New Horizons: Towards a More Inclusive Arts Sector

Past event
The Garage
  • Overview


    TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER, 10.30AM-5.30PM

    £25 per delegate, including lunch

    The Garage presents 'New Horizons: Towards a More Inclusive Arts Sector' - a provocative, proactive and practical event for leaders and doers across the arts sector.

    Purpose of the day

    • To share inclusive thinking and practice from across and beyond the arts sector
    • To inspire people and catalyse new thinking and doing, providing people with the chance to identify practical actions they can take to help make what they do more inclusive
    • To bring people together to share experiences and learn from each other


    Postcards from an inclusive future

    To get us off to an inspiring start, we’ve invited Stella Duffy (Fun Palaces) & Inua Ellams (Performer) to write and share a 'postcard from an inclusive future' where their vision for an inclusive arts sector has become a reality.

    Our postcard futurists will then join the opening discussion inspired and informed by these postcards. 

    Conversation 1 – Come together: How can we work together locally to ensure a more inclusive picture?
    Working with local communities, engaging local people, working hard to have a place in the hearts and minds (and calendars!) of the communities they’re part of, are all things that artists and arts organisations have been thinking about, and doing, for many years now. Sometimes what we’ve done has worked, and sometime is hasn’t. The government’s culture white paper, published earlier this year, put localism front and centre, and much of Arts Council England’s current policy focus is on fostering local engagement. And then there’s the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Enquiry into the role of arts organisations, which launched earlier this year too. It seems that localism is everywhere! Looking not just at exciting and valuable work being done in the arts, but also learning from other sectors, this conversation will take a practical look at how artists and arts organisations can more effectively work together and with other people and organisations, from the arts and beyond,  to make a more inclusive local arts offer. 

    Conversation 2– Mixing things up: How might we get to a more inclusive arts workforce?
    Our starting point for this conversation was ‘do we need another approach to workforce development in the arts, and if so, what might that look like’.  To kick off this conversation, Arts Professional will present the findings of its recent research into diversity in the arts workforce.  Looking at routes into and through the arts sector – for artists and those working in other areas of the arts – we’ll look at what needs to change and how it could change for the better. How are organisations like Arts Emergency and the Young Guns Network making a difference?

    Conversation 3 – Inside out: What makes an arts organisation truly inclusive? And how can we all get a bit closer to that?  (work it does, how it does it, who does it and who it engages)
    If we want a more inclusive arts sector, then it all starts at home, right? Well, in our own organisations, that is. This conversation aims to ‘get under the bonnet’ of an inclusive organisation, and look at what’s there. What makes an organisation truly inclusive? Is there a one size fits all check list, or is each organisation different? How do we define what we each mean by inclusive, and is it ok to do that? And once we’ve worked out the kind of inclusive organisation we want to be, what practical steps can we take to get there? To kick off this conversation, Arts Professional present its research findings about attitudes towards diversity.

    Conversation 4: Let’s get digital - how can technology help promote and achieve inclusivity in the arts?
    We live and work in an era of unparalleled technological change, and the opportunities technology is opening up for us at arts organisations are…well…a little bit overwhelming for most of us, truth be told. We know there’s loads we could be doing, but if we want to harness technology to help us be more inclusive, what should we be doing? And how do we work that out? This free-ranging conversation will look at how tech can enable us to reach out to and engage people we might otherwise not connect with, and how we can be smarter about doing that. We’ll look at how reaching out to peers in the games world and looking at what’s worked in other sectors might help, expanding our possibilities and offering up new solutions. We’ll also look at whether our increased reliance on digital comms is actually excluding some of the people we want to reach. 

    How to Sessions 
    Hands-on sesisons looking practically at Improving Venue Accessibility and Meaningful Inclusion of Young People. 

    If you are attending this event and have any access requirements, please visit our Access page, or call reception on 01603 283382. 

