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Fix Up, Look Sharp. / 21 September 2015

Of all the many exciting things I’m being allowed to put my clammy little paws on during this training, one of the most thrilling has to be Viewfinder.

I was seconds from stepping on stage to ringmistress for a circus when I found out we’d secured the funding (thank you Arts Council!) so the audience got QUITE the performance out of me that night! Trish, Colin and all the project partners and I have been rustling up the goods to get Dao’s most ambitious project on the road, and indeed your computer screens, ever since.

We are growing; having interviewed a seriously impressive group of candidates for the newly-created role of Sub Editor, we now have Joe Turnbull working with us to flex his journalistic expertise, and we are currently in conversation with Now Take Up Space to assist us in delivering a snazzy new look for Dao and the brand-new Viewfinder video platform. Their work in politically and socially engaged branding and marketing campaigns is ideal for our plans to give the ol’ girl a facelift and better convey the diversity and dynamism of the disability arts scene, so I’m really excited to see what they come back with.

Now Take Up Space were my top choice as soon as I saw their portfolio, particularly for their spot-on Olympic Housing Crisis campaign and the fun use of textures and media used in other images. And, if I’m honest, they have a disco-mirrored carrot on there somewhere and I’m fatally attracted to shiny things….We get the first batch of sketches this week; stay tuned!

Recruitment and consultation is something I’ve only ever been on the scary end of before; that is, I’ve only really been the hustler and not so much the hustlee, so this has all been really interesting to be part of. It’s almost as sicky having to decide who to employ as it is prepping for an interview or pitch, but a great challenge to think about the future of Dao. It's pretty gratifying to have had my top two choices selected for the roles, although competition was close! You know that bit where judging panels say "Now, this wasn't an easy choice to make..." and it sounds a bit tacky? Turns out to be true.

Since I last blogged Trish and I did my 6 month review of this training process, writing 6 meters-worth of notes on rolls of brown paper to figure out where I’m at, what the future might look like and just how much there is to cram in to my last 6 months with Dao! It’s so funny being a hot-housed producer; sometimes I feel like I’m doing a degree in Disability Studies, others that I’m a jammy little chancer clinging on for dear life!

I’ve been referring to myself since the start of the programme as a High-Powered Arts Bitch In-Training, which loosely means I want to be in charge of a big pot of money to dish out to shit-kicking artists who are subverting the status quo and go to lots of parties; having been invited to dinner at the Wellcome Trust this week to help discuss how they can make their pot of gold more accessible to small-scale projects and individual artists I feel I might be moving in the right direction, tiny step by tiny step. Hopefully I can commission a snazzy website for myself soon, with a frequently-updated ‘Artist Commissions’ page, to which you will all be invited of course….

Keywords: 2012 olympics,viewfinder