Programme and presentations

Day 1 — Tuesday 5 November


Jane Sillis, Director of Engage; Professor Tom Lawson, Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts, Design & Social Sciences, Northumbria University; Emma Moorby, Conference Programmer

Keynote Address: Sharna Jackson, Artistic Director, Site Gallery & Children’s Author

Sharna will reflect on her experience across a wide variety of roles in the cultural sector, all of which have been driven by a desire to ensure young, diverse, disengaged young people are supported to access the arts and culture.

Download Sharna Jackson’s keynote presentation

Plenary 1: Who do we mean by ‘young people’ and what do we know about their engagement with the arts and culture?

Ben Dickenson, Executive Producer, City of Dreams
Ben will introduce City of Dreams, a 10-year strategy across Newcastle and Gateshead and the inspiration for this year’s conference.

Nick Hind & Bethan Kitchen, City of Dreams Champions
City of Dreams Champions will share insight from the Big Culture Conversation: a mechanism to engage people aged under 25 years in the conversation in Newcastle and Gateshead as part of City of Dreams.

Download the City of Dreams conference presentation
Read a summary of the City of Dreams presentation on the City of Dreams blog

Martha Barrett, Enkuush Mergen and Sofia Cotrona, members of the National Youth Arts Advisory Group, Scotland
NYAAG members will present the findings presented in the group’s ‘Culture & Connection’ report and next steps for actioning their recommendations.

Download the NYAAG conference presentation

Gweni Llwyd, Freelance Creative Practitioner
Gweni will reflect on her experience of the arts and culture in Wales (having lived in both North and South Wales) and involvement with RawFfest, a national festival for young people, by young people.

Download Gweni Llwyd ‘s conference presentation

This session will include individual presentation, a round table discussion and Q&A, facilitated by Ben Dickenson.

Plenary 2: What is the impact of policy and partnership on young people’s access to the arts and culture?

Julie Ward MEP will chair this session to include presentations by:

Nia Richards, Regional Lead, Arts Council of Wales, who will introduce the new curriculum in Wales.

Download Nia Richards’ conference presentation

Linda Lees, Lifelong Learning Strategic Manager, City of Edinburgh Council, who will reflect on the impact of the Curriculum for Excellence on the teaching of art and design in Scotland.

Download Linda Lees ‘s conference presentation

Nicky Morgan, Director of Special Projects, Arts Council England, who will present a summary of the recommendations and implementation of the next steps following the publication of the Durham Commission on creativity and education.

Download Nicky Morgan’s conference presentation

Melanie Burgess, Area Manager (North of Tyne), Culture Bridge North East, who will present the work of Local Cultural Education Partnerships in the region.
Download Melanie Burgess’ conference presentation

Followed by a roundtable discussion, panel discussion and Q&A

Break; AGM + Drinks 


Delegate Soapbox offers colleagues the opportunity to present to Conference attendees about a particular project, area of work, or piece of research. It is a practical way to share information, promote initiatives and invite feedback from fellow delegates, which may lead to new partnerships in the future.

Read Lawrence Bradbury’s Sharing Practice case study Hands Find Form, originally presented during the Engage Conference

Conference dinner 

Day 2 — Wednesday 6 November

Breakout sessions

Iain Wheeldon, Lecturer, School of Arts and Cultures, Newcastle University
An interactive session during which delegates will look at the ‘Cultural Peeps’ podcast series (created by Iain for students at Newcastle University), the potential of podcasting as a means to reach your audience in a different way, and a practical look at how to set up an inhouse podcast.

Jack Brown, Artist Educator
A practical workshop where delegates will explore the constraints of the systems in which artists and educators work with young people.

Download Jack Brown’s Breakout presentation

Will Sadler, Development Director & Andrew Coats, Creative Director, Beacon Films with 2 Beacon Films Filmmakers
Introduction to Beacon Films CIC, a Newcastle-based training and production company for filmmakers with learning disabilities, autism and additional needs. Followed by a practical session where student filmmakers (Adam Fay and Paul Lycett) will lead a taster session looking at how to make a film on your smartphone/tablet.

