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23 May | 6pm - 8:30pm | Free, booking essential
📍 Front room, Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art
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The third talk in our Education in Crisis series with Baltic x Northumbria University. This series is part of the BxNU partnership exploring the crisis in Arts Education in the lead up to our BxNU Conference in February 2025.

Join us in Front Room to join our discussion with leaders of the creative industries to consider the transformational value of creative learning, the fundamental skill sets learned, and the impact education cuts have on future creatives.

From 2010 to 2019, the creative industries experienced nearly double the growth rate of the overall economy, achieving a value exceeding £115 billion. This expansion equates to approximately one in eight businesses and accounts for 7.1% of total employment in the UK. However, despite these achievements, the ongoing decrease in funding for art, design, and technology subjects in UK state schools poses challenges for recruiting the diverse talent crucially needed by the industries.

In the wake of these funding cuts, what will happen to the Creative Industries if the government continues to slash funding and isolate future generations of creatives? How can the creative industries continue to adapt and survive? Following short provocations by the speakers, we invite audience members to join the debate and share their experiences.

Chair | Dr. Donna Chambers

Donna is Professor of Critical Cultural Studies in the Department of Arts at Northumbria University.  She is an interdisciplinary scholar who is interested in how people and places are represented in a number of cultural and heritage contexts including in tourism. She applies a range of critical perspectives to her work including, though not limited to, decolonial and critical race theories and Black feminist theory.

Donna is a Trustee of Wordsworth Grasmere (literary house museum), Sunderland Empire Theatre and is a non-Executive Director of Newcastle Creates. She is currently one of 16 women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic heritage in the North East of England featured in the ‘Inspirational Women’ permanent exhibition at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Speaker | Joanna Feeley – Trend Bible

Jo Feeley is a futures expert and founder & CEO of TrendBible, a Newcastle based trend forecasting agency. She advises retailers, brands, charities, investors and governments all over the world to help them understand what householders and consumers will think, feel and do in two to five year’s time.
With 25 years’ experience as a trend forecaster, she has grown the business to become a leading authority on the future of home, working with recognised brands such as Valspar, Starbucks, Samsung and LEGO. Joanna leads a team of 23 staff based in Newcastle and around the UK, and a network of trend scouts based all over the world.

Joanna is passionate about raising the visibility of the creative sector in the North East of England, evidenced in her commitments outside of running TrendBible. She has launched Creative Studio Tours, a programme for school students to visit creative companies in Newcastle to build aspirations for a creative career. Jo is quoted as an authority on trends and is regularly cited by The Independent, BBC Radio 4, Entrepreneur Magazine and the Financial Times. Honoured by the think-tank Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), Jo was named as ‘one of the new generation of female entrepreneurs’ and won the Great British Entrepreneur award in 2022.

Her first book, Trend Leader: How to Spot and Back Winning Ideas, Propel Your Career and Create a Better Future will be published in Autumn 2024 by Rethink Press.

Speaker | Loujane Alasi – Newcastle Creates

Loujane is a multidisciplinary professional who has experience working in the built environment, non-profit and media sectors graduating from Newcastle University with a Masters in Media and Journalism after completing a Bachelors degree in Architectural Technology from Northumbria.From her lived and professional experience, she knows many young people don’t feel seen or heard within the culture space in Newcastle and aren’t aware of opportunities that exist.She is passionate about encouraging the sector to express a more diverse picture of identity, heritage and impact. She wants to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience and participate in cultural activities without feeling like they’re an imposter.

Speaker | Tom Leighton – Art Manager at Atomhawk

After studying Computer Games Art at Teeside, Tom started in the industry in 2008 at Eutechnyx Ltd as a junior 3d artist. He moved to Zerolight where his career progressed into production and management before joining Atomhawk as their new Art Manager in 2023. At Atomhawk, Tom looks after the long term planning of the team, Education outreach and Tech improvements for the studio.

Tom is a lover of cars, Tomb Raider and all things gaming and tech.

Speaker | Gillie Kleiman – Freelance Artist

Gillie Kleiman workswith and in dance and choreography, creating performances, texts, events, andpedagogical encounters. Gillie’s work has a persistent interest in the figureand the activity of the non-professional, and many of her projects haveinvolved participation of non-professional collaborators or of the audience. In2020, Gillie initiated a new cycle of thinking and working about fat andfatness. Gillie has degrees in dance and performance, including a PhD in DanceStudies. Alongside her artistic practice, she is Head of Higher Education atDance City, a Trustee of People Dancing, a board member of Newcastle Creates,and external examiner at the Danish National School of Performing  Arts.She is a member of the union UVW-DCW.

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