Culture Forum North Symposium

On 5 December 2018 over 90 practitioners and academics from cultural and HE organisations and sector bodies participated in a symposium at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

To explore how, by working on partnership, we can develop the diverse workforce our sectors need to thrive.

We will shortly be uploading a summary of the discussions and ideas emerging from the event.  In the meantime, here’s what the event comprised…

Keynote speakers

Nina Bhagwat, Off-Screen Diversity Executive at Channel 4, and Professor Kate Pahl from Manchester Metropolitan University, challenged participants to talk, think and act collaboratively with the aim of strengthening the cultural workforce through diversity.

Short keynotes explored models for recruitment and retention within and outside our sectors; frameworks for increasing access to skills development; and the value of co-acquisition of the knowledge needed to create a diverse workplace.

We heard from Katie Jones, Lauren Goldsby, students at Manchester School of Art. Frustrated by a design industry that is lacking in ethnic and racial diversity they have created FRESH, a movement aims to do something about it. We also heard from from early-career practitioners Andy Yates from Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, and Francesca Russo from Opera North .

See here for the event programme.

See here for more information about our speakers and their themes.


Delegates had the opportunity to discuss emerging questions, to share experience and to explore potential action through market place conversations.

It was a lively and dynamic event with peers from diverse arts and heritage organisations, universities and sector bodies from across the North and beyond, who share a commitment to working together to build a more resilient cultural sector.



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