Creativity & Life Chances Conference, 22nd November 2017: Full Details

Date Created: 2nd Nov 2017

Artswork Conference 2016 display board

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Our Creativity and Life Chances Conference kicks off at The Wellcome Trust in London.

Attendees will enjoy inspiring keynotes and partake in a range of exciting activities and discussions. See the agenda below and find out more about our speakers & workshop leaders. Tickets selling fast- click HERE to get yours!



10.00 am        Arrival – Tea & Coffee served

10.30 am        Welcome from youth comperes and Jane Bryant (Artswork’s CEO)

10.40 am        1st Keynote – Kat Francois

11.05 am        Workshops

• Youth leadership and life chances | ART31

• Equality and life chances | Heart N Soul

• Creativity and life chances | Zoom Rockman

• Arts and culture’s impact on life chances | Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde


12.10 pm        Lunch

1.15 pm          Workshops

• Youth leadership and life chances | ART31

• Equality and life chances | Heart N Soul

• Creativity and life chances | Zoom Rockman

• Arts and culture’s impact on life chances | Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde


2.20 pm         2nd Keynote – Darren Henley with Q and A session

2.50 pm         Break

3.15 pm         3rd Keynote – Sir Ken RobinsonQ & A of the day sessionFinal comments and thanks

4.15 pm         Close of conference and music performance leading into Artswork’s 30th celebration

5.45 pm         End of celebration event


Enjoy 2 of the 4 workshop options below throughout the day. A survey monkey link will be sent to you in the run up to the conference. There’s still time to book! Click HERE



Youth leadership and life chances | ART31

Igniting the spark: Engaging with young people on a genuine level

Do you remember the first time you were introduced to the arts? Join Kent-based group, ART31, as they talk about their journey and how they engage with young people through the arts, explained by young people themselves.

ART31 works to develop relationships between arts organisations and young people, whilst encouraging young people to take control and be more involved in making decisions that directly affect them. With their own Youth Arts Board ( and associated groups, TECH31, Screen31 and Media 31, ART31 takes its name from the United Nations Convention on Human Rights’ Article 31, which protects the rights of children to have access to artistic and cultural activities. Beginning as an Artswork Network investment in partnership with Kent County Council, ART31 has since grown into a youth-led countywide movement.


Equality and life chances | HEART n SOUL

Workshop facilitated by Richard Phoenix (Creative Associate) and Tilley, Del and Catherine

Join award-winning creative arts charity, Heart n Soul, in an experimental workshop – ‘The Puffing and Wooling Session’. Led by Tilley, this will be a great opportunity to have an open and honest discussion about creativity, equality and exploring questions within the conference theme.

Heart n Soul believe in the talents and power of people with learning disabilities, providing opportunities for people to discover, develop and share this power and talent as widely as possible. Like Artswork, Heart n Soul are also celebrating their 30th birthday this year and the organisation’s innovative work has made a huge impact on the lives of many young people and artists.


Creativity and life chances | Zoom Rockman*

Join British Artist/Satirist, Zoom Rockman, as he explores the role creativity played in his education and how it led to his comic strip, Skanky Pigeon, first appearing in The Beano when he was just 12 years old. This workshop will explore the importance of a nurturing school environment in developing talent, and what can happen when schools create the right conditions for young people to be able to pursue their passions. Zoom will also show you how to write and produce your own comic strip, featuring his character, Skanky Pigeon.

At age 16, Zoom became the youngest cartoonist in Private Eye magazine history. He has been described as “a rising star with edgy wit and genuine cultural awareness well beyond his years”, and listed as one of the most influential Londoners under 25 (The Evening Standard). He is also Young Ambassador for The Big Draw.


Arts and culture’s impact on life chances | Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde

Join Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde in this interactive talk based on her own research, The Collaged Ephiphanies of a Gallery Educator (BSA Auto/Biography Yearbook, 2015), and Sir Peter Bazalgette’s call for innovative approaches for bridging the evidence gap on the value of arts and culture on individuals (Arts Council England, 2014).

Participants will be invited to create their own ‘collaged epiphanies’ as a reflective tool for considering the impact of their work with children and young people.

With over 17 years’ experience working in and researching arts, education and equality, Ronda is Head of Education at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. In 2014, she was awarded a Marsh Award for Excellence in Gallery Education, and has delivered talks across the country on arts education and youth justice for the National Association of Gallery Education and Engage Cymru. She has supported the delivery of Summer Arts Colleges in the South East since 2007 and has initiated renowned learning programmes, including a weekly Arts Award scheme with Southampton Youth Offending Service in 2012.



