Re-igniting the creative industries post lockdown is the theme of an upcoming festival in May at Brookes (4-27 May). Free and open to all, it’s a month of virtual talks, workshops and discussions on industries spanning music, film, media and the performing and visual arts.
Working with the Creative Industries Federation and others, the festival sets out to explore how the creative industries can address urgent issues like reconnecting with audiences, fostering new talent and building greater diversity. Boosting economic resilience following the pandemic is another top priority.
Breaking down barriers in the creative arts world is one of the big themes. Star Wars actor Arti Shah was diagnosed aged 2 with a condition which has affected her stature. Arti will share her experiences as a successful performer, calling for greater diversity in blockbuster movies, both in front of and behind the camera (13 May). And BRIT Award-winning singer and songwriter Kate Nash will share her perspective on gender and sexism in the music, TV and film industries (27 May).
Nurturing upcoming talent is vital too. Arts students will be in conversation with media experts and Lucy Turner, School of Arts Employability Champion, on their steps to success post- pandemic (5 May). Mentoring will also be explored as a way of connecting the next generation of creatives with experts (6 May).
Other highlights include Shadow Chancellor and East Oxford MP Anneliese Dodds, who will talk to Dr Hannah Yelin about her alternative vision for creative industries in the UK (7 May). And in a discussion panel led by OxLEP (Oxford Local Enterprise Partnership), key national and local figures will consider how best to reboot the region’s thriving cultural scene before the pandemic (6 May).
The festival is the brainchild of the University’s new Creative Industries Research and Innovation Network, which is being launched alongside it. Fostering connections and pooling expertise is at the heart of both. In a cross-disciplinary showcase, six researchers share highlights of their research and practice on subjects ranging from literature and philosophy to the visual arts, film, media, and the sounds that surround us (21 May).
The festival engages with the most urgent issues facing the creative industries and what’s needed for them to thrive. For booking and further details, visit this webpage.