NOW THEN APP

v2.0 Coming Soon...

We launched the Now Then Discounts App in September 2014 with the dual aims of encouraging people in Sheffield to spend their money with independent traders and promoting the unique contribution these businesses make to the city we love.

Since then, almost 25,000 people have downloaded the App for Android and iOS devices. We have added some additional features, but nothing which changed the core functionality of locating traders, viewing their vital statistics, and browsing exclusive offers and discounts.

This year it's all change with the App. Over summer we are re-launching it as simply the Now Then App. It will still include profiles for indie traders and associated discounts, as well as some features we're not ready to share just yet, but on top of that we will be adding regular magazine content.

We certainly don't plan to stop printing Now Then any time soon, but we live in an increasingly digital world and it's about time we caught up with that. Stay tuned for updates in the coming months.

FESTIVAL OF DEBATE

festivalofdebate.com

Our world is rapidly changing and often it feels like we are excluded from decisions on the big topics that really matter. We started Festival of Debate as a way of starting the conversation about these topics in Sheffield.

As you may be aware if you picked up last month's mag or one of the brochures about town, Festival of Debate is due to launch on 18 April with a talk from ex-Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis. It's also our pleasure to have the largest keynote programme in our four-year history, featuring Ed Miliband, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Polly Toynbee & David Walker, Helen Pankhurst, Francesca Martinez, Ruby Tandoh and many more.

But we don't want you to forget that we are hosting almost 80 events through to 29 June in collaboration with many partner organisations across the city. We will be picking out some of these in the May and June issues, but we recommend visiting the website for the full low-down. Around half of the events are completely free to attend and the topics and event formats are wide-ranging.

FRIENDS OF OPUS

weareopus.org

It has always been a core aim for Opus that everything we do remains as affordable as possible, so as to make it accessible to largest proportion of Sheffield residents. The magazine you are holding is free, as is the Now Then app, and the price of our events is always as low as we can make it.

The challenge with making a social enterprise like Opus sustainable is that lofty values don't pay the bills. Equally, of course, our beliefs, as individuals and as a company which tries to trade as ethically as it can, are non-negotiable.

With some funding from Arts Council England, in 2018 and 2019 we are looking into the viability of a Friends of Opus scheme. At the moment it's not much more than a name, but we have some ideas around how we can involve local people more closely in the work we do. Paying a small membership fee might also give you access to monthly freebies, discounts at our events and more. If you've got ideas, we're all ears - friends[at]weareopus[dot]org.

WORDLIFE

wordlife.co.uk

Wordlife is the literature arm of Opus, running regular events and workshops across Yorkshire, as well as exploring the frontiers of digital publishing through bespoke projects and commissions - all with the aim of making literature, in particularly poetry, more accessible.

We've got a crowded schedule of events in Sheffield, Leeds and Bolton for the rest of the year, alongside a handful of digital literature projects coming to fruition for 2018. This month we're launching Writing Bolton (writingbolton.com), a digital literature map project in collaboration with the University of Bolton. We're also about to complete our first international project, having co-commissioned six poem-films from writers and filmmakers from Croatia, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobego, Canada, Bangladesh and the UK. These will be premiered at festivals across the world from the end of April and made freely available online in December. We're also undertaking an Arts Council funded grant to explore how augmented reality and poetry might sit together. Our experiments with AR will be featured in this very magazine later in 2018.