Off-site: Mapping the Midlands

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This event is off-site, taking place at The Empire, Coventry

Explore the territories of cultural education, collaborative research and placemaking in the Midlands in this one-day conference. We will investigate the cultural landscapes of time and place in the context of collaboration with universities, creative organisations, projects and individuals.

The conference, convened by The Midlands Higher Education and Culture Forum, encourages a journey both to and from the centre of the country. Rather than an inward take on our regional identity, the forum takes a broader view of centrality. To contribute to this debate the forum invites a range of commentators working locally and from national and international contexts. The conference will consist of three sessions. Cultural Education looks at learning and knowledge sharing in the Midlands and beyond. Collaborative Research considers innovation, methods and current landscapes. Placemaking looks at the context of a place for change.

Cultural Education

Chaired by Jacqui O’ Hanlon, Director of Education at The Royal Shakespeare Company, the panel includes: François Matarasso, Independent writer and researcher - author of A Restless Art; Paul Roberts OBE, Chair of the trustees for Creativity, Culture and Education, Member of the DoE/DCMS Ministerial Board for Cultural Education and of the Arts Council steering group for In Harmony, Commissioner for Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value. Others to be confirmed. With Cultural Education Working Group: Pat Thompson, University of Nottingham, Nick Owen OBE, Mighty Creatives; Rob Elkington, Director of Arts Connect.

Collaborative Research

The panel comprises Maria Hlavajova, founding General and Artistic Director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and Anthony Downey, Professor of Visual Culture in North Africa and the Middle East, Birmingham City University. The panel will be introduced and moderated by Carolina Rito, Head of Public Programmes and Research at Nottingham Contemporary and Bill Balaskas, Associate Professor in Visual Communication & Research Coordinator at Nottingham Trent University.


The panel features: Rashid Bhayat, founder and CEO of Positive Youth Foundation in Coventry others to be confirmed . With Placemaking Working Group: Geoff Willcocks Director of Arts, Culture and Heritage at Coventry University and Chair of Coventry Music Education Hub and Eleonora Belfiore, Professor of Communication and Media studies at Loughborough University.

The conference is free to attend and lunch will be provided.