Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

State of the Arts Is Subject of High-Profile Forum; A Major National Conference about the Arts Is to Take Place Tomorrow, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

State of the Arts Is Subject of High-Profile Forum; A Major National Conference about the Arts Is to Take Place Tomorrow, as DAVID WHETSTONE Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVIDWHETSTONE

VALENTINE'S Day at the Lowry and no doubt love will be in the air as the arts come up for discussion under the chairmanship of Kirsty Wark, presenter of the BBC's Newsnight and The Review Show.

State of the Arts 2012: Artists Shaping the World is the title of tomorrow's third annual conference for movers and shakers in the arts.

Artists, politicians, journalists and senior staff from arts and culture organisations will gather for the conference, being held for the first time outside London.

Fifty artists applied for bursaries to attend the sell-out event and representing the North East will be artists Iris Priest and Will Strong. Iris is based at the NewBridge Project, happily ensconced in a previously empty office block on Newcastle's New Bridge Street.

Will, a director of the NewBridge Project, said the conference would be "an invaluable opportunity to meet other practising artists, to develop a support network outside the North East and bring the learning and experiences back to share with our community of artists as the NewBridge Project".

Ahead of the high-powered gathering, Arts Council England and the BBC invited students from three universities - Sunderland, York and Salford - to make short films responding to one or more of the conference's nine themes.

Michelle Carrick, from Sunderland, made a film about the North Tyneside Art Studio, a community of artists who have all been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The conference will get properly under way with a discussion under the heading "2012 and then what?" The panel will include Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, playwright David Edgar, artistic director Jonzi D, Ruth Mackenzie, director of the Cultural Olympiad, Sally Lai, artist director of the Chinese Arts Centre, and Liz Forgan, chairman of Arts Council England.

Godfrey Worsdale, director of Baltic will be one of the speakers in a discussion called Artists and the creative economy. …

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