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Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education.

We support arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.

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Engage International Conference 2017

Contributors and themes

This year's conference will take place at Hull City Hall, and venues across the city.


Day one


Keynote speaker and Chair


- Welcome address from Martin Green Director and CEO of Hull 2017 


- Baroness Kay Andrews 

Formerly Chair of English Heritage and author of Welsh Government’s Culture and Poverty Report


The following themes will be discussed in four plenary sessions:


What do we talk about when we talk about diversity?

Plenary session 1

Enquiries and provocations: From activism to the business case – has something been lost (or found) along the way?  In the context of education and learning, is diversity practice too often focused outwards at the expense of challenging internal customs, cultures and practice? If education and learning are too often perceived to be silos within the broader creative sector, is diversity a silo within a silo? What does diversity mean in a post Brexit landscape?

Chair: Nicholas Vogelpoel, Senior Insight Research Analyst, Wellcome Trust

Diane HowseArtist, curator and founder of Geraldine Connor Foundation

Eona Craig, formerly Widening Participation at RCS and currently CEO of Articulate Hub


Nothing about us without us is for us

Plenary session 2

Enquiries and provocations: Who needs to be in the room when we talk about diversity and why? Does the discourse of privilege help or hinder the conversation?

'One of the simplest paths to deep change is for the less powerful to speak as much as they listen, and for the more powerful to listen as much as they speak.' (Gloria Steinem).

Why would people want to engage in conversations about education, learning, arts and diversity?

Chair: Tonya Nelson, Head of UCL Museums and Collections

James Hill, Director, Pyramid of Arts

Jude Woods, Artist, Activist and Project Manager of Queer Stories; Community Development Worker for older LGB&T people, Yorkshire MESMAC

Jason Wilsher-MillsArtist and Artist-in-Residence at Square Peg for Artlink


Day Two


Who decides what matters?

Plenary session 3

Enquiries and provocations: How is the agenda set: top down, bottom up or somewhere in between? Legislate or educate? What does experience tell us?

Chair: Anthony ClavaneJournalist and author of Promised Land and A Yorkshire Tragedy

Ivan Liotchev, Artist

Bryony Bond, Creative Director, The Tetley

Professor Kevin HyltonProfessor of Equality and Diversity in Sport, Leisure and Education; Head of the Research Centre for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Leeds Beckett University


Are we there yet? How will we know when we’ve got there?

Plenary session 4

Enquiries and provocations: What will an inclusive, diverse sector look like? Are there examples in the UK or elsewhere that we can look to and learn from? How do we sustain progress? 

Chair: Dr Nigel Morpeth, Artist and academic at Leeds Beckett University and University of Lincoln

Rommi SmithWriter and Performer

Richie TurnerFreelance Innovation and Business Adviser, member of Arts Council of Wales


We are looking forward to a number of exciting breakout sessions on the second day, with contributions about:

-White allyship with Katie Finnegan-Clarke

Countering ColstonThe campaign to rename Colston Hall in Bristol

- Shape Arts, the social model of disability

BIASAN (Bradford Immigration & Asylum Support & Advice Network) with Artist Ivan Liotchev

Yorkshire MESMAC, LGBT and mental health issues

- Journey to Justicevolunteer–led touring exhibition,which originated in the US and tracks lesser known character involved in the US Civil rights Movement


Further content and contributors will be added as soon as we have further information, so check back for regular updates. 


Book your place with early bird rates today!



We are grateful to Artlink, Heritage Learning and Hull UK City of Culture 2017 for their support of Engage Conference 2017.


Engage International Conference 2017
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