  • Bookings

    Book online here

  • Schedule


    Main space - Theatre

    Studio 1

    Studio 2

    Studio 3


    Registration (front desk/foyer)





    Introduction to day





    Postcards from an inclusive future

    Stella Duffy, Inua Ellams, Camille Koosyial





    Opening debate: Chair: Rani Moorthy (Theatre Rasa)

    Abid Hussain (ACE), Carol Reid (Youth Music), Stella Duffy (Fun Palaces), Inua Ellams (Performer), Camille (Young Associate)





    Manifesto moment, then lunch





    Conversation 1 – Come together: how can we work together locally to ensure a more inclusive picture?

    • Natalie Jode, Creative Arts East
    • Dan Thompson, Artist
    • Sam Cairns, Calouste Gulbenkian
    • Sharon Darley, Goodwin Trust

    Chair: Michael Corley, NNF Bridge


    How to session – improving venue accessibility

    • Gideon Feldman, Attitude is Everything

    Conversation 2– Mixing things up - how might we get to a more inclusive arts workforce?

    Arts Professional Research Findings presentation – Workforce Diversity (Frances Richens/Christy Romer)

    • Sandra Bhatia, OneFest
    • Vanessa Reed, PRS for Music Foundation
    • Dr Susan Sayce, UEA
    • Jacqueline Starling, Anglia Enterprise Partnership

    Chair: Sarah Holmes, New Wolsey Theatre


    Tea/Coffee break & move spaces





    Conversation 3 - Inside out - what makes an arts organisation truly inclusive? And how can we all get a bit closer to that? 

    Arts Professional Research Findings presentation – Attitudes towards Diversity  (Frances Richens/Christy Romer)

    • Gavin Barlow, The Albany 
    • Sarah Weir, Roundhouse
    • Janine Irons, Tomorrow’s Warriors
    • Sarah Holmes, New Wolsey Theatre

    Chair: Maggie Wheeler, The Garage


    Conversation 4: Let’s get digital - how can technology help promote and achieve inclusivity in the arts?

    • Sarah Pickthall, artist
    • Marcus Romer, Arts Beacon
    • Paul Weston, Lab Media Education
    • Beth Sowersby, NUA

    Chair: Anthony Proctor, Unity Theatre

    How to session – meaningful inclusion of young people

    • Jennifer Raven, Sound Connections
    • Siân Dicker-Thorne, Wired4Music



    Comfort break & move spaces  

    (Café open to purchase drinks)





    Summing up:

    • Feedback from conversations
    • Action pledges
    • Evaluation





  • Speakers

    Arts Professional 

    We will be joined by Frances Riches, Deputy Editor, ArtsProfessional  and Christy Romer, Publishing Executive, ArtsProfessional to present their recent research findings on diversity in the arts. 

    ArtsProfessional shares news and features for those with a professional interest in the arts sector. Online, via email and social media it helps keeps arts professionals up to date with the most important issues, the latest developments and best practice. 

    ArtsProfessional recently launched Pulse, a new service that takes the pulse of the arts sector on policy issues affecting artists, arts organisations and those who work in them. The latest Pulse survey was on diversity in the arts. It sought to find out how those working in the arts are responding to calls for greater diversity and what they believe needs to change.



    Frances richens headshot

    Frances Riches

    Christy Romer headshot

    Christy Romer 

    Gavin Barlow 

    Gavin has been Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Albany for the last thirteen years, overseeing its transformation into a significant London arts venue and successful social enterprise. The Albany has a strong focus on working with local communities; it has 26 resident organisations, and is the home and a lead partner for two national campaigns: Fun Palaces and the Family Arts Campaign. It has recently taken over responsibility for two award-winning new buildings - the Deptford Lounge, a new cultural and community space in Deptford with a library; and Canada Water Culture Space, with a new 150-seat theatre, library, and learning spaces.

    Gavin is Co-Chair/founder of the Future Arts Centres network, with a membership of more than 90 arts centres across the UK. He was formerly Executive Director at Contact Manchester, Executive Producer of ATC (Actors Touring Company), and founder Director of the Queer Up North Festival, Europe’s leading LGBT arts festival in the 1990s.


