Thursday, 24 September 2009
The Arts Alliance fringe meeting sandwiched between the Scotch Whisky reception and the Glee club looked likely to struggle for an audience, but the presence of Billy Bragg and the quality of the presentation was more than sufficient reward for the packed room at the Highcliffe Hotel.
The Arts Alliance does work with prisoners throughout Britain. Actors, musicians and other people from the creative industries volunteer their time. The evidenced is overwhelming that the arts can be a powerful and robust tool in rehabilitation. As Tim Robertson, Director Koestler Trust said
'Promoting creative activity in prisons can bring light and hope to broken, dysfunctional lives. Whether it be drama, music, literature, painting or any other aspect of human creativity, engaging with art is a life-enhancing experience'.
Billy Bragg spoke about his work and that of the 'Jail Guitar Doors' charity he has set up. I urge to go and visit both websites. With new Prisons arriving in Sefton we need to be alert to such initiatives and help to promote them.
Bragg brought with him two graduates of his project who played at the fringe meeting. They both went later into the Glee Club where their performance brought the house down. A genuine and spontaneous standing ovation was followed by an encore.
I should say that is is one of several posts about this fringe meeting which concludes with the Hughes/Bragg rendition of Walk the Line-well a bit of it