Culture Matters – A new event series from The State of the Arts


Given all the difficulties of lockdown faced by the creative industries, we at The State of the Arts have been amazed at how artists and organisations have navigated the past year.

Culture Matters’ is a new series of panel events that will shine a light on how resilient and resourceful our friends in the arts and culture world have been. In each virtual event, we will look at a different creative sector, discussing the challenges they faced, the changes they’ve experienced, and their recovery route out of lockdown.

Our first event explores ‘Galleries’, the essential spaces that connect artists with audiences, which have been largely closed across the UK since the pandemic began. To learn what it’s been like behind the scenes, we have enlisted three leading figures working with galleries, museums and exhibitions in the North to feature on our panel…

Alistair Hudson – Director of the Manchester Art Gallery and Whitworth Gallery

Courtney Spencer – Director of the Leeds Summer Group Show and former director of Left Bank Leeds

Nicola Triscott – Director/CEO of FACT Liverpool

The panel event will be taking place on Wednesday 3rd February 2021 via a live stream from 17:00-18:30.

You can register for the event for free via this link – we will be emailing the live stream link ahead of the event.

Our guests


Alistair Hudson is the Director of Manchester’s two most popular galleries – the Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth. He was appointed the dual Directorship role in 2018 following time spent as Director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Alistair is also Chair of Culture Forum North, an open network of partnerships between Higher Education and the cultural sector across the North. TSOTA have been proud to feature a number of exhibitions over the years from both the Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth.

Source: Courtney Spencer

Courtney Spencer is renowned in Leeds for her contributions to various projects across the city. From Directing the Left Bank Leeds venue, to her current work with Leeds Museums and Galleries, she has been heavily involved with Leeds’ thriving art scene in recent years. She founded the Leeds Summer Group Show in 2015, which returned last summer to give artists from the city a chance to expose their work during the pandemic. Extensive coverage of the LSGS featured on the TSOTA site, including this interview with Courtney.


Nicola Triscott has been the CEO/Director of Liverpool’s FACT since 2019. Imagined and made in Liverpool, FACT makes internationally exceptional art, science and technology projects that radically explore society and its most pressing issues. Nicola previously worked as Director of Arts Catalyst, which recently relocated to Sheffield, as well as the founder of nonprofit Catalyst Rwanda. FACT’s latest exhibitions include ‘And Say the Animal Responded?’, an exploration of technology’s engagement with nature that was curated by Nicola herself and reviewed on TSOTA.

We are incredibly excited to have such diverse experience represented on this panel. Aside from working tirelessly on their own projects, all our panelists are passionate contributing to their city’s cultural network and are inspiring ambassadors for the North’s creative industries.

Join us on the 3rd Feb for our first ever panel event by booking an Eventbrite ticket here.