We kicked off our post-lunch session with a performance from Tom Elliott, a magician and comedian.
After a taste of witty humour, light mockery and a little audience participation, Tom managed to make the audience laugh and smile, leaving four volunteers literally on the stage floor.
Natalie Cutler – Cut the Arts, Cut Humanity’s Growth
Natalie’s talk opened with a line that most people in the arts have heard before,
“When are you going to get a proper job?”
It’s a question that stings creatives in the side, one that devalues us instantly. Natalie went on to highlight how in the 21st century, creativity is defined by either fame, following or failure, meaning the perception of value for the arts has become narrow.
She talked of arts funding cuts and how 9 out of 10 schools have cut creative subjects. Heartbreaking to think of, but this also has a massive impact on our society. Cutting the arts has a ripple effect across all sectors. Without music, art, and drama, other subjects suffer too. Actors are used in training exercises, musical therapy, and much more.
“When you cut the arts, you cut humanity’s ability to grow.”
Richard Burrell – The Illusion of Rudeness – The Myth of Respect
Richard started his talk by picking apart the culturally British expectations to be well-mannered. He defined ‘rude’ by saying it was failure to meet expectations based on behaviour or etiquette, especially without reasonable excuse.
“By doing this, we inadvertently deny them the right to be different.”
He urges us not to turn kind deeds into anger by expecting gratitude. We don’t know the other person’s circumstances.
“Do kind deeds because they’re the right thing to do, not for recognition.”
Laura Caulfield – Using the Arts to Build Relationships and Reduce Crime
Laura asked us all to close our eyes and think of our favourite music, art, film, or book. This was to prove her point: “The arts make us feel something.” Using her personal story, she highlights how the arts are essential to our daily lives.
She suggests that modern punishment is ineffective and rehabilitation is the only way to successfully help people stop offending. Loneliness is a large factor in this as it affects both mental and physical health.
“Engage and participate with the arts and you will see yourself flourish… The arts can be a catalyst for positive personal change.”
Jaivant Patel – A performance
To close session 3, we were treated to a taster of one of Jaivant’s performance pieces. His blend of traditional themes and spiritual awareness underlie his performance with a South Asian LBGTQ+ lens.
A passionate performance with visual and auditory stimulation, Jaivant’s piece is one that will be remembered.