    GAvin Barlow portrait

    Sandra Bhatia

    Sandra Bhatia is a music events consultant, project manager and co-founder of OneFest – a UK based, not for profit CIC designed to support the emergence of new talent. In 2011, Sandra was selected by the BBC and Big Lottery Fund as Village Champion for the Village SOS TV series. The BBC followed the 400k village regeneration project, which culminated in a Music Festival named Honeyfest, the predecessor to OneFest, headlined by Laura Marling and Damien Rice. In 2012 Sandra also produced and managed the ‘Peace Mix’ pilot project. A nationwide campaign and talent competition for the Big Lottery Fund to raise the awareness of public funded music spaces across the UK. Sandra continued working with the Big Lottery Fund, the BPI (BRITS), Global Radio and leading charity UK Youth, on the Big Music Project - a music-led youth outreach programme to empower and inspire young people to increase their social skills and engagement in society. Previous positions have included several years as Head of Daytime and Content Producer for Antony H Wilson’s 'In The City Manchester' and 'In The City New York' music conferences, Campaign Producer and Co-ordinator for the PRS for Music 'Dance Music Project' - along with other several other music conventions, award shows, club nights and artist management.

    Sandra bhatia headshot

    Sam Cairns 

    Sam Cairns is Project Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts organisations. Sam has worked in the cultural sector for 15 years - starting in museum education and expanding into libraries, archives and then the arts. She worked for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, and in education roles at Imperial War Museums and the Wellcome Trust. Sam is also Co-Director of the Cultural Learning Alliance, chair of her local community forum and a school governor.

    The Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts organisations Phase 1 is running until December 2016. The Inquiry seeks to increase awareness of the civic role that arts organisations play nationally and in their communities. Through research and consultation we are developing a shared definition of civic role and creating a movement of organisations committed to demonstrating it.

    Photo of Sam Cairns

    Sharon Darley 

    Sharon Darley works for the Goodwin Development Trust as a community development worker on an inner-city estate in Kingston upon Hull.  Within this development context she has nearly 20 years’ experience working in communities with unheard voices and few choices. After successfully completing 2 years at Chelsea School of Art in the late 1980s, she stayed in London for another 15 years and went on to work in a variety of low-paid non-arts related jobs.  After returning to Yorkshire in her early 30s Sharon was finally in a position to set herself up as a freelance community artist – mostly learning ‘on the job’ in York. She then went on to train in general community development whilst employed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council as a Neighbourhood Worker, before arriving at Goodwin in 2009.  She is currently half way through studying an MSc in Development Management with the Open University (in her spare time), having recently completed an Honours Degree in Humanities with Classical History. As Quality of Life Manager at Goodwin, her work varies wildly - currently Sharon is part of a team developing a participatory arts programme, alongside developing one of the UKs first urban-based Neighbourhood Plans

    Photo of Sharon Darley

    Siân Dicker-Thorne

    Siân Dicker-Thorne graduated in July 2014 with a First class BMus degree in Music from City University London and is currently studying on the Guildhall Artist Masters vocal studies programme at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since October 2014, she has been working for music education charity Sound Connections and is currently working with the organisation as a freelance Researcher and youth voice Ambassador, having worked for them full time as their Programme Assistant prior to commencing studies at GSMD. She is a member of Wired4Music; a network of young London-based musicians hosted by Sound Connections who share, discuss and create musical projects together whilst advocating for youth voice within music. Most recently, Siân has worked as a Research Intern for the National Opera Studio. 


    Sian Dicker Thorne

    Stella Duffy

    Stella Duffy is an award-winning writer with over fifty short stories, ten plays, and fourteen novels published in fifteen languages. She has twice won Stonewall Writer of the Year. She adapted her novel State of Happiness for feature film with Zentropa/Fiesta, and HBO have optioned her Theodora novels for TV. She has twice won the CWA Short Story Dagger, twice won Stonewall Writer of the Year. She has worked in theatre for over thirty years as an actor, director, playwright, and facilitator. She is Co-Director of the Fun Palaces campaign for greater access to and engagement with all culture. Her latest novel London Lies Beneath is published by Virago this autumn.

    Fun Palaces is an ongoing campaign for culture at the heart of every community, with an annual weekend of action every October, locally-led and community-driven. Over two weekends in 2014 and 2015 there were 280 Fun Palaces across 11 nations made by 5262 local people with over 90,000 joining in.

