Tag Archives: stephanie hawke

Dr Steph Takes on the Marathon

We are feeling very privileged at  the moment, not only is Barbara Sanders still on her way from Penzance, on foot, but one of our Trustees has also been out in all weathers, training hard for this weekend’s London Marathon.  Both are undertaking these extraordinary feats to raise funds for MPA’s 50th Anniversary.

Dr Stephanie Hawke, has been pounding the tow path of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, racking up a 100 miles of training runs.  Steph first became involved with MPA as a 16 year old on work placement.  Some years later we were very pleased to welcome her to the education team, which she went on to lead in 2011 after completing her PhD.  Although we lost her to Curious Minds a while back, Steph has stayed involved with MPA by joining the Board of Trustees.

Steph Hawke 2 - training for London Marathon April 2016

Steph says, “I started running with a fantastically supportive group organised through Burnley Leisure. My first race was the Jane Tomlinson Burnley 10k.  I got the bug and within 12 months I’d joined Clayton Le Moors Harriers, run six half marathons and had my sights on the big one. I was delighted to win a place for the Virgin London Marathon 2016 and started training in January running through ice, hail, lightning, wind, rain and sun. As the mileage increased the Leeds Liverpool Canal provided the perfect track, and apart from being hissed at by surprisingly threatening geese, I have successfully pounded more than 100 miles of training. There’s a physical price to pay for that kind of endurance and I’ve had painful massage and acupuncture not to mention experimenting with ice baths and agonising foam rollers!

I’m raising money for Mid Pennine Arts to establish an award for young artists. The organisation has brought vibrancy, colour and texture to Pennine Lancashire for 50 years, often with little recognition – who doesn’t love the Singing Ringing Tree? MPA make me proud to live in Burnley and I want to inspire the next generation of artists to work in our quietly fabulous historic and rural environment. “

Steph has contributed so much to MPA over the years and we are delighted to benefit from her efforts once again.   We know how hard she’s been training for this and appreciate it enormously; we hope that people will help her reach her target of £800.

Contributions to Steph’s fundraising can be made via Just Giving.

Steph Hawke - training for London Marathon April 2016

Advertisements

When did you last go to Cleveleys?

I’ve not been to Cleveleys since I was I was seven.  Sixty years later I had this illogical urge to eat fish and chips on the sea front.  On a cold sunny morning I arrived on the promenade.   It is new, all of it!  Part of an improved sea defence scheme to prevent the town being flooded.  It is magnificent; not just a pile of concrete but an art inspired design called The Wave.  It literally flows along the sea shore and you can imagine in a storm how the water will swirl and be channeled back into the sea.

June 14 blog - image 5

Search for seashells and you will find Mary’s Shell standing on the shore.  It’s a four metre high sculpture designed by Stephen Broadbent.  Children were climbing on it, sliding down it , hiding within it and dancing around it.

June 14 blog - image 4

On the same sandy beach they raced over to touch the Sea Ogre standing in silvery sea foam: 12 tonnes of polished and unpolished limestone carved by Adrian Wright.

June 14 blog - image 8And what else?  Explore the Sea Swallows – aluminiumJune 14 blog - image 7 beacons standing high above the promenade or our dear friend John Merrill’s nine metre long wooden Paddle. You will remember John, who has worked closely with Mid Pennine Arts, for his White Lightning on the Padiham Greenway.

The inspirational thread for this artwork is an illustrated children’s story: The Sea Swallow by Gareth Thompson, illustrated by Hannah Megee.  I remember poring over a copy brought into the Office by Steph Hawke.  It had originated in the Lancaster Literature Festival.  It too is worth a look.

And the fish and chips? ….try ‘Kay’s Fish and Chips’ just opposite the promenade.

DAVID SMITH

Cleveley’s Sea Defence and Promenade Scheme – Wyre Borough Council

Mythic Coast Artwork Trail – Visit Lancashire

Photographs courtesy of Aran Smithson (Evoke Photographic) & Alan Cookson

 

Changes afoot!

MPA Creative Director Nick Hunt reports on some big changes ahead for our busy Creative Learning team.

Change is in the air!  And change is good, of course, but sometimes it takes a little bit of getting used to.  At MPA our team is grappling with the implications of a quick-fire sequence of news items about individuals who have made themselves very important to us…

StephFirst, we would like to announce that our Programme Manager for Creative Learning, Dr Stephanie Hawke, will be moving on in September to a new, strategic role with our partners at Curious Minds.  Curious Minds is the Arts Council’s bridge organisation for the North West region, responsible for connecting young people with the arts.  Our team work regularly with them, delivering advisory and consultancy work, and this is a natural progression for Steph, and a new dimension for that partnership.  It’s a terrific opportunity and we are delighted for her.

Steph has spent three and a half years on the MPA team, but the connection goes back much further, to a work experience stint as a 16 year old!  Since our teenage volunteer reappeared she has made a vital contribution to our work.  Her academic background in museum education, and her doctoral specialisms in sense of place and the notion of the ecomuseum have brought new dimensions to our work and have underpinned some lovely projects.  We are glad Steph will still be just down the hill, and we are plotting to ensure that MPA continues to benefit from some of that arcane wisdom.

DavidAnd then there is David.  There has always been David, or so it seems to most of us.  But shortly after Steph’s news, David Smith let us know that he is ready to take the work out of the work/life balance.  Our Creative Learning Coordinator will be retiring at the end of October, and MPA will have to learn to get by without our spiritual guide.

David arrived in 1999 as our lottery funded Education Officer.  MPA’s work with schools took off, and developed exponentially.  Over 13 years he has built up an unmatched range of contacts with schools and teachers, and delivered some wonderful, inspirational creative projects.  Two years ago, David swapped jobs with Steph, in one of those rare examples of turkeys voting for Christmas.  Now he is taking the next step, and he will be very much missed.

This is a busy time for MPA, with a number of new projects in progress and in development.  Portraits of the Past will be connecting many young people with Gawthorpe Hall.  New music projects have been developed for young women of mixed cultures and early years pupils.  Our structured volunteering programme will signpost opportunities for Arts Awards and other qualifications.  Pennine Lancashire’s new canal partnership will add rich possibilities, as will our developing Contemporary Heritage series over the next couple of years.  Learning and engagement will be vital dimensions of all our projects, and so we will be recruiting shortly to renew our team’s skillset.  We are working now with our trustees on plans for that.

Meanwhile we will be saying bye and thanks to two brilliant contributors to MPA.  If you are one of the many people who have worked with David over the years, ask us for news of how we will be marking his departure.  Just don’t tell David!