Canterbury Arts Conference 2017: Art For Change



This year sees the annual Canterbury Arts Conference 2017 return to the beautiful Kent Cathedral city with a bold purpose and big aim.

Over three days—July 18th- 21st—the theme of Change will be explored. Change is all around us at the moment, with life shifting every day and in more significant ways than we might have imagined. The conference focuses on how art can drive change, the role of development and movement in society, and the difficulties in doing so when finance is at such a premium. Questions include who benefits from art for change? What is the psychological impact of engaging in the arts? Is it always an act of rebellion? Is the role transformation, education, elucidation, or entertainment? And when resources are scarce, should we even care about art and just focus on the practical?

The programme is hugely varied, featuring visual presentations, arts workshops, academic papers, creative writing, films, round table discussions and exhibitions from individuals across the artistic, community and business spectrums.

Carlton Walls’s Production In Your Pocket shifts the idea of a phone being something that takes us away from the world as something that brings us into it, looking at making films and movies, from concept to delivery, with your phone.

Drawing on her experiences working within Brixton Prison, regeneration projects in East London, and her work with entrepreneurs, Anna Sexton explores the role of art and creativity in riding the waves of change.

Charlie Langhorne of Wild in Art explores how the development of public art trails can impact on the wider community outside of those who traditionally engage with the arts, bringing together the commercial demands of ‘business’, the collective demands of town and city authorities, and the creativity of artists into one shared experience for communities.

The role of creative writing in her own experience of cancer is something that Sophie Babbage will discuss in Creative Writing as a Healing Force and Paradigm Shifter in the Cancer Community.

Arlene Pryce will present a snapshot of her recently-completed postgraduate research, which focused on case studies of how disadvantaged teenage boys and their teachers benefited from engagement with the arts.

Proving that creativity is a mindset, not an output, Victor Matthews will share a presentation entitled God’s Distillery: How Theology and Artisan Whiskey Can Change Lives. In his own words, “It’s the story of my work on Theology and the gift of God in my life through the Distillery. The entire process—being creative, the whiskey, being cutting edge and artistic, and the results—being that we are helping many people.”

Closing speaker, Ash Kotak, will talk about how art can give a voice to those who are forgotten or sidelined.

The three days are priced at £30, in order to ensure accessibility, with concessions available and drop-in sessions on offer. Find more info and get your tickets here.

Filed under: Written & Spoken Word