    The 2016 dates are 1 & 2 October 2016.

    Photo of Stella Duffy

    Inua Ellams 

    Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is a cross art form practitioner, a poet, playwright & performer, graphic artist & designer and founder of the Midnight Run - an international, arts-filled, night-time, playful, urban, walking experience. He is a Complete Works poet alumni and a designer at White Space Creative Agency. Across his work, Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in which he also tries to mix the old with the new: traditional african storytelling with contemporary poetry, pencil with pixel, texture with vector images. His three books of poetry are published by Flipped Eye and Akashic Books, and several plays by Oberon.

    Inua ellams performing

    Gideon Feldman 

    Gideon is the Senior Project Manager with Attitude is Everything, a charity supporting the music and events industries be as accessible as they can be for Deaf and disabled customers, performers and employees. With a background in Production and Tour Management and experience of working large scale festivals and multi-sport events, he has an understanding of what can be achieved and how to influence change from an event-specific point of view.

    Since 2011, Gideon has been working for Attitude is Everything, leading the delivery of the Charter of Best Practice. The Charter is now firmly established within the live music industry as a framework with which to examine all aspects of making a venue or festival accessible and inclusive. This framework is structured around a progression route through Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

    Over 120 venues and festivals across the UK have now been awarded via the Charter, including Glastonbury, Latitude, Download and Festival No.6 festivals and venues from large scale such as The O2, Wembley Arena, and Genting Arena Birmingham to medium scale with all AMG O2 Academy venues and the Roundhouse and small scale including Band on the Wall and The Leadmill.

    Photo of Gideon

    Sarah Holmes 

    Awaiting bio.


    Abid Hussain

    Abid Hussain is Director, Diversity at Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts with responsibility for leading the organisation's work on equality and the creative case for diversity. He has over a decade of experience working in the arts and cultural sector with a particular interest in leadership, talent development and philanthropic giving.

    Over the past 12 months Abid has led on the design, development and launch of Arts Council England's diversity funding programmes which include Change Makers, Elevate, Sustained Theatre and Unlimited creating opportunities to develop the resilience of diverse organisations, invest in diverse leaders and support the commissioning of new work.

    He is an alumnus of the International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) and a member of the John Adams Society which promotes cultural, social and educational collaboration between the United States of America and the United Kingdom. He jointly led on the development and delivery of the internationally acclaimed Arts and Islam programme and has delivered seminars, workshops, critical debates and artistic interventions across the United States of America, Denmark, Sweden and South Africa.

    Abid has served in an advisory role for the British Council, the Institute for Community Cohesion, Eton College and currently sits on the BBC's Audience Council. He has served on the strategic leadership group for the Mosaic Network a mentoring programme established by HRH Prince Charles to inspire young people from deprived communities to realise their talents and potential.

    Abid undertook a 6 month sabbatical at Soul City Arts an independent arts organisation based in Birmingham, England committed to achieving social change through the arts. He supported the organisation to diversify and develop its income streams, develop new artistic partnerships and led on a programme of organisational development for the company.

    Photo of Abid Hussain

    Janine Irons 

    Managing Director/Chief Executive, Tomorrow’s Warriors

    Janine studied classical piano, contemporary dance and photography, and sang lead in a 17-piece funk band.

    After several years doing a ‘proper job’ in the City of London, she left to pursue more entrepreneurial activities in the arts, establishing Dune Music (tour producer/record label) in 1996 and pioneering a 360-degree approach to artist development. In 1998, she formally constituted Tomorrow’s Warriors, a youth education/professional development programme primarily for BAME and female jazz musicians. In 1999 she secured Arts Council England RFO status for Tomorrow’s Warriors and, in the 2015-18 round, managed to secure an increase in NPO funding. In 2006, Janine completed the Clore Leadership Short Course. Later that year, she was awarded an MBE for Services to the Music Industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2015 Janine’s impact was recognised with one of Southbank Centre’s 67 Change Maker Awards, inspired by Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of public service and made to individuals whose actions have had a positive impact on the lives of others.

