HeArt In Mind

Last year we booked The Lady Eastwood Centre for a new event. The idea was to connect all aspects of art under one roof to give contemporary artists a feel for the exhibition circuit. We gained significant interest in the project and gained support from a prominent artist who offered support as a patron. Along came Covid; the rest is history.

Many of my friends know I’d suffered from Bi-Polar for over 30 years. A late diagnosis suggested my ‘normal’ was a deep depressive state. And the illness explained why I’d live a life of self-destruction. Thankfully, the condition has been under control for over fifteen years. But the memory of the destructive pattern haunts to this day.

The principal ways out of my illness were artistic, photography, writing and acrylics. It is impossible to gauge the potential of art to break the chains of darkness. Knowledge and experience of the disease and the therapeutic aspect of art led me to consider another idea. One would need support: so I approached an internationally recognised business that helps with the Arts Council grant application. After the consultations, I was stunned to discover my application would be turned down if the purpose of the grant was to help people with bipolar or depression on an artistic level!

I will not comment on this limitation. Although, many people I have talked to about the situation find it somewhat confusing. After all, the Arts Council is publicly funded. Indeed could some of the millions of pounds allocated to be used to support art and its therapeutic association with mental health?

I’m not one to be stopped by hurdles tremendous or small. So the idea has not settled into memory. The question is, how do I fund the rental of a large building and put an event together which fulfils the objective? To run the event, we need around 10000 pounds! Why ten thousand? Well, I’d like the artists to stand without charge and the entry to be free!

HeArt In Mind

The idea is to ask artists who have had a mental illness to exhibit their work, sell their books and music, or demonstrate their artistic talents over the weekend. The central purpose is to explain that many people who suffer from depression or bipolar find channels of respite in the multitude of artistic genres. The name of the event is HeArt In Mind.

So how can the event be funded and still work in the way envisaged? There is no charity status, and I would not seek to go down that route. So the event has to be funded either by donation or some way of earning the funds. And it seems the idea of funding by donation is worthy of consideration.

Therefore I have rented a unit in the Victoria Market to sell items either purchased or given by donation. A sort of hybrid secondhand shop! I feel the money needed for HeArt In Mind can be made, and the event will go ahead.

Now, it is essential to be precise. I will take a wage from the shop, and there will be overheads to pay, and as already mentioned, there will never be a charity status. So, the shop is a business venture which will fund the HeArt In Mind Event. If there is a surplus over the required amount, some will be carried over into the next event. I do not feel that I can run this venture without earning a wage.

There will be further articles about the project this week, and a HeArt In Mind Page is being built for the LEN platform. The people I have spoken to about the project and its funding have shown enthusiasm for the event.

See You Soon

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