Speaker & Workshop Leader Biographies

Kat François – Keynote Speaker

Portrait of Kat Francois looking at the camera with her head in her hands

Kat Francois is a performance poet, playwright, director, actor, comedian, workshop facilitator, and personal trainer. She was the first person to win a televised poetry slam in the UK, on BBC3 in 2004, and a year later went on to win the World Slam Poetry Championships in Rotterdam. She has performed globally, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, Rome, Ireland, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Australia, USA, Canada, Trinidad and South Africa. For more information visit


Darren Henley | Arts Council England – Keynote Speaker

Headshot of Darren Henley

Darren Henley is Chief Executive of the Arts Council. He previously spent twenty-five years working in radio, leading Classic FM for fifteen years, first as Managing Editor and then as Managing Director. He was appointed an OBE in 2013 for services to music. Darren has chaired or sat on a range of government advisory boards in the area of cultural education. His two independent government reviews into music education (2011) and cultural education (2012) resulted in the creation of England’s first National Plan for Music Education, new networks of Music Education Hubs and Heritage Schools, the Museums and Schools programme, the BFI Film Academy and the National Youth Dance Company.


Sir Ken Robinson – Keynote Speaker

Photograph of Ken Robinson speaking at an event

Sir Ken Robinson works with governments, education systems, international agencies, global corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organisations to unlock the creative energy of people and institutions. He has led national and international projects on creative and cultural education in the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States. The embodiment of the prestigious TED Conference and its commitment to spreading new ideas, Sir Ken Robinson is the most watched speaker in TED’s history. His 2006 talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity” has been viewed online over 40 million times and seen by an estimated 350 million people in 160 countries.


 Jess Baker | ART31  – Workshop Leader

Portrait of Jess Baker

Jess began her arts marketing career in 2015 as a Marketing Apprentice for Gulbenkian, working with young people to rebrand ART31 and market events created and delivered by the group. Upon completion of her apprenticeship, Jess took on the role of ART31 Communications Assistant and worked with young people to develop, a site she now moderates and updates. The website promotes creative events and opportunities for young people in Kent, as well as giving them a voice through writing articles on the online platform. Jess now also works as Digital Marketing Officer for Jasmin Vardimon Company.


Lucy Edkins | ART31 – Workshop Leader

Lucy Edkins Headshot

Lucy is a freelance prop, costume and mould maker based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She has been a member of the ART31 Youth Board for a year which is situated at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury. Lucy is passionate about enabling fellow young people to experience opportunities in the arts as well as having the chance to get their voice heard. As well as being a full time maker, Lucy is also very enthusiastic about sharing her skills with other individuals and community groups through workshops, which she finds is a constant source of inspiration.


 Zoom Rockman – Workshop Leader

Portrait of Zoom Rockman in headphones with an ipad and touch screen pen

Zoom Rockman (born in 2000) is a British Artist/Satirist whose comic strip, Skanky Pigeon first appeared in the Beano when he was 12 years old. Age 16, he became the youngest cartoonist in Private Eye Magazine history. Described as “A rising star with edgy wit and genuine cultural awareness well beyond his years.” The Evening Standard named Zoom as one of the most influential Londoners under 25. His award winning comic, ‘The Zoom!’ has attracted wide critical acclaim for it’s funny and irreverent critique of urban life and developed a cult following. For more on Zoom Rockman visit

Dr Ronda Gowland-Pryde | John Hansard Gallery – Workshop Leader

 Head and shoulders portrait of Ronda Gowland-Pryde

Ronda is Head of Education at the John Hansard Gallery and a 2014 winner of a Marsh Award for excellence in gallery education. Ronda has given talks about her work in arts education and youth justice across the country for the national association of gallery education (and Engage Cymru), With over 17 years of experience working and researching in arts, education and equality, Ronda has supported the delivery of Summer Arts Colleges in the region since 2007 and initiated renowned learning programmes including a weekly Arts Award programme with the Southampton Youth Offending Service in 2012.


Tilley Milburn | HeartnSoul – Workshop Leader

Two women in a bright pink, saturated room with images of pigs and cuddly pig toys, both in lace dresses with bows in their hair

Tilley Milburn is a multi-talented artist with Heart n Soul. Her best friend is Del, a beautiful, pink stuffed pig who performs with her. Tilley works in a variety of forms to express herself, including creating comic strips about mental health and writing and performing songs. She also works with artist Catherine Dunne to run ‘Puffing and Wooling’ sessions, which focus on rest, relaxation and being in the moment using a number of methods including soothing guinea pig soundtracks, soft toys and cosy chairs and blankets. Tilley and Catherine have taken Puffing and Wooling sessions to a number of venues including the Southbank Centre and South London Gallery. Find out more about Tilley Milburn on the Heart n Soul website:


Lizzie Emeh | HeartnSoul – Performer

Portrait of singer Lizzie Emeh

Lizzie Emeh is one of Heart n Soul’s key artists. In 2009 she made history as the first solo artist with a learning disability to release an album of her own songs, called ‘Loud and Proud’. She describes her sound as “eclectic, wide-ranging and with lots of soul”. Since Loud and Proud, Lizzie has been on a UK tour, performed with Beverly Knight at the 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony and won two national awards for her achievements in music. She says of her music: “It’s coming from different situations. I sing from the heart and I sing about true life”. Lizzie is launching her latest album, ‘See Me’, in three parts. The first two EPs, ‘The Clan’ and ‘My Baboo’, are already available and the final EP will be released in 2018. You can find out more about Lizzie Emeh and listen to her music at

Book your place now!



*Workshop sponsored by Focus Biz

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