In memory of Mic Smith

Mic Smith 1999

Mic with beer in hand, 1999

I am very sorry to tell readers of this blog of the death of my friend and former colleague Mic Smith, on 6th January 2018. Mic was a founder member of Community Arts Workshop (now CAN, Community Arts North West) and helped to set up Cartwheel Community Arts (now Cartwheel Arts) in Rochdale and PRESCAP in Preston. Mic was an acclaimed visual artist, specialising in murals, but was also well known for designing excellent fire-shows and fire-work displays in community contexts. He then worked for many years for Bolton Council as an Arts Development Officer. He was very much appreciated by all of us who knew that Mic had years of practical experience of working in communities as well as an understanding of what local authorities and other funders could offer cultural and community activists.

Mic had been ill for a long time, following an operation and lived in residential accommodation in Rochdale. He kept his dry sense of humour and enjoyed an occasional beer with friends and his brother Adrian, who sadly also died a few years ago. Those of us who kept in touch with Mic will miss him very much.

We are aware that many people who worked with Mic may have lost touch over the years and would be grateful if you could pass this news on to anyone who knew him.  We are asking anyone who did work with Mic whether they might have photographs of him or of his work, or memories of him, which they would like to share with his family and friends. Please get in touch with me through this blog if you do.

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2 Responses to In memory of Mic Smith

  1. Its lovely to see this photo of Mic especially since I have none of my own, and very sad to know he has now left us for good. I had lost touch with him over the years, but we worked together at Community Arts Workshop in the late 80’s and he was one of my very valued mentors along my own journey. Yes, he had a lovely dry sense of humour and he had an incredible passion for the work we were doing along with a healthy cynicism for the dominant powers both within the arts and beyond. He was an enormously committed arts worker who had an incredible humanity for those around him and for the issues that ordinary people face in the UK and across the world, and would support community-based political and campaigning organisations wherever he could. He helped me set up the Tameside Asian Music and Poetry project which later led on to me becoming the manager for BICA (Black Issues in Community Arts) at Tameside Council for ten years. That project and the direction I have taken ever since is in part due to Mic, he will always be remembered and his legacy will continue to be felt. May he have love, warmth, happiness and community wherever he may now be, many cheers to Mic!

  2. gerrimoriarty1virginmediacom says:

    Mic’s funeral will be held at 2.50pm on Wednesday 7th February at Rochdale Crematorium (details tbc) and afterwards at the Flying Horse in Rochdale Town Hall Square. Please do pass this on to friends and colleagues of Mic through your networks.

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