Still researching. Talking, googling, thinking, reading. Roddy Doyle’s “Fighting Words” centre in Dublin, modelled on Dave Eggars’ 826 Valencia in San Francisco. I send an email, asking if I can come over and see what they’re doing. That part of this placement is a luxury. I would have wanted to do that anyway. Wouldn’t have been automatically funded or encouraged as a random, interested writer. Today’s Guardian mentions the Simon Bolivar orchestra coming to the South Bank. I’d seen a documentary on them and Venezuela’s Sistema which sees a quarter of a million kids in orchestras. There’s a pilot in Scotland. Some criticism apparently that transplanting Latin America’s radical social action won’t work here.
I think about how creative writing isn’t as communal, as immediately exciting as music. But that there is probably an unthought of way to make it so. Maybe. Add in passion somehow. As the Simon Bolivar orchestra apparently does.
After school groups run by volunteers. How could they be impassioned?
I spoke to Rachel Adam the director of the Juice Festival this week. It’s a young people’s festival funded by the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative from October 22nd-November 8th. She says it’s one of the few young people’s festivals that will have as much of a focus on the children creating work as experiencing work produced for them. I like the sound of that. Reflect again that the North East is a good place to try creative things. Connected island as we are.