was directing his first online comedy drama, this time last year he was in LA pitching a wedding comedy feature script and the year before he was at Cannes Film Festival for the first time selling his short film Early One Summer to a Hollywood Distributor. And yet he is the author of the powerful quote above.

Gary blogs for DAO (Disability Arts Online, one of the organisations within our organisations programme)- read his honest and moving entries to find out more about how, and why, he works in the way he does.

Link to Gary Thomas's blog on Disability Arts Online

And finally...

an image of a member of freewheelers sitting on a stage

The Freewheelers have let us know about some things coming up you don't want to miss.

Firstly, they are having a Film Night on 15th December at the Nomad Theatre. It starts at 7.30pm, bar open from 7pm. The programme will include the premiere of their new theatre film Messages of Love and Hate. Book tickets via the Nomad Box Office on 01483 28747 or via the website

And if you know any disabled young people, 13-18, who fancy making work, why not join their Play in a Week Short Break during the February half term at The Leatherhead Theatre. Contact or phone 07778 054264 and please book by 31st December as there are only a few places available.

Thats it for now - hope your festivities are building nicely

All the best

Jo and everyone else at Sync South East

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