State of The Nation



A lively afternoon session of discussion, performance and creative thinking led by artists and cultural leaders.

Is it time to pass the microphone to someone else? Are you ready to share power and leadership and do things differently? Is tackling inequality and achieving social justice in the arts urgent in the light of Brexit?

How do we as artists, art producers, and culture makers lead the way in creating a more integrated society? This day is a must for arts organisations serious about social change.

Guest speakers:
Claire Hodgson and Jamie Beddard – Co artistic Directors of Diverse City
Jess Thom – Touretteshero
Anu Giri Executive – Director, Dance Umbrella
Charlotte Bevan – Director of the Creative Diversity Project, National Theatre
Debbie Geraghty – Executive Director, Plymouth Music Zone
Dr Edson Burton – Writer & Historian
Dave Young, aka The Shouting Mute
Lizzie Crump – What Next?
Abid Hussain – Director Diversity, Arts Council England
Vicki Amedume – Artistic Director, Upswing
Emma McFarland – Digital Innovation Producer
Estella Tincknell – Deputy Mayor Bristol

Performances include:
The Shouting Mute, aka performance poet, David Young.

Islands of Discontent new commission from Art & Unity and personal response by Writer & Historian, Dr Edson Burton, to a rising tide of anti-politics, idealism, rage, and nostalgia challenging the possibility of a coherent society. Can art offer a new vision?

Jess Thom, is co-founder of Touretteshero and may or may not lead a secret double life as a superhero. Artist, playworker, and expert fundraiser, Jess currently helps coordinate a large play project in South London and performs across the world.

Weighting – an invite-only dress rehearsal of the outdoor circus spectacle by the UK’s integrated circus company, Extraordinary Bodies. Combining circus, dance and theatre, Weighting tells of an extraordinary family making discoveries in the face of love and loss. (Castle Park, Bristol)

Before 1pm

There are three morning sessions at the M Shed starting at 10am, which all State of the Nation attendees are invited to. Please book a place on these sessions if you are interested though, as they are separate to the afternoon events and limited capacity:

10am – 11am – How to…Positive discrimination or positive action? – Ruth Kapadia, Relationship Manager – Diversity, Arts Council England. Ruth leads an interactive session, aiming to answer questions and leave you feeling more confident about what is and isn’t possible when trying to ensure we are genuinely inclusive: Book a place.

10am – 11am – How to: Design Diversity – Emma McFarland, Digital Innovation Producer. Emma leads an interactive workshop exploring how practice, thinking and tools from the digital world can help us design arts projects, programmes and initiatives, which are more relevant and resonate with more people: Book a place.

11:15am – 12:15pm – The Agents for Change project – Ayla Suveren, Independent Coach and Consultant. Ayla explores with diverse artists involved in the Agents for Change South West project, the impact of being placed in major arts organisations to bring significant change around diversity and equality: Book a place.

Who is this event for?
This Pay What You Can event is for anyone working in arts and culture and everyone interested in achieving equality in our society.

In our mission to do things differently, we’d also like to ask you to bring along someone who you think has potential to be a future leader in the arts – a young person with talent or perhaps someone who hasn’t had the opportunity but certainly has the potential. We want to engage those who can be inspired, educated and enthused by this day. As well as those who already work in the Arts Sector, we want to meet new faces, see new talent and hear new conversations.

Why is this part of Doing Things Differently?
This day is part of doing things differently to galvanise us all into individual and collective action to achieve equality in our lifetimes.

The Venue
M Shed Bristol, Logo


Photo Credit:  ©Paul Blakemore 2016
Fast Forward 2016: British Paraorchestra perform Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ with Extraordinary Bodies at Colston Hall, Bristol.