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The art of place: the civic role of universities and the cultural sector beyond the pandemic
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Session Details

Wednesday 19 May: 09:00 – 10:00

The relationship between universities and the cultural sector has become increasingly important in recent years, particularly in a civic context, but Covid-19 has had a huge impact.

Join us to hear perspectives from sector leaders on the importance of a creative place-based agenda and what that means in practice as we look beyond the pandemic.

Supporting Material

Available Soon

Session Host

<strong>Professor Jane Robinson</strong>
Professor Jane Robinson
Jane is Pro-Vice Chancellor, Engagement & Place at Newcastle University. Previously Jane was COO at Durham University and CEX of Gateshead Council. Newcastle University has a long tradition as a civic university and a commitment to benefit the communities they service economically, socially, culturally and environmentally.

Session Speakers

<strong>Professor Vanessa Toumlin</strong>
Professor Vanessa Toumlin
Vanessa is the Research Director for the National Circus and Fairground Archive, Director of City & Cultural Engagement, Partnerships and Regional Engagement and Chair of Early Film and Popular Entertainment, School of English, at the University of Sheffield.
<strong>Councillor Huw Thomas</strong>
Councillor Huw Thomas
Huw is the Leader of Cardiff Council and is the Welsh Local Government Association Spokesperson for Culture, Tourism & Major Events. He is also the Core Cities UK Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture. Huw has worked in a number of industries including IT, Transport, and most recently International Development, where he was the Head of Christian Aid Wales. He studied Music at Oxford University and is a fluent Welsh speaker.
<strong>Dr Darren Henley</strong>
Dr Darren Henley
Darren is chief executive of Arts Council England. His boardroom experience spans the arts, media, education, charity and government. He led Classic FM for fifteen years before joining the Arts Council in 2015. The author of two independent government reviews into music and cultural education, he received the British Academy President’s Medal for his contributions to music education, music research and the arts.

A certified coach, he has a degree in politics, a postgraduate certificate in applied positive psychology, master’s degrees in management and in history of art, and a professional doctorate exploring the role of the outsider as an agent for change. His latest book The Arts Dividend Revisited: Why Investment in Culture Pays (2020) highlights the role of public investment in helping to create happier lives in villages, towns and cities across England.

<strong>Kate Denby</strong>
Kate Denby
Kate has been Executive Director of Northern Stage in Newcastle since 2015, where she leads the strategic, financial and operational development of the company. Kate is Joint-Chief Executive, alongside Artistic Director Lorne Campbell; under their shared leadership the company has grown audiences by 35% in four years, expanded acclaimed programmes of work with young people and independent theatre makers in the region, and established embedded partnerships in community settings.

Kate’s background is in theatre producing and management. She was previously Executive Producer at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill and Producer/Head of Programming & Talent Development at Hull Truck Theatre. She has led theatre tours to Europe, the USA and Southern Africa, and was involved in developing and delivering Hull’s successful bid for UK City of Culture 2017. Kate is Chair of Freedom Festival Arts Trust in Hull, and 2019-20 Chair of Newcastle Gateshead Cultural Venues.


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Wednesday 19 May, 09:00-10:00

Perspectives from sector leaders on the importance of a creative place-based agenda beyond the pandemic.
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Thursday 20 May, 09:15-10:30

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Register Now

The inaugural Civic University Network conference is a free virtual event which will take place from the 18-20 May 2021.

Secure your place now by completing the registration form below.