COOL WEBSITE… Womenwhodraw.com is an open directory of professional female artists, illustrators and cartoonists from across the globe, which launched in December. With more than six million page views within the first few days alone, their aim of increasing the visibility of female artists and minority groups looks promising.
DEGREES OF SEPARATION… There’s a neat social ladder that could be used to bridge the 200 miles from Maria Balshaw’s Whitworth to her new job as director of Tate in London, if rubber-stamped by the prime minister no less. The bridge spanned by erstwhile developer and superstar of all things regen, Lord Bloxham of Splash. Tom is a former chancellor of the University of Manchester, owner of the Whitworth, and a Tate trustee. Outgoing Tate director, Sir Nicholas Serota, wouldn’t have had to go far for a reference, not that Balshaw needed any help landing the top job in British arts, having done extraordinary things as director of Manchester art galleries for the council and overseeing the rebirth of the Whitworth.
COMEBACK… Deloitte’s annual predictions for the technology, media and telecommunications sector includes vinyl record sales reaching $1bn in 2017 for the first time this century, purchased by more than 20m people globally. The nostalgic trend lives on, and how. Apparently displaying the vinyl is often more important than listening to it, with 7% of buyers not even owning a record player.
KICKSTARTER… Merseyside Dance Initiative is working with Unity theatre and MAKE Liverpool to bring LEAP dance festival to Liverpool this March. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of LEAP, MDI have raised £5,000 through a Kickstarter backed by more than 130 people, to convert the empty warehouse at MAKE Liverpool into a dedicated pop-up dance house. The festival has never been housed in one place before so it’s a first for the company and for Liverpool.
FOOTBALL TAKEOVER… Uncle Joe says he’s going to build a train station for Everton and the creative business in North Liverpool, close to the Liverpool Waters site where the football ground is proposed. Which answers the question for the other creative start-up community, in the Baltic Triangle to the south of the city centre, on what Balticians need to do to get their council to reopen the old St James Station there – named a priority for many years with no sign of materialising: convince a footie club to move in.
MAPPING SKILLS… MappingGM is well worth checking out on Twitter, run by the open data mapping team within Greater Manchester Combined Authority, sharing maps of different elements of place-shaping from health service boundaries to electricity substation locations, enabling software developers to build new apps to improve access to and efficiency use of public services: twitter.com/MappingGM
DEVELOPER PATTER… Things seem to be moving on from ‘places’ and ‘spaces’ to ‘neighbourhoods’. Manchester St John’s is a new ‘neighbourhood’ for enterprise, culture and living, and Circle Square is Manchester’s most intriguing new ‘neighbourhood’. Of course, there are plenty of examples of those which are not; Kampus is a “melting pot of buildings and spaces”, while Liverpool’s Chinatown is, absurdly, “a city within a city”. Yet ‘neighbourhood’ is finding favour due to its soft connotations of warm familiarity and security. Like the way infantile estate agents sometimes refer to suburbs as ‘villages’…