    Outside of work, Janine’s passions are spending quality time with family and close friends, and cooking for pleasure (a bit of a foodie), whilst pastimes include singing/listening to opera, playing piano, coarse fishing, gardening, skiing and scuba diving.

    Janine irons portrait

    Natalie Jode

    Natalie is the Executive Director at Creative Arts East. Since joining the charity in late 2007, Natalie has helped to build Creative Arts East’s diverse portfolio of projects and contracts and to underpin the charity's core rural touring work. Prior to this, Natalie was Arts Officer for Fenland Arts, a small arts development charity working in the Fenland district of Cambridgeshire. It was here that she developed her enthusiasm for rural and participatory arts, and an understanding of the issues facing those living and working in this setting. Natalie is keen to maintain and build upon Creative Arts East’s extensive history of delivering creative opportunities for rural and disadvantaged communities and to harness this to help make a positive contribution across Norfolk, Suffolk and the wider eastern region. In April 2015 Creative Arts East became an Arts Council England National Portfolio organisation.

    Photo of Nat Jode

    Camille Koosyial

    Camille is a 3rd Year UEA English Literature and Drama Student. From and brought up in Croydon, she used to be part of a youth forum at home and since doing a work placement with The Garage, has been able to mentor The Garage Youth Forum. Camille wrote her final essay on placement on why we should ensure the arts are accessible to everyone.


    Rani Moorthy 

    Malaysian-born Rani came to Britain in 1996 after many years as an actress, writer and director in South East Asia. She taught Theatre and Performance at Nanyang Technological University and was drama consultant for the National Arts Council, Singapore.

    She is artistic director of Rasa founded in 1998, to artistically celebrate the enduring migrant experience. For Rasa she has written all 10 productions including Pooja, which toured nationally and to Sri Lanka and Malaysia with the British Council, Manchester United and the Malay Warrior, an international collaboration with a Malaysian theatre company Five Arts Centre for the Commonwealth Games 2002, Curry Tales first performed at Traverse Theatre for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004, Library Theatre Manchester, the Lyric, Hammersmith, and then 80 venues throughout the UK, the Market Theatre in South Africa, Crossroads Theatre in USA, the Harare International Festival of the Arts 2008, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Singapore. It was nominated for a Manchester Evening News Award for Best Fringe Performance. Too Close to Home has toured nationally and was nominated for the Manchester Evening News Best New Play award. Her play Handful of Henna was commissioned by Sheffield Crucible for the Children’s Theatre Festival, toured nationally and has been translated into Italian. Latest work is Looking for Kool, which had its world premiere at the Alchemy Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in 2012. Her latest play States of Verbal Undress was a finalist in the Asian Media Awards 2014.

    Rani has appeared on Coronation Street, A&E, Cold Feet, Moving On, Prisoner’s Wives and plays Mrs Bilal the BBC 1 sit-com Citizen Khan. She played Mrs. Shah in the west end production and tour of East is East.

     Film work includes Twenty8K, Throw of a Dice and All in Good Time by Ayub Khan Din based on his Olivier winning play Rafta Rafta.

    RAni Morthi Portrait

    Anthony Proctor 

    Awaiting bio. 


    Sarah Pickthall

    Sarah Pickthall is an artist, consultant, trainer, transitional and team coach and community digital producer with over 25 years experience in arts, education, leadership, health and wellbeing in the UK, Brazil and Japan.

    Her organisation, Cusp Inc is all about making people’s lives mean more through striking inclusive digital community projects and tailormade development programmes for individuals and organisations

    Sarah is known for work with grassroots community projects.  In 2012 she set up with Maria Pattinson and a cohort of multidisciplinary artists using art and food to develop respite breaks, workshops, residencies and installations with people experiencing and recovering from mental ill health.

    More recently she’s been focusing her work in digital and disability as artistic director of a project developing digital inclusion for learning disabled people in West Sussex.

    Photo of Sarah Pickthall

    Jennifer Raven

    Jennifer Raven is Programme Manager at Sound Connections, where she leads on the organisation’s Challenging Circumstances and Youth Voice work and provides specialist consultancy (research, strategy and evaluation) to a wide range of partner organisations.

