What Next? National Event: Schedule

What Next? National Event

Monday 17th October 2016
HOME and various arts venues in Manchester

We are updating this page regularly to give you the latest information on speakers and sessions at the What Next? National Event on 17th October in Manchester, so please do keep checking back.


09:00-09:30  Registration at workshop venue – various locations.

09:30-10:30  WORKSHOP – various locations.  See across for workshop descriptions.

10:30-11:00  Travel to next venue.

11:00-12:30  Making Connections, Taking Actions – various locations.

12:30-14:00  Travel to HOME and lunch.

14:00-17:00  Keynote speeches, What Next? chapter snapshots,   round up of workshops and actions – HOME.

17:15-19:00  Networking drinks

Please note that some timings are subject to change.


Venues. We are grateful to the following venues for hosting us for the National Event.  Please see their websites for access information and news about what’s on.

HOMEZ-Arts, Manchester Museum, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, Contact Theatre, Royal Northern College of Music

Speaker biographies

Event structure & accessibility.  The event will be based at HOME in Manchester but through the morning there will breakout sessions taking place at different arts venues across the city.  You may be required to travel between venues through the morning – walking maps will be provided along with lists of transport and minicab options, including fully accessible taxi firms and routes.  There will also be options to avoid any travel between venues for a limited number of people and our main venue HOME is fully accessible: full details on their website.  We will also be providing captioning and interpreting services where possible.  We want to make the event fully accessible for everyone to get the most from the day so please get in touch to discuss any questions or concerns with us in advance.  Please indicate any requirements in the space provided at ticket registration, or let us know if you would prefer to talk to us about it separately.

Refreshments.  Lunch is not provided in the ticket price.  There is an option during ticket registration to purchase a pre-prepared packed lunch provided by HOME.  These will be available for collection from HOME over the lunch break and provide an excellent opportunity to chat with others over a bite to eat.  Please state any requirements during ticket registration, including dietary and access needs.  Alternatively, you are welcome to book a table at the First Floor Restaurant in HOME for hot food and more in depth conversations.  Although the main event finishes at 5pm, we hope you will stay for a drink afterwards, between 5-7pm at HOME.

Overnight accommodation.  We appreciate that many people may need to travel to Manchester the day before the event and have negotiated a preferential rate with Jury’s Inn Hotel for event delegates.  Full details can be found in the confirmation details following ticket purchase.  We will also include a list of things to do in Manchester on the day before the event (Sunday 16th October), including opening times and accessibility of various arts venues with details of exhibitions and events taking place.  Why not make the most of a weekend in Manchester?  If you do decide to spend the Sunday evening in Manchester, we hope you will come along to HOME to meet fellow attendees for a drink or two.

Digital involvement.  If you can’t join us for the event in Manchester then we still want you to be involved in the conversation!  We will be holding a remote workshops online, with actions from those sessions feeding into the wider conversation, outcomes and actions.  Please get in touch if you would like to take part in this session.  We will be live-streaming the afternoon presentations and discussions, via our website: www.whatnextculture.co.uk

Sustainability.  We are pleased to be working with Julie’s Bicycle to make the event as sustainable as possible.


Registered attendees will be asked to state which workshop they would prefer to go to.  We will try to accommodate preferences but will be working around venue capacities.  You will receive full details in advance of the event with details of your workshop and when and where you need to arrive for registration.  Here is the full list of workshops:

What can the cultural sector contribute to the climate change conversation that no-one else can?

“We must not make political films, we must make films politically” – Jean-Luc Goddard.
This session will explore the creation of a creative season in 2018 celebrating the environment and inspiring action on climate change. The Season will be 6 months of creative activity and programming happening across the UK in June – December 2018, imagining a positive future for everyone in a less carbon dependent world. The Season aims to put the issue of climate change higher up both personal and political agendas, making positive change feel achievable for all and re-making our relationship to the environment and has been developed collaboratively with colleagues across What Next? and Julie’s Bicycle. The session will introduce the Season and help individuals begin to explore ideas that they might be interested in developing both independently and collaboratively with colleagues across the sector.
Confirmed speakers: Judith Knight (Artsadmin), Alison Tickell (Julie’s Bicycle)

Devolution: What is the reality and how can we best engage?

Devolution is happening across the UK and there is no ‘one size fits all’. Financial agreements are being made and power is being distributed but what does that actually mean for towns, cities and rural areas? The cultural sector has an opportunity to play a role and to develop existing partnership as well as begin new ones to embrace different models and help shape local plans.
Confirmed speakers: Dave Moutrey (HOME), Dr Maria Balshaw (The Whitworth, University of Manchester and Manchester City Galleries)

How can we work with LEPs to ensure growth in culture and the creative industries?

