It's been a fortnight, but here's a bumper edition of FWD - our feature rounding up some of the news stories that caught our eye this week. (Don’t worry, no Brexit news.)
The stories we’re talking about throw a spotlight on what people are doing differently or brilliantly in the world or art, culture and heritage, as well as stories that might affect people living and working in Herefordshire. Some of the stories are local, some are national, and some might be global.
For the most part we’ll pick out three-to-five things that are going to have some kind of impact on creative people in the county. If you have suggestions, send the links to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Insta (@theshire_hfds).
1. Battling burnout: How to survive your third year
Source: Lecture In Progress
It’s Easter(-ish), which means things are really cranking up for all the students out there. Anoushka Khandwala looks at student burnout – especially for those heading towards finals – and how to avoid it.
2. Visitor numbers at UK attractions rise 9% despite fewer overseas tourists
Source: The Guardian
Arts writer Mark Brown flags up an exciting trend, with museums, galleries, zoos, castles and country houses all posting up improved visitor numbers, despite the number of overseas tourists checking out attractions dropping by 4 percent.
While the Tate, the British Museum etc all had big years - the piece flags up the successes of the UK's regions, with eighty-minutes-on-the-train Birmingham singled out for praise.
Killer quote on successful venues: “All of our museums, galleries and attractions seem to be pushing the envelope, taking new risks, doing creative things and making visitors happier as a result.”
3. Extinction Rebellion at the Spring Greens Fair
Source: The Hereford Times
The climate change protest group most recently seen supergluing their buttocks to parliamentary Plexiglas are among those hosting talks at Pembridge’s Spring Greens festival in May.
If you've never been, the two-day event features talks, workshops and discussions over the early May Bank Holiday and bills itself as “mutual education and the demonstration of innovative ideas” when it comes to our planet, and how we use it.
4. Village halls urged to bid for share of £3m refurbishment fund
Village halls are a great, often underused, public space. This may be in part because they’re not always set-up for some of the more ambitious and creative community projects. It may also be because they are invariably 10 degrees colder than anywhere else in the world at any given moment.
Either way, this article flags up a new fund that allows for village hall committees to bid for up £75k to upgrade theirs.
5. The Awesome Foundation
Source: Ethos Magazine
Ethos is just a cool mag/site – published out of Liverpool – to dive in to if you’ve got 20 minutes. But this piece spotlights some of the community projects backed by the Awesome Foundation across the world.
Their projects vary from the novelty (helping build the world’s largest hammock in Boston) to some really interesting movements like launching an alternative community radio station in Brazil or piloting a Tamagotchi/Fitbit hybrid in Adelaide to get kids more active. Ethos hears about some of them from Avi Caplan.
6. Shaping the next ten years
Source: Arts Council
Starting last month, the Arts Council has been going around the country talking to folk about what they want from the organisation over the next ten years (Fleabag: The Musical if they’re reading this).
This page features some quick takes from their early reports. And an option to sign-up to get updates as the strategy takes shape over the summer – which might be a good move if you plan on putting in for funding between now and 2029.
7. Fine Art pop-up in Hereford City Centre
Getting Ferrous withdrawals? Don't worry, there's a fine art takeover from HCA going in to one of those Maylord shopfronts in the centre of Hereford. It's called Emerge and it's running from May 4 - 12.
8. Damien Demolder at Hay Camera Club
Source: Brecon & Radnor Express
More of a heads up, but Damien Demolder is holding a talk on Street Photography at May’s Hay Camera Club. The ex-editor at Amateur Photographer writes regularly for British Journal of Photography and has a fire street photography Insta account.
9. College building purchase by the council for £6m
Source: Hereford Times
Some proper number-crunching from the HT’s local democracy reporter Carmelo Garcia reveals the details of Herefordshire Council’s decision to buy up the Royal National College of the Blind campus last year on College Road.
The bottom line is that the bill runs north of £6m for the site, which includes the listed building currently leased out to HCA.
10. Protesters, influencers and AI: what museums need to think about today
Source: The Art Newspaper
Shout-out to Lauren Rogers for sending this one in. Martha Lufkin reports back from a recent conference in the States which looks at the big moral and legal questions museums, galleries and libraries need to keep asking themselves as they look more and more to tech and AI to get more people through the doors, and help them when they get there.