    In 2009 she co-founded Fairbeats!, a charity with a focus on music-making with young refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants.  Her role at Fairbeats! includes fundraising, supporting strategic development and governance.  Prior to joining Sound Connections Jennifer worked for the Music Programme at education charity and academy chain Ark.

    Jennifer Raven headshot

    Vanessa Reed 

    Vanessa Reed is Executive Director of the PRS for Music Foundation, the UK’s leading funder of new music across all genres. Vanessa leads the strategic development of the Foundation, initiating programmes which respond to music industry needs and enhance the Foundation’s impact throughout the UK. Recent initiatives led by Vanessa include Momentum - the new £0.5m talent development fund for artists working in pop music run in partnership with Arts Council England, the New Music Biennial, a UK wide commissioning programme in partnership with BBC Radio 3, Women Make Music which responds to the low % of women taking up songwriting as a career and a host of other talent development schemes which target music creators we are not reaching via our open funds.

    Before joining PRS for Music Foundation, Vanessa worked as an independent cultural policy consultant with ABL, as Grants Manager at the European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam) which specialised in cross-border collaboration, in the Education and Culture Directorate of the European Commission and as Promotions Manager at the British Music Information Centre. Vanessa was selected as one of fifty ‘Women to Watch’ by the Cultural Leadership Programme in March 2010. Vanessa is also Chair of SoundUK Arts and a Board member of Protein Dance. 


    Photo of Vanessa Reed

    Carol Reid 

    Carol is Programme Director at the National Foundation for Youth Music, which is a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances. Youth Music supports over 350 projects across England and believes in practical, creative music-making of every possible style and technique. Carol oversees the organisation’s grants programme which invests £9 million per year.  As Programme Director, she is responsible for ensuring that the organisation’s evidence-base informs strategy and decision-making - to maximise the impact of the organisation and the work it funds.  Youth Music’s ambition is to achieve a musically inclusive England, which is driven by the current situation whereby many children and young people - particularly those experiencing challenging circumstances – miss out on opportunities to regularly make music, to progress and fulfil their potential.


    Photo of Carol Reid

    Marcus Romer 

    Marcus is currently Creative Director of ArtsBeacon UK, delivering Live to Digital creative planning and projects. Currently he is an Associate Artist at Theatre Royal, Stratford East developing new digital projects.

    Prior to this he was CEO and Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre, where he directed many award winning theatre productions as well as pioneering live streaming and webcasting from 2008.


    As a filmmaker he wrote the screenplay and co-directed the feature film ‘The Knife That Killed Me’ which was released by Universal Pictures in 2015.


    He has attended several TED conferences in. He created the ‘Shift Happens’ Conferences, and ran TEDx York. He co-curated No Boundaries with ACE and the British Council in 2014 and 2015


    He was part of the winning bid team that won York the Unesco designation as the first UK City of Media Arts. He attended and gave a keynote at the Creative Cities Network Conference in Seoul.


    He is a published playwright and his work has been translated and performed across Europe and the USA


    Marcus is a regular speaker and presenter on the use of digital technology in the Arts, and has spoken all over the world, most recently for Innovation Norway in Tromsø in February 2016.

    Marcus Romer headshot

    Susan Sayce

    Dr Susan Sayce is a senior lecturer at Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia. Her UK and Canadian research explores diversity and equality in the workplace and in pensions where she won two Canadian faculty scholarship 2008, 2011 to explore the issue of diversity and expertise in pensions further. She has had her research in equality published in good quality academic journals and books. Topics include: restructuring craft work relationships around a new gender identity, reflecting on designing equality policies, investigating the experience of equal opportunities officers in academia, examining the effects of abolishing a default retirement age on UK organisations as well as exploring recruitment and selection of labour trustees in Canada. She has successfully supervised a number of students researching in the equality area such as exploring how social capital networks ‘wasta’ in Arab countries like Jordan influence careers, gender differences in female academics in careers comparing Pakistan to the UK and the implications of gender composition of work in mining in Russia and an exploration of the dynamic nature of board relationships for a UK port authority, and also diversity on Nigerian boards. Her most recent work has focused on questioning the gender focus on increasing diversity on corporate boards in the UK to ask is this debate obscuring other forms of discrimination for other protected groups?  She is also investigating the implication of increasing professionalization on diversity in pension trusteeship in both Canada and the UK.

