Latest Words On The Wing January 2018 January has come.. and now January has already gone! A funny old month, full of grim mornings and gloomy days; but the storm painted grey canvas of January has, for BIRD, been splattered by the luminous sunshine-yellow specks and flecks of opportunity and possibility. Growth for BIRD will always be driven by the number of young artists we can engage. This in turn will drive the number of hours we need in our studio, the number of mentors we have etc… it is cyclical in nature and sometimes it all goes round and round in my head.. in order to still my head I sometimes try and create a graphic visualisation of my thought process… like this: We have worked really hard developing our partners, and have good relationships with many fabulous organisations now - other charities, youth groups etc who engage young people in different ways, often in group scenarios, workshop formats etc; ways which allow them to identify individuals that will benefit most from one-to-one attention and time and space to create with BIRD. Most exciting for us this January, are the new relationships being developed with two amazing new partners; they are specific in nature and very exciting for that reason. The first is the Royal Society for Blind Children - Who will be referring 5 of their young artists to come and work one-to-one in our studio to be mentored and develop themselves as artists and continue to be inspired to grow as people. Having heard a number of them perform their original songs at their Christmas concert last year I am very excited as to what we might come up with together! The second relationship is more embryonic and likely to start with a trial, so I will hold back on saying too much on that for now and tell you more once the connection is more established. Suffice to say they have two other much bigger music organisations that they already work with… which could rule us out. which of course would be fine… My feeling though, is that we offer something different. So i suggested a trial referral with a young artist who has experience of the other two music partners so that he can feedback wether or not we bring anything new or different to his experience. Exciting stuff. Of course the other great opportunity of 2018 is the prospect of our own space! Our very own full-time studio. We had a superb response to our 21 day crowdfunding campaign just before Christmas but we are still some way off the total we need, to be able to afford the pre-fabricated modular unit that we want to install into the new space. We are however very optimistic! A tangental benefit of the crowdfunding campaign was that it served to hone our message and to distill the language we use to describe our processes, vision and purpose; this has given us renewed confidence and enthusiasm for fundraising, as we can approach applications with new clarity about which part of the multilayered BIRD ‘story’ to tell. If you missed our crowdfunding campaign, you can donate here or you can contribute by buying some of our amazing merchandise and signing up to one of the many clever Lifestyle giving opportunities that allow you to generate donations for us without any cost to you, by simply going about your life like you normally do! No really… have a look! So here’s to the new year and all that it brings! I hope that for you too, what I can only assume will be the equally storm-painted grey canvas of February, is splattered with the luminous sunshine-yellow specks and flecks of opportunity and possibility.