Download the Beacon Films Breakout presentation

Alison Bowyer, Executive Director, Kids in Museums & Stewart Parsons, Director, Get It Loud In Libraries
A session looking at alternative ways to engage young audiences with your arts venue looking at examples of Kids In Museums’ Teen Takeover Day and Get It Loud in Libraries and Kids in Museums work together on Gigs in Museums in Wales.

Download Alison Bowyer and Stewart Parsons’ Breakout presentation

Nicole Heidtke, Senior Art Programmer, Templar Arts and Leisure Centre (talc.)
Nicole will give an introduction to the work of talc, working in the community throughout Argyll and the Islands with young people as leaders, inviting former students back to lead 1:1 workshops, CPD training for tutors, etc. Nicole will lead delegates in an interactive session and discussion looking at ways to engage young people in the work on an arts centre.

Download Nicole Heidtke’s Breakout presentation

Val Tobiass, Learning & Engagement Co-ordinator (Schools), Berwick Visual Arts and The Maltings with Dr Judy Thomas, Senior Lecturer Fine Art/Co-Director Learning and Teaching (Faculty of Arts), Northumbria University
Val and Judy will deliver a breakout session sharing findings from their Paul Hamlyn Foundation-funded project ‘Create, Aspire, Transform (CAT): North Northumberland Schools Cultural Education Leadership Programme’. Through the project they have been working closely with 4 Berwick-upon-Tweed schools on a visual arts learning and engagement programme running until the end of 2019. The project aims to support teachers and pupils to work with visual arts in new ways and for some, to engage with visual artists and galleries for the very first time.

Download Val Tobiass and Judy Thomas’ Breakout presentation

Rachel Dunlop, Participation Manager, Peak
Rachel will deliver a practical breakout session inspired by Peak’s Illumine project — a digital arts training project for young people based in The Brecon Beacons National Park. Delegates will delve into models of co-creation and what it means to offer authentic creative direction with ‘young peers.’ Learn about how Illumine challenged perceptions of contemporary rural culture for young people and how the project refined Peak’s approach to digital.

Through activities together delegates will explore insight into how to engage with rurally-based young people, with a focus on those aged 16–25; knowledge of ‘co-creation’ models with artists and young people; tips from Peak’s experience of giving young people a meaningful voice in governance and artistic programming.

Download Rachel Dunlop’s Breakout presentation

David Jones, Community Liaison Manager, International Centre for Life
David will deliver a breakout session introducing his work with young people with autism, exploring how the project has grown and shifted in focus and the unexpected outcomes such as his personal growth and understanding of young people’s needs. David will lead the group in an interactive/practical session challenging delegates to think differently about audiences with autism.

Cheryl Gavin, Senior Project Manager, Helix Arts, with Julia, a young participant of a Helix Arts project
Cheryl will deliver a breakout session introducing Helix Arts and offer insights into their work with diverse groups of young people across the North East through Make it Happen and other programmes. Cheryl will lead the group in an interactive/practical session focused on working with young people as leaders/co-producers in varied settings from army barracks to schools to youth centres. Cheryl will be joined by Julia, a young participant of a project Helix Arts is running with Sunderland Culture, which is due to culminate in a takeover of Arts Centre Washington in November.

Headteacher Miles Wallis-Clarke and pupils from Hotspur Primary School
Headteacher Miles Wallis-Clarke, and pupils from Hotspur Primary School will lead a breakout session introducing delegates to their work with Laing Art Gallery ‘Take 15 Pictures’, which involves pupils in co-production. The project involves 15 Family Groups each including children from reception to Year 6. The current Year 6 children chose 15 works of art from Laing Art Gallery for the groups to focus on and are researching the works so that the children themselves can lead work in the gallery when the whole school visits in the Autumn term. This project follows on from work with Great North Museum: The Hancock last year called ‘Take 15 Objects’.

During the breakout session, pupils and Miles will outline the project and children will talk about reasons for selecting pictures, how they led the learning with younger children and what work was developed from the initial stimulus. They will also outline how Oracy was developed through the work.

Download the breakout session descriptions

Marsh Awards for Excellence in Gallery Education

The announcement of the 2019 Marsh Awards. Find out more about the 2019 Marsh Award for Excellence in Gallery Education recipients.