Local enterprise Partnerships are key players in driving local agendas and realising plans for growth. For the cultural sector, working with LEPs is part of fostering relationships for the local cultural ecology and we must understand their priorities to identify areas of mutual support and benefit. This discussion will focus on the core priorities for LEPS and how the culture and creative industries can work with them to support growth, particularly at a time when EU funding is at risk.
Confirmed speakers: Andrea Stark (Foundation for FutureLondon), Jo Lappin (formerly Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership)

Our sector needs to diversify, what are the barriers and opportunities for making this happen?

We talk a lot about how to make the arts and cultural sector more diverse, but is the situation improving, especially with the backdrop of cuts and austerity? What can we do more of and better right now, to make our sector more equal?
Confirmed speakers: Jamie Beddard (director, writer, actor), Jo Verrent (Unlimited), Victoria Amedume (Upswing), Amit Sharma (Graeae)

What responsibility do the arts have to their local communities?

This session will explore the civic role of arts organisations, with an introduction to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Inquiry and an exploration of a partnership with Contact Theatre, the Greater Manchester Police and Levershulme School, to fuel a conversation about what motivates organisations to act with a civic role and what stops great things from happening.
Confirmed speakers: Matt Fenton (Contact Theatre), Aisha Mian (Levenshulme High School), Mary Cloake (Bluecoat)

Placemaking: how can we galvanise private, public and community organisations to work together to celebrate and reveal creativity and culture?

This session will explore and question what placemaking looks like in practice and how working in collaboration within and beyond the cultural sector is the key to unlocking the potential of every single person and place in the UK.
Confirmed speakers: Polly Hamilton (Chief Cultural & Leisure Officers Association), Mike Lock (North Kesteven District Council), David Micklem (64 Million Artists)

Our civic role: How do we hold ourselves accountable?

How can you measure an organisation’s civic role? Using the working definition of the civic role of arts organisations this session will by led by Sam Cairns, Project Director for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisation and discuss what we should be trying to measure, what links we could make to existing frameworks and what we still need to know to measure how well we are fulfilling our civic roles.
Confirmed speakers: Sam Cairns & Margaret Bolton (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation)

Higher Education: Are universities the key to successful local partnerships?

Higher Education Institutions play a key role in driving our country’s economy and they have strong alliances with Local Enterprise Partnerships. The employability agenda is a priority for growth and we know that arts and culture can play a significant role in supporting the development of skills. In many parts of the UK relationships are being forged with cultural organisations but are we making the most of these partnerships? In this session we want to explore some existing models and generate new ideas for ways forward.
Confirmed speakers: Sarah Fisher (Open Eye Gallery), Professor Caroline Wilkinson, (School of Art and Design, John Moores University, Liverpool)

Education policy landscape: would you start up a Free School?

Arts in schools is on the decline. Schools are being charged with delivering against a range of different policies from social justice to wellbeing, as well as with delivering a national curriculum built around facts and knowledge and over 100 accountability measures. In this landscape, where are the opportunities to innovate and rethink the system?
Confirmed speakers: Lizzie Crump (Cultural Learning Alliance), Martin Sutherland (Royal & Derngate and The Core at Corby Cube), Greg Parker (LIPA Primary School)

Brexit means Brexit: How is Brexit changing our agendas?

Ever since the EU Referendum colleagues across our sector have been working to find out what the impact is now and what might happen in the future. The British Council is currently working to pull together some of this work and to make sense of the findings. In this session we’ll hear updates from The Arts Council, British Council, the Creative Industries Federation and talk about how we can work together to support one another in making the best case for arts, culture and creativity across the UK and Europe.
Confirmed speakers: John Newbigin (Creative England), Cathy Graham (British Council), Mags Patten (Arts Council England), Louise Jury (Creative Industries Federation)

What can we do to support and enable young and diverse talent?

In this session we will hear directly from young people working in the arts about the realities of starting a career in the arts and will talk about things What Next? can do to support them.
Confirmed speakers: Liz O’Neill (Z-Arts), Sade Banks Brown (creative producer), Kyle Walker (artist)

How do we forge relationships and build trust with new and powerful politicians?

How do we communicate and engage with new powerful politicians, to build a new relationship and “train” them? What tools and devises do we have at our disposal and how can we share them amongst ourselves, working together?
Confirmed speakers: Alistair Spalding (Sadler’s Wells), Rosie Luff (Hanover)

What are the creative and cultural responses to the refugee and migrant crisis?

In this time of fierce debate around refugees and migrants, what are we doing in the arts and cultural sectors and what more could we be doing?
Confirmed speakers: David Jubb (Battersea Arts Centre), Mariam Yusuf (Women Asylum Seekers Together)