Conference programme

We've announced the first of our speakers and panellists for this year's National Conference!

(c) James Fletcher
(c) James Fletcher

A PDF version of the conference programme is available to download



Barriers in the cultural sector

Simon Dancey, CEO, Creative & Cultural Skills
How we can address the inequalities in the cultural sector, learn best practices and debate amongst ourselves.

Tackling inclusion in Wales

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Welsh Assembly
The Welsh Assembly’s activities to promote diversity in the arts and cultural sector.

An Apprentice’s Story

Sonam Patel, Corporate Events and Weddings Officer, Cadw
From entry into the workforce through a creative apprenticeship, to a career with the historic environment service of the Welsh Government.

Diversity and recruitment

Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales
What Arts Council Wales is doing to support recruiting and reflecting diversity within organisational structure and culture.

Panel debate – Breaking down the barriers

Kate Danielson, Director, Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries; Emma Green, Head of Diversity, Dept of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Alex Porter-Smith, Co-founder, High Tide
Led by a panel from the cultural sector and government, with questions from the audience.


Breakout Sessions

  • Everything You Want to Know About Media, Broadcast and Production T Levels
  • Linking Schools and The Creative Economy
  • Creativity and Emerging Technologies
  • MAKE ART NOT WAR - a Creative Skills Programme
  • Analysis of the Creative & Cultural Workforce
  • How Local Workforce Can Connect With Creative Industry Clusters


Creative thinking and creativity

Bill Lucas, Director, Centre for Real-World Learning
How are schools preparing the future workforce for entry into the creative and cultural sector?

Presentation: Creative Careers Programme

Simon Dancey, Creative & Cultural Skills, Seetha Kumar, Screenskills; Alan Bishop, Creative Industries Federation
Working together to support careers advisers, teachers, parents and guardians, and thousands of young people, to better understand the sector and the range of careers within it.

Developing a creative workforce

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director, Wales Millennium Centre
How Wales Millennium Centre is showing leadership to the sector for entry routes and progression in the workforce.

Apprentice discussion

Sharing experiences from across the UK’s apprentices, with questions from the audience.


Speakers and Panellists 2019

Alan Bishop, CEO, Creative Industries Federation

Alan Bishop joined the Creative Industries Federation in July 2018. He was Chief Executive of Southbank Centre for eight years, and before then was Chief Executive of the Central Office of Information, the Government’s Communications agency, and chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi international.

Kate Danielson, Director, Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries

Kate Danielson is a producer, project manager and fundraising strategist. Working with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, she runs the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries programme. She originally set up and ran the pilot in 2010 and it has gone on to springboard 124 talented recent graduates from low income backgrounds into jobs in the arts, hosted by 110 cultural organisations across the UK.

Graeme Farrow, Artistic Director, Wales Millennium Centre

In 2006 Graeme became director of the Belfast Festival at Queen's University, establishing the festival's reputation as a must-see arts festival and later became Head of Culture and Arts at Queen’s University Belfast, responsible for the Queen's Film Theatre and the Naughton Gallery. He was also responsible for the design and delivery of the £14m programme for the City of Culture in Derry. He joined the Wales Millennium Centre in 2016.

Phil George, Chair, Arts Council of Wales

In 2001 Phil George founded and became Creative Director of the Cardiff-based television production company Green Bay Media. He was previously the Head of Arts Music and Features at BBC Wales and in 2007, was appointed Founding Chair of National Theatre Wales. Phil has an honorary doctorate from the University of South Wales and in 2011 received the Inspire Wales award for his work at National Theatre Wales and Green Bay.

Emma Green, Head of Diversity, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Emma became the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in 2016. She has previously worked as the Diversity Manager for Tate implementing an organisational Diversity and Inclusion strategy across all four galleries; and as an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Trainer for the National Union of Students.

Seetha Kumar, CEO, ScreenSkills

Seetha Kumar became CEO of Creative Skillset, now ScreenSkills, in 2015. She spent the early part of her career working in various roles for the BBC before moving to the education sector with Pearson plc. She has sat on the board of multiple third sector organisations, including One World Media, Save the Children International and the University of Southampton council.

Lord Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Welsh Assembly
Lord Elis-Thomas is a member of the Arts Council of Wales and the British Film Institute as well as Chairman of the Welsh Language Board and Chairman of Wales Screen. On 13 December 2018 he was appointed Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism.

Sonam Patel, Cadw
Sonam Patel completed her apprenticeship while studying Live Events and Promotions at Cardiff and Vale College. She is now a Corporate Events and Weddings Officer at Cadw.

Alex Porter-Smith, Co-founder, High Tide Media
Selected as one of the UK’s most promising young filmmakers by the British Film Institute, Alex has over six years of professional experience in film production, working on projects throughout the UK. She is a trustee of Creative & Cultural Skills

Bill Lucas, Director, Centre for Real-World Learning
Bill Lucas is Professor of Learning and Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning (CRL). He founded CRL in 2008, together with Professor Guy Claxton. Bill is known internationally as a speaker on the subjects of learning, change, creativity, healthcare improvement and leadership.

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