Lunch and Area Group Meetings

Welcome: Iain Watson, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

Keynote Address: Dhikshana Turakhia Pering, Young People’s Producer, Brent 2020 – London Borough of Culture and Raden Anandra Natlegawa, Member of the Brent Blueprint Collective

Dhikshana and Raden will unpick what true co-production with young people means, drawing on their experience with Brent Blueprint Collective, a part leadership programme, pressure-group and think tank making sure the young voices of Brent are seen and heard.

Plenary 3: How can we help young people overcome barriers to accessing the arts and culture?

Susan Coles, Arts, Creativity, Educational Consultant, will chair this session including panellists:

Andrew Miller, the UK Government’s Disability Champion for Arts & Culture, will provide an overview of his work as UK Government Disability Champion for Arts & Culture and identify some of the challenges ahead for the sector to achieve better inclusion of young disabled people as participants and audience members.

Download Andrew Miller’s conference presentation

Siobhan Carroll, Head of Programmes, Collective, Edinburgh, will present the work of Collective in Edinburgh where co-production is a core part of all programming, from exhibitions to schools projects. Siobhan’s presentation will focus on collaborative work with young people, where artists and children are both involved in co-producing a project. Focusing on the project ‘Time Capsule’ which involved two primary schools in Leith and Abbeyhill, both who are local to the area but rarely visit Calton Hill the park where Collective is situated. The artist Catherine Payton worked with the children in a wide range of creative ways in order to capture their imagination and interest, including creating spells, laughter, acting, etc.

Download Siobhan Carroll’s conference presentation

Miranda Ballin, Artistic Director of Sparc, Valleys Kids will present her work at Sparc and research which explored what parents from diverse backgrounds think about youth arts. Parents are often the ‘gatekeepers’ to young people’s lives (together with teachers) and their opinions about the arts and culture influence young people’s choices and opportunities.

Download Miranda Ballin’s conference presentation

Claire Pounder, Learning Curator, and Helen Wickens, Assistant Learning Curator, MIMA, will present the work of The Middlesbrough Settlement, a resident-led programme of artful activity that draws on the heritage of North Ormesby, Middlesbrough and the wider area. Devised with young people in their area, How We Eat, is an ongoing programme of creative cooking sessions, shared meals and design commissions with artists and food professionals.

Download Claire Pounder’s conference presentation

Followed by a roundtable discussion, panel discussion and Q&A

Breakout session

During the break, delegates are invited to take part in an informal breakout session run by students from Cardinal Hume Catholic School

Plenary 4: How can we support young people who want to pursue a career/training in the cultural sector?

Panel discussion chaired by Laura Sillars, Director and Dean of MIMA School of Art & Design, MIMA. The panel will be formed of:

Briana Pegado, Executive Director, Creative Edinburgh and Founder, Edinburgh Student Arts Festival, will explore the ways in which Creative Edinburgh supports young, emerging creatives and other incredible initiatives that help make Edinburgh such an accessible city for people starting out in the creative industries. Social enterprises are emerging as an alternative model for creative organisations and support bodies to support creativity across Scotland.

Download Briana Pegado’s conference presentation

Jo Esposti, Cultural Ambition Project Coordinator, Creative & Cultural Skills, who will talk about the Cultural Ambition programme, which offers trainee placements in cultural heritage venues. The scheme is offered to non-graduates aged 18–24 years old who are not in education or training.

Download Jo Esposti’s conference presentation

Holly Ball, Head of Careers and Employability, Curious Minds on the Trailblaze programme, which is part of Curious Minds’ offer to give young people in challenging personal circumstances the opportunity to gain valuable part-time paid experience in a role in the creative and cultural industries.

Download Holly Ball’s conference presentation

Jennifer Barrett, Managing Director, This is Creative Enterprise C.I.C. (TICE) will present about the work of This is Creative Enterprise CIC, specifically the TICE Programme for schools and recent work with The Bowes Museum embracing technology and exploring ways to engage a younger audience.

Download Jennifer Barrett’s conference presentation

Followed by a roundtable discussion, panel discussion and Q&A

Students from Cardinal Hume Catholic School will present their findings; Closing remarks, Jane Sillis, Engage

Conference ends