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this is a photograph taken in the dark, with trails of moving white and coloured lights

Light Graffiti by Lynn Weddle

Directors Blog

Some time has passed since our last newsletter as we have entered a particularly busy phase in the life of Accentuate.  We have reached the momentous 500 day mark, counting down to the Paralympic Games, which is of course our mid-way point as well.  Therefore we have begun to take stock of our achievements, along with those objectives which still remain.  Many thanks to all of you who took the time to complete our online survey, all your thoughts are extremely valuable and we will take these comments on board for the next stage of our journey.

Many wonderful events have taken place over the last couple of months, unfortunately we only have space here to give you some of the highlights. Emma was delighted to be invited to attend the private view of the Collaborations exhibition in Brighton. Collaborations is an Accentuate project managed by Creative Junction. It brings together an established artist, an emerging artist, an athlete, young people from the UK and young people from aboard into collaborative teams to create new artwork. The aim is that the collaborative nature of the work is a development opportunity for all involved. The exhibition held in the Brighton Media Centre was well attended and there was a great atmosphere. The work included photography, installation pieces, animation, sonic art and ceramics. It really reflected the experience of collaboration and demonstrated the outstanding talent we have in the South East. The image “light graffiti” shown with this article is by artist and photographer Lynn Weddle.  Speaking to the artists, athletes and young people, it was clear that the project had provided an opportunity for them to try a new approach and would have a lasting impact on their practice in the future

Since we last wrote we have continued trying to ensure Accentuate provides strategic influence and opportunities for engagement.   A particularly wonderful example of this was an opportunity that Emma and Esther had to see an Accentuate project in action, engaging some key policy makers.  The Accentuate project Campaign! which is led by Creative Junction presented one of three Campaigns called “You Have A Nightmare – We Have A Dream”. The event in the Houses of Parliament was organised with support from Parliamentary outreach. The young people were from Inter-Action in Milton Keynes and they presented their campaign to a panel of MPs including Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Dame Anne Begg MP, Baroness Wilkins, Iain Stewart MP, Stephen Lloyd MP, Nicky Morgan MP, John Baron MP and Rt Hon Tom Clarke MP. As part of the presentation the group asked some hard hitting questions and elicited some interesting replies. One panel member remarked “we look forward to seeing this in the next bill!”.  The group ended the event with a lively rendition of their song which they had developed with Tom Billington (artist/film maker/musician).  The young people even managed to encourage the MPs and Peers to join in with signing and singing, so overall it was a huge success.

Accentuate continues to explore ways to ensure we are getting the message of our achievements across and vitally that it is Accentuate projects that are spearheading these changes.  We are particularly looking forward to the celebratory event that we are planning at the Houses of Parliament on 8th June.  We hope that this will build on the connections we have initiated so far and be an opportunity for MPs who do not know so much about us to find out more.

Esther Fox and Emma Slawinski

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