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  • Writer's pictureSue Williamson

Move On Up!

For those of you who like your music soulful and funky, you will recognise my allusion to the Curtis Mayfield classic, which seems to me apt for its hopeful sentiment, and even more so for its upbeat vibe. So what, you may well ask, is there to be optimistic about right now in these strange and uncertain times? 'Change' ... 'Something New' .... these are my answers!

I am one of those people who need a push, and for things to be hard, really hard, for me to change anything or do anything new. I don't like change, and I would prefer to remain the same as I am, doing the same thing, day in and day out, content enough, but perhaps not fully alive or present in the moment - ideally.I would go to work, operate on half-steam, come home and read, and live my life in my head - something I am very familiar with and have done lots of times over and over in my life. But here is the paradox, whilst I do not like change, and try to avoid it - I actually thrive on it, and when I have to, when there is no choice, then I wake up, and move into a different state of being - more active, more creative, more energetic, more inventive.

Anyone who knows the history of Tang Hall SMART will know that such a thing occurred back in 2014 when Burnholme Community shut, and as one of its long-standing teachers, I was pushed into doing something, and that something became Tang Hall SMART.

And the period from March 2020 to now has been another one of these periods in my life!

I don't need to go into the challenges posed here; everyone knows how hard things have been for all of us, individuals and organisations - and on top of the human misery left in the wake of Covid-19, it has been beyond sad to see businesses close down, and charities/social enterprises go to the wall. These are not good times.

But, what if ....? That is a good question to ask when the usual doesn't seem possible.

What if .... Tang Hall SMART can change its delivery model so that we can reach our entire client base on line? What if we can find a way of making the connectivity between our participants and staff as good as ever through this medium? What if we can maintain our business for the year and build on it further by thinking out of the box? What if we can then have some on-site delivery but in a way that is safe in the current situation? What if all staff can be kept on board and not only that, but in many cases, grow massively, both personally and professionally, extending their capacity and enthusiasm to create brilliant things? What if we end up working with more people than ever, having a bigger range than ever, and refine our core vision so that nothing is wasted, and our social impact is deeper than in previous years?

We are not fully there yet but I believe we moving rapidly in the right direction. In a week or so we will be launching a new cloud based on-line learning system (SMART SPACE), a new on-line portal for adult musicians and artists (THS Music & Arts Community), 3 Youtube channels (one for Tang Hall SMART, one for our record label, and one for David @THS Live) - and will be preparing to hit the ground running in September.

I apologise for my silence over the last few months - particularly if you were worried about us - it was just that everything we have been doing has taken up so much time that there has been none left over to explain, but I can finally see the shape that we have created, and in a couple of weeks time, you will be able to see it too when we share more of our plans.

Sue Williamson - 25/7/20

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