March 15, 2017

People United’s CEO Tina Corri reflects on our 24hr Arts Marathon and making the Be Kind zine

Was it worth it? Totally – the zine is now a collectors item!

We’ve been talking in the office for some time about how it would be a good idea to do a blog about the 24hr Arts Marathon from the perspective of someone taking part in it. Perhaps the fact that it was REALLY VERY TIRING accounts for the super long delay in writing this – I’ve been blocking out the memory!

No, seriously whilst yes of course it was pretty full on pulling an all-nighter in the name of art and sheer love for my organisation, it was brilliant fun, really rewarding and a bit of an eye opener. Not only did we meet our fundraising target helping us to deliver our projects, I got to meet some incredible people, really reflect on what kindness means in practice, and make a fantastic zine. I think there are 3 standout moments for me:

  1. The marathon itself is just the tip of the iceberg. If it wasn’t for the incredible People United team getting the materials and equipment together, arranging the activities, letting people know and inviting artists to help us none of it would have happened. If the wonderful Sidney Cooper Gallery hadn’t let us use their studios and look after us so well, none of it would have happened. If the amazing artist Lucy Steggals hadn’t come along to organise the layout, chivvy us along and keep the aesthetic, there would be no zine. If the wonderful artists who ran sessions during the day and my fellow 24hr Arts Marathoners hadn’t given their time and sheer will to keep working all night, hadn’t signed up to do it and get sponsored, we wouldn’t have raised a penny. Our trustees even surprised us with arranging food and drink – pizza delivery had never been so welcome! It was a major team effort and most of those people who made it happen were behind the scenes.
  2. It’s great just to make some art. I’d forgotten. I run an arts organisation and am well aware that in my mind at least I am to all intents and purposes a bit of an arts imposter. As an art historian by trade – even though I later trained to be an art teacher and spent several years teaching Art & Design, I still feel like well – at the end of the day, I’m not a maker. The marathon reminded me of how important it is to look at the world in this way. I feel revived. It’s tonic to the heart and mind. If we do this again – I would do it just to have the opportunity to be so intensely creative.
  3. Midnight feasts totally rock! In our wisdom we decided to do our 24hr Arts Marathon on the night of the year that the clocks went back! Ha! So to get through this kind of none existent extra hour the wonderful People United team made a secret midnight feast box of treats to keep us going. It had chocolate, messages and best of all – cosy socks! – just what you need to pad around an artist studio in at 3am. Of course it wasn’t just the stuff it was the act of kindness that carried us through.

So – we made the Be Kind zine – and it is indeed a thing of beauty. As is the aesthetic of zines, we have made just a limited edition print run, but we were keen and excited for it to have a virtual life too so here it is! Please have a look below, enjoy it and share it! – spreading a bit of kindness to someone else’s day!

Thanks to all the artists who ran sessions, to everyone involved in making it happen and all who those sponsored us. Next year we might do what one of the artists thought she had signed up to… 24 artists doing art for 1 hour…..

(Click the ‘full screen’ button on the bottom right hand side
for the best reading experience!)

  • You can receive a free copy of the Be Kind zine by sending a stamped, self-addressed A5 envelope to:
    (one regular 2nd class stamp is enough) 
    People United, Canterbury Innovation Centre,
    University Road, Canterbury, CT2 7FG
  • You can support our work by donating online through Just Giving
  • To read more about the 24hr Arts Marathon and our 10 Year Anniversary please click here.
  • For more information please contact: info@peopleunited.org.uk

The Be Kind zine has found a home at:

Zine Libraries

  • The British Library
  • Salford Zine Library
  • Glasgow School of Art Library 
  • London College of Communication
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Creative Arts Canterbury

Venues

  • Gulbenkian
  • Marlowe Theatre
  • Sidney Cooper Gallery
  • Canterbury Library & The Beaney
  • Newington Community Centre

Organisations