    Susan is also a founding member and co-editor with Dr Kate Sang of Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh of a new open-access academic journal on equality: Interdisciplinary perspectives on equality and diversity; an international journal. She lectures in HRM for the Business School but her focus on equality has meant she has been invited to speak on this issue for Education students and also for Res-net.  She is also on the associate editorial board for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Journal where she has edited two special editions on ‘being a feminist academic’ and ‘celebrating Joan Acker’s contribution to theorising gender and organisation’.  She is also a union activist and is currently UEA’s UCU (university College Union) equality representative. She is currently helping one of her students to publish her empirical work on gender and discrimination in the creative industries.

    Photo of Susan Sayce

    Beth Sowersby

    Business Innovation Manager at Norwich University of the Arts

    Beth manages the Ideas Factory Incubation Centre at NUA. The centre offers space to new start-up digital creative companies to launch and grow their business and a programme of workshops and events designed to support the needs of these businesses during the start-up phase. Beth also works with NUA students on enterprise initiatives and business advice.

    Beth’s background is in the media and broadcasting, having been a TV producer for 17 years working for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky in the UK and for NBC and Fox in the USA. Starting out in entertainment, she moved into factual specialising in arts, history and wildlife documentary making.


    Jacqui Starling 

    Jacqui is the Apprenticeships Strategy Coordinator for Norfolk County Council. Responsibilities include managing the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE), working with the wider team on guiding employers through the proposed Apprenticeship Levy and providing support, advice and information on funding and Government policy regarding Apprenticeships. This includes working across the county with training providers and employers to ensure that Apprenticeships are available at all ages and levels to meet the needs of the current and future economy and workforce.

    She also line manages 4 Youth Work Apprentices who work directly in schools and with external agencies and young people to enable and empower them to access opportunities and make successful transitions in to work. With a newly recruited Business Administration Apprentice to boost the capacity of the team the aim is that Norfolk will be a flagship county for the national Apprenticeships agenda.

    Jacqui has worked in a variety of role and sectors feeding in to her current objectives including delivering funded projects to ex-offenders, supporting young people to overcome barriers to progression and 10 years in the world of recruitment, giving her a broad scope of experience through commercial industry, third sector provision and local authority strategies.

    She has a passion for Social Enterprise and created her own organisation 3 years ago to support disadvantaged groups in the community and delivers training programmes on how to set up a Social Enterprise.

    Jacqui firmly believes in driving forward initiatives that create inclusive opportunities that allows individuals to see and reach their full potential in life.

    Photo of Jacqui Starling

    Dan Thompson 

    Awaiting bio.


    Sarah Weir 

    Sarah Weir is interim Executive Producer at the Roundhouse in London. She was previously Chief Executive of Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire and her other past roles include Chief Executive of The Legacy List, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park charity (now called Foundation for Future London); Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy for Olympic Delivery Authority; Executive Director, Arts Council England; London and Executive Director of the Almeida Theatre. She has a History of Art BA from Birkbeck College (1993-7), an OBE for services to the arts (2011) and is a Fellow of Birkbeck College (2013).  Sarah also serves on the board of the Alzheimer’s Society.

    Sarah Weir headshot

    Paul Weston 

    Paul Weston is a Director of Laboratory Media Education, a company that simplifies the creative application of technology to achieve change in education, health and and social inclusion. Their approach is centred around close and flexible partnerships that are truly reflective in 
    meeting the varied and changing needs of participants.!partners-and-clients/gk7rr

    Before his current role, Paul was the Director of Music Leader East of England, funded by Youth Music and based at The Garage. Paul has 21 years experience of working in every formal and non-formal, music and arts education setting and maintains his creative practice, playing drums and percussion.

    Paul Weston Portrait


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